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1,400+ Highline College Students Graduate in 2022

Home/Featured, News/1,400+ Highline College Students Graduate in 2022
2022-06-30T16:00:55+00:00 June 29, 2022|Featured, News|
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1,400+ Highline College Students Graduate in 2022

  • Two Highline grads.

The Highline College campus was alive with celebration on June 16 as students, friends and family came together to celebrate our 2022 graduates at Highline’s second “Cross the Stage” Commencement event.

Instead of packing the ShoWare Center, where Commencement has traditionally been held in past years, hundreds of graduates walked across a stage in Building 8 to pick up their diploma covers on campus. They were then able to take professional photos, grab a Commencement lawn sign, free Alumni swag, eat at food trucks, take photos at a photo booth, dance to DJ music and more.

That evening, families again came together to watch Virtual Commencement at home. Together, in heart, they celebrated the college’s 2022 Commencement ceremony.
Approximately 425 students of 1,404 students who graduated in the 2021-22 academic year participated in the Cross the Stage event while 369 participated in the Virtual Commencement ceremony.

Highline College President John Mosby gives a diploma cover to a graduate.

Highline College President John Mosby gives a diploma cover to a 2022 grad during the Cross the Stage event.

As is typical at other colleges and universities, students at Highline apply to graduate before all coursework has been completed. The college expects to award the following credentials for the 2021–22 academic year. Here are a few facts:

  • 1,404: total number of credentials (degrees, certificates and diplomas); some students earned more than one credential
  • 421: two-year degrees, including 198 associate of arts degrees, 67 associate of science, 147 associate of professional-technical and 13 associate of applied science degrees
  • 57: applied bachelor’s degrees
  • 87: certificates
  • 26: high school diplomas
  • 5: GEDs

The 2022 graduating class reflects the diversity of the college campus. Here are a few facts:

  • 17: age of youngest graduate
  • 71: age of oldest graduate
  • 33: veterans who used VA education benefits while attending college
  • 166: number of immigrants
  • 19: number of refugees
  • 60: number of international students, representing 16 countries
  • 67%: students of color (of the 727 students reporting their race/ethnicity
  • 66%: female graduates

One key component of Commencement each year is choosing a student speaker. While many apply, only one is selected. This year, Mirian Mencias earned the honor.
Mencias described the national landscape students have had to endure as they pursued their studies. From the death of George Floyd in 2020 to the war in Ukraine, all amidst a global pandemic, students of Highline College have had to learn to be successful while overcoming agony.

“We are more than just students when we show up,” she said. “We show up as our full selves and we’ve had to evolve. We’ve had to learn to surround ourselves with positive people who see the best in us even when we don’t see it ourselves. We’ve demonstrated that we can make it through all of these challenges, trials, errors, doubt and tough times. And through whatever life decides to throw at us. The class of 2022, we have conquered and we have done it with grace.”

Watch Mencias’ full speech.

This year, a number of students earned top honors and achievements.

All-Washington Academic Team

Sameer Koirala and Caitlyn (Cat) Jonson earned statewide recognition and scholarships for their accomplishments as Highline College students this year.

The Kent residents were honored as members of the 2022 All-Washington Academic Team as part of their academic achievements.

Each of the state’s 34 community and technical colleges can nominate up to four students for the award, however, only the top two are chosen.

To qualify, students must apply for recognition and be members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Highest Scholastic Achievement Award

This year, 296 students graduated with honors with GPAs of 3.5 and above, and 30 of those had a perfect 4.0 GPA, qualifying them as Highest Scholastic Achievement scholars.

The Highest Scholastic Achievement Award is presented each year to the graduating student — or students — who has attained the highest GPA and has completed all degree requirements by the end of the spring quarter of the academic year of graduation. This year, those students are:


April Aronsen – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Katelyn Brandon – Associate in Arts DTA
Jayme Browning – Associate of Applied Science – Registered Nurse LPN to RN
Anna Chepel – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Bethany Chrisinger – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Sharmya Clark – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Breanna Collins – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Vincent Cuanan – Certificate of Completion-Comprehensive Transition Certificate
Andrew Dannenberger – Bachelor of Applied Science – Cybersecurity & Forensics
Jacob Doran – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Ashley Ellis – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Elizabeth Gomez – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Athena Gumbs – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Andrew Lyon – Certificate – Hospitality & Tourism Specialist, Short Term Certificate – Customer Service Hospitality, Short Term Certificate – Event Management
Dina Masic – Short Term Certificate – ECE Initial State Certification


Yader Morales Juarez – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Sonia Munguia – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Michael Netsereab – Associate in Science- Transfer AS-T – Track 2
Gabriela Ojeda – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Iva Papini – Associate of Applied Science – Visual Communications
Adriana Ramirez – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Inna Rozov – Associate of Applied Science – Registered Nurse LPN to RN
Dale Scheett – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Eliza Stewart – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Hang Thai – Associate of Applied Science-Transfer – Respiratory Care (Pre), Bachelor of Applied Science – Respiratory Care
Shannon Thornton – Associate in Arts DTA
Hailey Washburn – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Nathan West – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Karesandra White – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway
Julieanna Wilkinson – Short Term Certificate – Medical Assistant-Registered to Medical Assistant-Certified Pathway

Student Legacy Awards

A number of students received recognition for high achievement (Legacy Scholar Awards) and contributions to campus programs, services and activities (Legacy Leader Awards). While some of these students are graduating this year, others will return.

2022 Legacy Leader Awards


Joseph Plummer, Achieve
Obadiah Mirina, Achieve Peer Navigator
Rosie Michelle Pound, Arcturus
Jehnoah Wingo, Associate Dean of Student Life Award
Jacob Shawn-Donavin Tucker, Campus View Student Housing
Ly Chau, Career Services
Nehha Hussain, Career Services
Melat Akeza, Center for Cultural & Inclusive Excellence
Samantha Atienza, Center for Cultural & Inclusive Excellence
Chau Tran, Center for Leadership & Service
Noah Lindborg, Center for Leadership & Service
David Pak, Computer Science Club
Yuna Kim, Computer Science Club
Max Forrest, Cyber Competition Club
Meghan Koester, Cyber Competition Club

Julliannea Plummer, Global Co-Curricular Programs & Initiatives
Olivia Natalia Brooks, Highline Book Club
Furqan Qasim, Hospitality & Tourism Management (HOST)
Yen Minh Ngoc Nguyen, Hospitality & Tourism Management (HOST)
Karina Aragon-Madrigal, Math Resource Center
Emily Hamilton, National Poetry Month Committee
Alaxander Robins, PHATT (Physicists of Highline – Association of Thinkers & Tinkerers)
Yuna Kim, PHATT (Physicists of Highline – Association of Thinkers & Tinkerers)
Kyla K. Feeney, Public Speaking Center
Ja’ Shawna Brown, Respiratory Care
Odessa Durante, Speech and Debate Club
Ron Lytle, Student Employee of the Year
Rebecca Zenger, Thunderword
Severiano Jose Garcia, Thunderword
Leslie Phin, TRiO
Mirian Mencias, TRiO

2022 Legacy Scholar Awards


Kenny NIshino, Achieve
Toan Quoc Tran Nguyen, Computer Science
Yahya Abdulmohsin, Computer Science
Mirian Mencias, English Department
Faith Chao, Journalism
Rika Deveney, Journalism
Chanita D. McIntosh, Legal Studies


Melody LaRue, Legal Studies
Andrew Nguyen, Mathematics
Leena Kapadiya, Mathematics
Shay Larie Jones, Nursing
Maddek Richarson, Public Speaking Center
Rebecca Wambui Mwangi, Respiratory Care