The Highline College campus was alive with celebration on June 15 as students, friends and family came together to celebrate our 2023 graduates at Highline’s third Commencement event on campus in recent 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.
Approximately 512 students of 1,273 students who graduated in the 2022-23 academic year participated in Commencement.
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 2022–23 academic year. Here are a few facts:
- 1,505: total number of credentials (degrees, certificates and diplomas); some students earned more than one credential
- 1,044: two-year degrees, including 522 associate of arts degrees, 153 associate of science, 336 associate of professional-technical and 28 associate of applied science degrees
- 116: applied bachelor’s degrees
- 268: certificates
- 77: high school diplomas
- 107: GEDs
The 2023 graduating class reflects the diversity of the college campus. Here are a few facts:
- 17: age of youngest graduate
- 68: age of oldest graduate
- 46: veterans who used VA education benefits while attending college
- 148: number of immigrants
- 24: number of refugees
- 83: number of international students, representing 16 countries
- 74%: students of color (of the 1,214 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, Erika Grace Fusu-Bosako earned the honor.
Fusu-Bosako is an international student from Belgium. She came to the United States in December 2021. She is a Business major and plans to transfer to a university to pursue entrepreneurship. At Highline College, she was a peer facilitator for the Inter-Cultural Center. Her favorite part about her job is that she gets the chance to meet many students from different backgrounds, and that is something that she loves to do; learn about other people’s cultures and share her own. She loves to spend quality time with her family and friends.
This year, a number of students earned top honors and achievements.
All-Washington Academic Team
Dustin Cole earned statewide recognition and scholarships for his accomplishments as a Highline College student this year.
The Federal Way resident was honored as a member of the 2023 All-Washington Academic Team for his academic achievements.
Each of the state’s 34 community and technical colleges can nominate up to four students for the award, however, only one was chosen this year.
To qualify, students must apply for recognition and be members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
Highest Scholastic Achievement Award
At this time, 253 students graduated with honors, GPAs of 3.5 and above, and 21 of those had a perfect 4.0 GPA, qualifying them as Highest Scholastic Achievement scholars.
The Highest Scholastic Achievement Award is presented each year graduating students who have attained the highest GPA and have completed all degree requirements. This year, those students are:
Andrew Nguyen, Associate of Science-Transfer in Engineering, Track II
Anna Wight, State Early Childhood Education Certificate
Camille Mendoza, Associate in Pre-Nursing
Chelsea Chaviers, Associate of Applied Science in Registered Nursing (LPN to RN)
Erika Ray, Paralegal Plus Certificate
Jefferson Nastasi, State Early Childhood Education Certificate
Karen Hundertmark, Hospitality & Tourism Management (HOST) Specialist Certificate, HOST Customer Service Certificate, HOST Certified Coffee Professional Certificate, HOST Food & Beverage Operations Certificate
Kelly Heagerty, Associate of Applied Science in Registered Nursing (LPN to RN)
Laresa Hester, Associate in Pre-Nursing
Leeda Faizi, Medical Assistant Certificate, Clinic Service Representative Certificate, Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assistant
Lillie Haugen, Associate of Applied Science in Registered Nursing (LPN to RN)
Maria Hatch, Associate of Applied Science in Educational Paraeducator,
Maria Simon, State Early Childhood Education Initial, State Early Childhood Education Certificate
Meghan Koester, Bachelor of Applied Science in Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics
Mili Liang, Early Childhood Education Short State Certificate of Specialization – Administration
Mohammed Alogaidi, High School Completion, Associate of Applied Science Hospitality & Tourism Management
Noa Onishi, Hospitality & Tourism Management Specialist Certificate, HOST Customer Service Certificate
Paul Roeller, Associate in Arts DTA
Robert Camacho Enriquez, Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design
Suchanya Brown, Bookkeeping Certificate
Susan Howlett, Paralegal Plus Certificate
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.
2023 Legacy Leader Awards
Ahmed Alkaissiy, Arabic Club
Amy Lam, Career and Student Employment
Dakne Roxanna Blanco Ramirez, Outreach & Recruitment Services
Darneice King, Disney+ Club
Emily Crabb, Respiratory Care
Emily Van, MESA/Academic Affairs
Erika Grace Fusu-Bosako, Center for Cultural & Inclusive Excellence
Evans Omoke, Achieve Peer Navigators
Gabriel Sison, Computer Science Club
Hang Ly, HOST (Hospitality & Tourism Management)
Kat Carolina Leon Ojeda, KPop Club
Kelly Betancourt, Enrollment Services/Admissions Department
Laila Martin, Writing Center
Laylia Parker, Center for Leadership & Service
Lizeth Favela, Writing Center
Ly Chau, Career and Student Employment
Mahri Yalkapova, Computer Science Club
Mehakpreet Kaur, Chemistry
Merwa Kedir, Arabic Club
Ruby Cofer, English/Film Studies
Samantha Nicole Baker, Geology
Seohyeon Yoon, Achieve Peer Navigators
Seth Jones, Entry Advising
Rory R., Clubs Program
Najib Yasin, Clubs Program
2023 Legacy Scholar Awards
Tony Tran, Achieve
Ashley Nguyen, Respiratory Care
Caleb Johnson, Communications Studies
Dania Yosef, Entry Advising
David Hyun Kim, Computer Science
Ellie Chit Po Po, HOST (Hospitality & Tourism Management)
Gabriel Sison, Mathematics
Habon Ibrahim, Achieve
Kellie Pavlov, Legal Studies
Mary Bickford, Business Technology Department
Sahara Safi, Outreach & Recruitment Services
Semay Michael Alazar, Legal Studies
Shabana Samim, Business Technology Department
Tesfaye Biratu, Physical Science
Yuna Takele, Computer Science