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Commencement 2024 Celebrated at ShoWare Center

Home/Featured, News/Commencement 2024 Celebrated at ShoWare Center
2024-06-18T18:03:37+00:00 June 18, 2024|Featured, News|
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Commencement 2024 Celebrated at ShoWare Center

After a four-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Commencement was back at ShoWare Center this year and the stands were full of cheering family and friends at the vibrant annual ceremony.

More than 500 Highline College graduates walked across the stage on June 13 to receive their diploma covers and celebrate all they’ve accomplished.

DeVoni (DeVo) Young, President of the Associated Students of Highline College, was the Master of Ceremonies. Young is a recipient of the Highline College Legacy Award for outstanding academic achievement and leadership.

Approximately 556 students of the 1,286 who applied to graduate in the 2023-24 academic year participated in Commencement.

Highline grads take a photo before the Commencement ceremony at ShoWare Center.

Highline grads take a photo before the Commencement ceremony at ShoWare Center.

As is typical of 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 2023-24 academic year. Here are a few facts:

  • 1,469: total number of credentials (degrees, certificates and diplomas)
  • 969: two-year degrees, including 559 associate of arts degrees,
    62 associate of science, 324 associate of professional-technical and 17 associate of applied science degrees
  • 116: applied bachelor’s degrees
  • 343: certificates
  • 41: high school diplomas
  • 22: GEDs
A group of Highline grads pose for the camera after the ceremony.

A group of Highline grads pose for the camera after the ceremony.

The 2024 graduating class reflects the diversity of the college campus.

  • 16: age of youngest graduate
  • 73: age of oldest graduate
  • 26: veterans who used VA education benefits while attending college
  • 14: number of immigrants
  • 23: number of refugees
  • 85: number of international students, representing 24 countries
  • 72%: students of color (of the 1,261 students reporting their race/ethnicity

Student Speaker

One key component of Commencement each year is choosing a student speaker. This year, Mai Hung was awarded the honor out of many applicants.

Hung, from Myanmar, started at Highline in 2019 as a Running Start student. Upon completing an Associate of Arts Direct Transfer Agreement degree, Hung found her passion in computers. This led her to pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree in Global Cybersecurity investigation.

In addition, this year a number of students earned top honors and achievements.

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

All-Washington Academic Team

Dedication to community and helping others earned two Highline College students a place on the All-Washington Academic Team in 2024.

Grace Thykkuttathil and Maureen Ondatto both received $500 for their efforts, with $250 given by KeyBank and $250 by the Highline College Foundation.

Each of the state’s 34 community and technical colleges can nominate up to four students for the award. This year, two were chosen.
To qualify, students must apply for recognition and be members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Highest Scholastic Achievement Award

At this time, 516 students graduated with honors, GPAs of 3.5 and above and 14 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 graduating students who have attained the highest GPA and have completed all degree requirements. This year, those students were:

Mohammad Haroon Waheb – Associate in Pre-Nursing DTA/MRP
Rahimullah Noori – Associate in Pre-Nursing DTA/MRP
Gabriella H Coronado – Associate of Applied Science – Graphic Design
Zoe Weinbeck – Associate in Arts DTA
Karen K Hundertmark – Associate of Applied Science – Hospitality & Tourism Management
Jessie Leone – Associate of Applied Science – Paralegal
Estifanos S Hadgembes – Bachelor of Applied Science – Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics
Estifanos S Hadgembes – Associate in Arts DTA
Thi Anh Vu – Associate of Applied Science – Registered Nurse
Courtney Elizabeth Mangotich – Associate of Applied Science – International Business & Trade
Shelly Marie Bilbao Kingery – Associate of Applied Science – Registered Nurse LPN to RN
Cristian Alexander Aristizabal – Associate in Arts DTA
Ashley Nguyen – Bachelor of Applied Science – Respiratory Care
Thi Xuan Anh Nguyen – Associate of Applied Science – Medical Assistant

Shirley B. Gordon Award for Academic Excellence

Awarded annually by the Highline College Foundation, this award is based largely on academic achievement, but also considers the student’s community service activities and community college experience. Dr. Shirley B. Gordon was Highline’s president from 1976 to 1990. The award went to: Stella Nyambura

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.

2024 Legacy Leader Awards


Annika Harris, Fantasy Fiction Writing Club
Brinston Fader, Math Resource Center
Cam Lyons, Thunderword
Carolleetha Smith, Umoja Scholars Club
Chansophalysa Than, Center for Cultural & Inclusive Excellence
Chase Zahnow, Chemistry
Dakne Blanco-Ramirez, Outreach Department
Dania Yosef, Campus View
DeVoni Lent, HOST
Diya Faraj, Respiratory Care
Eaint Chit Po Po, Fireside Bistro
Eldana Mulugeta, Public Speaking Center
Evans Omoke, ACHIEVE Peer Navigator
G.C., ACHIEVE
Hannah Lee, Physics Highline Association of Thinkers and Tinkerers
Hussein Al-Badri, Center for Leadership & Service
Jack Sundnes, Cru
Jennifer Meadus, Cybersecurity & Women in Cybersecurity Club

John Benrick Diaz, Writing Center
John Kim, Physics Highline Association of Thinkers and Tinkerers
Jordyn Ceplina, Computer Information Systems
Kelsey Ahlf, Fantasy Fiction Writing Club
Macey Fuette, Cru
Mahad Dahir, ACHIEVE Peer Navigator
Martin Caoagdan, Table Tennis Club
Marvin Caoagdan, Table Tennis Club
Merwa Kedir, Arabic Club
Nissa Liesik, Geology
Rebekah Maloney, Entry Advising
Samuel McCune, Arts & Design Club
Sergio Acuna, Entry Advising & Workforce Education Services
Thao Chu, HOST
Wahu Waweru, HOST
Yuka Takeuchi, Badminton Club
Yuliana Clarita Goyop, Academic Success Centers,
Zahra Ahmadi, Outreach Department

2024 Legacy Scholar Awards


Aleniad Vazquez, Entry Advising
Alycia Williams, Communication Studies
Angeline Feliciano, ACHIEVE
Carley Randall, Writing Center
Dania Yosef, Academic Success Centers
Daniel Trofimchik, Physics Department
Derick Mo, ACHIEVE
Elizabeth Ma, Mathematics
Gabriella Vanderzanden, Nursing

Jasleen Kaur Bal, Respiratory Care
Maria Hatch, English
Samantha Wilson, English
Sergio Acuna, Promise Scholars
Tera McWilliams, Business Technology
Thomas Huynh, Mathematics
Tia Simmons, Business Technology
Yuna Takele, TRiO Student Support Services Tutoring

View Commencement Photos on Facebook Watch Replay of Commencement Livestream