The best and brightest among us
Alumni, students gather to honor their peers
Proud penguin alumni and students gathered on campus in November to celebrate honorees and trade stories during the annual Alumni-Student Dinner.
Alumni shared tips they’ve gleaned working in various industries and answered career-related questions from eager students who are preparing to enter the workforce. Kim Capeloto, executive vice president at Riverview Bank and the evening’s speaker, encouraged students not to be shy, but rather to get to know the people around them in the room. More than 120 people attended the event held on Clark’s main campus in the Gaiser Student Center.
At the height of the evening, outstanding alumni were recognized for their contributions to their fields, the community and the college. The winners were Mary Ann Thimmes ’64, Pat Sheaffer ’61 and Teresia Hazen ’90.
Hazen took to the stage and spoke passionately about the importance of access to health care in the community. Sheaffer pledged to create a scholarship at Clark to help students meet their education goals.
An inaugural Rising Star Alumni Award was also presented to two young alumni under the age of 35. The recipients were Billy Henry ’14, founder and executive director of Northwest Association for Blind Athletes, and Naomi Kay ’10, a Clark College employee in eLearning.
“I am a proud penguin, who looks forward to paying it forward,” said Kay, who credits many individuals for helping her obtain a degree while working full time at Clark.
Henry had a long list of people to thank for helping with his achievements. At the end of his speech, he was presented with a special donation to benefit Northwest Association for Blind Athletes.
Finally, three students were recognized as Alumni Scholarship recipients for 2015. Phuc “Peter” Pham, Cindy Nguyen and Hannah Straub received the scholarship for their exemplary coursework and career aspirations. Pham, a native of Vietnam, wants to work as an electrical engineer for a company like Intel. Nguyen thanked alumni for helping her pursue her dream of becoming a sonographer. Straub is pursuing a career in social work, and in her free time she plays the fiddle and makes chocolate.
Alumni regularly contribute to an Alumni Scholarship endowment that currently totals $100,000. Recipients are chosen for their academic prowess and contribution to the community.