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Edmonds College celebrates its 45th commencement ceremony

Edmonds College celebrates its 45th annual commencement ceremony 7:30 p.m., Fri., June 15 at Comcast Arena Everett. In 2011-12, the college awarded 2,166 degrees, certificates, diplomas, and GEDs to students ages 16-72.

“We applaud the hard work, talent, and persistence of our graduates as they begin to realize their unlimited potential. They have taken a great step toward a brighter future. We value their motivation and look forward to the contributions they will make as industry and civic leaders, entrepreneurs, volunteers, lifelong learners, and members of our local and global community,” said Edmonds College President Jean Hernandez.

This year’s student commencement speakers are Kristina Madden, 22, and Matvey Sineev, 18, both of Lynnwood. They are both headed to the University of Washington.

Madden graduates with her Associate in Pre-Nursing Degree. She started as a Running Start student in her junior year of high school, then later returned to Edmonds College in EdCAP, a program which provides an opportunity for young adults ages 16-21 to earn a high school diploma in a college environment.

“I always knew I wanted to finish my diploma and pre-nursing degree. While raising my children, I was starting to miss school and I began looking for ways to make it possible,” she said.

Despite the challenge of attending school as a breastfeeding mom and as a working mother of three, Kristina excelled in college. On campus childcare at the Center for Families helped her find time to study. She took Honors classes, did special projects such as studying the immunobiology of breast milk, and discovered her passion for research.

This spring, she earned a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, a prestigious national honor. Kristina works as a breastfeeding counselor for the state’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC Program). On campus, she has been leading an effort to open a lactation room on campus — a safe place for student-mothers of infants to breastfeed.

Her advice to future students: “Don’t limit yourself and don’t let anyone else limit you. Find your passion. If you are doing what you love, it will be so much easier and more beneficial.”

This fall, Madden will enter the University of Washington’s School of Nursing. Her goal is a Doctor of Nursing Practice in neonatology and maternal child health.

Sineev graduates with his Associate of Arts Degree. Sineev attended Edmonds College as a Running Start student and also has just completed his high school diploma from Meadowdale High School.

He came to the college motivated to begin to secure a good footing for his future at the first opportunity.

“When I was 3 years old, my family and I came from Minsk, Belarus, to Seattle with $12,000, a suitcase, and no English. The motivation I saw in my parents through our first years in America taught me to work hard, live a fulfilling life, and make good connections with other people,” he said.

While attending college, Sineev has participated on his high school swim team and Chamber Orchestra and worked as a lifeguard at the City of Lynnwood Recreation Center and as an English tutor at Edmonds College. He is an Eagle Scout and an Assistant Scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 67 and a volunteer and participant with Lynnwood Rotary and at his church.

Sineev is also an avid bike commuter. He traveled 30 minutes by bike to the college to take classes every day, all year round.

He plans to attend the University of Washington. His goal is to complete a Master’s of Business Administration. He intends to gain skills that support his family and create jobs and opportunities for other people.

“I am proud when I give back to the community,” he said.

2011-12 Graduating Class — By the Numbers

  • 2,166 degrees, certificates, diplomas, and GEDs (1,679 without GEDs)
  • 33 percent earned college transfer degrees (704 degrees)
  • 41 percent earned career degrees or certificates (898 degrees and certificates)
  • 26 percent completed GED or high school diplomas (487 GEDs, plus 77 diplomas for a total of 564)
  • 30 — average age of graduates
  • 55 percent female
  • 45 percent male
  • 19 percent international students
  • 72 — age of oldest graduate, Certificate: Medical Billing Specialist
  • 16 — age of youngest graduate, Associate of Science Degree

Information is based on May 2012 data

2011-12 College Highlights

  • Opening Triton Field, new turf for intramural activities, intercollegiate sports teams — baseball, softball, and soccer — and academic physical education classes. Go Tritons!
  • Training workers for critical, local health care jobs with a federal grant and an innovative new Creating Access to Career in Health Care (CATCH) program to train low-income adults in Snohomish County. Student Luz Torres spoke in Washington D.C. about her experience in CATCH.
  • Walking the talk in sustainability: with our first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building, renovated Meadowdale Hall; a new Green Team of student advocates for sustainability a new solar installation on campus thanks to Snohomish County PUD; and by saving 17 percent (more than $100,000 annually) on our energy bills due to energy efficiency upgrades made with State Jobs Act funding. Yes!
  • Opening a clean room for our Information Technology and Digital Forensics students and offering an Advanced Data Recovery and Clean Room Operations class.
  • Sponsoring Verdant Health Commission’s “6 Weeks to a Healthier You” program.
  • Helping high school teachers increase interest in science, technology, engineering, and math in their classrooms by offering guitar-building workshops via the Materials Education National Resource Center at local schools, on campus, and at EMP Museum.
  • Sponsoring the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration with the City of Lynnwood, Edmonds School District, and Central Washington University which brought musician Derrick N. Ashong to town. Student Perseus McDaniel shared his study abroad experience as a deaf student in Italy.
  • Holding our 25th Annual “A Vintage Evening” Foundation Auction. Student Paige Tarver spoke about how a scholarship changed her life. Guest chef Ethan Stowell worked with our Culinary Arts students and faculty. And our *fabulous* community raised more than $193,000 for the college. Thank you!
  • Offering archaeology classes with a dig at Japanese Gulch in partnership with Everett Community College and the City of Mukilteo.
  • Organizing the Celebration of Food Festival at Lynnwood Convention Center — 1,500 participants, 75 volunteers, and 50 vendors — showcasing real food. Thank you all for supporting this new event!
  • Providing more opportunities for students in science, technology, engineering, and math with a total of 20 National Science Foundation grants. Our three latest grants of more than $1.5 million over five years mean more support services and scholarships for students in STEM fields including new MESA, EdSTEM$, and RISE programs. See www.edmonds.edu/stem for more information.
  • Training skilled aviation workers for the state and the nation at our Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center and expanding its capacity this year.
  • Offering more than 150 arts and cultural events — dance, music, lectures, films, comedy — in the Black Box Theatre and featuring some outstanding student and faculty performances. We’re preparing for the 10th anniversary of our Arts, Culture, and Civic Engagement initiative.
  • Encouraging women to enter careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and speaking out about the need for their abilities and voices. College president Dr. Jean Hernandez spoke at the White House Panel on Women in STEM and the college held an Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics Conference for high school students.
  • Celebrating the achievements of our — accounting, aerospace, art, music, occupational safety and health, science, and study abroad — students. Calvin Hanson won a national honor for music composition. Kristina Madden received a prestigious scholarship. D’Artagnon Womack and Andrew Nichols had their research findings published in the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics and presented their work to the U.S. Congress at a national event honoring undergraduate research.
  • Celebrating the achievements of our faculty: experts with national clout. Holly Hughes and Katherine Jenkins have new books out. Minh Carrico opened an art gallery in Seattle. Thomas Murphy was named State Conservation Teacher of the Year. Machiko Akasaka was honored by the Japanese Consulate for outstanding teaching.