2024 Tenure Reception

Left to right: Clark College President Dr. Karin Edwards, Bruce Elgort, Heidi Fay, Mackenzie Loyet, and Clark College Trustee Suzanne Donaldson.

Four newly tenured faculty members were honored at the 2024 tenure reception on May 28 in PUB (Penguin Union Building) 161. Clark’s Board of Trustees, President Dr. Karin Edwards, faculty, staff, and families gathered to celebrate the achievement of the recently tenured faculty.

During her welcome message, Dr. Edwards said, “Some have described the tenure process as a three-year professional development plan. It’s an intense process and a journey for all of you. Congratulations on your achievement.”

The following faculty members were honored:

Bruce Elgort, Computer Technology

Left to right: Computer Technology Professor Dr. William Baker, Gayle Elgort, Professor Bruce Elgort, Network Technology Professor Dwight Hughes, Dean of WPTE and STEM Theo Koupelis, and Computer Technology Professor Adam Colman.

Dean of WPTE and STEM Dr. Theo Koupelis presented Professor Bruce Elgort with his certificate.

Feedback from Professor Elgort’s students:

“You can tell he has real passion for the field and for teaching students.”

“He keeps the class engaged and he is very responsive to our needs. He is respectful, providing clear instructions and pathways to success.”

“Bruce connects with each student individually… He remembers every student by name and makes sure to address each one during the lesson. I never feel alone in his classes. He always checks if everyone is keeping up with his speed (which can be challenging at times, to be honest). Rest assured; you won’t fall asleep in his lessons!”

“Throughout my time studying at Clark College, I have not encountered a more engaging teaching style.”

“He is amazing when it comes to technology and people… He continues to help and support many of his students even after they graduate.”

Heidi Fay, Pharmacy Technician

Dean of Business and Health Sciences Dr. Scot Headley with Professor Heidi Fay, Pharmacy Tech.

Dean of Business and Health Sciences Dr. Scot Headley presented Professor Heidi Fay with her certificate.

Dr. Headley said, “Heidi is caring, competent, and committed. She has exceptional technical skills, teaching skills, and administrative skills. She maintains good relationships with our external partners, who provide our students with externships, and later, jobs.”

Feedback from Professor Fay’s students:

“Heidi provides detailed feedback on your work and how you are achieving course outcomes. She answers all questions and makes certain that all her students fully understand before moving on.”

“You can tell that Heidi wants all her students to succeed. She makes certain that her students have a full understanding of the coursework and know about available resources.”

“Heidi made it possible to understand the material well and to practice doing the work in order to be able to make a career.”

Mackenzie Loyet, Biology

Left to right: Mackenzie Loyet with fellow Biology Professor Dr. Catherine Crosby.

Dean of WPTE and STEM Dr. Theo Koupelis presented Mackenzie Loyet with her certificate.

He read comments from her colleagues, including: “Mac is an excellent instructor. She’s positive, well-organized, patient, knowledgeable, communicative, energetic, kind, caring, respectful, and very supportive of her students, who love having her as their Human Anatomy and Physiology professor, as evidenced by the glowing comments on her student evaluations.”

Feedback from Professor Loyet’s students:

“She has amazing knowledge of the content and can seamlessly explain anything you need to know. She teaches in a way that is easy to understand. Easily the best professor I’ve had at Clark.”

“She ensures her students comprehend the complex material. Her knowledge and expertise in the subject matter are evident, allowing her to effectively convey information and answer questions with clarity. What sets Professor Loyet apart is her ability to create

an engaging, enjoyable learning environment. She utilizes various teaching strategies, incorporating interactive activities, visual aids, and real-life examples to enhance understanding and retention. This approach fosters a deeper comprehension of the subject matter and keeps the class motivated and eager to learn. Professor Loyet’s approachability, teaching methods, and commitment to student success make her the best teacher I have encountered during my time at Clark.”

Heather Reynolds, Nursing

Dean of Business and Health Sciences Dr. Scot Headley presented Professor Heather Reynolds with her certificate. Associate Dean of Health Sciences Jennifer Obbard accepted the certificate on Heather’s behalf.

She said, “Heather is an exemplary faculty. She speaks up, has vision, and contributes to the department and students in so many ways that make a difference. She is a leader among faculty in the department who brings ideas that lead with equity and inclusion… Heather’s students express that she creates a safe environment, leans into challenging conversations, and supports students to deepen their learning. Heather conveys passion for teaching and genuine care for students and their success.”

Feedback from Professor Reynolds’ students:

“Professor Reynolds has been the best teacher I have experienced. She is thoughtful, funny, receptive, and shows vulnerability which provides an enriched learning environment. She makes you feel heard. She’s a good one!”

“She inspired and empowered me. I loved the personal, detailed feedback she gave for each assignment. She is thoughtful and kind with her approach.”

Learn more

Read an earlier story about Professor Elgort’s tenure here.

Read an earlier story about the tenure of professors Fay, Loyet, and Reynolds here.

Winter 2024 Classified Staff Excellence Award

Congratulations to Lucy Mackintosh, Library and Archives Paraprofessional, Access Services. Lucy is the recipient of the Winter 2024 Classified Staff Excellence Award.

Excerpts from Lucy’s nomination:

“Lucy is dedicated to making our college a more diverse and inclusive place. She is currently in the B.U.I.L.D. (Broadening Understanding, Intercultural Leadership and Development) program, and she is bringing those ideas into her job as a library technician and student employee supervisor. Lucy leads discussions and reflections on inequality in libraries as part of a training program for our student employees. She also applies these ideas in her everyday work. Lucy advocates for fair policies and decision making in Access Services. Her passion for diversity and inclusion is making a real impact in how we actually do things here.”

“Lucy’s contributions to the college community are most evident in her role as the supervisor of the library’s work study student employees. Lucy exemplifies a level of dedication and compassion that significantly enhances the experience for our students. Her leadership in fostering a positive and inclusive environment for our student employees is truly commendable. Lucy’s exceptional coaching skills shine through as she demonstrates a keen understanding of each student’s unique strengths and challenges. She not only motivates them to perform at their best but also ensures they feel valued and supported in their roles. Lucy’s empathetic approach creates a space where our student employees are comfortable being themselves, fostering a sense of belonging within the college community. She is an invaluable asset to the library and our institution.”

A student employee who is supervised by Lucy wrote: “Lucy is the star of the workplace when it comes to work spirit. Always offering to lend a hand whenever possible, even though inconvenient, and with a smile on her face, Lucy’s consistently positive spirit is inspiring. Always encouraging us student-workers to achieve high proficiency in our tasks by keeping us accountable with training, she still never forgets to be personable. The difference between her and other bosses that I have had is that she has always made me

feel like a human. I’m not just another worker-bee for her, zooming across the library with endless book shelving. I can remember multiple occasions during training where she would take time out of her busy schedule to just check in to see if I had any questions or feelings. She strives in her position of managing all student employees at the Cannell Library because she takes the energy to get to know us as people.”

We would also like to acknowledge the contributions of the other nominees:

  • Jami Crawford, IT Customer Support, IT Services
  • Adrianne Langit, IT Customer Service Technician, IT Services
  • Karina Sanchez, Program Specialist 3, Financial Aid
  • DJ Scates, Tenure Support Supervisor, Office of Instruction
  • Jessica Wehrman, Program Specialist 2, Enrollment Services

About the Classified Staff Awards

Established in 2005, the Classified Staff Excellence Award recognizes classified staff who have demonstrated exemplary work performance, a positive and cooperative spirit, special achievements, or contributions to the college community, and supports individual and organizational diversity and inclusion. Through the support of the Clark College Foundation, the recipient will receive a $400 cash award.

Nominees must be a current classified employee who has been in their current position for more than six months. Award recipients will not be eligible for another award for three years. Visit the Clark College Employee Recognition page to learn more about this award and other ways to acknowledge the value and dedication of our staff and faculty.

A history of Classified Award recipients

2023: Manda Levie (winter), Cheryl Davenport (spring), Heather King (summer), Andra Spencer (fall)

2022: Chris Chaffin (winter), Svitlana Havrylyuk (spring), Christopher Layfield (summer), Papel Popov (fall)

2021: Jennifer Shadley (winter), Damon Grady (spring), Jordan De Van (summer), Denise Rotellini (fall)

2020: Jennifer Stone (winter), Silvia Marinova (spring), Connor Cantrell (summer), Pedro Hernandez (fall)

2019: Sarah Seyller (winter), Amanda Brown (spring), Heather Adams (summer), Bryton Williams (fall)

2018: Eben Ayers (winter), Shelly Williams (spring), Sherry Smith (summer), Ian Beckett (fall)

2017: David Sims (winter), Aleksandr Anisimov (spring), Rebecca (Becky) Udwary (summer), Jessica Beach (fall)

2016: Judy Healy (spring), Joanne Emel (summer), Carmen Roman (fall)

2015: Jeri Kemmer (winter), Marianne Luther (spring), Thor Tesdale (summer), Vanessa Meyer (fall)

2014: Janice Taylor (winter), Sally Demos (spring), Derald Richards (summer), Heather White (fall)

2013: Scott Black (winter), Tim Pliska (spring), Gayle Lee (summer), Jessica Bateman (fall)

2012: Audra Rowton (winter), Debra Robinson (spring), Kira Freed (summer), Catherine Keane (fall)

2011: Carey Wolley (winter), Marci Wedemeyer (spring), Debra Hentz (summer), Tonya Potter (fall)

2010: Beverly Brosius (winter), Ian Thomas (spring), Naomi Kay (summer), Scott Coffie (fall)

2009: Denise Rotellina (winter), Glenda Cunningham (spring), Scott Root (summer), Lindsey Walling (fall)

2008: Vicki Presley (winter), Francisco Ramos-Medrano (spring), Susan Muir (summer), Amy Waite (fall)

2007: Susan Harding (winter), Mark Owsley (spring), Samantha Lelo (summer), Paul Caggianese (fall)

2006: Nell Gladson (winter), Joy Horning (spring), Lynn Schinzing (summer), Ann Hansen (fall)

2005: Lucy Shao (fall)

Healthy Penguin Nation

Spring campus photo with people walking under cherry trees

The Healthy Penguin Nation wellness program conducted by human resources and the college well-being team has been awarded the Zo8 Award for 2024 by the Washington State Health Care Authority. The award is given to employers who promote wellness to support employees and their families by sharing resources and conducting wellness initiatives focusing on enhancing health, reducing health and injury risks, and improving overall health and well-being.  

This is the second time Clark College has received the wellness award. The college last won a Zo8 award in 2016.  

Each year, Washington Wellness honors organizations with the Zo8 award for their achievements in building, growing, and maintaining an effective health program. Organizations are invited to apply to highlight their institution’s wellness program and initiatives throughout the year to Washington Wellness.  

Clark College received the Zo8 award by promoting health and well-being through the College’s Healthy Penguin Nation program to the college community through newsletters, events, discounts, presentations, fairs, campus emails, promoting programs such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and SmartHealth, a Washington Wellness program for eligible PEBB (Public Employees Benefits Board) employees, which offers employees an annual $125 wellness incentive.   

About Clark’s Healthy Penguin Nation wellness program

The Healthy Penguin Nation program is a college-wide initiative to create a culture of well-being in support of the state of Washington’s initiative to promote healthy lifestyle practices in the workplace. 

We aim to engage, educate, and empower the Clark College Community in healthy behaviors by developing, implementing, and supporting various wellness activities based on solid research and best practices. As the Wellness Team, we encourage the Clark College Community to thoughtfully consider their relationship to health and prioritize well-being for each other. 

We do this by adhering to a holistic model of well-being that focuses on the whole person—offering a wide range of resources that support employees on their wellness journeys in Eight Dimensions that influence overall well-being. 

Find upcoming Healthy Penguin Nation wellness events: CalendarLearn more here. 

About the Zo8 Award 

Each year, Washington Wellness recognizes organizations with our Zo8 Award for their achievement in building, growing, and sustaining an effective wellness program. A wellness program aims to help employees and their family members be their best through positive behavior changes. These changes focus on enhancing well-being, reducing health and injury risks, and improving overall health. Washington Wellness encourages organizations to use the SmartHealth Workplace Wellness Roadmap. It is an eight-step process based on industry-preferred practices to help build the infrastructure for a sustainable wellness program. The roadmap can help organizations plan for and target key areas for success. The Zo8 award represents the organization’s commitment to its employees’ well-being.  

To learn more about the Zo8 award visit the Washington State Healthcare Authority website

What do Zo8 award winners receive? Washington Wellness celebrates Zo8 award winners during an annual recognition ceremony. Winning organizations receive a physical award, certificates for contributing members, and a logo to use in publications, signature lines, and websites to recognize their achievements.  

About the Zo8 logo  

  • Name Zo: In Greek, it means “live.”  
  • Number 8: The eight steps in our wellness program project plan guide. 
  •  Logo shape: Flower of Life pattern is known to inspire.  
  • Colors: Based on the four elements that support life (air, earth, water, and fire)

Eight Dimensions of Well-being 

chart with colored backgrounds and icons depicting the 8 dimensions of well-being listed.

  1. Physical 
  2. Emotional 
  3. Occupational 
  4. Environmental 
  5. Intellectual 
  6. Spiritual 
  7. Financial 
  8. Social 

Fall Classified Staff Excellence Award

Andra, fourth from the left, with other Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion staff during an Opening Day event.

A warm congratulations to Andra Spencer, Equity Professional Development Program Manager from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as the recipient of the Fall 2023 Classified Staff Excellence Award.

Excerpts from Andra’s nomination:

“Andra’s passion for equity and education is contagious. She dove into creating a PPI training on recognizing and disrupting antisemitism this summer and introduced many to a body of knowledge previously undiscussed at the college. Her sessions at Teaching and Learning Days and Fall Faculty Focus were packed and received overwhelmingly positive feedback and demands for a part two!”

“Equity is at the center of everything Andra does. Recognizing a gap in knowledge at the college, Andra spent time over the summer doing intense research on antisemitism and how to disrupt it, and developed a training for both Teaching and Learning Days and Fall Faculty Focus that was presented to PACKED rooms! Andra also developed training on creating inclusive learning environments, bringing her teaching expertise into her role here at ODEI and developing training specifically targeted to faculty, something that ODEI hasn’t done before.”

“Andra is well connected throughout the college – attending every event she can and volunteering to help out in any way. She collaborates with others on the team to execute projects and is always one of the first people there to set up and one of the last to leave after cleaning up. Her cooperative spirit is evident in her leadership on the Teaching and Learning Days Committee, the NWREC planning team, the O-Squad, Level Up, and many other cross-college initiatives.”

We also would like to acknowledge the contributions of the other nominees:

  • Becky Lindsay, Program Specialist II, Dental Hygiene
  • Nichole Maruca, Program Specialist II, Enrollment Services
  • Shelly Williams, Program Coordinator, Fine Art Division
  • Tani McBeth, Technical Training Consultant, eLearning
  • Teresa (Terry) Haye, Program Manager A, BASTE Bachelor of Teacher Education

About the Classified Staff Awards

The Classified Staff Excellence Award was established in 2005 and recognizes classified staff who have demonstrated exemplary work performance, a positive and cooperative spirit, special achievements or contributions to the college community, and supports individual and organizational diversity and inclusion. Through the support of the Clark College Foundation, the recipient will receive a $400 cash award.

Nominees must be a current classified employee who has been in their current position for more than six months. Award recipients will not be eligible to receive another award for three years.

Visit the Clark College Employee Recognition page to learn more about this award and other ways to acknowledge the value and dedication of our staff and faculty.

Quality Matters Award

Dr. Kathy Chatfield has been recognized for her outstanding efforts toward improving digital learning at Clark College.

Chatfield, who leads the college’s eLearning and instructional design department, has received the Ron Legon Leadership Award for Quality Digital Education bestowed by Quality Matters and MarylandOnline. The award is reserved for singular contributors to the mission of continuous improvement in digital learning.

Quality Matters is an international leader for quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. Chatfield is among five award recipients who have demonstrated an exceptional dedication to quality in digital learning.

Chatfield’s work of improving online experiences for students includes building sustainable quality assurance processes at the institutional level. Clark College began offering online classes in 2005. Online classes were the first to fill and the first to put students on a waitlist.

Quality Matters stated: “The Ron Legon award acknowledges the impact Chatfield’s leadership has had on faculty, staff, students and the educational landscape at large through her steadfast devotion to the pursuit of quality assurance.”

In their recognition, Quality Matters added: “Chatfield represents a strong voice at both the college and state levels, where she helps sustain support for the importance of quality standards in online learning. At Clark College, she works to maintain the culture of professional development she has built among the institution’s faculty. As a member of the Washington State eLearning Council, she has championed statewide adoption of effective policy on digital learning.”

“I am very honored to have been selected as the recipient of this year’s Leadership Award for Quality Digital Education,” Chatfield said. “The rigor and dedication to quality that is involved in education and peer-reviewed course design through the Quality Matters organization inspires us to always strive for better, stay on a path of continuous improvement and seek greatness in our students’ learning. I am proud to represent Clark College in this endeavor.” Chatfield will accept her award at a ceremony during the QM Connect Conference Nov. 5-8 at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. She has been asked to speak about what the award means to her.

“I’m diligently working on my speech,” Chatfield said. “My aim is to inspire others to leadership in eLearning and to recognize Clark College as being a leader, itself, in this field.”

Chatfield has served in higher education for 34 years at eight institutions. She has worked at Clark College since January 1995. She has taught part-time in person and online. She has served full-time in the eLearning and Instructional Design department since 2006.

About Quality Matters

Quality Matters is a global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. It provides a scalable quality assurance system for online and blended learning used within and across organizations. QM certification marks on courses or programs means they have met QM course design standards or QM program review criteria in a rigorous review process. Learn more at here.

Opening Day: Award Recipients

Clark College employees gathered on September 18 to kick off the 2023-24 academic year during Opening Day festivities at O’Connell Sports Center. During the event, the following staff members were recognized for their service to the college.

Years of Service Awards

Brad Avakian, vice president of human resources, presented the years of service awards to employees with 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years of service by reading their names. Employees with service more than 25 years were invited to come to the front to receive certificates. All years of service awards also come with monetary compensation based on the number of years served.

Vice President of Human Resources Brad Avakian presented years of service awards.

5 years:

Foundation: Dan Palow

Human Resources: Carrie Ann Gallagher

Information Technology Services: Yaremy Clara

Instruction: Kyle Anderson, Michiko Anderson, Bryan Blehm, Gabriele Canazzi, Jennifer Capell, Virginia Davidson, James Demartini, Charlotte Derkacht, Jason Eversman, Tyler Frank, Monte Gantka, Dr. Douglas Harris, Shawn Henderson, Christina Howard, Nami Inoue, Rachel Irvin, Ryan Jeannet, Dr. Soohyon Ji, Dr. Alan Koenig, Sarah Kuzera, Martha Lewis, Robert Long, Lucas Martin, Petra Redinger, Samuel Robinson, Christina Smith, Brogan Sullivan, Heidi Summers, Elizabeth Van Buecken, Katarina Wallis, Dr. Michelle Walty, Patricia Witherspoon

NWACC: Alexandra Young

Operations: Zhong Chai, Cody Claassen, Kevin Damore, Bradley Hansen, Bellamy Holt, Jeffrey Kaliner, Daniel Lane, Christopher Layfield, Lindsey Mckim, Julia Perdue, Seumas Ross, Katlyn Simpson, William Thompson

Student Affairs: Jorge Argueta, Yuliya Demyanyuk, Kimberly Forbes, Tisha Pasquinelli, Torin Tashima, Carley Willis

10 years:

Instruction: Dr. Roberto Anitori, David Benedicktus, Sascha Blocker, Bruce Elgort, Melanie Hendry, Grant Hottle, Garrett Hoyt, Deborah Jack, Chad Laughlin, Kenneth Luchini, Michael Ludwig, Sarah Luther, Dr. Nick Macias, Dr. Mika Maruyama, Natalie Miles, Deane Morrison, Kelly Pfeifer, Kristin Sherwood, Dawn Steele, Janice Taylor, Adriana Thomas, Caleb White, Beth Wulf

ODEI: Degundrea Harris

Operations: Eben Ayers, Julie Donovan, Tanya Kerr, Johann Langley, Everett Yu

Student Affairs: Kimberly Blahnik, Jessica Hash, Kevin Thomas

15 years:

Instruction: Robert Abrahamson, Sheldon Atwell, Scott Bailey, Angie Bailey, Marci Bohac, Rebecca Boyer, Tammy Boyer, Tony Chennault, Cheryl Davenport, Michael England, Jason Herz, Dr. Philip Jones, Timothy Kent, Dr. Shon Kraley, Michelle Mallory, Kaye Manchester, Ruby Moore, Erika Nava, Ying Nollette, Michiyo Okuhara, Archer Parr, Joshua Patrick, George Salos, Nicoleta Sharp, Suzanne Southerland, Jennifer Ward, Kristin Woitte

Operations: Vickie Malcolm, Richard Nevis, Jennifer Shadley

Student Affairs: Marla Derrick, Dr. Sabine Falkenberg, Michelle Mussen

20 years:

Information Technology Services: Alan Logsdon

Operations: Brandi Roberts

Instruction: Aaron Campbell, Lisa Conway, Jill Darley-Vanis, Deena Godwin, Karina Gress, Dwight Hughes, Lynne Nolan, Sherry Smith, Samuel Triebs, Wayne Utehs

25 years:

Instruction: Grace Anukam, Dr. Marylynne Diggs, Mary Evens, Christine Krug, Kathleen Mitchell, Douglas Smith, Mitchell Sott, Jeanette Steinmueller

35 years:

Instruction: Dr. Kelly Fielding

Operations: Jonni Hattershide

Exceptional Faculty Awards

The award honorees were announced at Commencement in June and were honored at Opening Day.

Dan Alberghetti, Network Technology: A student wrote: “I was struggling to find a ‘place’ in the field. I often felt discouraged because some material wouldn’t click. But Dan encouraged participation, and stopped to give well-thought-out answers that helped us grasp the ‘why’ as well as the ‘how.’ The more I learned, the more excited I became about what I was learning. And I finally felt like I had a place and that I belonged.”

Exceptional Faculty Award recipient Dr. Jacob Funk with Dr. Wilkins-Luton and Dr. Edwards.

Dr. Jacob Funk, Music: A student wrote: “Dr. Funk creates an open learning environment to instill the joy of music in his students. He is fun to work with and a joy to sing with. His enthusiasm to help each student achieve their best voice is evident not only in class but also during concerts.

Exceptional Faculty Award recipient Chef Earl Frederick serves up BBQ during Juneteenth 2023.

Chef Earl Frederick, Cuisine: A student wrote: “Chef Earl’s lectures include the history and exploration of different cultures through food. He is very attentive and conversational about how different people may have different dietary needs based on medical, cultural or religious protocols. My time with Chef Earl Fredrick has been very expansive, both in technical skill and professional development.”

Exceptional Faculty Award recipient Becky Herman with Dr. Wilkins-Luton and Dr. Edwards.

Becky Herman, Dental Hygiene: A student wrote: “Becky goes above and beyond for us in the classroom. She provides us with many different ways to learn and encourages us to reach out should we need it. Her door is always open, and she is always willing to help those who need a little extra.”

Exceptional Faculty Award recipient  Dr. Julian Nelson with Dr. Wilkins-Luton and Dr. Edwards.

Dr. Julian Nelson, English department: A student wrote: “As an adult learner from Ukraine, I really appreciated his flexibility and willingness to adapt to changing circumstances, always with care for individual student needs and my academic success. His supportive feedback and messages made me feel that he wasn’t some robot behind a screen, but a genuine human who cared for my wellbeing. This kind of human interaction motivated me in times when I felt depleted, confused or had anxiety.”

Exceptional Faculty Award recipient Michiyo Okuhara with Dr. Wilkins-Luton and Dr. Edwards.

Michiyo Okuhara, Japanese language: A student wrote: “500 characters is not enough to describe Okuhara sensei and the impact she has on each of her students’ lives. I am extremely lucky to have her as a teacher and so many students feel the exact same way. Personally, I was taking an oral assessment when I messed up the sentence. She took the moment to teach me correctly, allowed me to study and retake my assessment. She uses constructive moments to build her students up instead of giving them a poor grade and moving on. We are lucky to have her.”

Exceptional Classified Staff Award

Exceptional Classified Staff Award recipient Cheryl Davenport with Dr. Edwards.

Cheryl Davenport, Library & Archives Para 4, Libraries: Cheryl realized that outdated, biased vocabulary in the online catalog’s subject headings, such as the biased subject headings describing the LGBTQIA+ community, does not reflect the college’s inclusive views. Thanks to her efforts, Clark Library now uses Homosaurus, an international linked vocabulary of LGBTQIA+ terms in our online catalog. This helps ensure the bibliographic records use subject headings representing the inclusive terminology used by the LGBTQIA+ community to describe themselves.

Exceptional Classified Staff Award recipient Jennifer Lea with Dr. Edwards.

Jennifer Lea, Program Specialist 2, Business Division: During the pandemic lockdown, Jennifer took the lead in shaping our BASAM (Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management) program so it would meet requirements to move fully online. When that adversely affected our veteran students, she helped restructure the modality, so it met VA requirements and allowed our veteran students to receive their full funding.

Exceptional Administrative Exempt Award

A portait image of Vanessa Watkins.

Vanessa Watkins, Director of Entry Services: Vanessa was recognized for fostering a positive, collaborative, and supportive environment for her Entry Services team. She works behind the scenes to support and uplift her employees, which ensures they have a welcoming, supportive demeanor as they assist students and prospective students.

Lora Whitfield Social Equity Award

Lora Whitfield Social Equity Award recipient Ezekiel Wells with Dr. Edwards.

Ezekial Wells, Program Specialist 3, Workforce Education Services: Ezekial was recognized for his work making positive impacts for students by creating a welcoming environment, a safe, inclusive space and removing barriers for students so they can receive college and community support and move forward on their educational pathway.

After Dr. Edwards handed Ezekial his award, shook his hand, and led the staff in clapping, she said, “I am thankful to each of you. I am pleased to see our colleagues recognized for their tremendous work. Congratulations to all our award winners and our employees who have demonstrated their dedication to Clark College over the years.”

Summer 2023 Classified Staff Excellence Award

Congratulations to Heather King, Unit Operations Manager, Business and Health Sciences, recipient of the Summer 2023 Classified Staff Excellence Award.  

Excerpts from Heather’s nomination:  

“Heather King exemplifies excellence in work performance. She goes above and beyond the call of duty. Heather demonstrates her creativity and efficiency in accomplishing tasks every day.”  

“This summer, Heather demonstrated a high level of individual and team cooperation in job performance by providing instrumental leadership in managing the Healthcare Pathways Camp and transitioning between Thompson Fitness Center managers. This involved managing grant budgets, coordinating and submitting student worker timesheets, overseeing schedules, coordinating final paperwork, and onboarding two new co-managers. Heather has managed all of this with grace, dedication, patience, and kindness. She helps keep everyone informed with her strong communication skills and keeps Clark College moving forward in a positive college environment, all while exhibiting consummate respect for fellow employees and students.” 

“In support of Guided Pathways, Heather is involved in oversight, applying her problem-solving skills to manage the unit’s class schedules and faculty workload to facilitate faculty teaching and student success in their classes, aiding more students to achieve their dream of earning a college credential. For the betterment of the unit this summer, Heather is providing all administrative support processes/workflow of the unit in support of multiple Perkins grants, a new HEET grant in support of developing the Surgical Technician program, an application for the extension of the High-Demand grant for Medical Assistant program, and facilitating the budget process for the Nursing Workforce Education Salary Enhancement Funds, under the growing constraints of increasing expenditures and constant or constrained revenues.” 

We would also like to acknowledge the contributions of the other nominees:   

  • Audrie Villanueva, Program Support Supervisor 2, Disability Support Services 
  • Laura Borgman, Secretary Senior, Transitional Studies Department 
  • Linda Healy, Program Support Supervisor 2, Advising  

About the Classified Staff Awards 

Established in 2005, the Classified Staff Excellence Award recognizes classified staff who have demonstrated exemplary work performance, a positive and cooperative spirit, special achievements or contributions to the college community, and supports individual and organizational diversity and inclusion. Through the support of the Clark College Foundation, the recipient will receive a $400 cash award which will be presented at Opening Day before the start of fall quarter each year.  

Nominees must be a current classified employee who has been in their current position for more than six months. Award recipients will not be eligible to receive another award for a period of three years.  

Visit the Clark College Employee Recognition page to learn more about this award and other ways to acknowledge the value and dedication of our staff and faculty. 

Spring 2023 Classified Staff Excellence Award

Congratulations to Cheryl Davenport, Library and Archives Paraprofessional 4, recipient of the spring 2023 Classified Staff Excellence Award. 

Excerpts from Cheryl’s nomination:

“Cheryl Davenport has worked at Clark for over 15 years and is the epitome of an excellent employee. As the only cataloger at Clark, Cheryl is responsible for maintaining our online catalog, including all of the Library’s catalog records, while also maintaining and preserving the condition our print book collection.”

“She values people more than tasks. Cheryl also provides a high level of service to students and patrons which takes precedence over phone and email, staff conversations, and meetings.”

“Cheryl worked to find a more inclusive and unbiased set of subject headings for library books and materials. She did this by soliciting input from Library staff and faculty, attending online presentations on this topic, and conducting her own research. Cheryl found a solution, advocated for its implantation and got approval from everyone in the Library. Clark Library now uses Homosaurus, an international linked vocabulary of LGBTQIA+ terms in the Library’s online catalog, which helps ensure the bibliographic records are using subject headings that represent the inclusive terminology used by the LGBTQIA+ community to describe themselves instead of using vocabulary created by the Librarians of Congress from many decades ago.”

We would also like to acknowledge the contributions of the other nominees:  

  • Brandi Roberts, Communications Officer, Security & Safety Services 
  • Carl Budrecki, Custodian, Custodial Services 
  • David Chase, Custodian, Custodial Services 
  • Eliezer Gonzalez-Roman, Program Specialist, Veterans Resource Center 
  • Jennifer Lea, Program Specialist, Business Division 
  • Jerrika Lightley, Fiscal Specialist, Student Life 
  • Jonni Hattershide, Program Support Supervisor, Production Printing 
  • Karmel Baldwin, Program Specialist, Enrollment Services 
  • Sandra Bush, Program Coordinator, Enrollment Services 
  • Tisha Pasquinelli, Program Specialist, Financial Aid 
  • Tracy Eyler, Early Childhood Specialist, Child & Family Services 

About the Classified Staff Awards

Established in 2005, the Classified Staff Excellence Award recognizes classified staff who have demonstrated exemplary work performance, a positive and cooperative spirit, special achievements or contributions to the college community, and supports individual and organizational diversity and inclusion. Through the support of the Clark College Foundation, the recipient will receive a $400 cash award which will be presented at Opening Day before the start of fall quarter each year. 

Nominees must be a current classified employee who has been in their current position for more than six months. Award recipients will not be eligible to receive another award for a period of three years. 

Visit the Clark College Employee Recognition page to learn more about this award and other ways to acknowledge the value and dedication of our staff and faculty. 

Board of Trustees

Marilee Scarbrough joins the Clark College Board of Trustees.
Marilee Scarbrough joins the Clark College Board of Trustees.

Clark College welcomed a new trustee and said farewell to an outgoing trustee at its June 7 Board of Trustees meeting. 

Board President Paul Speer and Clark President Dr. Karin Edwards welcomed Marilee Scarbrough to its governing board and thanked Trustee Rekah Strong, who has served on the board for a decade. She is the executive director of Educational Opportunities for Children and Families.  

Rekah Strong, left with Dr. Karin Edwards at the Legislative Breakfast in January.

Dr. Edwards said, “Rekah has been a champion for Clark College. She cares deeply about students and their families and promotes education as an equalizer for those who have been marginalized. Her intentional actions and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion have fostered meaningful cultural change during her tenure here.” 

Marilee Scarbrough, an attorney, has been general counsel for the Vancouver School District since 2011. Previously she served as the policy and legal services director for Washington State School Directors’ Association, and attorney for the Washington State House of Representatives’ Higher Education Committee. Scarbrough holds a Juris Doctor from University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Whitman College.  

“I am excited to serve my community in this new role,” said Trustee Scarbrough. “I look forward to working with the Clark College board and administration to inspire learners to excel, transform lives, and strengthen our increasingly diverse community.

The Board of Trustees Commencement Ceremony. Left to right: Cristhian A. Canseco Juarez, Denise Gideon, Marilee Scarbrough, Paul Speer, and Jeanne Bennett.   

2023-24 Board of Trustees 

  • Chair Paul Speer
  • Vice Chair Cristhian A. Canseco Juarez 
  • Jeanne Bennett  
  • Denise Gideon 
  • Marilee Scarbrough 

About Clark College Board of Trustees 

Each of the five members of the college’s Board of Trustees is appointed by the governor of Washington and serves a five-year term. They must live within the college’s service district, which includes Clark, Skamania and western Klickitat counties. 

The board seeks to ensure the quality and relevance of college programs and provides stewardship of public resources. The board is responsible for strategic planning, development and approval of college policies, and approval and oversight of the operating budget. Learn more here

Photo: Clark College/Jenny Shadley

New tenured professor

Bruce Elgort with a robot.

Bruce Elgort, a professor in Clark College’s Computer Technology department, was granted tenure unanimously by the Clark College Board of Trustees on May 24. 

Tenure is awarded by the college’s trustees based on professional excellence and outstanding abilities in their disciplines. The granting of tenure is based on the recommendations of tenure reviews committees to the vice president of instruction, which are then forwarded to the president, who presents a final recommendation to the Board of Trustees. Recommendations are based on evaluations by the faculty member being considered, the tenure review committee, students, supervisors, and peers. The final decision to award or withhold tenure rests with the Board of Trustees. 

Bruce Elgort earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree in electrical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey. He earned his Master of Science in engineering management from New York University, New York.  

Experience in the field 

Prior to teaching, Bruce worked for more than three decades in the field, including Elguji Software (founder/CEO); Sharp Microelectronics (strategic business operations, IT manager), and Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (office services and IT manager, manager of marketing and communications, and electrical engineer). In addition, he was an independent international consultant for more than a dozen clients including Price Waterhouse Cooper, US Social Security Administration, US Department of Agriculture, Washington State Department of Transportation, Honda and more. Bruce is recognized by IBM and Amazon Web Services for being an innovative thought leader in cloud and artificial intelligence technologies. 

Bruce joined Clark College in 2012 as a Computer Technology instructor. He serves on the Universal Design committee and Advanced Manufacturing committee. He is called on by staff and faculty as an accessibility expert. Bruce has received the Exceptional Faculty Award twice. 

Teaching philosophy  

You’ll find this technology professor working hard to inspire and challenge his students with meaningful web development and programming experiences. Bruce loves to tinker and test the boundaries of existing and emerging technologies, to then guide hungry minds through memorable, educational journeys to showcase with passion the ever-evolving innovations of society.  

Photos provided by Bruce Elgort