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Alumni News - March 2019

Massage Therapy; Affordable Textbooks; Meet an Alum

Post Date:03/12/2019 9:23 am

WCC Friends and Alumni Newsletter - March 2019

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WCC Cyber Security Students in Action

Scholarship for Service Covers Tuition Costs, Stipend for Cybersecurity Students

With a new $3.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Whatcom students interested in studying cybersecurity can apply for a scholarship that covers full tuition and academic fees for up to two years, and includes a $22,500 annual stipend, health insurance, and paid summer internship opportunities.

Five scholarships are available to WCC students on a competitive basis. WCC CyberCorps scholars will complete an associate degree in computer information systems or cybersecurity. In return, for every year of support a student receives, they are required to work one year for a local, state, or federal agency in a qualifying position. More information:

Mason Green Sitting with WA State Legislatures

ASWCC President Mason Green Testifies on Textbook Affordability Bill

Whatcom’s Associated Students of Whatcom Community College (ASWCC) president Mason Green braved the snowy February weather to testify before the State Legislature’s College and Workforce Development Committee. He spoke on bills to increase visibility of open educational resources, and improve the CTC system to assist those who have trouble accessing it.

“From my experience as ASWCC President, I’ve come face to face with numerous students who are impacted by the costs of higher education. With these experiences, I have become extremely motivated and eager to advocate their needs to the Legislature,” Mason said. “Rep. Luanne VanWerven and Whatcom and the Workforce Development Committee allowed me the space to share the perspective of WCC students, and it was both nerve-wracking and empowering. Being able to testify on behalf of my fellow students both on WCC campus and at the state level was a tremendous opportunity and honor!” Photo: Mason Green (right) with Rep. Luanne VanWerven (center).

WCC Leg Drawing on Student

Spotlight: Massage Therapy Program Academically Rigorous, Rewarding

Using therapeutic touch to manipulate the muscles and other soft tissue of the body, licensed massage therapists (LMT) relieve pain, help rehab injuries, improve circulation, relieve stress, increase relaxation, and aid in the general wellness of clients.

Whatcom’s intensive program begins each fall quarter, with applications for fall 2019 being accepted now through June 14. Many of the core classes are offered partially online, with labs on campus in WCC’s state-of-the-art Health Professions Education Professions Center. Program graduates are eligible to sit for state and national licensure exams: over the past five years, 92.4% of WCC’s graduates passed on their first attempt (compared to 84.4% in the state).

Theron Eirish, program coordinator, reports advantages of the WCC program include free membership in organizations that provide study aids, liability insurance, website builders for personal businesses, video tips and more. Campus resources support students and create a “college experience” not seen at other massage schools. College credits count towards an associate's degree in liberal studies, or as electives credits towards a transfer degree. Other experiences include attending a cadaver lab at Bastyr University, as well as performing sports massage at the Chuckanut 50K trail run. Instructors and the program coordinator have decades of experience practicing massage in the local community, with many contacts to help students find employment after graduation. Info:

Pic of WCC Alum Craig Telgenhoff

WCC Alumni Spotlight: Craig Telgenhoff

Why did you choose WCC? As a high school student, I was not on the “college track:” I preferred working with my hands designing and building furniture. After graduating from Meridian High, I came to realize that I would need a business education to achieve my dream of owning my own business, so I began my journey to earn my business degree. WCC offered a pathway to obtain my bachelor’s degree and so much more than I could have imagined. WCC opened my mind to a lifetime of learning and opportunity.

What are you doing now? After earning my associates degree, I transferred directly into the Business Department at Western Washington University (WWU). I attended WWU for one year, then transferred to the University of Washington, where I graduated with a degree in Architecture and Construction Management, with a minor in Economics. I then worked in Seattle as a construction project manager and architect. My most notable project was project engineer on the construction of Safeco Field. In 2002, I started CLT Design/Build Inc. where I design and build commercial and residential projects. I am currently the President of Mt. Baker Rotary, attend North County Christ the King Church and am a frequent judge for the Miss America Scholarship Program. I am happily married to my wife Jessica, father to my nine-year-old daughter Faith and three-year-old son Daniel. We reside in Lynden and live on Wiser Lake, where we enjoy water sports and a high quality community.

Favorite memory of WCC: I worked as a Student Ambassador in the Office of Student Life for a year, and it’s hard to pin it down to one favorite memory there. So I’d have to say all the tours I had the opportunity to give as an Ambassador! It was always such a fun experience to share information about what WCC has to offer and the Whatcom County community as a whole.

Do you have a favorite memory of WCC? The feeling of accomplishment and great pride after earning my associates degree.

Did you have a favorite spot on campus? The lawn outside the cafeteria during spring. Great place to enjoy the weather and study.

Do you have a favorite professor? My biology professor, Sue Webber. She was a gifted instructor who made seemingly complex concepts simple and knowable. She was born to be teach! She made biology fun!

Let us hear about your WCC experience, alums! Send an email to:

International Week at WCC
International Week Returns to WCC

The theme for this year’s International Week, chosen by the NW International Education Association, in partnership with the University of Washington’s Center for Global Studies, is Global Populism: At Home and Abroad.

The week of events in February included Lessons from the Japanese American Exclusion, a study abroad panel with faculty and students, a cultural heritage world fair presented by WCC students, Populism and the Authoritarian State in Turkey, poetry readings in several languages, Reflections on the Holocaust in a Troubled World, and West African Dance and Drumming.

Whatcom has about 300 international students. Part of the college’s mission statement: “…preparing students for active citizenship in a global society.” Info:

WCC Men's Basketball Sophomores

WCC Men's Sophomore Basketball Players Honored

Whatcom’s second year basketball players were honored at a ceremony last month, and included recognition of Native American players and staff, with a performance by the Blackhawk Singers and a blanketing ceremony.

Both the men's and women's basketball teams competed in the NWAC (Northwet Athletic Conference) championship rounds.


WCC First Gen Students

First Generation Day

First Generation Day in February honored the strength, creative, and academic talents of our first-generation students, staff, and faculty. Approximately 36% of our WCC students are (or were) the first in their family to go to college.


  • In an article in the Community College Journal (Feb. 2019), titled Hacking the Gap, it noted, “Colleges like Whatcom function as regional resource centers providing best practices in cybersecurity to Centers for Excellence in preparing young participants for sought after technical positions,” Kathy Hutson, National Security Agency’ senior strategist for academic engagement said.
  • WCC collected almost half a ton of food for the Orca Food Pantry from the Food Fight with Skagit Valley College. Avenue Bread is now donating excess loaves to the Pantry, as need continues to grow. To donate:
  • New certificate courses are offered in project management. Info:

We are building futures together

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WCC Foundation Board of Directors

Dr. Brenda-Lee Karasik, chair; WCC President Dr. Kathi Hiyane-Brown, vice chair; Dr. Ron Kleinknecht, vice chair; John Stewart, secretary/treasurer; Kurt Anderson, immediate past chair; Susan Sandell, at-large;  Troy Wills, Dr. Lynne Masland, Phyllis Self; Kira Bravo; Anne-Marie Faiola; Mike Langey; Andrew Moquin; Satpal Singh Sidhu, Member Emeritus; Robert M. Tull; Bev Jacobs; Sandra Hughes; Carolyn Simpson Scott; Sue Cole; Caite Holman

Advancement Staff

Sue Cole, executive director for College advancement; Marisa Ellis, communications and marketing director; Caite Holman, Foundation director; Stephanie Schmitt, Foundation operations manager; James Zyon, senior graphic designer; Jonathan Dymond, development officer; Kate Imus, Foundation program specialist; Brenda Chomiak, assistant graphic designer; Courtney Shannon Strand, communications manager; Sarah Jenkins, program coordinator

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