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About Whatcom: Whatcom Community College in Bellingham is regularly recognized as one of the top 150 community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute. The College, a destination for cybersecurity, healthcare and business studies, offers a bachelor of applied science degree, transfer degrees, career preparation, online courses, and community education classes. WCC’s accomplished faculty and staff serve 11,000 students annually. For more information, visit

Alumni News - May 2019

Win WCC Swag, Become a Medical Assistant, Register for Free CyberCamps, Meet Alums

Post Date:05/15/2019 12:00 pm

WCC Friends and Alumni Newsletter - May 2019

Gathering Fountain Looking Back at Syre Hall

Be first to guess the answer: we’ll send you WCC swag!

  • What country sent the most international students to Whatcom in 2018-19? Email: (include your mailing address, please)

2nd Medical Assisting Program launched to fill job pipeline

  • Certified medical assistants in high demand locally, regionally and statewide
  • WCC added second MA program in hybrid format (online lectures and on-campus labs)
  • Ideal for working and/or parenting adults
  • In addition to established daytime MA program: starts each fall quarter
  • WCC’s MA grads consistently pass the national certification exam at rates exceeding the national average

Whatcom Top Community College in NSF Grants; 3rd in the state

Whatcom is a powerhouse when it comes to federal grants. In 2018, the college topped all 34 community colleges in the state with $4.9 million in National Science Foundation grants. Whatcom came in 3rd in NSF grants, following only the University of Washington and Washington State University.

Manny Smiling at CameraMeet Manny and Ale: All-Washington Academic Team

Navy veteran Emmanuel (Manny) Valencia was selected to participate in a summer research project testing various methods of desulfurizing diesel.

  • His passion: combining his fascination with cars with a desire to improve the environment and research affordable fossil fuel alternatives.
  • His plans: University of Arizona, beginning the mechanical engineering program this fall.
  • Favorite WCC memory: “I’ve always felt welcomed and supported by the faculty and staff, basically my catalyst and inspiration for success. This also applies to the great classmates I’ve had as well. I guess my favorite part about WCC has been the amazing people that make Whatcom, well, Whatcom.”

Alejandra Hobi Sitting at DeskAlejandra (Ale) Hobi, is a full-time student, mother, tutor, Co-VP of the PTA at her daughter’s school, and a returnee to college after 14 years.

  • Her passion: helping people tell their stories as a tutor in the Writing Center; enjoys her visual communication classes, where she has learned to use color and typography to communicate a message.
  • Her plans: transfer to Western Washington University to continue visual communications studies and one day, earn a doctorate degree.
  • Favorite WCC memory: “I love Whatcom: it feels like my second home.”

The All-Washington Academic team recognizes the finest students in the community and technical college system each year.


Cybersecurity: it’s never too early to start learning: FREE GenCyber camps for middle and high school students this summer

WCC, home of national cybersecurity education to over 400 colleges, is accepting applications for this summer’s GenCyber day camps. Middle and high school students will explore cybersecurity through hands-on activities.


Stefanie Fields Smiling at CameraWCC Alumni Spotlight: Stefanie Fields, certified hypnotherapist and children’s book author*

  • Why did you choose WCC?: I attended WCC through the Running Start program as a junior in high school and was so happy I did! The college environment was a much better fit for me.
  • What are you doing now? I'm now living near Vancouver, BC as a Certified Hypnotherapist and recently published my 4th children's book. I'm actively visiting elementary schools and day care centers to inspire kids and teach them about the writing process. I've met so many eager, young writers - it's very encouraging!
  • Favorite memory of WCC? Oh it's hard to choose just one! A funny memory that just came to mind was in Ene's art class in the fall. We'd been sketching the trees outside the window and when we came back to class on Monday all the leaves we'd drawn were gone from the wind. The room was a flurry of erasing! Remembering that sound and the floor of eraser crumbs still makes me laugh.
  • Favorite spot on campus? I used to nap in my car between classes, so the parking lot was actually my favorite place. If I went back and parked there now, I'd probably still fall asleep in a minute.
  • Favorite professor? Ed Harri! He was the first teacher after middle school that made math make sense to me. Thank you, Ed!

More information about Stefanie and her partnering illustrators can be found online at Her books are available on Amazon and found locally at The Chipper Bird, Wandering Oaks Fine Arts Gallery, Village Books, St Joseph Hospital, and the Whatcom Art Market. A portion of sales from You're Beautiful When is proudly donated to Brigid Collins Family Support Center in Bellingham.

Can you host an international student this fall? 40 families needed

“ of the best things I have done in my life. I thank WCC for allowing me to have this wonderful experience!” — Gina Wolff, WCC Homestay host

✓ Hosts must live on or near a WTA bus line within 45 minutes commute to WCC
✓ Provide a private furnished bedroom for the student
✓ Provide three meals a day
✓ Can be single, married / unmarried couples, with / without children or pets, native / non-native English speakers
✓ Compensation provided for hosting
✓ Email or 360.383.3270

We are building futures together

Your gifts to students, faculty and staff, and college programs inspire us to do more. Dream bigger. Provide opportunity. Invest in our community. Join us! | 360.383.3320 | Visit our website

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; Wendy Bohlke, Trustee Representative; Kira Bravo; Anne-Marie Faiola; Sandra Hughes; Bev Jacobs; Mike Langey; Dr. Lynne Masland; D. Andrew Moquin; Emerson Powers, Student Representative; Carolyn Simpson Scott, M.D.; Phyllis Self; Robert M. Tull; Troy Wills; Victoria Dahlgren, Member Emeritus; Satpal Singh Sidhu, Member Emeritus; Executive Director for College Advancement Sue Cole; WCC Foundation Director 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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