Alumni Newsletter Spotlights
Medical Lab Technician
WVC offers a two-year Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) degree program which trains graduates to work in a variety of laboratory settings. Most graduates work in hospital or clinic laboratories, but the possibilities are numerous. Patrick Tracy has been teaching laboratory personnel since 1992 and has been the WVC MLT Director since 2012. Before coming to WVC, Tracy taught overseas at a Polish university for eight years and then at a Saudi university for five years.
"[In the MLT program] students see competent instructors who truly care about what they teach," Tracy said. "It is my impression that this is passed onto our students, which ultimately leads to a successful career for them."
Tracy said graduates of the MLT program populate the labs in central and eastern Washington.
"There is a national shortage of clinical laboratory personnel, and central Washington is no exception," Tracy said. "Our MLT program is vital to the running of laboratories and healthcare facilities in our area."
As members of the medical team, medical lab technicians work side by side with medical technologists and pathologists and have relatively less contact with patients. MLTs perform a great variety of scientific laboratory procedures, utilizing automated computerized instrumentation, all of which aid in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of disease.
"It goes without saying that the program is a part of the allied health department and the college, but it really belongs to the community," Tracy said. "It accepts people from the community, trains them and then reintroduces them with a whole new skill set to the community."
Jack Johnson teaches English and Humanities at WVC. Johnson started teaching part time at WVC in 1989 and became full-time faculty in 1996. He teaches humanities, philosophy, creative writing, literature, composition and brewing.
What brought you to WVC? I grew up in Peshastin and started my college education here at WVC. It was always a dream of mine to be able to live again in the valley and teach at the community college.
Where did you get your degree? I received my B.A. from Central, my M.A. from Southern Illinois University, and I did three years of post-graduate work at the University of Denver.
What made you want to go into teaching? My college professors truly opened my eyes to the world, and I couldn't think of anything more worthwhile than to do that for other people.
What is your favorite part about campus? I like seeing, in my colleagues and the students, a real engagement in and love of the learning process.
What is your favorite thing to do off campus? I often do off campus what I do on campus, read and write. I also enjoy gardening.
Why is WVC an important part of the Wenatchee community? It's an important part of all the communities of central Washington. Its importance lies in its uniquely intellectual and cultural atmosphere. It's a place where a person's main concern can be just learning and testing new ideas. It's a haven of sorts in this way.
Emma Philley, a third-year student in the nursing program, is currently receiving scholarship funds from the WVC Foundation to pay for school.
Location: Originally from Auburn, Wash.
Why WVC? This nursing program has a high success rate in the state exams.
Favorite instructor? Melissa Fowler RN.
Favorite thing about WVC? I love the microbiology lab. I rediscovered my passion for science there.
Favorite thing to do outside of school? Play with my son in the park.
What are your plans for the future? I want to work at Central Washington Hospital and serve the community of Wenatchee as a nurse. I am excited to continue to learn about the medical profession and choose a specialty that I am passionate about.
Why is scholarship assistance important to you? The scholarship helped me buy books. The books for the nursing program were $1,200. I was unable to afford them until I received the scholarship. I was planning on only buying the books I needed in the first quarter. I was afraid I wouldn't have them in time or choose the wrong ones to purchase. The scholarship helped me so much.Thank you,
How long have you coached for the Knights? I have been the coach here for 16 years.
What do you believe has made the fast-pitch team so successful in the past? We are successful because of the quality people we bring here to play for us. Our student athletes are disciplined and driven in the classroom, on the field and in life. This is the winning formula.
How has the season gone so far? Our season has been amazing. We will be making our 13th straight trip to the NWAC championship tournament next week. Additionally, our team had the highest grade point average of any team on campus in the winter with a 3.45 GPA...not bad considering the campus wide average is 2.8 I believe.
Where do you see the season going? We are going to go play as well as we can in Portland next week and do ourselves proud. This tournament is the reward for the hard work that began in September.
What are a few goals for the season? Our goals have all been met: work as hard as we can, uphold the tradition of our program, be great representative of our program in our community and finish with no regrets. Mission accomplished!
Who are some key players to look out for? All of our players are key. We are successful because of the contributions from of every single one of our players.
Fine arts instructor Scott Bailey has been teaching at WVC for 12 years. He received his bachelor's degree in art from Gonzaga University and an M.F.A. in painting from Colorado State University. Bailey primarily teaches drawing and painting courses, but also teaches Art Appreciation once or twice a year. In addition, he serves as the director of the art department, was Humanities and Fine Arts division chair for five years, and is the de facto curator of the MAC Gallery.
What brought you to WVC: I had been the head of the art department at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, for five years, and was looking for a way to get my then two year old twin boys closer to their grandparents, who live in the Grand Coulee area. I couldn't believe it when I saw the ad for the position at WVC, essentially the closest possible college art program to my parents.
What made you want to go into teaching: I knew that I wanted a career in art, preferably one that did not require starvation, but when I went to Japan to teach English, I learned that I really loved teaching as well. Being a college art instructor, working with young artists and staying engaged with my own art practice is the perfect marriage.
What is your favorite part about campus: I love being in the MAC. With sounds of Music students practicing, art in the MAC Gallery, and all of the activity in the studios, it is a very creative place. Plus, that building is a personal dream-come-true after nearly a decade of struggling to make a better home for the arts at WVC. It was created exactly the way we wanted it, with a tremendous amount of input to the architects on how we hoped it would function and feel.
What is your favorite thing to do off campus: When I am not in my studio making art, I enjoy spending time with my family and taking advantage of the beautiful natural environment here, such as skiing at Mission Ridge, hiking around the foothills, and riding bicycles on the loop trail.
Why is WVC an important part of the Wenatchee community: WVC is crucial to the community, providing an excellent opportunity for advanced learning with incredible instructors in a wide range of disciplines, and serves as a tremendous cultural hub for the valley.
Laura Kesti, a sophomore at Wenatchee Valley College, is currently earning her associate of arts and science degree. She then plans on transferring to a four-year college. Kesti is from Brewster, Wash., and receives scholarship assistance through the WVC Foundation.
Why WVC: I chose WVC because of its affordability and proximity.
Favorite Instructor: My favorite instructor thus far has been William Kraske.
Favorite part of WVC: My favorite thing about WVC is the smallness of the classes and the close attention that the instructors pay to each student and the education provided at WVC.
Favorite thing to do outside of WVC: My favorite thing to do outside of school is to play sports and music. I love the outdoors as well and spend lots of time hiking and running.
In the future: I plan to obtain my bachelor's degree in a mathematical field at a four-year college.
The WVC Medical Assistant program is a four-quarter, limited-enrollment program that prepares individuals to support health-care professionals in a variety of health-care settings. The medical assistant performs duties in both direct patient care (assisting with patient examinations and treatments, administering medication, and monitoring patient response) and medical office management (maintaining medical records, scheduling appointments, and handling insurance and billing procedures).
Medical assistant program director Jan Kaiser has been teaching in this program for 16 years.
"This is a certificate program and once the students are done, they mostly get hired at the clinic sites as opposed to the hospital. Some do work in the emergency room or the lab at the hospital, but most are working in the clinics under an MD license," she said. "They are allowed to do many skills in the clinical setting; they do administrative work and are allowed to do injections, blood draws, assist with minor surgery, basic x-rays, and rooming of patients."
According to Kaiser the medical assistant field is one of the fastest growing in the U.S. The local clinics have a high need for this position, and most students are hired with three months of completing the program.
"This is a very stable health-care career, and the need will continue for some time," Kaiser said. "The program is an evening and weekend program, so it allows many students to work during the day and yet work towards their new career."
The Medical Assistant program prepares students to support health-care professionals in a variety of health-care settings. Kaiser said many students learn accountability within the program. She said it is also a great stepping stone if the student wants to go on and get an RN degree.
"The foundation our program provides is invaluable, and former students who have gone on to the RN program felt they had a big advantage by doing the MA program first," Kaiser said. "Most really enjoy the medical field and are very excited to have a career that is rewarding, and they can show their passion and compassion towards others. It is a stable job with full benefits and can lead to more advanced careers."
Spring has sprung and so have spring sports! This 2015 baseball team is being led by head coach Dustin Willis, who has been a part of the program for five years and is in his fourth season as head coach.
The baseball team's record is 11-7.
"The season has been a little up and down, but we have played more consistent baseball the last couple of weeks," Willis said. "I think our team has the ability to compete for the Eastern Region Championship and a berth at NWAC. Once you get to the tournament, anything can happen."
Willis said the team's goals are simple: control the things that they can control, have great attitude and focus, give every ounce of effort, and possess a tough and competitive mindset no matter the situation.
Players to watch: sophomore CJ Gettman (pitcher, from Wenatchee), Anthony Bonilla (shortstop, 3.6 GPA) and Ryan Bird (outfield, 3.84 GPA). Willis said all three players are key to the team's success and are a positive influence on the team. Willis also said to watch out for freshmen Nolan Wirth (first baseman from Eastmont, 3.6 GPA) and Kolby Dehaas (catcher). He said both are middle-of-the-lineup players who provide quality depth moving forward.
Wenatchee Valley native Alicia Ouelett is a freshman at Wenatchee Valley College and receiving assistance from the WVC Foundation.
What are you studying? I am studying to be a high school English teacher. Intriguing English classes and years of being a tutor have made this decision of what to do with my life an obvious one.
Why WVC? I felt that it would be the best school to prepare me for transferring to a four-year university. I also love being near my family and friends.
Favorite Instructor? Though I have only had him as an instructor for a short time, I really enjoy Professor Brinkman. I am in his Sociology 101 class, and though the subject matter is interesting, his perception of the world is what I find most intriguing and beneficial.
Favorite thing about WVC? I like how easy it is to get involved with both the school and in the community, as I was very active in both during high school. I also enjoy the vast range of people that I have had the opportunity to become acquainted with.
Favorite thing to do outside of school? I like to stay active by playing sports with friends, but I can be just as content with watching movies or reading books.
The Future? I will finish my two years at WVC and then transfer to a four-year university. I am looking forward to being a teacher, and I can only hope that I will be given the opportunity to help someone the way that many people along the way have helped me.
Why is scholarship assistance important to you? Like many college students, I grew up in a low-income family that could not afford to save money for my college. It is because of the generosity of scholarship providers that people like me are able to concentrate on my education, something that is so important, without worrying about my financial need.
Erin Long, physical education and athletic training instructor, has been teaching for nine years, and seven of those have been spent at WVC. Long teaches classes for the for the sports medicine program on campus. She has been a certified athletic trainer for 18 years and has worked in a variety of settings including a physical therapy clinic, high schools, and other collegiate settings.
The program was established 30 years ago because forward thinking individuals saw a need for WVC student-athletes to be properly cared for by healthcare professionals. Many prominent athletic trainers in the field have worked at WVC, including Long's mentor Ken Kladnik and Wenatchee native Dale Blair.
The mission of the WVC Athletic Training department is to provide medical services to all Knight student athletes. From illness to orthopedic injury, our certified athletic trainer is here to care for them. Certified athletic trainers are educated in prevention, recognition, rehabilitation and on-field management of athletic injuries.
Along with traditional teaching duties in the classroom, Long has a responsibility to evaluate and treat athletic injuries. While working in the treatment center in Smith Gym, she teaches students interested in the field how to properly evaluate and care for athletic injuries.
"Here at WVC, students that are interested in a entering a career in sports medicine can get hands-on experience while working in the athletic training room with an experienced professional," Long said. "Along with their coursework, they are able to learn practical skills that they can begin using immediately, skills that include first aid, emergency care, along with preventative care including taping and bracing."
Long said having a full time certified athletic trainer at WVC is important because keeping athletes healthy and playing on the field or court is a priority.
"My position allows the coaches to focus on their jobs and for the athletes to get the best medical care possible," she said. "My job is not to diagnose injuries, but to evaluate them and assist in the decision or to begin a rehabilitation program to decrease pain and allow the athlete to perform again. "
Athletic training students are getting real-life experience as they complete their transfer degree. This gives most of them an advantage in applying to four-year athletic training programs. They are learning treatment rationales for many different injuries and practical skills to apply those injuries. For example, when it best to use ice vs heat and how to provide the most conducive healing environment so athletes can return to their sport.
"I am so proud to be an educator and an athletic trainer at WVC," Long said. "This position really has been my goal in my career."
David Lindeblad, a history and political science instructor for the Omak campus, has been with Wenatchee Valley College since 1978. He graduated from Eastern Washington University with his bachelor's and master's degree and is close to earning his PhD from Gonzaga. When hired as a WVC faculty, Lindeblad spent the first 10 years as a faculty member and then was promoted as the dean for the Omak campus. After 14 years as dean, he returned to a faculty position.
What brought you to WVC? I was living in Spokane, looking for a job, and applied. I had no special interest in living in Omak, but the job looked interesting.
What made you go into teaching? My decision to go into teaching was based on my belief that the only way out of the difficulties that the human condition presents us, the only way we can build a just and fair society, and the only path for a better world for all humanity is through education. I believe that people should have the opportunity to pursue the best education possible, and so far, the only democratic (note the small "d") way we are attempting to do this is through community colleges.
What is your favorite part about campus? I must say that the favorite thing about our campus is the people-the staff and the students! I came to Omak at the age of 29, and I had taken this job with the intention of staying just a few years. It did not take me long to realize I love Omak, and I love our campus, and most of all I love all the people I am so lucky to work with and to serve. I plan to stay. I love the way the community I serve is a diverse community, not just in the obvious ways, but in all others, too. Cultural, economic and political diversity is the way of life in the Okanogan. I saw that from my first day here, and it continues to inspire and amaze me. I love the way our campus, through our staff, has embedded itself in so many different areas of life here in the Okanogan. Wenatchee Valley College is an integrated part of the entire fabric of community here and the dream of a "community's college" is shown by how hard everyone here works for our students.
What is your favorite thing to do off campus? I am married, and my wife and I regularly attend performances at the Omak Performing Arts Center. We particularly enjoy the work of the Okanogan Valley Orchestra and Chorus, and we love to attend the various music and drama presentations throughout the county. I like to walk, read, canoe and spend time fly fishing, especially at Omak Lake. We have three adopted dogs that keep us entertained, and we sometimes get to Seattle to visit our daughter or to Spokane to visit our extended families.
Why is WVC an important part of the Wenatchee community? Wenatchee Valley College is the college of all the communities we serve. Imagine for a minute what the cultural, economic and even the spiritual life of the people in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties would be like without the college. Our communities are happier, healthier and richer because of the work that we all do.
ASWVC Freshman Representative Teresa Mata is a freshman at WVC studying political science and communications. Mata is from Wenatchee and has scholarship assistance from the WVC Foundation.
Why WVC? I am a person who asks a lot of questions and looks for many resources to help me while in college, so I enjoy that WVC is small enough where I can get one-on-one experience with professors and I am able to get help easily.
Favorite Instructor? Karen Alman.
Favorite thing about WVC? My favorite thing about WVC is the wonderful faculty.
Favorite thing to do outside of school? Volunteer my time.
The Future? I plan to transfer to the University of Washington or Gonzaga and pursue a degree in political science. Then I plan to hopefully get a career in politics so I can be at service and give back to my community.
Accounting and business instructor Michael Choman is in his 21st year of teaching at Wenatchee Valley College. Before WVC, Choman spent four years at College of the Redwoods in Northern California and three years at Northland Pioneer College in Arizona.
Choman is a crucial part of the accounting program at WVC. The accounting program prepares students for career positions in practical accounting. Students who complete one year of studies at the 100 level or higher will earn an accounting technician certificate, which prepares them for entry-level jobs. The two-year associate of technical sciences degree in accounting prepares students for mid-level jobs, including supervisory positions.
"I can't imagine having a community college without an accounting program and classes associated with accounting and business," Choman said. "Accounting is a key foundational subject for all business studies and it is required of business majors at all of the four-year colleges and universities, both in Washington and the rest of the country."
Choman said accounting continues to be one of the most sought-after degrees for university graduates in business, with some of the most competitive salaries.
"The study of accounting, at the very least, gives students foundational knowledge and skills related to understanding and interpreting financial statements, which are used in some form by every business, everywhere," he said. "Accounting also exposes students to important business concepts and terminology. It allows students to become more literate in terms of business language and it increases and reinforces analytical and problem-solving skills."
In this program, students learn accounting theory and principles as well as such techniques as posting and journalizing, balancing assets and liabilities, preparing statements and estimating net worth. It also teaches communication and human relations skills, managerial accounting, business principles and practices, computer applications, spreadsheets, algebra and computerized accounting, as well as payroll and business taxes.
"One of the best things about teaching accounting, economics and business, is that I never doubt the value of what we are giving students in terms of knowledge, information and skills," Choman said. "After 28 years, I have interacted with hundreds of students who have had their lives transformed, in part, because of their experience at Wenatchee Valley College. I am constantly hearing from former students about the quality of education they received from WVC and how this helped position them to be successful."
Angela Redmon, a mathematics instructor, has been teaching at WVC for over 16 years. She received her B.S. in mathematics from the University of Portland and her master's in mathematics from Eastern Washington University.
What brought you to WVC? When I was a graduate student, I met the WVC math faculty at a conference. I made some positive connections and loved the area. My husband and I were living in Ephrata, just an hour away, so I put my application in to teach part time when I finished my master's degree. Fortunately, they had a need for a temporary full-time faculty.
What made you want to go into teaching? I didn't originally plan to teach. Because I had a bachelor's degree in math, I taught an evening math class at Big Bend Community College to earn some extra money. To my surprise, I loved it. I love math, of course, but I found I could make a real difference in my students' lives. Math can be a hurdle to many students in achieving their academic and professional goals. By helping students build a strong foundation and providing them with a positive math experience, they gained the confidence to continue working towards their goals. Shortly after teaching this first class, I applied for the mathematics graduate program at Eastern Washington University, where I was also granted an instructorship (teaching assignment). My experience at Eastern furthered my passion for teaching, particularly at the community college level. I felt very fortunate to be able to carry out my dream.
What is your favorite part about campus? The atmosphere and energy. Students, faculty, administrators and staff are all working together to help people improve their lives. In my 16 years there has rarely been a day that I didn't want to come to work. Being here doesn't feel like a "job" but another part of my life. There are plenty of frustrations to deal with, and I know for my students learning math can be frustrating, but it doesn't take many of those "light bulb moments" that I notice in my students to keep me going. Each quarter is different and every student is unique, which keeps my job fresh and varied.
What is your favorite thing to do off campus? My husband and I have three boys—a 13-year-old and 10-year-old twins—so we stay pretty active. I love getting outside with them exploring the beautiful Wenatchee Valley. We do a lot of hiking and some geocaching, too.
Why is WVC an important part of the Wenatchee community? At first glance, Wenatchee Valley College is in the business of educating individuals, but as you dig deeper and experience all the college has to offer, you quickly realize that we're about improving our community. The college connects with the Wenatchee Valley and our entire district in many ways—through academics, cultural events, athletic events, continuing education, the list goes on. In my experience, we get as much (or more) from the community as we give. My students and I have had the opportunity of working with Link Transit and Pybus Public Market through the gathering and analyzing of data. Just last quarter, my statistics students developed a survey for Pybus Public Market and collected customer data at the market using iPads. As we applied the statistics skills from class, we were also learning about these businesses and the role they play in our community.
What classes do you teach? I teach classes through the entire math curriculum, from Pre-Algebra through Statistics and Calculus in various delivery modalities. So far this year, I've taught Beginning Algebra (face-to-face), Statistics (face-to-face, online and hybrid), and Math In Society (online). Over the last several years, we've seen many changes in the way math is taught and learned. Textbooks have been replaced with e-books that have interactive online homework problems. Online classes are much more dynamic than they used to be thanks to e-books and improved video and messaging technology. This has challenged me to stay current on the changing technology and teaching methods to deliver the best education possible to our students.
Women's basketball head coach Rachel Goetz talks about this year's team and the success they have had so far.
How long have you coached for the Knights? This is my sixth year as head coach.
How has the season gone so far? Great! We are 14-7 and third in the Eastern Region.
Where do you see the season going? We are working to continue to improve as a team and make a run at post season.
What are a few goals for the season? Be the number one defensive team in the Eastern Region, out work our opponents every night, and play and compete in a way the makes us proud and makes our fans proud.
Who are some key players to look out for? Sophomore point guard Darian Gasseling from Wapato, Wash.; freshman point guard Lauren Johnson from Cashmere, Wash.; freshman guard Jill Jacobs from Stanwood, Wash.; and freshman forward Lacie Kamper from Nampa, Idaho.
Francisco Sarmiento is the WVC Student Body Vice President and a sophomore studying agriculture, more specifically tree fruit and horticulture. Sarmiento is from East Wenatchee and has scholarship assistance through the WVC Foundation.
Why WVC? I chose WVC to build a foundation of knowledge from WVC and to earn credits before I transfer to Washington State University to continue studying in the ag industry.
Favorite Instructor? Tough question, but I think it would have to be the professors in the Ag department because they show dedication and passion for the love of the field and always are happy to help us.
Favorite thing about WVC? The atmosphere of the college and the events that are around campus.
Favorite thing to do outside of school? I love to play soccer during the spring and summer. I also enjoy playing with the Wenatchee Big Band.
The Future? Be working at a winery one day and then down the line owning my own winery with my family
The industrial technology - electronics program provides training for maintenance electricians and electronics technicians within industrial facilities such as wood processing plants, agricultural food storage and processing warehouses, manufacturing plants and hydroelectric power facilities. It also provides advanced-level training and skill improvement for plant electricians and other employees seeking to improve their work classification within their company on modern electronic circuits, programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and control systems.
Zack Jacobson, industrial technology faculty and head of the program has been working
at WVC since 1999. Jacobson is also a WVC alumnus.
Because technology is always changing, the faculty for this program continuously trains to learn about new electronics.
"In the program we are constantly updating technology and making sure students are introduced to what is on the cutting edge," Jacobson said.
The electronics program coincides with the industrial technology-aerospace electronics associate of technical science (ATS) degree and one-year aerospace electronics technician certificate program. Jacobson is the primary instructor for first-year students and coordinator for the aerospace programs and electronics program. These aerospace programs offer preparation for multiple nationally recognized industry certifications that may lead to employment and opportunities for future advancements with companies specializing in manufacturing or servicing of all types of electronic equipment, including manufacturing and servicing of aerospace electronics.
Faculty Riva Morgan teaches the capstone class that ends the first year of the aerospace electronics program. This class includes teaching job seeking skills and a final project.
"My primary involvement is through the Air Washington grant. The program was created for the purposes of the grant, and the funds have been a huge benefit to WVC," Morgan said.
The Air Washington grant of $20 million has provided over $700,000 to WVC. The grant has helped pay for equipment, upgrades to the Programmable Logic Controller lab, salaries, and other necessities for the program. The grant provided the opportunity for electronics to be taught on the Omak campus for a year, something that has never been done before.
Lynne Kottmeier, developmental education faculty, has worked for WVC since 2005. Read below to learn more about her.
How long have you been teaching at WVC? 10 years
What brought you to WVC? My husband moved here for a job, and I followed. A year later, I saw an advertisement for my position and I applied.
Where did you get your degree? The University of Missouri
What made you want to go into teaching? My experience tutoring students in grammar in high school.
What is your favorite part about campus? The people!
What is your favorite thing to do off campus? Snowshoe
Why is WVC an important part of the Wenatchee community? It provides an opportunity to get an excellent education to people in the area.
What classes do you teach? SDS 101: Study Skills; ENG 097: Composition: Paragraph; SDS 115: English Study Skills.
The WVC men's basketball team is off to a good start with a winning record. Head coach Coby Weidenbach talks about the past, present, and future of 2014-2015 season.
How long have you coached for the Knights? This is my fifth season as the Head Coach.
How has the season gone so far? We have had a good start in non-region play. We have placed third or fourth on all four of the tournaments we have played in. Our record is 14-5 and we currently sit in first place in the East Region. We have also been ranked as high as third in all the NWAC polls.
Where do you see the season going? The East Region is always tough, and we are in a good position to compete for a playoff berth by the end of region play.
What are a few goals for the season? We want to make the playoffs and go as far as we can in the NWAC tournament. We also want to win all our home games and at least split the road games.
Who are some key players to look out for? Sophomore Aaron Ward is the returning East Region Freshman of the Year. He is averaging
a double-double and leads the NWAC in rebounding.
We are a well-rounded team with good depth. We have had nine different players score in double digits and we play hard and defend teams well.
Brittony Lamb is a recent Entiat High School graduate attending Wenatchee Valley College
to earn her transfer degree. Lamb has received the Lanham Foundation scholarship through
the WVC Foundation.
The WVC Sustainable Agriculture and Resource System (SARS) program builds educational
pathways for students using core courses and electives to custom design a program
to fit each student's emphasis area and intended educational outcome. Faculty advisers
work closely with students to determine courses that will best meet their unique educational
One of the longest standing instructors of Wenatchee Valley College, world languages
instructor Stephen Berard has been at the college since 1989. Berard earned his bachelor's
in classics at the University of California Los Angeles, his master's in Latin at
University of California Berkeley, his master's in German studies at the Monterey
Institute of International Studies, his Candidate of Philosophy in classics at UC
Berkeley and his Ph.D. in Germanic Philology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
How long have you coached for the Knights? I started as an assistant coach for the men's soccer team in 2004, the next year,
2005, I was hired halfway through the season to be the women's head coach. I was the
women's head coach for the next three years, 2006-2008. I briefly retired after the
2008 season and then came back and was head coach for the men's team in 2009. I stepped
down after the 2009 season, I thought for good, but came back as an assistant coach
for the women's team in 2013. I was hired to be the head coach for the women's team
for the 2014 season. I am officially retiring after this season. Total eight years.
Where do you see the season going? This is a rebuilding year. We will lose seven sophomores after this season, but we
hope to improve on last year's campaign.
Jennifer Korfiatis has been teaching at Wenatchee Valley College for 12 years. She received her bachelor's degree in marketing from Washington State University and an MBA from Capella University with a specialization in marketing. Korfiatis teaches principles of entrepreneurship, principles of marketing, introduction to business, and public speaking. However, this year Korfiatis took an additional role, coordinator for the college's 75th anniversary celebration and activities.
What brought you to WVC? Higher education has always been a big priority in my family. I moved here from Seattle 19 years ago and looked for ways to get involved at Wenatchee Valley College. Teaching was a great way to do that.
What made you want to go into teaching? Teaching is the best part of my day, professionally. I love the energy the students bring. Their minds are always so open, and they haven't yet developed the filter of what won't work. They energize me every day with their creativity. Because I teach business classes, my students have a lot of "light bulb" moments. They've been consumers and marketing targets their entire lives, so they are familiar with many of the concepts I teach. They just haven't thought about them from the business perspective, so it's a joy to share that vantage point with them.
What is your favorite part about campus? I like walking through Van Tassell Center when the students are hanging out. It's fun to see them interacting.
What is your favorite thing to do off campus? I love hanging out with my family. Personally, I enjoy long-distance open water swimming and trail running.
Why is WVC an important part of the Wenatchee community? WVC is critical to our community. Not only does it train our future workforce, but it contributes a significant amount to the economy both in terms of dollars and value.
Why is the 75th anniversary celebration important to the college and community? Wenatchee Valley College has evolved so much in the past 75 years. It's been a pleasure to learn the history of this incredible community asset. WVC was started thanks to a core group of visionaries, and today it's led by a group of incredible visionaries. WVC has touched thousands of lives, and our students, faculty, and staff have accomplished incredible things. We have a lot to celebrate!
Julian Olmos is a current student at WVC studying biochemistry. Olmos receives scholarship assistance from the WVC Foundation.
Why WVC: I did Running Start here so I am familiar with it all. I was at Western but I switched majors, to biochemistry so I want to go to the University of Washington. I figured going here first and getting good grades would give me a better chance at getting in to the UW.
Favorite Instructor: Shane Hendrickson. He seems like he is here because he wants to be and enjoys it. He is charismatic and gives examples you can relate to. He is a good incentive to come to class.
Favorite thing about WVC: Wenatchi Hall and the new science labs are my favorite things because it affects me the most. You feel more state of the art in the new facility. You're learning at the tip of the sphere instead of in a rundown building.
Scholarship assistance: I have assistance through the Prebble Foundation Scholarship. It's not that I couldn't go to school without it; I could get loans and go into debt. But it's a huge help. It's a mental thing too. It feels good to be chosen; it solidifies my good work.
Favorite thing to do outside of school: Snowboard.
The future: I will graduate with my transfer degree this [school] year. I would like to get my master's degree and go into pharmacology. I want to work with psychologists and learn how medicine affects people.
Environmental Systems & Technology
The WVC Environmental Systems and Technology (ESRT) program prepares graduates for a wide variety of entry-level jobs such as service technicians, mechanics, maintenance personnel, application engineers, electronic temperature controls specialists, and environmental systems designers. Graduates will be prepared to apply for positions in agriculture storage facilities, office buildings, shopping malls, schools, industrial plants and many other facilities around the world.
The instructor of the program, Greg Jourdan, has been at Wenatchee Valley College since 1985. Jourdan's responsibilities with the program are all encompassing. He does everything from teach the classes, manage supplies, and work with the local community and businesses to have supplies donated to the college.
One major aspect of the program Jourdan highlighted was the financial return to the community. Ten students graduated from his class last year. He said, on average, those ten students will generate around $400,000 of income each year they work.
"It's a lot of money back into our community," Jourdan said. "These students are successful. I would say 95 percent placement."
Jourdan keeps a close eye on all of his students. He said because Wenatchee Valley College is small, it's important for the students to feel wanted. Jourdan personally makes a phone call to each student who misses class.
The ESRT program combines theory classes with practical, hands-on lab work. Classes cover refrigeration principles, applied electricity, heating systems, air conditioning systems, control fundamentals, DDC and PLC controls, boiler systems, and basic welding. Additional coursework emphasizing energy efficiency includes efficient HVAC systems, energy load calculations, commissioning and TAB (Test, Adjust, and Balancing).
The second year of the ATS degree program is designed to allow students to work full-time while in the program by taking courses at night and short seminar courses offered on Thursday/Fridays and/or evenings. The final quarter of the program includes an internship and an independent capstone project in the area of the student's career aspirations.
Jourdan also provides opportunities for his students to travel and attend national meetings. He supervises student fundraising to pay for these activities. Jourdan has taken his students to meetings in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, and other cities in the U.S.
"I love my job," Jourdan said. "I love what I do."
To learn more about the program contact Greg Jourdan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Knights Volleyball team has started off strong with a standing in fourth place in the NWAC Eastern Region. As of October 2, the Knights had a conference record of 3-2. Most recently the team took Walla Walla Community College in five matches. Both teams played hard going 35-33, 25-17, 28-30, 16-25, and 15-12.
This season the Knights have won a total of seven games and lost seven. The wins were against Walla Walla, Treasure Valley, Skagit Valley, Linn-Benton (twice), Edmonds, and Columbia Basin. Led by head coach Daria Winckler, there are 12 student-athletes on the team. However, there is only one returning sophomore, Hunter Durham, from Kamiakin High School.
The team: Alex Krapf, Naches High School, setter; Christie Adams, Wenatchee High School, middle blocker; Mikel Sydney, Eisenhower High School, outside hitter; Taylor Jacobson, Lakeside High School, middle blocker; Carrie O'Donnell, Cashmere High School, right side hitter; Chloe Gill, Pateros High School, defensive specialist; Erika Crawford, West Valley High School, outside hitter; Sawyer Ross, Goldendale High School, defensive specialist; Kassidy Ruggles, Zilah High School, setter, Carina LeFave, Moses Lake High School, outside hitter; Jordan Hunter, Hudson's Bay High School, right side hitter.
A lover of creepy crawlies, slimy things, rocks, and education, it's no wonder Rob Fitch is a biology instructor. As a little kid, Fitch would spend his days finding bugs, just to put them in a jar and identify what type they were. As he got older, his fascination moved toward rocks, but the intensity never lessened. He soon became interested in birds and creatures of the ocean.
Since the fifth grade, Fitch knew he wanted to be a marine biologist. After taking every science and math class he possibly could in high school, he entered the aquatic biology program at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he earned his bachelor of arts degree while working as a camp counselor during the summers."I didn't know I would become a teacher, but it's been extraordinary," Fitch says of his 25 years at Wenatchee Valley College. "I've always enjoyed being in front of people, and I found myself enjoying teaching labs as a teaching assistant more than my research."
Fitch earned his master's degree in biology at the University of British Columbia. During this time, Fitch and his wife, Kathy, lived in Bellingham and visited the Wenatchee area a few times while looking at locations to get out of the rain. Because Fitch couldn't find a job in the Wenatchee area, he moved to Southern California, where he was the program director at Catalina Island Marine Institute - an outdoor education program serving over 15,000 students a year. After three years, he found an opening at the WVC campus, was offered the job, and moved his family to Wenatchee.
Fitch instantly appreciated the campus, students and his coworkers.
"I always knew Wenatchee Valley College was a great place, but I learned a whole new appreciation for it when my own daughters came to the Running Start program here," Fitch said. "Over the four years my girls were students at WVC, they would come home and talk about the school, their professors, and I realized just how great it really is here."
Fitch's oldest daughter, Kashmere, has a master's degree and works as a marketing coordinator for a software company in Anacortes. His younger daughter, Klaireece, is a fourth-year student in medical school.
When asked what career path he would have chosen if not teaching, he quickly responded, "Something to do with kids."
During the academic year 1997-1998, Fitch won the Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year award. Other accomplishments include his involvement with the two clubs he advises. When Fitch first started working at WVC in 1989, a student asked him about a science club. Fitch took it upon himself to start a science club that he is still advising today. Now called Science Explorations, the club offers students the opportunity to learn about science through field trips, activities and discussions outside of the classroom and lab. Fitch also advises the CRU-Connect club, which shows people the love of Christ, gives them an opportunity to accept and build a relationship with Christ, and sends them out to share the 'Good News.'
"I'm a Christian, and I'm a scientist, and I live in both worlds," Fitch said. "But that doesn't mean I completely understand it. I enjoy and welcome the opportunity for conversations about these topics."
Outside of school, Fitch enjoys anything with a racket, including racquetball with physical education instructor Sandy Cooprider. He also enjoys traveling.
Fitch enjoys being a part of the college and the success it has had. He says one of the best parts is seeing students' lives change. He recently talked with Running Start students during their orientation and asked them if they could get paid to do anything what it would be. Fitch says life is too short to not love what you do.
"I love what I do. I never get bored with my job. There is too much out there that is cool," he said. "As an advisor, it's so rewarding to look at everyone's different path and help them with their fears and teach them the truth about what is out there."
Shane LaMountain thought he knew what career path was right for him early on in life. After graduating from high school in upstate New York, he went to culinary school and got a degree. He moved to the state of New York from Wenatchee with his mom during middle school. However, his mom moved back to Wenatchee, and in 2005, LaMountain decided it was time to move back too. He worked as the sous chef at Shakti's and then managed the Wild Huckleberry.
In 2008, LaMountain became a father to now six-year-old Hailey. At six months old, Hailey's mother left and LaMountain became a single parent.
"I could pay for our bills with what I was doing, and my mom owns a daycare so that really helped, but when Hailey was born, I realized I wanted to do something better," he said. "Hailey and I have a really close bond, and she is the main reason I decided to continue my education."
LaMountain enrolled at Wenatchee Valley College and started as a full-time student.
He would go to school in the morning, work from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. and start over in
During the first two years at WVC, LaMountain found himself drawn to science classes
and decided to apply for the nursing program. Once he was accepted into the program,
he felt confident it was the right career choice for him and his family. At the same
time, LaMountain married a woman named Lacey and Hailey's real mom returned to help
"I can't wait to care for the overall community," he said. "I love helping people. It's a great feeling."
Even though LaMountain is still busy with school, he has been able to quit working with the help of his wife and scholarships. He said it's nice to know someone is willing to help him out, and the scholarships relieve a lot of stress about money. Not working also allows more time for him to be with his daughter.
"It's a good feeling that my daughter looks up to me," he said. "She is always playing with my stethoscope."
LaMountain will graduate this spring as a registered nurse.
This is a new era for the WVC Men's Soccer program: new coach, new philosophy, new culture, new standards and new players coming into the program. The coaches focused their recruiting on local athletes from the North Central Washington and got a lot of local players from the Wenatchee and East Wenatchee areas to come out of the woodwork, get back into school and continue playing the sport they love. Head coach Peter Osborn said they were able to recruit nine players from the East Wenatchee area and six players from Wenatchee. Wenatchee Valley College Men's Soccer has five returning students this year, who play an integral role in the success of the team.
"So far we have started the season off 3-0-1, and plan to keep our undefeated streak alive and well. We play in an extremely tough division with Spokane, Walla Walla, and the newest addition to the NWAC, North Idaho," Osborn said. "The team put in a solid few months of hard work in two-a-days to prepare for the season and they are finally starting to find their rhythm with each other. We have high hopes for the remaining games in our season; we know it will be a tough division to win in, but we have faith that we can win the South East Division and get a first-place seed into the NWAC playoffs.
"The players are all in and are willing to work, run, sweat, and bleed for each other; ready to play for the name on the front of the jersey (WVC) and not the name on the back. It's amazing how much a team can accomplish when it doesn't matter who gets the credit. This year's team motto is, 'We all we got, we all we need'."
What has happened so far:
Players to watch (from Coach Osborn):
Pablo Suarez: a sophomore from Yakima, Wash. Do not be deceived by his small frame; he is fast, strong and tackles hard. I would trust him one on one against the biggest, tallest, strongest guys in the league.
Josh Osborn: He is in his freshman year of eligibility but is coming back from Washington State University to finish his four-year bachelor's degree at WVC. A product of Wenatchee, Osborn is our most athletic player on the pitch. Strong, quick feet, and tremendous vision on the field. When he plays, he controls the pace of the game, and we expect a lot of assists from him this year. Osborn has two goals and two assists on the year.
Joel Villa: He is a sophomore who transferred back from Walla Walla CC to play with us this year. He is originally from East Wenatchee and is joining his brother and two cousins (Juan Rodriguez and Yonatan Rodriguez) on the pitch this year. He is captaining this team with his impressive leadership and attitude. He has explosive speed on the wing and is extremely dangerous on the dribble. He got his first goal at Chemeketa last Friday (a first-time bullet shot from past the 18 yard box that blew past the goalie and hit the back of the net).
Yonatan Rodriguez: Yonatan is in his freshman year at WVC, originally from East Wenatchee. He is a 6'2" forward with a lot of speed and size. He has been battling with a calf injury and missed out on the first two games, but has since then made a speedy recovery and is ready to play at our next game at Columbia Basin CC on Tuesday. He has a rocket of a shot and can strike the ball with both feet. We are very excited to see what he can do for the team this year.