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Clark College News and Events

April 9, 2009

For Immediate Release

For additional information: 

Barbara Kerr, Executive Director of
Communications and Marketing Telephone:  360-992-2921

E-mail:  bkerr@clark.edu



2009 All-Washington Academic Team member Lorene Boyd 2009 All-Washington Academic Team honoree Melissa Smithdeal
Lorene Boyd (left) and Melissa Smithdeal were named to the 2009 All-Washington Academic Team

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Two Clark College students who serve their college and their community were named to the 2009 All-Washington Academic Team.

Lorene Boyd, who resides in Camas, and Melissa Smithdeal, who resides in Vancouver, were among 62 students from Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges who were recognized on March 26 in a ceremony at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia.  Washington Governor Chris Gregoire was the keynote speaker.  Clark College President Robert K. Knight was among the guests.

According to organizers, each member of the All-Washington Academic team received scholarships from KeyBank and the Northwest Education Loan Association (NELA).  In addition, many of Washington’s public and private four-year colleges are offering scholarship opportunities to members of the team.  Boyd and Smithdeal also received scholarships from the Clark College Foundation. 

In addition to being named to the 2009 All-Washington Academic Team, Melissa Smithdeal will receive a $1,000 scholarship as a 2009 Coca-Cola National Finalist.  Smithdeal earned the scholarship based on her scores in the All-USA Academic Team competition.  The program, which is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, is administered by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the international honor society which recognizes and encourages scholarship among two-year college students.

Information about the All-Washington Academic Team is available at http://www.spscc.ctc.edu/allwa/index.html.


About Lorene Boyd

Lorene Boyd is congratulated by Clark College President Bob Knight and Washington Governor Chris Gregoire
Lorene Boyd (center) receives congratulations from Clark College President Bob Knight (left) and Washington Governor Chris Gregoire.

Lorene Boyd’s leadership doesn’t begin with titles, but with opportunities. Shortly after her induction into Clark College’s Alpha Sigma Phi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society for two-year colleges, she applied for an officer position. Although Lorene wasn’t elected, she was determined to not let it dampen her desire to be an active member.

When opportunities arose to volunteer for PTK, Lorene stepped up. And when the elected public relations officer was unable to fulfill the 2008-2009 term, the chapter’s leadership team reached out to her to fill the position. At her first meeting, Lorene stepped up again, volunteering to chair the chapter’s bid to hold the spring 2009 PTK regional conference. While the bid was unsuccessful, Lorene continues to see the opportunities for leadership all around. “Many new opportunities arise every week that I can participate in with Alpha Sigma Phi,” she said. “It is a group that works in the realm of improving the community, offering opportunities I would not otherwise have, and opening doors that I never knew existed.”

Lorene has stepped up to serve in other ways as well. She is a parent helper at Dorothy Fox Elementary and received the Most Valuable Classroom Helper award in June 2005. At Clark, she has served as a study group coordinator and an advocate for the college’s tobacco-free policy. “It is impressive to me that Ms. Boyd manages to participate in so much, and keep her grades so high,” noted History Professor Dr. Katherine Sadler. “This is the mark of a mature student with her priorities in order.”


About Melissa Smithdeal


Knowing what she wants to do for her career hasn’t been a problem for

Melissa Smithdeal is congratulated by Washington Governor Chris Gregoire and Clark College President Bob Knight
Melissa Smithdeal (center) is congratulated by Washington Governor Chris Gregoire (right) and Clark College President Bob Knight.

Melissa Smithdeal.

Since the age of 13, when she underwent back surgery to correct scoliosis, she has wanted to be a nurse. Instead, her biggest challenge has been waiting for the day that she could study – and go on to practice – nursing.

To fill the wait, Melissa logged more than 400 hours of volunteer service at Southwest Washington Medical Center’s (SWMC) Family Birth Center, earning the Junior Volunteer of the Year award in 2007.

“She provided a role model of compassion and caring to everyone that she dealt with including patients, families and SWMC staff,” noted Volunteer Services Manager Katie Benzel.

Beyond filing and answering phones, Melissa would use the Spanish she was learning to talk with and reassure patients as they awaited the hospital interpreter. “I cherished every moment because I knew that in my own small way I was helping my community and making someone’s day a little bit brighter,” said Melissa.

Now that she’s enrolled in Clark College’s nursing program, Melissa continues to serve, through the college and in the greater community. She is part of the Students in Service (Americorp) organization at Clark; she is also an active member of both the Student Nurse Association of Clark College (SNACC) and of Alpha Sigma Phi. Melissa has also joined the Medical Reserve Corp and serves as a volunteer and tutor at Teresa’s Family Daycare and Burton Elementary.


About the All Washington Academic Team

Phi Theta Kappa, the International Honor Society for two-year colleges, introduced the All-USA Academic Team to recognize and honor two-year college students for their scholastic achievement and community and college service.

In 1994, state-level academic teams were introduced as a way to provide scholarships and scholastic recognition to Phi Theta Kappa members, while promoting excellence at two-year colleges. Students nominated to the All-USA Academic Team are automatically named to their state team.

In 1996, Washington launched its state program. A steering committee comprised of community and technical college presidents, Phi Theta Kappa representatives, public information officers from two-year colleges and representatives from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges put together the first recognition ceremony in the Governor’s Mansion. The ceremony honored 44 students representing 24 community and technical colleges.

According to organizers, the All-Washington Academic Team program “has become the showcase for Washington’s community and technical colleges because it honors the academic high achievers, the men and women who have demonstrated a commitment to success in the classroom and in the communities in which they live. This recognition demonstrates the state’s commitment to scholarship and community service on the part of those attending the state’s public community and technical colleges.”


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