Clark College Celebrates Class of 2023
For Immediate Release
June 16, 2023
For additional information (media inquiries & photo requests):
Maureen Chan-Hefflin, Clark College Communications & Marketing
T: 360-992-2243 E: email@example.com
Over 1600 graduates, 1833 degrees and certificates conferred
VANCOUVER, Wash. – Clark College honored its 87th graduating class at the 2023 Clark College Commencement ceremony on Thursday evening, June 15, at the RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater. Over 520 graduates and their guests gathered with college faculty and staff to celebrate their achievements. This auspicious ceremony honored students graduating with their bachelor’s or associate degrees, and those earning certificates, high school diplomas, and/or GED completion.
A total of 1,833 degrees and certificates were conferred on the next generation of our community's workers, leaders, and scholars. This translates to a total of 1,601 graduates of which there are:
- 1,406 associate degrees
- 1,100 graduates earned direct transfer associate degrees to continue their education seamlessly
- 81 Bachelor of Applied Science in the fields of applied management, cybersecurity, dental hygiene, and human services
- 257 certificates in all fields
- 450 Running Start high school graduates
- 89 graduates earned their high school diplomas
- 13 graduates from Larch Corrections Center; Clark is one of twelve community colleges
in Washington, providing incarcerated populations with the opportunity to earn GEDs
or college credits.
- 12 students earned their high school diploma or equivalent
- 1 student earned the first Associate in Applied Science degree in Supervisory Management
Speakers at the commencement included:
- College President Dr. Karin Edwards
- Incoming Board of Trustee President Cristhian Canseco Juarez, in both English and Spanish
- Student Speaker Darah Watts, Associate of Arts degree recipient, and Running Start graduate
- CCAHE Faculty Union President and Professor of Communication Studies Suzanne Southerland
- Interim Vice President of Instruction Dr. Jim Wilkins-Luton
2023 Exceptional Faculty Award Recipients are:
- Dan Alberghetti, Network Technology
- Chef Earl Frederick, Cuisine Management
- Jacob Funk, Music
- Rebecca Herman, Dental Hygiene
- Julian Nelson, English
- Michiyo Okuhara, Japanese
All Washington Academic Team
Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), Honors Society for two-year colleges, selected the following graduates for its All-Washington Academic Team, based on their academic excellence and community service:
- Alexandria ‘Lexi’ Kneipp
- Ella Merusic
Clark’s first PTK induction ceremony was in 1991. And it has been a five-star chapter for 27 out of 32 years since its inception. More at https://www.ptk.org/
2022-2023 Community College Presidents’ Award in honor of Val Ogden
Graduate Sonia Talero-Pachon received the 2022-2023 Community College Presidents’ Award in honor of Val Ogden. This annual scholarship is given to a Clark College graduate who is transferring to Washington State University-Vancouver. The recipient must demonstrate leadership potential, a commitment to community service, and academic achievement.
Talero-Pachon exemplifies the resiliency and tenacity of first-generation college graduates. She is a peer mentor in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, working with students in various cultural contexts, fostering connectivity, and embracing inclusivity. She believes in contributing to the community by cherishing her diversity, growing as an individual, and honoring her Colombian roots.
Higher education is important to her because it opens the door to her dreams of owning and running a successful cultural events company to help systemically non-dominant communities demonstrate their artistic talent. She intends to become the first female in her family to graduate from a four-year university. Pursuing this goal as a Latina challenges the status quo and allows her to become a mentor for other Latina women who aspire to own a business. By investing in her education, she hopes to inspire her community to pursue higher education, break the poverty cycle, and create opportunities for personal, professional, and social growth.
Thanks to the generosity of Clark College Foundation, the Presidential Scholarship Task Force also selected two other recipients to receive a $1,000 scholarship each:
- Madelaine Debarber
- Alexandria ‘Lexi’ Kneipp
The following faculty and staff awards were also recognized:
2023 Exceptional Classified Staff award recipients:
- Chris Layfield, Administrative Services Manager in Security and Safety
- Jessica Sanders, Program Support Supervisor in Transitional Studies
2023 Exceptional Administrative Exempt Award recipient:
- Alyssa Voyles, Associate Director of Employee Equity, Outreach and Engagement, ODEI
2023 Lora Whitfield Social Equity Award recipients to two Professors of English:
- Christina Smith
- Cydney Topping
About Clark College
Founded in 1933, Clark College provides residents of Southwest Washington with affordable, high-quality academic and technical education. It is a public community college offering more than 100 degree and certificate programs, including bachelor’s and associate degrees; professional certificates; high school diplomas and GED preparation; and non-credit community and continuing education. Clark serves a wide range of students including high school students, displaced workers, veterans, parents, non-native English speakers, and mature learners. About three-quarters of its students are in the first generation of their families to attend college.
Located in Vancouver’s Central Park and Clark College serves up to 8,000 students per term, Clark College is Southwest Washington’s largest public institution of higher education. The college currently offers classes at two satellite locations: one on the Washington State University Vancouver campus and one in the Columbia Tech Center in East Vancouver. Additionally, the college broke ground this week on its new auxiliary campus, Clark College at Boschma Farms, in Ridgefield, Wash.