Community College President's Award

Leadership and service

Transfer students

This award is designed for transfer students who have leadership potential, are community-service oriented and have an excellent GPA.

Students are nominated by their community college’s president and receive a renewable full-tuition award.

We accept nominations every year from Centralia College, Clark College and Lower Columbia College.

Contact your community college President’s Office for nomination information.

2016/17 Recipients

Student smiling at cameraTanner Byman: Lower Columbia College

Byman got a jump on his college education as a Running Start student at Mark Morris High School, then continued for his transfer degree at LCC. Coming from a family of eight, he worked part-time and summer at Cowlitz River Rigging to be able to afford books and tuition. He plans to major in mechanical engineering at WSU Vancouver and ultimately go on for an MBA. He has volunteered with his church helping with fundraisers, events and youth activities, as well as with the Science Olympiad at LCC.

Student smiling at cameraElsa Gomez: Portland Community College

Gomez immigrated to the United States from Nicaragua by way of Canada. She studied at PCC’s Cascade Campus. She plans to earn a degree in neuroscience at WSU Vancouver and pursue a career in research. Gomez expects to become the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree.


Student smiling at cameraBailey Peters: Centralia College

Described by one of her professors as “dependable and upbeat,” Peters earned a reputation at Centralia College for being unafraid of a challenge, earning excellent grades and playing a leadership role in campus events. Peters, who grew up on a farm, took a year off after high school to travel and promote the Future Farmers of America. She was Miss Lewis County in 2016, wearing the same crown her mother did in 1985.

Student smiling at cameraNuvia Ramirez-Romero: Mt. Hood Community College

Ramirez-Romero postponed college in order to work to support her family. When she enrolled at Mt. Hood, she balanced classwork with family responsibilities. She also decided to counteract her feelings of isolation and gain confidence and leadership skills by getting involved with the honor society, student government and other student organizations. She is now working toward a bachelor’s degree in business administration at WSU Vancouver, with the goal of working at the corporate level. A first-generation college student born in Mexico, she is the daughter of immigrants who speaks English as a second language.

Student smiling at cameraHolly Varner: Clark College

Varner spent much of her life caring for her family during her husband’s 21-year career in the U.S. Navy. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa. She attended Clark with the eldest of her three sons, who enrolled in the Running Start program that allowed him to attend Clark while still at Washougal High School. She plans to study social work and/or public health.

Past award recipients


  • Cheyenne DeFrates, Lower Columbia College
  • Alseny Diallo, Portland Community College
  • Kathy Fockler, Clark College
  • Joscha Oswald, Centralia College
  • Skye Troy, Mt. Hood Community College


  • Yesenia Herrera, Portland Community College
  • Natasha Hambrook, Clark College
  • Beija Robbins, Mt. Hood Community College
  • Rashida Ullah, Centralia College
  • Anna Davis, Lower Columbia College


  • Momodou Musa Bah, Portland Community College
  • Ramona Vercher, Clark Community College
  • Brett Merritt, Lower Columbia College
  • Antonio Guerrero, Mt. Hood Community College
  • Travis Kinney, Centralia College


  • Hoa Le, Lower Columbia College
  • John Hoffman, Centralia College
  • Britany Martin, Portland Community College
  • Tami Eldridge, Clark College
  • Beatriz Madriz-Rodriguez, Mt. Hood Community College


  • Inva Begolli, Clark College
  • Nicole Buckner, Portland Community College
  • Margaret Debevec, Centralia College
  • Tia Glover, Mt Hood Community College
  • Brian Jurvakainen, Lower Columbia College


  • Sheila Rae Henrickson, Clark College
  • Melissa Knudson, Lower Columbia College
  • George W Lewis III, Mt. Hood Community College
  • Hanna Mekonen, Portland Community College
  • Daniel Morrison, Centralia College


  • Dora Hernandez, Clark College
  • Janine Johnston, Mt. Hood Community College
  • Golnaz Koloushani, Centralia College
  • Jeffrey Northington, Lower Columbia College
  • Henry Ortega, Portland Community College


  • Cynthia Bergman, Centralia College
  • Angela Dahlke, Lower Columbia College
  • Marneet Lewis, Portland Community College
  • Kenneth Nyholm, Clark College


  • Nicole Chittock, Lower Columbia College
  • Carol Lopez-Gustin, Centralia College
  • Victor McBrooks, Portland Community College
  • Stanley Noga, Clark College


  • Vanessa Brockman, Centralia College
  • Asalie Groff, Lower Columbia College
  • Pamela Sullivan, Clark College


  • Maria Cook, Centralia College
  • Sherry Murphy, Clark College
  • Steven Gresswell, Clark College
  • Jennifer McLean, Lower Columbia College
  • Veronica Ross, Portland Community College


For answers, call the Cougar Center at 360-546-9779 or send us an email.