Community College President's Award

Leadership and service

The Community College President's 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 resident tuition award. (This award cannot combine with other waiver programs over the cost of tuition and fees.)

We accept nominations every year from:

  • Centralia College
  • Clark College
  • Lower Columbia College

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

2023/24 recipients

Sonia Talero, Clark College, 2022/23 Community College President's Award receipient

Sonia Talero

Clark College

A first-generation student from Colombia, Sonia Talero graduated from Clark College with an associate’s degree in business administration and a 3.91 GPA. She served as a peer mentor at the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “I helped students, mostly from systematically non-dominant groups, to navigate Clark College resources and to give them the chance to build community within Clark,” she said. Talero received OSWALD Awards (Outstanding Students With Academic Leadership and Development Skills) in two categories in two consecutive academic years: as outstanding student employee and outstanding student in the International Student Department. She also received the Thelma Nylund Scholarship and Jean Marie Bedecarrax Business Scholarship.

Melissa Reyes, Centralia College, 2022/23 Community College President's Award receipient

Melissa Reyes

Centralia College

Melissa Mendez Reyes is a first-generation college student who earned her associate’s degree at Centralia College—the first step toward her ultimate goal of becoming an optometrist. Uncertain what she wanted to do in life, she started researching careers in high school. When she came across optometry, she realized it suited everything she wanted to accomplish. At Centralia, she was a member of the honor society trying to build a strong community presence at school—a reflection of her wish to use her education to give back to minorities, particularly her own Hispanic community. She knew it would be important to be able to communicate with her future patients with ease and with full comprehension. She didn’t want Hispanic children to have to worry about being a translator for their parents. She wanted to show other minorities that it is possible to achieve your goals.

Eunji Lee, Lower Columbia College, 2022/23 Community College President's Award receipient

Eunji Lee

Lower Columbia College

Eunji Lee has worked in the health care industry (dermatology and OB/GYN) since 2013, most recently as a peri-operative nurse in a plastic surgery clinic. She earned her nursing degree at Lower Columbia College, and her goal is to obtain a B.S.N. degree that would enable her to provide more specialized care. She’s also an active volunteer serving special needs students and homeless people. A member of Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, Lee graduated with a 3.9 GPA.

Prior award recipients

Prior Community College President's Award recipients
Recipient College Year
Maddie Hennerty Clark College 2022/23
Trinity Butterfield Centralia College 2022/23
Eakthapor Shinvoranont Lower Columbia College 2022/23
Moses Korir Clark College 2021/22
Friedrich Ross Centralia College 2021/22
Kathleen Neuhalfen Lower Columbia College 2021/22
Evans Kaame Clark College 2020/21
Matt Rounsley Centralia College 2020/21
Tia Verhasselt Lower Columbia College 2020/21
Esmeralda “Vita” Blanco Clark College 2019/20
Josiah Cowin Centralia College 2019/20
Ashley Smith Lower Columbia College 2019/20
Heather Beaird Centralia College 2018/19
Clinton Howard Lower Columbia College 2018/19
Grace Moe Clark College 2018/19
Josiah J. Corwin Centralia College 2017/18
Nicholas Freese Clark College 2017/18
Andrew Jaspers Lower Columbia College 2017/18
Tanner Byman Lower Columbia College 2016/17
Elsa Gomez Portland Community College 2016/17
Bailey Peters Centralia College 2016/17
Nuvia Ramirez-Romero Mt. Hood Community College 2016/17
Holly Varner Clark College 2016/17
Cheyenne DeFrates Lower Columbia College 2015/16
Alseny Diallo Portland Community College 2015/16
Kathy Fockler Clark College 2015/16
Joscha Oswald Centralia College 2015/16
Skye Troy Mt. Hood Community College 2015/16
Yesenia Herrera Portland Community College 2014/15
Natasha Hambrook Clark College 2014/15
Beija Robbins Mt. Hood Community College 2014/15
Rashida Ullah Centralia College 2014/15
Anna Davis Lower Columbia College 2014/15
Momodou Musa Bah Portland Community College 2013/14
Ramona Vercher Clark College 2013/14
Brett Merritt Lower Columbia College 2013/14
Antonio Guerrero Mt. Hood Community College 2013/14
Travis Kinney Centralia College 2013/14
Hoa Le Lower Columbia College 2012/13
John Hoffman Centralia College 2012/13
Britany Martin Portland Community College 2012/13
Tami Eldridge Clark College 2012/13
Beatriz Madriz-Rodriguez Mt. Hood Community College 2012/13
Inva Begolli Clark College 2011/12
Nicole Buckner Portland Community College 2011/12
Margaret Debevec Centralia College 2011/12
Tia Glover Mt. Hood Community College 2011/12
Brian Jurvakainen Lower Columbia College 2011/12
Sheila Rae Henrickson Clark College 2010/11
Melissa Knudson Lower Columbia College 2010/11
George W. Lewis III Mt. Hood Community College 2010/11
Hanna Mekonen Portland Community College 2010/11
Daniel Morrison Centralia College 2010/11
Dora Hernandez Clark College 2009/10
Janine Johnston Mt. Hood Community College 2009/10
Golnaz Koloushani Centralia College 2009/10
Jeffrey Northington Lower Columbia College 2009/10
Henry Ortega Portland Community College 2009/10
Cynthia Bergman Centralia College 2008/09
Angela Dahlke Lower Columbia College 2008/09
Marneet Lewis Portland Community College 2008/09
Kenneth Nyholm Clark College 2008/09
Nicole Chittock Lower Columbia College 2007/08
Carol Lopez-Gustin Clark College 2007/08
Victor McBrooks Portland Community College 2007/08
Stanley Noga Centralia College 2007/08
Vanessa Brockman Centralia College 2006/07
Asalie Groff Lower Columbia College 2006/07
Pamela Sullivan Clark College 2006/07
Maria Cook Centralia College 2005/06
Sherry Murphy Clark College 2005/06
Steven Gresswell Clark College 2005/06
Jennifer McLean Lower Columbia College 2005/06
Veronica Ross Portland Community College 2005/06