By Kate Burrows
LAKEWOOD, WASH. – In recognition of their high academic achievements, four Pierce College students were recently named to the All-Washington Academic Team. Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges, introduced the All-USA Academic Team to honor students for their scholastic achievement and community and college service. Students nominated to the All-USA Academic Team are automatically named to the state team.
The team members representing Pierce College Puyallup are Laurie Mayer and Kaitlyn Hall. Representing Pierce College Fort Steilacoom this year are Dalana Dailey and Christian Guevara.
Members of the 2014 All-Washington Academic Team will be honored in a recognition ceremony at noon March 27 at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia.
In the middle of juggling three jobs, school and family, Laurie Mayer has still managed to push herself to excel in and out of the classroom. With the overall goal to own her own full-service web design and Internet marketing business, Mayer also hopes to build a strong foundation of computer science through her education. “I am so excited to be on the All-Washington Academic Team not just for myself, but for the chance to represent Pierce College,” she said.
Kaitlyn Hall, a 17-year-old Pierce College Running Start student is looking forward to graduation this summer, when she’ll receive not only her high school diploma, but also an associate’s degree. The aspiring book editor and world traveler hopes to double major in journalism and Spanish at a four-year university. In addition to working as co-editor of the Puyallup Post, Hall also finds time to volunteer at King’s Bookstore in Tacoma as well as the nonprofit theater The Grand Cinema. “I am so thrilled I chose to be in Running Start at Pierce,” she said. “This was the best decision I’ve made.”
Pierce Fort Steilacoom
By the time Dalana Dailey graduates from Pierce College, she’ll have earned two associates degrees, in biological science and biology, but this is only the beginning for this motivated student. She plans on attending University of Washington for a bachelor’s in computer science and master’s in bioinformatics with the ultimate goal of achieving her doctorate. She hopes to one day work as a research scientist studying biogerontology. In the little free time she has in between classes, studying and part time work as a supplemental instruction leader, she participates in many volunteer opportunities available on campus. “So many times in today’s culture, people ask ‘what’s in it for me?’” she said. “I believe it’s important to also do things that are 100 percent for someone else.”
Growing up, the idea of going to college was unimaginable for Christian Guevara. It wasn’t until a teacher recognized something special in him during his freshman year that he began to reconsider. A little guidance and encouragement is all it took for this first-generation college student to reconsider his options. In the future, Guevara hopes to pay it forward by helping other students in similar situations realize the importance of higher education. He plans to study psychology and business management with the ultimate goal of becoming a high school guidance counselor. “Having a mentor in high school is really what changed my mind about college,” he said. “I want to help students find ways to achieve their goals.”