Pierce College News

March 27, 2007

Pierce College's All-Washington Academic Team includes New Century Scholar

Filed under: General,News releases — Pierce College at 10:43 am

Sally Perkins, marketing manager
(253) 964-6587

Matthew Roberson, a Pierce College student who scored highest in the state on the All-USA Academic Team application, and three other Pierce College District students are among members of the All-Washington Academic Team who were honored at a recognition ceremony March 22 in Olympia.

This year, 62 students from community and technical colleges around the state were recognized for their academic achievement and contributions to their college and community during the ceremony at South Puget Sound Community College. Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society sponsors the state and national academic team competition.

As the top scorer in the state competition, Roberson, president of the Associated Student Body at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, has been named a 2007 New Century Scholar. Roberson will receive a $2,000 scholarship and will represent Washington state at the AACC’s annual convention April 12-14 in Miami, Fla. The New Century program is sponsored by the Coca Cola Scholars Foundation, the Coca Cola Foundation, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and PTK.

Besides Roberson, other Pierce College District All-Washington Academic Team members are Nicole Webster, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom; and Haley Lindsey and Joel Kady, Pierce College Puyallup. Each All-Washington Academic Team member will receive a $500 scholarship from Key Bank, a $250 scholarship from the Northwest Education Loan Association (NELA) and medallions which will be presented by their college presidents at the ceremony. During the event, Gov. Christine Gregoire will presented the awards; recipients were photographed with her, legislators from their respective districts and representatives of their colleges.

Two students from the state team will be selected for the All-USA Academic Team which will be announced in USA Today on April 16.

Heather Johnson, director of scholarship programs for PTK’s Center for Excellence in Jackson, MS, said that Roberson’s award is “an amazing accomplishment and speaks to the quality of education at Pierce College.”

Commenting on the students’ accomplishments, Michele L. Johnson, Ph.D., chancellor of the Pierce College District, said, “All of the All-Washington Academic Team members from Pierce College have drawn on their academic and personal strengths to contribute to not only the college community but also to the communities in which they live.”

She added, “We are especially proud of Matt for his recognition as a New Century Scholar.”

Background Information
All-Washington Academic Team members from the Pierce College District

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

photo: Matthew Roberson

Student Name: Matthew Roberson
Age: 21
GPA: 3.56
Major: Political Science

Roberson decided to attend Pierce College to “do something with my life.” As ASB president, he led a successful lobbying effort to gain support for state legislation requiring bookstores to sell “unbundled” versions of textbooks normally sold with compact disks and other supplementary materials. A campus and community leader and volunteer, Matthew’s goals include becoming a U.S. Army officer, obtaining a doctorate in political science and, perhaps, entering politics. Matthew was named a New Century Scholar as the highest scoring student from the State of Washington in the 2007 All Washington Scholar competition sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

photo: Nicole Webster

Student Name: Nicole Webster
Age: 30
GPA: 3.91
Major: Pre-law

In 2005, Nicole Webster received the second highest award the U.S. Army can bestow on a civilian for her volunteer contributions to military families and children. The mother of three also is a scholarship recipient and a leader in campus groups and organizations which she serves as a special events coordinator. Nicole hopes to further her education to become an attorney and, eventually, a judge.

Pierce College Puyallup

photo: Haley Lindsey

Student Name: Haley Lindsey
Age: 19
GPA: 3.9
Major: Biology

Described by her instructors as a “highly intelligent natural leader and scholar,” Haley Lindsey has served as president of the Pierce College chapter of Phi Theta Kappa academic honorary. She also is a volunteer tutor who considers herself as a “resource” for fellow students struggling with assignments and test preparations. Passionate about science and learning, Haley’s goal is to obtain a doctorate in evolutionary biology.

photo: Joel Kady

Student Name: Joel Kady
Age: 19
GPA: 3.9
Major: Business

Combining academic success with creativity, Running Start student Joel Kady serves on the editorial board of Pierce College’s Student Literary and Arts Magazine (SLAM). A guitarist, Joel also dedicates a great deal of time and energy to a band, The Jury. In addition, Joel writes original music and lyrics for the band and serves as its promoter. Also a guitar teacher, Joel plans to complement his skills as a professional musician with a degree in international business.


March 20, 2007

Men's Basketball Captures 3rd Place at NWAACC Championships: Team Completes Season with Accolades for Players and Coach

Filed under: General,News releases — Pierce College at 12:45 pm

March 20, 2007

Media Contact: Brian Benedetti, (253) 964-6549

Pierce College Raiders Completes Season with Accolades for Coach, Players
The Pierce College Raiders Men’s Basketball team wrapped up the season with a trip to the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) Championships where they walked away with a 3rd Place Championship trophy.

The 3rd place finish capped the team’s 12-4 record, finishing as Western Division Co-Champs. Individual recognitions were awarded to head coach Bill Mendelson as Western Division Coach of the Year, to sophomore Michael Wright as Western Division Co-MVP and 1st Team NWAACC All Tournament, and to freshman Noble’D Shelton as a Western Division 1st Team All-Star and 2nd Team NWAACC All Tournament.

The Raiders finished the season with a 12-4 league record and an 18-10 overall record. The team swept their series against Tacoma and Lower Columbia Community Colleges and Clark College.

Ending his fourth season with the Raiders, Coach Mendelson has taken the team to the NWAACC Tournaments twice in the past three seasons; his record at Pierce is 68-45.

“Wright, the first Pierce Men’s Basketball player to win the co-most valuable player award, was the second leading rebounder in the division,” said Duncan Stevenson, director of athletics and recreation for the Pierce College District.

He indicated Wright finished his career at Pierce as the basketball program’s all-time leading rebounder, and led the team this season in scoring (16.5 points per game) and rebounding (11.7 rebounds per game). Shelton is the team’s second leading scorer.

Ending his fourth season with the Raiders, Coach Mendelson has taken the team to the NWAACC Tournaments twice in the past three seasons, each time making it to the semi-final round. And, by having a freshman strong team this year, chances look excellent for a return trip next year.

“This is the best group of basketball players I’ve had the privilege to coach in all my 33 years of coaching,” Coach Bill Mendelson stated at the Winter Sports Banquet. “And talk about diverse – we’ve got guys from all different backgrounds, experiences, and regions. But here, they are a family, a team in the truest sense of the word.”

This unique combination of players includes two fathers, two international students, one Army veteran, players from around the country (even as far as Hawaii), and a high school football player who had never before played organized basketball.

Stevenson said the team is looking forward to next season when games will be held in a 1,000-seat gymnasium included in the design of a $9.5 million Health Education Center (HEC). Partially funded by student fees, the HEC center is scheduled for completion in August on the Fort Steilacoom campus.


March 8, 2007

Pierce College Foundation to dedicate Milgard Child Development Center

Filed under: General,News releases — Pierce College at 10:32 am

February 27, 2007

Media Contact: Brian Benedetti, (253) 964-6549

LAKEWOOD: The Pierce College Foundation will host dedication ceremonies at 3 p.m. March 8 at the Fort Steilacoom campus for the $2.4 million Milgard Child Development Center.

Designed with input from the college’s early childhood education faculty, the center will be part of the hands-on training opportunities provided in the associate degree programs related to early childhood education.

photo: movein day at the Milgard CenterMichael Koetje, director of child development centers for the Pierce College District, second from right, recently helped move items into the new Milgard Child Development Center at the college’s Fort Steilacoom campus. The center will be dedicated in public ceremonies at 2 p.m. March 8. Others pictured who assisted with the move in, from left, are Genki Otaki, a graduate of the Early Childhood Education Program at Pierce; Patty Nelson, director of student development at the Puyallup campus; and Mark Turpin who is working on the center’s outdoor classrooms.

The dedication program will include remarks by James Washam, retired KeyBank president who was co-chair of the foundation’s Campaign for Childcare with Jerry Korum, president of the Korum Automotive Group. Also on the program will be Michele L. Johnson, Ph.D., chancellor of the Pierce College District; and John Simpson, a student who will use the center to care for his three children while he is pursuing his education at Pierce.

Following the dedication, faculty and staff will conduct tours of the 10,000 square-foot-facility which has the capacity for 72 children from infants through age 5. Project architect was MBA; contractor was Absher Construction with project management provided by the Abbey Road Group.

Featuring a Northwest design, the center was constructed with a combination of public and private funding sources. These include a $500,000 state matching grant, $300,000 from the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation, $200,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and donations of $100,000 from James and Carolyn Milgard, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and in-kind gifts from Absher Construction. Classrooms will be named for the late Athyleen Nicholson who was an instructor at the college, KeyBank, Jerry and Germaine Korum, Steve and Joane Moceri, Waste Connections, Inc., Don and Audrey Thomas and Harold LeMay Enterprises.

“The Campaign for Childcare was the largest fund-raising effort undertaken by the foundation in its 14-year history,” noted Cherry Tinker, foundation executive director.

Besides funding the majority of the construction costs for the Milgard Center, the campaign also supported the Garnero Child Development Center at Pierce College Puyallup to be dedicated on April 24.

Dr. Johnson said, “ We are extremely grateful to the state legislature and the community for supporting our efforts to make available accessible, affordable, quality childcare to the more than 30 percent of the students in our district who are parents.”