Wings - Winter 2015


Winter 2015

Your connection to Heritage University.



Also inside:

Heritage's Nobel Laureate // Paying It Forward // New Language Center 1

From the



A Nobel Prize

Winning Attitude.................................. 4

Cub Reporters..................................... 6

New Language Center......................... 8

Paying It Forward.............................. 12

The Fast Track

to Compass Skills...............................16

2014 Donors..................................... 18

News Briefs...................................... 20

A Salute to Alumni Success............... 23

Winter 2015

March 7

Women 2 Women

International Women’s Day Reception

Featuring: Jackie Bezos

March 11

Faculty Research/Scholarship Series

Greg Hinze

American Martyr: The Life, Death and Myth

of George Armstrong Custer

March 17

Washington State Supreme Court

in Session at Heritage University

April 8

Faculty Research/Scholarship Series

Darryl Parks

Language and Library Anxiety

April 7

Seattle Shakespeare Company Presents Macbeth

John Bassett, Ph.D.

The other day I was walking across campus and looking through the fog at

the cherry trees that surround the great lawn. There was a sculptural beauty

to the bare branches reaching up to the sky. Yet I couldn’t help but think

longingly about the spring, when these trees will come alive with the pink and white

blossoms that mark the end to our long, gray winter.

In the winter it is easy to look at the dark days and dull landscape and forget that

all the vibrancy of spring and summer is simply hidden from view. All the potential for

spring’s beauty is alive and well, resting in the buds that dot the branches. In time,

the nurturing warmth of the sun will transform our landscape, and the buds will break

through in the showcase of color that we so long to see.

As I walked I couldn’t help but think about how what I was seeing in the campus

landscape was a powerful metaphor for our students as they undertake their journey

to college and the transformation that takes place through their education.

Regardless of the path that brought them here, each and every Heritage student

comes to this university filled with potential. They are individuals whose lifetime of

successes and challenges has built in them a resiliency and resourcefulness that

has made them strong and put them “on the cusp of blossom.” Like the cherry tree

in winter, the potential for real vibrancy lies within, waiting to be awakened by the

sunlight that is their education.

Liberal arts education is particularly transformative in how it changes students at

their core. It teaches how to think over what to think. The cross-curricular platform

of a liberal arts education allows students to view problems from multiple angles and

to find creative solutions that perhaps would be missed if they were exposed only to

those subjects that relate directly to their majors. Students who learn in a liberal arts

environment develop the critical creative-thinking, problem-solving, communication,

and collaborative skills that will allow them to grow and flourish over their entire

lifetimes, much as the cherry tree grows and strengthens, and twists and takes on a

new shape as each new year exposes it to different elements.

In just a few weeks, the cherry trees will erupt into their full floral glory. The

process that was months in the making will seem to take place overnight. That’s the

thing about transformation. We don’t necessarily see it as it occurs. It’s when we look

back that we see just how much growth as taken place and we can appreciate just

how much more vibrant the world has become as a result.

Wings is published by Heritage University

three times annually. For questions and

comments or to request additional copies,

contact the Communications Office at

(509) 865-8588 or communications@ Duplicating this publication or

information it contains is not allowed without

the written permission of the university.

Heritage is a nonprofit, private university

accredited by the Northwest Commission

on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

On the cover: Heritage senior and education

major Guadalupe Oriz works with fourth-grade

students at Toppenish's Valley View Elementary

helping the girls develop a school newspaper.

Read more in Cub Reporters on page 6.

April 9

Spring Academic Convocation

April 22

Spring Faire

May 9


June 6

Scholarship Dinner





In the early morning hours of April

26, 1986, what should have been a

simple systems check at a nuclear

power plant went catastrophically awry

when an unexpected power surge set

off a series of events that would lead

to the worst nuclear disaster in history,

the Chernobyl meltdown.

At 1:26 that morning, reactor number 4

at the power plant near the city of Pripyat,

Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union),

failed in an explosion of steam, fire and

radioactive materials that spread out across

Europe. The disaster killed 31 people,

turned once-bustling communities into

modern-day ghost towns and presented

scientists with the task of containing

the radiation. Among the scientists who

would eventually be asked to help is

Heritage University’s Michael Durst.

After spending 40 years in the nuclear

science and technology industry, Durst

found his work taking him around the

globe to collaborate on some of the most

important nuclear projects of our time,

including Chernobyl. He began his career

as an experimenter with Battelle, one

of the largest science and technology

development companies in the world.

“I worked with my hands, building

little reactors,” he said. “I was doing

these little, complicated experiments

sitting in a lab, but what I was learning

and experiencing was tenfold.”

After several years with Battelle,

Durst accepted a management position

with Arkansas Nuclear Power, a plant

providing half of that state’s electricity.

In 1993, Durst returned to Battelle,

bringing with him a wealth of knowledge

in private business, expertise in project

management and a key understanding

of nuclear power. Soon after, Durst

joined an international team working with

Russian scientists to improve Ukraine’s

power system. Eventually he became the

project manager for an international team

in Slayutych, Ukraine, that designed a

new, safe confinement structure for the

destroyed Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

“We had 21 separate tasks that

needed to be accomplished, ranging

from how to do it to who was going to

do it and when it was going to happen,”

Durst said. “My job was to manage the

largest task, to build the new confinement

over the top of the destroyed reactor.”

For more than three years Durst

and his team lived and worked in the

Ukraine, designing a massive structure

that would encapsulate the destroyed

reactor. Managing a $1 billion budget

and working with international liaisons,

Durst ensured that the complex

needs of the project were met.

“This isn’t just a building over a reactor,”

he said. “We had to come up with a design

that is moveable because the actual site

is so polluted with radioactive waste we

can’t be there for very long. It is just too

hazardous to humans. The structure is

being built a third of a mile away and then

will have to be moved into place. The

mechanics alone of moving a structure of

that size, not to mention ensuring that it will

stop once it starts moving, is incredible.

When it’s completed it will be the largest

moveable building in mankind’s history.”

Today, the new safe containment is

nearing completion, and Durst anticipates

moving the structure into place in 2015.

“The Chernobyl project was one

of the most heartfelt and changing

experiences of my life,” Durst said.

“People, who had literally nothing, would

give their shirts off their backs. It was

improper storage. The team identified

a plan to decommission, transfer and

safeguard all the nuclear materials.

“This was a spider web of government

agencies and bureaucracies to navigate

in order to accomplish what we needed

to do,” he said. “But I promised the team

that, before I left, we would provide new

hangars to safely store nuclear fuel. We

would remove the leaking dangerous

fuel from the facilities and begin to

decommission it. And most importantly, we

would restore confidence in their ability to

do great things and sell those capabilities to

the world. And that’s exactly what we did.”

Durst and others at the IAEA were

awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005

for their efforts to help rid the world

of materials used to make weapons of

mass destruction. The Vinca Project in

Serbia was the largest of the several IAEA

projects acknowledged for the Prize.

several years as the director of an

observatory at Columbia Basin College,

and joined Heritage to develop the

University’s new pre-engineering program.

The program will have students completing

their first two years at Heritage before

transferring seamlessly to Washington State

University without having to apply to finish

their engineering degree. Students will be

able to choose among civil, mechanical

and electrical engineering. The program is

slated to begin in fall semester of 2015.

“I read a statistic once that math

and science scores are lower in this

part of the state than in other regions,

yet the interest in math and science

programs is high. When I read that, I

knew I had to get involved,” Durst said.

“Any kind of STEM (science, technology,

engineering and math) programs open

up so many exciting possibilities.”

“The mechanics alone of moving a structure of that size, not to mention

ensuring that it will stop once it starts moving, is incredible. When it’s

completed it will be the largest moveable building in mankind’s history.”


incredible to see people come together

in the face of enormous tragedy.”

His work at Chernobyl led Durst to

become a diplomat and special program

manager with the United Nations

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

in Vienna in 2005. He and his team were

asked to assess several nuclear facilities

and laboratories in Serbia, the former

Yugoslavia. Most of the facilities were at

the Vinca Laboratory site and were found

to be in massive disrepair, running the

risk of causing huge contamination to

the soil and groundwater as a result of

“The Vinca Project’s ultimate purpose

was to clean up, remove and effectively

protect nuclear materials, thus preventing

weapons of mass destruction from being

accessed by terrorist groups. The project,

valued at more than $40 million, was the

largest in IAEA’s history,” Durst said.

“I’ve come to find in life that

nothing is really impossible,” Durst said.

“Everything is momentum. When you take

a problem and figure out how to make it

successful, you can achieve anything.”

Eventually Durst returned to Washington

state. He retired from Battelle, spent




“The practicum helps them go into

co-teaching with confidence.”

Crowded around a conference

table on a gray winter

afternoon, six excited fourthgrade

girls marveled at the results

of their hard work. In front of them

sat the final copy of the Linx Press, a

newspaper the Valley View Elementary

students developed with the help of two

Heritage University students who were

completing their practicum before starting

their student-teaching experience.

The project was part of a 21st Century

Community Learning Centers after-school

enrichment program funded by the US

Department of Education. The program

aims to improve academic performance

for school children through after-school

activities that support core subjects like

math and reading. Heritage University

Cub Reporters

A unique practicum hits the press

and the Toppenish School District have

been partnering on the district’s grantfunded

activities for more than 15 years.

As part of their training, Heritage

education majors participate in a semesterlong

teaching practicum before starting

their co-teaching experience (known

commonly as student teaching). The

students work in teams of two doing

everything from developing lesson plans

and structuring their classrooms to

measuring student success and outcomes.

The partnership through 21st Century

provides the perfect mechanism for future

teachers to apply what they have been

learning in a real-life setting, while giving

elementary school children the chance to

thrive in a safe after-school environment

that supports their classroom learning.

“This is a really valuable experience,”

said Pam Root, assistant professor

of Education and Psychology, who

supervises the college students through

their practicum. “Many of the Heritage

students have experience working in the

schools—some were paraeducators—

but this is the first time they get to be

the teacher, and there’s a big difference.

The practicum helps them go into

co-teaching with confidence.”

Guerrero and fellow student Maria Ortiz

entered into their practicum requesting to

teach the fourth-grade group. The school

selected the project-based learning topic

of journalism and photography to support

their academic goals for the children.

The curriculum, however, was planned

by the Heritage teachers in training. The

pair took their students through exercises

in which they reviewed professional

papers for content and layout. They had

their students brainstorm names for the

publication, develop story ideas, conduct

interviews and write articles. They even

developed their own comic strips.

During the project, professionals

in the communications field, such

as a reporter from the local weekly

newspaper and a public relations

professional from the university, also

visited. It helped demonstrate to students

that the lessons they were learning

could one day become a career.

Valley View Elementary kindergarten

teacher Esperanza Paul (B.A., Education,

2006), who supervised the afterschool

newspaper project, was impressed by

the value of the experience, not only

for her elementary students, but also


for the Heritage teachers in training.

“I think the practicum is a wonderful

opportunity,” she said. “It gives a good

sense of how it’s going to be to actually

teach. I wish I had done something

like that when I was at Heritage. The

more time you spend in a classroom,

the more comfortable you become.”

“We had a great time with the

students,” said Heritage senior Edelmira

Guerrero. “Because this was a small

group, we really got to know them. We

had a lot of fun putting the newspaper

together and the kids really seemed

to enjoy the whole experience.”

At the end of the semester, just a

few days before Guerrero and Ortiz

said goodbye to the “staff” of the Linx

Press, the students sat admiring their

handiwork. As they finished looking

through their newspaper, Guerrero


placed a group of small stuffed animals

in the center of the table for one

more lesson before parting ways.

“Let’s write a story about these

guys,” she said. “Who are they? What

are they doing? Where are they going?”

Hands shot up around the table as

eager voices began to tell the story.







anguage is a window into the

daily life and values of a culture.

Sometimes a rich tradition

or important value is communicated

with a single word that’s unique to that

people. Language is practical, but it also

reveals the true essence of its people.

For the Yakama Nation Indian

tribe, that window into their traditions,

history and values is the Sahaptin or

Ichishkiin language.

New Language Center to Preserve,

Revitalize and Promote Sahaptin

The Heritage University Language

Center (HULC) was founded in the

wrote our linguistic dictionary,” he adds.

Sutterlict first met Beavert, his mentor

and elder, when he chose to attend a

language course at Heritage after finding

community-offered language classes to

be inconsistent. Sutterlict’s passion for

his native language and his experience

learning from Beavert, combined with a

formal degree in linguistics, has prepared

him well to teach Heritage’s 101-level

Saphaptin course this fall, which the

university opened as a noncredit extension

course for members of the Yakama Nation.

The response of the students has been

so enthusiastic that he is now teaching a

102-level class, which is also offered to

“The class reignited a fire in me

to learn more. It is filling a void

I never knew existed.”



summer of 2014 to preserve, revitalize and

promote the Sahaptin language. The center

is developing curriculum and materials to

teach others the language using everyday

situations and words that relate to students’

lives. The impetus to develop a formal

curriculum was in the groundwork set by

Virginia Beavert, a Yakama Nation elder

who taught Sahaptin for years at Heritage.

“She is 90 years old and right now

earning her second Ph.D.,” extols HULC

Director Greg Sutterlict, the Melon-

Endowed chairman of the university’s

Sahaptin Language Department and a

descendent of the Yakama Nation. “She

the community as an extension course.

One of those enthusiastic students

is Leon Ganuelas, a Heritage graduate

who also attended Beavert’s Sahaptin

language classes back when he was

earning his environmental science degree.

He had grown up hearing the Sahaptin

language spoken by the elders at general

council meetings, but only a few broken

words lingered in his own home.

“My grandmother really only spoke

it when she was angry,” Ganuelas

said, laughing.

When Ganuelas discovered he needed

language credits to earn his bachelor’s


degree, he decided, as a Yakama

away, and now I’m getting it back.”

on the university campus. The center is

After-School Program to Reach

Nation descendent, to take the Sahaptin

He now can speak the language with

establishing an immersion classroom for

Older Students

course, and he felt it gave him a solid

those in his class, and he plans to continue

2-year-old children, saturating them in the

Another initiative HULC is spearheading

foundation in the language. His Sahaptin

skills, however, went unused over time

with his studies with a potential goal of

becoming fluent enough to serve on the

Yakama Nation language at a young age.

The new classroom is based on the

is an after-school program with Zillah

School District that brings the Sahaptin

Nawinałaamí Wíttawax̱ t ku Tł’aax̱ wmamí Nisháycht Chnákpa

Lapnux̱ łá

and grew rusty because there were no

council of the Yakama Nation in the future.

success Sutterlict experienced while

language to older children in public

others with whom he could speak it.

teaching in a culture-focused classroom

schools. Ultimately HULC wants to develop

The lack of speakers in the younger

HULC Breathing New Life into

for three years in the Yakama Nation

a toolkit for schools, filled with lesson

generation is not a problem limited to the

Yakama Nation. It’s common to many

languages. In the Yakama Nation, the

Sahaptin Language

Sahaptin is considered an endangered

language, so the drive and urgency to

Head Start program. He described the

children as “super absorbent sponges”

when it came to language learning.

plans, curriculum and other materials,

so that anyone can launch an afterschool

program on their own. HULC just

Volume I

By: Gregory Sutterlict and X̱ naḵ’it

Illustrated by: Aileen Mansfield

Ku na tun mish íchi kuuk wíkuta? Anakúsh na

wíkusha ku na p’aláa wáta

tribe’s elders are among the very few

pass it on to younger generations is

HULC’s preschool program is primarily

published its first book written in the

who speak the language fluently, but

real. Today, Sahaptin is only spoken by

targeted at Yakama Nation children and

Sahaptin language, about the life of a

that is something that may soon change,

the tribe’s elders and older members of

descendants, but is open to anyone

teenager. Future book series will focus on

as interest and attendance grows in the

the tribe, but HULC’s goal is to expand

interested. It does require parents to

the traditions and “old ways” of the tribe

Sahaptin classes taught through HULC.

that to childbearing generations and

make a serious commitment: They

and teach about its culture and lifestyle, all

Last fall, Ganuelas saw a flier

eventually to the Yakama Nation children.

must keep the children in the program

using Sahaptin words to describe them.

announcing the center’s Sahaptin

When indigenous children learn their

for three years during preschool. They

This is just the beginning for the HULC;

class, and he was fascinated. He

language and culture, research shows,

must also speak the language at home,

projects in the works include additional

Íx̱ way iwá pɨmínkpa nch’uutpamápa anakwnák iwá


Ku nash imanáy iwáx̱ ishana ku na smáaspa wíłḵ’iwita.

enrolled in the class and liked the high

they are more firmly rooted students who

which requires parents to learn alongside

books, videos, handouts and a website

expectations and different stages of

typically have better math and science

their children. The goal is to have an

that makes it easy for anyone to access

learning that kept him on his toes.

scores as well as higher self-esteem.

immersion kindergarten ready for the

all materials.

“The class reignited a fire in me to

For that reason, one of the most

preschoolers, and eventually an immersion

As Sutterlict explains, preserving the

learn more, “ explained Ganuelas. “It is

important initiatives HULC is launching

school that includes every grade level.

language is also about preserving the

filling a void I never knew existed. The

is a partnership with the Heritage

heart of the Yakama Nation tribe. The

language was something that was taken

University Early Learning Center located

elders are like a giant wing of an incredible

library. It is vital to pass along the precious

history and knowledge they have to the

Áwx̱ i ipinátax̱ shi ku smáaspa íx̱ way ilátawx̱ asha.

Tḵ’íx̱ sha matash ku pam tł’áax̱ wma páwapaatata

ímałakɨnkta tł’áax̱ wtun iwá skáwitay.

younger generations because, more

than a language, it’s the tribe’s identity.

Some estimates project that in

100 years, there will be just 20 Native

American languages left. The hope is

that through the efforts of the HULC,

more of the Yakama Nation will become

aware of and passionate about learning

the Sahaptin language in order to

Ii, ku iwá k’paas tł’aax̱ w tkwátat ku na míimi tkwátashana. Imk nam táaminwa ákuukita, níix̱ ki nam imk ákux̱ a.

restore it—not only to preserve a vital

piece of the tribe’s history, but to make






it a key part of the tribe’s future.










The impact educators have on

the lives of students is best

understood by observing

the path those students take after

leaving the classroom. Heritage most

certainly impacts students who earn

their degree in education directly, but

it also touches the lives of generations

to come as those graduates teach and

mentor their own students in classrooms

throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Cynthia Johnson—Equipping

Educators to Become

Effective Leaders

Cynthia Johnson is the assistant

professor and director of principal

certification at Gonzaga University

in Spokane, Washington. Johnson

helps experienced teachers gain

technical skills and hone leadership

abilities that will allow them to

be effective administrators.

Her relationship with Heritage

is deeply personal. Her father, Bob

Hall, owner of Hall Financial based

in Sunnyside, Washington, is a major

contributor to the university and

helped launch the college. Johnson

remembers helping her father organize

a golf tournament to raise funds in the

university’s earliest days. She was often

on the school’s initially small campus

and had the opportunity to develop

a relationship with Sister Mary Rita

Rohde, a member of Heritage’s original

founding committee. Sr. Rohde became

Johnson’s earliest mentor, and the main

reason Johnson chose Heritage to earn

her bachelor’s degree in education.

Subsequent to earning her B.A.,

Johnson returned to Heritage twice,

to earn master’s degrees in special

education and school administration.



Today, tasked with the job of preparing

aspiring principals to be not only

strong administrators but strong

leaders, Johnson can see even more

clearly the benefits she realized

from her Heritage education.

“Every instructor at Heritage was

also a practitioner from a local school,

whether teaching at-risk (student)

populations to love science or utilizing

ELL (English Language Learner)

strategies for second-language

learners in the field. There was an

authenticity to that,” she said.

One of those instructors was Guy

Kaplicky, a longtime principal in the

Yakima Valley who also taught several

of the science classes Johnson needed

for her bachelor’s degree. Beyond

the specific subject matter, Kaplicky

demonstrated classroom management

and leadership skills that guided

Johnson’s future career aspirations.

“He was just remarkable. He was

one of the most effective leaders I’ve

ever seen, and he triggered in me the

desire to go into school administration,”

said Johnson. “Guy Kaplicky is right up

there with Sister Mary Rita for me!”

In her role of developing the next

generation of school administrators,

Johnson takes the lessons learned

from Kaplicky and other Heritage

instructors and helps her students

prioritize three key components of

effective school administration: 1)

putting students at the center of

decisions, 2) knowing what data exists

and how to use it to learn more about

the students, and 3) building trusting

relationships with all the stakeholders.

“I want these future administrators

to be very passionate about the

job they do and know that it really

does have an impact,” she said.

Ramon Guel—From Soldier

to College Instructor

Ramon Guel’s relationship with

Heritage began amid the gritty sand

of the Kunar Province in northern

Afghanistan, where he was deployed in

2011 for the U S. Army as the executive

officer of a small surgical hospital.

The complexity and unpredictability

of being on the front lines of a military

engagement obviously does not allow

for a regular class schedule—especially

from halfway around the world. It was

only the dedication and flexibility of

his professors at Heritage that created

the opportunity for Guel to complete

half of his master’s degree in English

online during his 13-month deployment,

hunkering down in a computer bay

whenever time permitted to listen to

lectures from the Heritage campus.

“It was absolutely amazing to see

the willingness of the instructors at

Heritage to help me succeed,” he said.

Professor Loren Schmidt was Guel’s

professor and mentor at Heritage, and

today is also one of his bosses. Guel

is a full-time instructor on campus at

Pioneer Pacific College in Oregon, and

also an adjunct professor at several

campuses, including Heritage, where

he teaches World Literature and Special

Topics in J.R.R. Tolkien, both online. He

is modeling his own classrooms after

his experience with Professor Schmidt.

“Professor Schmidt’s passion for his

“I want these future administrators to be very

passionate about the job they do and know

that it really does have an impact.”


students and their success was quite

overwhelming,” said Guel. “He’s been

at this for years, yet has the passion

and energy of a new professor. It’s so

great to see that. And I try to bring

that energy to my students as well.”

Guel’s professors went out of their

way to work around his unorthodox

schedule while he was deployed. He

remembers how important that support

was to his success and models it now

for his own students, making himself


“Every time you were in class,

he made you feel as if you were

the only one in the room.”

available whenever a student needs to

interact, day or night. He can certainly

relate to his students’ busy schedules,

and with that insight, he’s returning the

favor and building strong relationships

with his students in the process.

David Garcia: The Gift of a

Mentor’s Life Lessons

David Garcia is the assistant

director of the Unity Multicultural

Education Center (UMEC) at Gonzaga

University. The department focuses

on diversity support and training on

campus and in the wider community.

Although he manages multiple

programs, one of the main initiatives

is Gonzaga’s BRIDGE program, a

pre-orientation that brings 40 firstgeneration

students and students of

color to campus five days before the

rest of their peers arrive. Once there,

they focus on identity development,

building relationships and navigating

college life. From May to September,

all day, every day, Garcia works

with three student coordinators who

lead the program and who, in turn,

coordinate a cadre of peer counselors

who engage with the students.

The BRIDGE program is more than

a part of his job; it’s also research for

his Ph.D. Garcia has completed two

thirds of his doctorate in leadership

studies at Gonzaga, and, as part of

his dissertation, is evaluating whether

pre-orientation programs aid in

student retention for first-generation

college attendees or those of color.

“It was absolutely amazing to see the willingness of

the instructors at Heritage to help me succeed.”

Garcia was the first male in his family

to go to college, but was not a strong

student in high school. His weak grades

made him literally inadmissible to most

colleges and universities, but Central

Washington University took a chance

on him, and it paid off. After earning

his bachelor’s degree in business

administration, he found that he most

enjoyed connecting with people and

helping them find resources. He decided

to pursue education and earned his

master’s degree from Heritage in 2006.

“The most meaningful of my many

experiences at Heritage were my

encounters with Dr. Jack McPherson,”

said Garcia. McPherson was a

long-time instructor in the school of

education, and he made a powerful

impression on Garcia. “Every time you

were in class, he made you feel as if

you were the only one in the room.”

“As I was wrapping up my final

project, McPherson was diagnosed

with cancer. Leading up to some of

his last days, I drove to his house.

Half the day we spent on the project,

and the other half he shared stories of

life, leadership, being successful and

caring for people. It was an amazing

experience, and there are so many of his

life lessons that I keep with me today.”

As Garcia weighs what’s next in

his career, he has come to realize that


no matter what position he holds, he

wants it to involve teaching. This fall,

he will teach his first three-credit class

in addition to continuing his work in

the education center, his doctorate

research, and also being a husband

and a dad to two young boys.

A teacher’s power to inspire and

encourage students is undeniable.

That’s what excellent teachers do; they

challenge, they motivate, they adapt

and they help their students believe

in themselves and achieve more than

they could alone, while instilling a

desire in them to pay it forward and

impact generations yet to come.






curriculum. Utilizing artificial intelligence,

ALEKS moves students through math

concepts until they demonstrate mastery.

Once a student correctly completes a set

number of questions about one concept,

he or she moves on to the next concept

and continues until completing the final

assessment. Peer tutors and math faculty

assist students who are having difficulty.

The math Fast Track program is designed

to be competed in six weeks, but students

can finish early or take additional time to

master the concepts, if necessary. For

Pena, two weeks was all she needed.

Treece, the English Fast Track program

did more than just prepare her for

success in a college-level English

course; it also helped her acclimate

to the expectations of college life.

“I was really nervous about going to

college. I didn’t know what to expect,”

said Treece. “This (Fast Track) was such

a great experience because I was able to

do well and had a lot more confidence

when I started my actual classes.”

Treece’s reaction is exactly what

Heritage hopes students will take with

them, said Collucci.

math course at Heritage, the better he

or she does in the regular math classes.

This fall, students who completed the

summer Fast Track passed their math

courses at a higher rate than those who

did not participate in the program.

Treece and Pena, however, don’t need

statistics to tell them the program was well

worth their time and effort. Both women

completed fall semester with high marks.

Pena even made the Dean’s List, and they

are both moving forward with their goals,

taking a full load of courses this spring.

“This (Fast Track) was such a great experience because I was

able to do well and had a lot more confidence when I started

my actual classes.”

Heritage freshman Nereida Pena has a

very clear picture of where her education

will take her. The biomedical sciences

major plans on a career saving lives as

either a surgeon or an anesthesiologist.

That is, of course, after she graduates

from Heritage and then the University

of Washington School of Medicine.

Pena started her educational journey,

however, needing to take a math class

that was below college level. The same is

unfortunately true for many students at

Heritage and at colleges and universities

around the country, especially in the areas

of math and English. But a program at

Heritage called Fast Track is giving these

students a means of moving through these

developmental courses quickly without

eating up time and financial resources.

Fast Track is an intensive six-week

immersion course in either mathematics

or English designed for students who

are capable of college success, yet have

testing scores below college level. For a

minimal fee of just $35, students work

through the curriculum, which includes

testing and tracking their progress as they

move toward the next academic level.

“We know that students who do not

have solid competency in mathematics

are less likely to persist through to

graduation,” said Richard Swearingen,

chair of the Mathematics Program and

the Computer Science Program. “Not

only is pre-algebra a foundational course

that all future math courses build upon,

but students who start below college level

spend valuable time and eat up limited

financial aid resources taking courses

that don’t count toward their degree.”

The same is true of students who

enter college and have to take lower-level

English courses, said Paula Collucci,

director of the Writing Center and assistant

professor of English and humanities.

“Many of our students (in Fast Track)

are on the tipping point. They are bright

and capable, and just need a little extra

support from other writers to bring

them up to the 101 level,” she said.

Swearingen points to students like

Pena as the perfect example of why

Fast Track is such an invaluable tool for

student success. Ever since she was

young, Pena has dreamed of a career

in medicine. When she moved to the

Yakima Valley from her native Mexico,

she was excited to learn that a college

existed in her new hometown and that

it offered the premed program that

would set her toward her future medical

career. She was enrolled at Heritage in

spring semester 2014 and taking the

university’s entry-level course, Math 95,

when she learned about the Fast Track

program. She decided to try the program

over the summer to see if she could

advance enough to start taking courses

that would apply toward her degree.

Math Fast Track is a self-paced

program that uses ALEKS, an online

tool that supports the university’s math

“I was so excited,” said Pena. “It was

quite a lot to learn—four-to-five months’

worth of studying—in a very short time.

It saved me so much time and so

much money.”

Like its mathematics counterpart,

the English Fast Track program provides

students with intensive support over a

short six weeks, and students can also

advance through the program more

quickly. It functions more like a traditional

small-group classroom, with instructors,

lessons and assignments. The program

is writing intensive. Students write two

four-page papers each week along with

reading essays and participating in class

discussions. At the end of every week,

they retake the Compass placement test

in order to track their progress. Once their

test results place them in English 101,

students are done and can enroll in the

credit-bearing course the next semester.

For students like freshman and

business administration major Kristale

“Writing is more than just grammar,”

she said. “It’s personal and it can be very

intimidating because writing is thinking.

Often we have students who’ve been

told they are poor writers, and they feel

like their thinking in inadequate when,

really, it is just that there is a better way

to express their thoughts,” she said.

“Giving students a safe environment

to make mistakes, to learn from those

mistakes, and to be successful so that

they become comfortable with themselves

and have confidence in their abilities is

all part of the educational package.”

But, in the long run, is the program

successful? Yes, says Swearingen.

While the English program is still in its

infancy, the mathematics program has

been going strong for seven years. The

data provide overwhelming evidence on

the importance of early mathematics

intervention on student success. The

further a student progresses in Fast

Track before enrolling in a credit-bearing










For so many of our students, a college education is possible only because of the generosity of the many individuals,

business and organizations whose gifts help us build our campus, improve our academic programs and provide the

scholarships that make college affordable. On behalf of every student, past, present and future, thank you.

Eagle's Circle

Gaye and Jim Pigott

The Norcliffe Foundation

Silver Circle

Jim and Dee Barnhill

Jack and Connie Bloxom

Costco Wholesale Corporation

Peggy Lewis

Thomas and Kathryn Mears

Mount Adams Health


Patricia Temple

Bronze Circle


John and Kay Bassett

Richard and Joanne Elliott

Independent Colleges of


Johnson Scholarship Foundation

Paul and Susan Moulton

Rick and Mary Jo Pinnell

John and Priscilla Privat

Sisters of the Holy Names U.S. -

Ontario Province

Yakima Valley Community


Heritage Club


Nathan and Elaine Ballou

Renee and Kevin Bouchey

Lois Castleberry

The Council of Independent


The Dolsen Companies

Bill and Sally Douglas

Alvin and Melinda Dreyer

The F. Danz Foundation

Mimi Gates

The George P. Hardgrove


Chris Golde

Hellmut and Marcy Golde

Virginia S. Hislop

An HU Champion!

Kershaw Companies

KeyBank Foundation

Paula and Garth Linnen

The Martinez Foundation

Elaine Kondo-McEwan and

Chaz McEwan

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe

Robert and Carmela Newstead

Charlie and Doris O'Connor

Patrick and Shelly Oshie

Frank and Maureen Padilla

Joan Pinnell

C. Pete and Patty Piper

Clifford and Janie Plath

Caroline Purdon

Kip and Lyndia Ramsey

Ruth Rankin Dolsen

Roy and Barbara Simms

Sisters of the Holy Names


Sterling Realty Organization

Tree Top Inc.

Richard and Patricia Twiss

Yakama Nation Legends Casino

Yakima Herald Republic

Mark Zirkle

Benefactors Club


Terry Abeyta

The Altmayer Family

Craig and Patty Anderson

Argus Insurance Inc.

George Armendariz

Jack and Delma Bagley

Wayne and Marilyn Baldwin

Baker Boyer Bank


Reverend Catherine G. Borchert

Borman Family Foundation

Richard and Heather Brandt

Martha Carr

Cascade Natural Gas

Ross and Julie Case

Pam Cleaver

George* and Mary Jane Colby

David and Janine Connell

Patrick and Jeanne Connors

Conover Insurance Inc.

Richard Cummins and

Meg Woods

Kirtland Davidson

Alan and Charlene Dillman

Sonja and James Dodge

Paul and Jan Dowdy

Edward and Elizabeth Gardner


George and Kathleen Edwards

Marian Frank

Ronald and Kay Gamache

Gannett Foundation Inc.

Cragg and Barbara Gilbert

Gilbert Orchards Incorporated

Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Michael and Rachel Guidon

Bob and Judy Hall

Hall Financial

Fred and Marie Halverson

Hanna & Associates

Kevin and Rena Harrington

James and Jan Haven

Harold and Jackie Helliesen

Hilton Garden Inn

Hub International NW LLC

Integrated Solutions

Douglas and Anne Jensen

Carla Kaatz

Steven and Patricia Kessler

Jill Kirshner/Splashdown

Mike and Gloria Kluse

Tom and Jeannie Kundig

Labbeemint Inc.

The Layman Family Foundation

Richard and Linda Linneweh

Bill and Cynthia McCay

Elizabeth and Michael McGree

Laura and Michael McMurray

Craig and Jan Mendenhall

Molly Moloney

Brendan and Aileen Monahan

Michael and Libby Moore

Marilyn and Robert Morford

Moss Adams LLP

Mary Alice Muellerleile

Kirsten Murray and Tom Griffith

Russ and Penny Myers

The National Environmental

Education Foundation

Northwest Farm Credit Services

Olson Kundig Architects

Pacific Northwest University

of Health Sciences

Lee and Kay Peterson

Michael and Marilyn Phalen

Dorothy Plath

Swanee Pringle

Rainier Welding Inc.

Doug and Rebecca Ray

Regence BlueCross BlueShield

Bill and Sue Rich

Roy and Leona Nelson


Rob and Joan Sample

Sea Mar Community Health Center

Skone & Connors Produce, Inc.

George and Kathy Smith II

Jim and Marky Smith

Ken and Sharon Smith

RH Smith Distributing

Company Inc.

Robert and Cynthia Stewart

Stokes Lawrence Velikanje Moore

and Shore

Freda Strait

Marvin and Patricia Sundquist

US Bank

Martin and Judy Verbrugge

Jean Walkinshaw

Barry and Janet Warner

Keith and Maureen Watson

Gail Weaver

Western Materials, Inc.

John and Judy Williams

Roger and Michelle Wilson

David Wise and Sharon Prill

Yakima Federal Savings

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital

Zonta Club of Yakima Valley

Founders Club

Brian and Buffy Alegria

AprèsVin Enterprises Inc.

Karen Badgley

Nina Barcenas

John Baule

Jim and Patricia Borst

Lindsay and Jared Boswell

Lane and Judy Brown

The Burrows Little Falls


Janet Castilleja

Ellen Cockrill and Doug Post

Mary and Mark Comer

Martin and Robin Conger

Vannoy and Deborah Culpepper

Linda Dale

Patricia Dougherty and

Milton Won

Dana Dwinell

Mark Farley and Janis Rue

Melissa and Jon Filkowski

James and Sally Fitch

Carole Folsom-Hill and Steve Hill

Jim and Linda Forsythe

Donna and Donald Friedrich

Marcia Valentine Fung

A. Richard and

Mary Beth Gemperle

Pat and Linda Gilmore

Dick and Barbara Golob

Goodman Road Smokeshop

Sally and Mark Griffin

Curt and Teresa Guaglianone

Dayne Hanna

Catherine Hardison

Beverly and Frederick Hartline

Veronica and Cesario Hernandez

Edith M. Higgins

Robert and Patty Johnston

Marjory Kallem

Royal and Kay Keith

Colleen Kent

Curtis and Lois King

Mary Ann Knowles

Douglas and Ramona Lawrence

Ralph and Ann Leber

Jeannine McShane

Timothy Melhorn and

Janet Hanthorn

Steve and Debbie Mitchell

Peter Monahan and Jen Collins

OIC of Washington

Peggy and Rick Ostrander

Diane Patterson

James Petersen

Gail Raiman and Bob Hynes

Ray and Carol Redman

John and Nancy Rossmeissl

Gerardo and Lupita Ruelas

Richard Salomon

David and Joan Sanchez

Gary and Mary Sanford

Tom Scandalis

David Schooler and

Kristen Webb

L.J. and Suzanne Schwaegler

Shamrock Foundation

Morris and Donna Shore

Martha Stadelman

Siri Strom

Dennis and Judy Sweeney

Heritage Champion

Terese and Cesar Abreu

Phillip and Pam Ambrose

John Bartkowski

Barry Bernfeld and Wendy Eider

Angela Bosma

Tom Boyd and Becky Lang-Boyd

Lee and Judith Callarman

Rob and Cheryl Carroll

William Conner

Irma DePrieto

e3 Solutions Inc.

Stuart and Irene Elway

Jim Friesz and Janet Arbogast

Damiñon Garza

David and Cynthia Hargreaves

Ideal Lumber & Hardware

Supply Inc.

Charles and Kathleen Jones

David and Kathy LaRiviere

Jeanne Marie Lee

Virginia Leland

Wilfrid and Patricia Loeken

Bruce Lyman and

Valerie Woerner

J. R. Manning

Michelle May

Corrine McGuigan

Jane Miller

John Moran

Dan and Carol Newhouse

Marina Rose Parisi, snjm

R. Anderson Pew

Robert and Virginia Rausch

Kathleen Ross, snjm

Dolores Santha

Jack and Diane Schuster

Fr. John Shaw

Katie-Beth Shinn

Kazuhiro and Cherie Sonoda

William Steele

Jason and Cathy Sterbenz

Carrie Story

Delma Tayer

Jeffrey Thompson

Michael Thorner

Jack and Vi Topper

George and Mavis Velikanje

Alejandra Vera

John and Paula Vornbrock

Friends of Heritage


Janet Aaberg

Idalia Aguillon

Marcia Alberti

Magnus Altmayer

Pamela Alvarado

Alicia Anaya

Grace Anderson

Howard and Sharon Anderson

Sarah Augustine

Jack and Dorothy Babcock

Wil K. Badonie

Lisa Baldoz

Eileen Balladur

Daniel and Martha Banks

Benjamin Belzer and Anna Enger

Patricia and Peter Bergman

Jeffrey Berry

Diane Bickenheuser

James and Eileen Birge

Michael Bledsoe

Peter Blomquist

Georgia Bonari

Minerva and Eric Bonner

Byron and Enedina Boswell

Dell and Patricia Boswell

Beuna Bowen

James Braden

Catherine and Derek Brandes

Linda Villegas Bremer

William Bretz

Berlena Brock

Marge Brouillet

Rayne Kupa'alanakila DeCoteau

Sr. Kay Burton

Ron and Karen Cameron

Richard and Marilyn Campbell

Dioselina Cardenas

Bruce Carter and Betty Sanders

Sandra Casas

Brandy Castilleja

Miguel Castillo

Madelynne Castle

Lupe Castro

Catholic Charities Housing Services

Catholic Family & Child Services

Constance Chillman

Nancy Chott

Paula Christy

Leonard and Joan* Cockrill

Harold and Penny Coe

Amber Collins

Marie Coyle

Sheila Crowder

Ernesto Cruz

Sandra Dahl

Edwin and Patricia Dalpiaz

Jane and David Davis

F.A. Delgado

Mark and Mary Ann Derr

James and Dixie Devine

Jim Di Julio Trust Fund

Susana Diaz

Shawnta M. DiFalco

Matthew Dixon

Myra Dorsey

Theresa Downey

Vanessa Dunn

Yvonne Ebbelaar

Judith Edwards

El Charrito

Dana Eliason

Bruce Embrey

Leif and Kelliann Ergeson

Annette Evans

Deborah Fay

Deirdre Fennessy

Suzanne Ferguson

Michael and Marnie Finney

Carole Fisher

Patrick Fitzgerald

Myrtle Fitzpatrick

Bernardo Flores III

Charlie and Victoria Flower

Louis Fox

Ron Frank

Lisa and Andre Fresco

Rick and Myra* Gagnier

Graham and Andreana Gamache

Maria Garcia

John and Joanne Gardner

Donald and Jane Gargas

Felix Garza

Kathleen Garza

Mara F. Gaukroger

Teresa E. Gehlen

Win and Margaret Germain

Everett Gibbons

Linnea Glover

Leslie Grace

Teru N. and Richard L. Graves

Ryan and Katie Griffee

Aaron and Emma Grigg

Olivia Gutierrez and

Francisco Vasquez

H.A. Reinhold Foundation

Donald Haley

Jake Hambly

John Hammett

Lyle Hansen

Judith and A. Hargis

Merrilou and Steven Harrison

Mike Hatchimonji

Ronald Haviland

Bill and Bobbie Hawkes

Mike and Ann Hays

Francis and Loretta Healy

Daniel B. Heid

Mr. and Mrs. Shaun O'L. Higgins

Rebecca Hightower

Ann and Ben Hittle

Corey Hodge

Linda Holmes

Mark and Sara Holtzinger

Home Arts Club

Mary and Kasper Hovsepian

Brenda Hubert

Bonnie Hughes

Linda Hunt

B.G. Imler

Rosemarie and Albert Jaenicke

Mary James

Ray and Tucelia James

Kay Jamison

Phyllis Jenkins

Ronald Jennings

Lydia Johnson

Patricia Johnston

Kerry Kabada

Mary Ann Kaczmarski and

Gerald Freedman

Borell and Janet Kirschen

Cheryl Koenig

Janice Kondo

Chuck and Penelope Koreski

Melissa Kotzin

Donald A. Kumpula

Jack and Bonnie Labbee

Stephen Laird

Amanda LaRiviere

Randy LaRiviere

Marc and Jodi Larrabee

Ollie and Ellie Lazare

Joyce Legaz

Myron Levin

Ken* and Betty Lewis

Carol and J. Hamilton Licht

Ellen Linsley

Jean Love

Glenn Duncan and Nancy Luenn

Erica Macias-Tait

Dawn and Roy Magden

James and Jeanne Manning

Michael and Susan Marine

Susan Marine

Cynthia J. Marquez

Colleen Martin

Russell Mazzola

Sonja McDaniel

Elizabeth McKeirnan

Nora McPherson

Alys and Michael Means

Gordon and Lena Meeske

Tap Menard

Alicea L. Mendoza

Ronald Metha

Jean Michels

Sr. Gail Milholland

Claudia Miranda

Thomas and Vicki Mitchell

Raelene Moran

Bruce Mortimer

Janet Muldrow

John Murakami

Marguerite Murphy

Richard and Kathy Myers

V. J. and Patricia Myers

Patti Nagle

Betsy and Paul Nagle-McNaughton

Kandace and Nalyn Nash

Robert Norikane

Lester Novy

Oak Hollow Frames

Helen O'Connor

Pat and Patricia O'Connor

Joyce Okazaki

F. P. and Ann Olsen

Joyce Olsen

Ann Olson

Nina Oman

Bertha Ortega

Omar Ortiz-Garcia

Kathleen Otto

Darryl Parks

Janice Paxton

Clifton and Arlene Peightal

Laura Pendleton

Donna and Michael Perrault

Tom Perry

Erwina Peterson

Dana Phillips

Puchozole Rose Pimomo

Wilma Place

Robert Poukkula

Cristal and Guadalupe Reyes

Maria I. Reyes

Philip Rigdon

R.W. and Maureen Rickard

Jody and Michael Riggin

Rafael and Lynette Rodriguez

Cecelia Romero

Frederick Romero

Raquel Romero

Roman J. Rossmeisl

Edwin Rousculp

John Rusin

Herlinda Ruvalcaba

Alma Sanchez

Lee and Lisa Saude

Mike and Karen Sauer

Beth Schipul

Mary J. Schott

Dustin J. Shattuck

Rev. William Shaw

Judy and Gary Shirley

Don Shute

Kathleen Sifferman

Sisters of the Holy Names-

Durocher House

Bishop Emeritus of Spokane

William Skylstad

Terri Slack

Samuel A. Small

Geneva C. Smiskin

Daryl Smith

Wendall and Jamie Snodgrass

Gwynn Sosa

Splash Express Auto Services

Patrick and Margaret Spurgin

Marian Squeochs

Ed and Joann Stear

Stephanie B. Stetler

Steve Storrar

Bob and Sheila Strode

Studio Equus

Susan Surby

Darci Swanson

Ryoko and Katsumi Taki

Patty Tate

Michael Thelen

Ralph and Kim Thompson

Sheri and Jeff Tonn

William Treacy

Carolyn Treneer

Terrence and Sharon Truhler

Shawn and Megan Tweedy

Roseann Umana

UnTapped, LLC

Jane and Mario Villanueva

Theresa Vitello

Gloria Waddell

Melvin Wagner Jr.

James and Elaine Wallace

Mark and Phyllis Wallace

Gerald and Jane Walton

Robert and Judy Warninger

Jeffrey Weidner

Deanna Whiteside

Kathleen Wills

Paula Wilmoth

Beverly Winterfeld

Timothy Winterfeld

Bill and Billie Woodcock

Cheryl Wrzesinski

Cheryl Young

John Zalewski

Terry and Nancy Ziegler

Our thanks for your honorarium

and memorial gifts

Gifts given in memory of a special individual, family member

or colleague build on the legacy that person created over his

or her lifetime. We’d like to thank everyone who has honored

a loved one with gifts to Heritage University. Your caring and

commitment makes a difference you can be proud of.

For more information on how you can honor someone through

charitable giving, please contact the Office of Advancement at

(509) 865-8587 or

In Memory of

Roberta Allen

Jim and Dee Barnhill

In Honor of John

and Kay Bassett

Reverend Catherine

G. Borchert

In Memory of

Joan Cockrill

Janet Aaberg

Wayne and Marilyn


Eileen Balladur

A. Richard and Mary

Beth Gemperle

John W. Hammett

Virginia S. Hislop

Rosemarie and

Albert Jaenicke

Donna and Michael


Rick and Mary Jo Pinnell

Kip and Lyndia Ramsey

Martha Stadelman

Robert and Judy


In Memory of

George Colby

Renee and Kevin


Goodman Road


Colleen Kent

In Honor of

Virginia S. Hislop

Clifford and Janie Plath

Darci Swanson

In Memory of Sarah

Teru Graves Fitzpatrick

Teru N. and Richard

L. Graves

In Memory of Arlene

McNeil Gomez

Marilyn and

Robert Morford

In Memory of

Vernon Lawrence

Kip and Lyndia Ramsey

In Memory of

Ann Loudon

Colleen Kent

In Memory of

Jane Logan

Gerald and Jane Walton

In Memory of

Trudi Meadowcroft

Dell and Patti Boswell

In Honor of

Marilyn Morford

Eric and Dianna Stewart

In Memory of Marjorie

Matsushita Sperling

Bruce Embrey

Mike Hatchimonji

Kerry Kabada

Janice Kondo

Elaine Kondo-McEwan

and Chaz McEwan

Ellen B. Linsley

John and Sumi


Joyce Okazaki

Joyce Olsen

Ryoko and Katsumi Taki

In Honor of

Kathleen Ross, snjm

Marcia V. Fung




New to the Board

Heritage University welcomes three

Jim Pigott is an

Roy Simms is a

new leaders in business, medicine and

entrepreneur and

pediatrician at

finance to its board of directors. Newly


Yakima Pediatric

Student Receives Prestigious Award at National Science Conference

appointed board members are Karla

Farina, Jim Pigott and Roy Simms.

who started

two successful


Providers, a

Heritage University environmental

science major Daylen Isaac was the

recipient of a CHS Foundation Special

Award for his undergraduate research at

the 2014 American Indian Science and

Engineering Society (AISES) National

Conference in Orlando, FL. His research

investigated the use of biochar to reduce

nitrate in groundwater and improve

soil fertility in the Yakima Valley.

The CHS Foundation is the major giving

entity of CHSS Inc., a farmer-owned

cooperative and a global energy, grains

and foods company. Isaac was chosen

for this award based on the strength of

his agricultural research project, “Utilizing

Biochar to Migrate Nitrate Leaching and

Increase Crop Yields in South Central

Washington State.” He was one of only

seven undergraduate students honored

for their research at the AISES conference,

and he received a cash prize of $1,000.

“Daylen’s work is potentially

groundbreaking and is particularly relevant

to the Yakima Valley,” says Jessica Black,

assistant professor of environmental

sciences at Heritage University. “Heritage

provided the land, which allowed Daylen

to plant and cultivate a one-acre corn field

this past summer for his research project.

How many other undergraduate students

can say they envisioned and then helped

built a university’s first research farm to

address a research question based on his

community’s needs? This prestigious award

recognizes his hard work and innovation.”

Two other students, Eva Carl and

Patrick Feller, also received Environmental

Protection Agency 2014 National

Conference Travel Scholarships in order

to attend AISES. They were recognized

and named during an awards dinner.

Karla Farina

is the CFO of


Inc., in Harrah,

Washington. She

has held the

position since

2011. Prior to that, she was a public

accountant at Moss Adams in Yakima.

She is a certified public accountant

and holds a bachelor’s degree in

accounting from Eastern Washington

University and a master’s degree in

taxation from Golden Gate University,

San Francisco. Along with her service to

Heritage, Farina is the vice president of

the Capitol Theater board of directors.


a nationally


financial-service company for small- and

medium-sized businesses and Pigott

Enterprises, a private investment firm.

Additionally, he owns and operates

a cattle ranch and is constructing a

planned development in Winthrop,

Washington. He recently retired after

37 years of service as director and

trusted advisor for PACCAR, a company

that was founded by his grandfather.

Pigott has served on numerous

boards including Seattle University,

the Rural Development Institute and

the Corporate Council for the Arts.


Health of Central


clinic. Along with his work caring for

his patients, he contributes time and

energy toward caring for children

who suffer from abuse or neglect. He

serves as a medical consultant for

the Department of Social and Human

Services Children’s Administration and

is a regional medical consultant with

the University of Washington School

of Medicine for abused and neglected

children. Simms trained at the University

of Alabama in Birmingham School of

Medicine and completed his residency

at the University of Washington,

Seattle Children’s Hospital.

WA Supreme Court at Heritage

Court will soon be in session in

Heritage’s Smith Family Hall. In March,

the Washington State Supreme Court is

traveling to Heritage University to hear

three cases. The unconventional location

is part of the court’s educational outreach

and a way to increase public access to

prcedent-setting legal proceedings.

“This is a great opportunity for our

students and the community at large,”

said Kimberly Bellamy-Thompson,

assistant professor of criminal justice.

“The state Supreme Court’s rulings and

interpretations of our laws have real

ramifications for our judicial system.”

During the court’s time at Heritage,

the judges will hear legal arguments for

three cases. In Supreme Court hearings,

no witnesses are

called. Instead,

attorneys argue the

legal issues and

decide cases based

on facts developed

during hearings in

trial courts. Each side of the argument

is given 20 minutes to present its

case. These sessions are typically held

at the Temple of Justice in Olympia,

Washington, but several times a year

the court travels to other locations

throughout Washington to hold sessions,

which are open for public hearing.

The Supreme Court will be in session

at Heritage on Tuesday, March 17. Two

hearings are set for the morning, starting

at 9:00 a.m., and a third in the afternoon

at 1:30 p.m. Additionally, members of

the court will be participating in an open

forum on Monday, March 16, starting at

1:00 p.m. While the events are free and

open to the public, space is limited. For

more information, call (509) 865-3202.

Heritage University Featured in Nationally Aired NPR Documentary

Heritage University is one of three U.S. of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in El Paso,

colleges profiled in a National Public Radio Texas, and Amherst College in Amherst,

documentary entitled “The New Face of Massachusetts, are adapting to serve

College.” Produced by American Public these new students. It explains changing

Media, the documentary examines the demographics and explores what

rapidly changing demographic makeup colleges must do to remain engines of

up of college students, revealing that only social mobility.

20 percent of today’s college-goers fit Heritage University President

the stereotype of young, single, full-time John Bassett commented, “With this

students who finish a degree in four years. documentary, American Public Media

Current college students are more likely has done a thorough job of explaining

to be older, working part time, and lowincome

than they were three decades ago. students, and how schools like UTEP and

the changing demographics of college

Many are the first in their families to go to Amherst are evolving to meet the needs


of these students, a mission upon which

“The New Face of College” shows Heritage University was founded and in

how Heritage University, the University which it has vast experience. In many ways

Heritage is the model for other universities

to understand how best to serve the new

student population.”

This past April, APM Producer Samara

Freemark spent a week at Heritage

University and interviewed more than a

dozen students, faculty, administrators and

staff for the documentary. During this time,

Freemark witnessed in action Heritage’s

effort to provide quality higher education

to multicultural people who have been

educationally isolated and who are firstgeneration

college students, and observed

what Heritage is doing to overcome social,

educational and financial barriers to

higher education.



“The opportunity for Heritage University’s

mission and the success we have had in

creating opportunity for the students of

International Women’s

Day Celebration



Students Bring Holiday Cheer to Families in Need

Heritage students brought even more

holiday cheer to the Yakima Valley this

year as they increased the number of

families they serve through the Pantry of

Hope program.

The Pantry of Hope is a campus-wide

student effort led by Heritage’s Enactus

business club and supported by numerous

clubs and other student groups. For seven

months, students secure grants and solicit

donations of food and personal hygiene

items. These donated goods are collected

in December for distribution to Yakima

Valley families in need.

When the program started five years

ago, 100 families received these special

gifts. That number has more than

quadrupled. This year, just days before

Christmas, Heritage students took care

packages to 450 families. Perhaps more

important than the cans of food and frozen

turkeys was the financial literacy tools that

each of these families received. Every

recipient of the food baskets first went

through Enactus’s financial literacy training

to learn how to manage money wisely.

“Our financial literacy meetings were

always filled to capacity with families

wanting to learn how they can best provide

for their loved ones,” says Sagrario Leon,

co-president for Heritage Enactus. “Many

of these families work in the agriculture

industry, and during the winter, ag-related

jobs are scarce. The Pantry of Hope comes

the Yakima Valley is extremely gratifying,”

said David Wise, vice president of

Marketing at Heritage. “Once thought to

be an outlandish dream, Heritage is now

recognized for its leadership in providing

high-quality education to populations that

are talented and deserving, but were too

often unrecognized, or worse, neglected.

The country is filled with students who have

the capacity and tenacity to succeed, but

do not have access to the traditional higher

education system. Heritage provides this

to our students every single day, and we

are pleased to have the opportunity for our

successes to be shared with the country.”

“The New Face of College” aired in 45

media markets across the country, including

seven of the Top 10. The full documentary

and written story are accessible online







at a good time and provides much-needed

help to these families during the holidays.

We as students and members of the

community want to show we care for our

neighbors who are in need.”

After providing charitable gifts totaling

multiple millions of dollars annually

(mostly to support education), Jackie

Bezos, president of the Bezos Family

Foundation and mother of Amazon

founder Jeff Bezos, knows a thing or two

about the impact a single person can

have on the world.

In March, she will be sharing her

insights and telling about the work she

and her family does through their family

foundation. As part of Women 2 Women,

Heritage University's celebration of

International Women's Day.

The event, which is sponsored by

Heritage’s Center for a New Washington,

is a fundraiser to support childcare

scholarships for students.

“Education is a key factor in improving

the lives of women and children,” said

Kay Bassett, director for the Center.

“However, the stress of ‘how can I take

care of my children when I’m at school’

can take its toll and become a barrier

to women trying to earn their college

degree. We want to break down

these barriers.”

The event will take place on Saturday,

March 7, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, in

Smith Family Hall on the Toppenish

Campus. Refreshments will be served.

Tickets are $50 per person with all

proceeds going toward the childcare

scholarship fund. They can be

purchased through the University

bookstore or by calling (509) 823-0450.




Marlena Buchanan (B.A., Psychology) is

a client associate at The Bohoskey Group

at RBC Wealth Management where she

works with client services and compliance

adherence, and provides support for the

financial advisors.


Laura Garcia (B.A., Science) is a public

health technician at Yakima Health District.

Gerardo Gonzalez (B.A., Visual Arts)

earned a master’s degree in architecture

from Washington State University.

Yolanda Maltos (B.A., Business

Administration) is an accounts technician at

Heritage University.


Evan Sylvester (B.S., Clinical Laboratory

Science) earned a master’s degree

in public health and is now a clinical

laboratory supervisor at Virginia Mason

Medical Center in Seattle, Washington.


Tami Simundson (M.I.T., Elementary

Education) earned certification from the

National Board for Professional Teaching

Standards. Simundson teaches fourth

grade at Wiley Elementary School in the

Richland School District.


Laura Aguiar (B.A, Mathematics) was

hired by Heritage University to serve as a

financial aid program coordinator.

Juan Carolos Orozco (B.A., English

Literature) is an author of flash fiction,

extremely short fictional stories that are

sometimes as brief as 300 words or up to

1,000 words. Several of his works were

published in 2014, including four in the

e-book FlashDogs: An Anthology and the

story “Contrails,” which was published in

the literary journal Maudlin House.


Cristal Reyes (B.A., Psychology) is

a registrar staff associate at Heritage


Gabriela Vargas (B.A., Early Childhood

Studies) is working with 13 different Yakima

Valley school districts helping to encourage

kids to go to college through the University

of Washington Gear Up program housed at

Heritage University.

Send your alumni news

and kudos to be included

in future editions of Wings



3240 Fort Road

Toppenish, WA 98948

Nonprofit Org.

U.S. Postage


Yakima, WA

Permit No. 175






Mark your calendar to join us in celebration of the success your

generosity makes possible for Heritage University students.

For more information or to make your reservation, contact

Dana Eliason at (509) 865-0441 or


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