42 Students Graduate from EvCC’s Ocean Research College Academy June 13

Press Release

Release Date: June 9, 2014

Contact: Ardi Kveven, Executive Director of the Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA), 425-267-0156 or akveven@everettcc.edu

42 Students Graduate from EvCC’s Ocean Research College Academy June 13

EVERETT, Wash. – Forty-two students from Everett Community College’s Ocean Research College Academy graduate June 13, earning both their associate’s degree and high school diplomas.

ORCA graduation is at 3 p.m. June 13 at the Waterfront Center Blue Heron Room, 1205 Craftsman Way. ORCA graduates will also be recognized at EvCC’s graduation June 13 and at their high school graduations. 

ORCA is an early college academy for high school students, who can earn up to two years of college credit while completing their high school education. Most students graduate with an associate’s degree in addition to a high school diploma.

The program is the only early college academy of its kind in the country. ORCA uses research in the local marine environment as the unifying theme for all academic disciplines. 

This is the ninth ORCA graduating class since the early college academy was founded in 2004. 

“This group of ORCA graduates embraced the vision of ORCA and became active, responsible inquisitive learners. They have completed comprehensive research that resulted in presentations in Arizona at the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative annual conference as well as the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. This work is evidence of their persistence and is also the basis for their success in scholarship awards,” said Ardi Kveven, founder and executive director of the program.\

Independent research conducted by students will be on display at the Possession Sound Student Showcase and Talks June 11  from 2-5pm at the ORCA campus.

This year’s ORCA graduates have earned over $325,000 in scholarships including:

  • Katherine Ball, $10,000 annually from the University of Washington for an oceanography major and $5,000 from the Youth Maritime Training Association
  • Danielle Bernhard, $5,000 to pursue nursing at the University of Washington/Bothell
  • Aiden Bernhardt, $2,000 annually for Architectural Engineering at California Polytechnic State University.
  • Lauren Boggie, $1,500 at Western Washington University for Communication Sciences and Disorders.
  • Danica Buse, 29,000 for an Athletic and Dean’s Scholarship to attend Nova Southeastern University in Florida. She plans to enroll in a streamlined biology major and then in their doctor of osteopathy program.
  • Rebecca Casey, $21,500 annually to Whitworth University as a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship for a pre-veterinary major.
  • Alexis Dittoe, one quarter’s tuition annually to attend the University of Washington and major in biological oceanography.
  • Kaylin Gray, $3000 annually to major in marine biology at Oregon State University
  • CeAnna Heit, $8,000 annually from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Hollings Scholarship to attend Seattle University.
  • Shay King, $13,000 annually for the Honors College at Arizona State University for a double major in Global Politics and Computer Systems Engineering.
  • Adam Maas, $2,000 annually to attend Washington State University for an Actuary Science major.
  • Faith Mayberry, $1,000 from Comcast for a business major at Western Washington University.
  • Pashience Merchant, full tuition annually at Western Washington University for a major in Behavioral Neuroscience. 
  • Hannah McCollum, $17,500 annually to attend Whitworth University for a double major in English and Spanish.
  • Olivia Navarro, $20,000 annually for a nursing major at Seattle Pacific University.
  • Sierra Reed, $4,000 annually at Western Washington University for a Biochemistry major.
  • Emma Reisenauer, $13,000 annually for a double major in education and ecology at Carroll College in Montana.
  • Megan Rickey, $17,000 annually for a biology major at the University of Washington.
  • Holden Roberts, $4,000 annually for the University Achievement Award at Washington State University for engineering.
  • Emly Romeis, $8,400 annually for a Biochemistry major at the University of Montana.
  • Elayna Sams, full tuition annually at Western Washington University for a biology major.
  • Jacob Tavenner, $14,000 annually for a Materials Science/Engineering Major at the Colorado School of Mines.
  • Alexandra Wied, $1,000 from the Youth Maritime Training Association for a biological oceanography major at the University of Washington.

Graduates Listed by Sponsoring High School 

Arlington High School
Shay King
Christian Hauer (Stillaguamish Valley)
Hollie Johnston
Pashience Merchant
Andras Mihaly
Sierra Nicholson
Mayan Shaw
Sarah Simpier
Brandon Smith (Stillaguamish Valley)
Jacob Tavenner

Bothell High School
Annie Thomas

Cascade High School
Danielle Bernhard

Everett High School
Lauren Boggie
Alexis Dittoe
Hannah McCollum
Michelle Raines
Emma Reisenauer
Elayna Sams

Henry M. Jackson High School
Kaylin Gray
Holden Roberts

Kamiak High School
Christine Heisen
Megan Rickey
Erica Tsoi
Roland Upenieks

Marysville Getchell High School
Danica Buse
Emily Kelley

Lake Stevens High School
Katherine Ball
Rebecca Gascoigne (Homelink)
Faith Mayberry
Sierra Reed
Paige Sickles

Lakewood High School
Emily Romeis

Monroe High School 
Rebecca Casey

Northshore Networks: ATTIC
Aiden Bernhardt

Sky Valley Education Center
CeAnna Heit
Jamie Kisela
Olivia Navarro
Alexandra Wied

Stanwood High School
Brandon Reynolds

South Whidbey High School 
Madeleine Jerome 

Sultan High School 
Adam Maas

Seattle Homeschool Network
Chloe Yugawa