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Meet the Class of 2017

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June 12, 2017

We are only a few days away from celebrating the class of 2017 at the graduation commencement on June 16, 2017. This year’s crop of successful grads represent the best South Seattle College has to offer. From biochemistry to baking arts, say hello to these extraordinary South graduates, all of whom are ready to take the next steps towards their future careers.

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Name: Emina Cheung 
Age: 21
Hometown: Hong Kong
Degree & area of study at South Seattle College: Associate of Science
Future Plans: Transferring to study Biochemistry

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I started to become fascinated by science after visiting the Hong Kong Science Museum when I was a kid. As I grew up, I decided to further explore the field and major in biochemistry. In the future, I am looking forward to pursuing my career in science.

What did you like the most about being a student at South Seattle College?
As an English language learner, South’s Writing Center has been amazing. I liked bringing my papers into the center, and being able to get a lot of useful feedback from the staff on my work.

What is one of your favorite memories from your time at South?
I have a lot of good memories from my time studying at South, but being the president of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is definitely one of the best memories. It was a great opportunity for me to develop my leadership skills and team building abilities. Also, I expanded my confidence and communication skills through speaking to students across campus and hosting events. 

What is one piece of advice you’d give to an incoming South Seattle College student?
Be involved and stay active! College life is not just about studying, and our school has a lot of fun events and activities which students are always welcome to join in on. Be involved and make your college years unforgettable!

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Name: Youssef Kassim       
Age: 20
Hometown: Cairo, Egypt
Degree & area of study at South Seattle College: Associate of Applied Science in Aviation Maintenance Technology
Future Plans: Transferring to Embrey Riddle Aeronautical University to study Business Aviation Management   

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
The challenges I went through while studying is what inspired me. I like being challenged every time I go through the class material. In Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT), I learn something new every single day when I go to class, and that’s what always made me happy about going to South. My goals after finishing college are to start-up my career as a mechanic or lead mechanic, and maybe begin thinking about starting a family.

What did you like the most about being a student at South Seattle College?
I enjoyed my classmates the most because we normally spent six hours with each other every day, and we had so much fun during class time. I liked the projects that we had to do on daily basis, it was fun working with my own hands and improving my hands-on technical skills.

What is one of your favorite memories from your time at South?
The moment that stands out in my memory is my first day starting the AMT program, and how I felt about the class, instructor and my classmates. It was a really special moment for me to start my first core major class. The other moment is the last day of my AMT classes, where I felt like I would be missing my classmates, instructors and the hangar!

What is one piece of advice you’d give to an incoming South Seattle College student?
Work hard to get through the classes and challenge yourself to do great in them. If you find a class is not working out for you…keep fighting. To be honest, fighting and working hard in my classes helped me achieve better grades in the classes that were challenging for me.

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Name: Erin Vogelpohl
Age: 27
Hometown: White Center, Wash.
Degree & area of study at South Seattle College: Associate of Applied Science in Landscape Horticulture
Future Plans: Opening a landscaping business

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I’ve always loved nature and being outside, so I decided to make it my career! After I finish in just a few short days, I will be opening my own landscaping business so I can make people’s yards look great.

What did you like the most about being a student at South Seattle College?
I loved all my instructors. They could be tough sometimes, but in the long run it was because they knew I could do it! It’s amazing they could push me to do my best.

What is one of your favorite memories from your time at South?
There are lots of memories I’ve made over the years at South, but the best one is yet to come…graduation! I really can’t wait to walk across that stage. It’s been a long time coming, but in the end it’s all worth it.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to an incoming South Seattle College student?
Don’t give up! It’s a long road ahead and there will be many bumps along the way, but in the end you’ll make it to that amazing sunset on the beach.

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Name: Tommy Nguyen       
Age: 18
Hometown: Seattle, Wash.
Degree & area of study at South Seattle College:  Associates of Science in Physics
Future Plans:  Earning a Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Princeton University

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
Having the opportunity to learn physics in Dr. Schoene’s class at South has greatly inspired me to pursue my field of study. Coming from a background with a love for math and science, I hadn’t yet found the subject I absolutely loved despite taking chemistry, biology and computer science. It wasn’t until I got to South’s physics classes and Dr. Schoene’s amazing approach to teaching in the classroom that I knew physics was where I belonged.

After I finish my college career, I plan to head straight into grad school to further my education. While this may seem tedious because of the amount of schooling, I want to eventually become a world-renowned researcher that can solve humanities’ greatest problems. Currently, I am especially interested in the problem of schizophrenia, I hope to study physics (and later computational biology) to one day find a cure.

What did you like the most about being a student at South Seattle College?
What I enjoyed most about studying at South Seattle College was the accessibility of all the instructors on campus. While it is understandable that each professor has their own lives, they all expressed a great deal of effort to help all students learn and succeed at their own pace. Through office hours and questions after class, South’s instructors want you to truly learn!

What is one of your favorite memories from your time at South?
My favorite memory at South has to be from South’s Game Room, where students’ hang out and enjoy recreational activities. It was here that I met my first college friend through a game of ping-pong, we’ve been friends ever since.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to an incoming South Seattle College student?
Don’t be afraid to open yourself up. It is what you do with the opportunities you have that determines who you are. You have to ask questions, make friends and experience experiences. You only have one shot, so why not make the most out of it?

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Name: Sarah Jensen
Age: 22
Hometown: Burien, Wash.
Degree & area of study at South Seattle College: Associate of Applied Science Degree in Pastry & Baking Arts
Future Plans: Starting her career in the pastry/baking industry

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
My childhood inspired me to start baking. I would bake with my aunt as a kid, and my father would watch the food channel all the time. I remember watching with him and being so intrigued with the flavors and presentation. Plus, whenever my dad would talk about food it was always a happy subject, and something to enjoy with family and friends.

What did you like the most about being a student at South Seattle College?
I really enjoyed studying at South Seattle College because the Pastry and Baking Arts program really helped set me up for the real world. You get some one-on-one time, but also some group work and time for trial and error. The pastry lab is full of different types of equipment to give students a chance to learn all areas in the industry. It pushes you to improve your speed and organization, which is what you need in the food industry. Also, I have really great classmates and instructors; always full of enthusiasm, knowledge and encouragement.

What is one of your favorite memories from your time at South?
Honestly, I have so many good memories it’s hard to choose one. All of the good memories I have are laughing with my classmates and instructors in class, at lunch, it didn’t matter where it was, we could always find something to laugh about.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to an incoming South Seattle College student?
Always ask questions. You will never know unless you ask. Use your resources, there are so many resources available but plenty of students don't know what they are, or where to find them, so always ask questions.