2012 WVC Graduate Awards

Wenatchee Valley College graduation awards

Yolanda Jimenez and Erin Long
Yolanda Jimenez, left, received the WVC President's Medal at
the Wenatchee campus commencement ceremony in June.
She is pictured here with Erin Long, WVC athletic trainer.

The 2012 Wenatchee Valley College President’s Medals, Outstanding Graduate Awards, Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award and Most Supportive Partner Award were announced during the Wenatchee and Omak campus commencement ceremonies in June.

Yolanda Jimenez of East Wenatchee and Sarah Brown of Omak were awarded 2012 WVC President’s Medals for academic achievement and leadership.

Jimenez completed her associate degree in nursing and her associate of arts and sciences degree with a 3.32 grade point average while raising a family of six, working in the WVC Athletic department as a work-study student, and serving as a member of the Student Nurses of Wenatchee Club and Phi Theta Kappa. She has recently been hired to the Central Washington Hospital Internship Program, where she will work as a nursery intern.

One nominator wrote of Jimenez, “She represents WVC with class and honor. Not only did she get her degree, but she did it while raising her large family and showing them that hard work, homework and community service is something that needs to be done and done with style.”

Jimenez was also the recipient of an Outstanding Graduate Award, which is selected by faculty and is based on students’ attitude, leadership and personal development.

Sarah Brown and Jim Richardson
Sarah Brown, left, received the WVC
President's Medal at the Omak campus
commencement ceremony in June. She
is pictured here with WVC President
Jim Richardson.

 Brown completed an associate of arts and sciences degree at the Omak campus with a 3.91 grade point average and plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work. She served on the Associated Students of WVC at Omak student government and helped coordinate the annual community benefit show Jammin’ Against Hunger, which raised over one ton of food for local food banks, and co-coordinated an anti-texting and driving concert that provided safety tips and alternatives to texting while driving.

After her youngest son, Parker, died of cancer two years ago, Brown founded Parker’s Place, a camp designed to help grieving families who have lost a child or sibling. Brown coordinates fundraisers to help send families to the camp.

Victoria Desalvo, who graduated with an associate degree in nursing from the Omak campus, wrote the winning essay nominating her husband James Desalvo for the Most Supportive Partner Award.

Outstanding Graduate Awards were also awarded to Gregory Kowalski of Tacoma, associate of technical science degree in radiologic technology, and Aleina Wachtel of Wenatchee, associate in arts and sciences degree.

Lori J. VanLith, CMA, was announced as the WVC 2012 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. The award recognizes alumni who have made outstanding professional achievements, demonstrated distinguished leadership or provided exceptional service to the college and community.

Before returning to college, VanLith made a career in the hotel and hospitality industry and worked as a restaurant manager and catering director at the Wenatchee Red Lion.

“Though I made a career in hospitality, I felt called to serve others in a different, meaningful way,” she said.

That goal led her to the Wenatchee Valley College Medical Assistant program. While in the program, VanLith helped develop and write the by-laws for the Medical Assistant Student Knights (MASK) club. She served as president of her medical assistant class and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society. In 2006, she graduated at the top of her class.

After graduation VanLith was quickly employed at Wenatchee Valley Medical Center and went on to work in the internal medicine department. She currently works in the clinical research department and serves as lead coordinator for clinical research trials in oncology.

Lori Van Lith and Jim Richardson
Lori VanLith, left, accepted the 2012
WVC Distinguished Alumnus Award.

She has been instrumental in continuing to increase awareness and education for medical assistants. She has been a leader at the local level, helping keep the North Central Washington chapter of the Washington State Society for Medical Assistants active, and currently serves as vice president. She has held many offices at the state level and is also currently serving as vice president of the state association and as delegate to the American Association of Medical Assistants.

“From the first day in class, Lori was a leader,” said Jan Kaiser, WVC Medical Assistant program director. “She is one of the kindest, most dedicated, hard-working students I have ever had. She is a true advocate for her profession, but mostly, has both passion and compassion for her patients and is a true team player.”