LWIT Students Win All-Washington Academic Team Scholarships

April  4, 2012

Contact: Jen Boyer, Media Relations
Lake Washington Institute of Technology


Kirkland, Wash.: Two Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWIT) students received scholarships at the All-Washington Academic Team competition in March, with one student, Elizabeth Valdez, receiving the prestigious Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar award.

Both Valdez and Julia Bell were chosen by LWIT to represent the college at the competition in recognition of their academic performance and community service.

Valdez was named the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Bronze Scholar, receiving a $1,000 scholarship and bronze medallion from Phi Theta Kappa, a national honor society for community college students. She placed third out of 66 participating students and her name will appear in the April 23rd edition of USA Today.

Valdez also won the $1,000 Trustees Association of Community and Technical Colleges (TACTC) scholarship. Sponsored by the TACTC, this scholarship went to the state's second, third, and fourth ranking students.

As members of the All-Washington team, Valdez and Bell each received $750 scholarships, for a total of $2,750 for Valdez. Both have been nominated to participate on the All-USA Academic Team and Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team. Students chosen for those teams will be announced by Phi Theta Kappa later this month.

"This has been an outstanding honor for me," Valdez says. "Now that I hold an AAS degree from LWIT, these scholarships, and a part-time job as a personal trainer will go a long way to help me afford PLU, something I couldn't easily do without this kind of help."

A single mother of four grown children, Valdez maintained a 3.99 GPA in her Fitness Specialist/Personal Trainer education at LWIT. She is transferring to Pacific Lutheran University in the fall where she will ultimately pursue a Master's in Public Health. Valdez lives in Issaquah, Wash.

An emigrant from Tadjikistan, Bell is pursuing a pre-nursing degree at LWIT with plans to transfer to a four-year university in pursuit of a Ph.D. in Nursing Practice. Her goal is to work as a nurse practitioner in service to low income populations. Bell lives in Bellevue.

Valdez and Bell, as well as honorees from the state's 34 other community and technical colleges were recently recognized by a ceremony in Olympia, where Governor Gregoire gave the keynote address.

For more information on the All-Washington Academic Team and scholarships, please contact Kellie Purce Braseth at kbraseth@spscc.ctc.edu or (360) 596-5214. For information on the All-USA and Coca-Cola teams, contact Heather Allen of Phi Theta Kappa at allenhl@ptk.org or (601) 987-5741.

L-R, LWIT Vice President of Instruction and Student Services Dennis Long, Julia Bell, and Washington Governor Christine Gregoire. L-R, LWIT Vice President of Instruction and Student Services Dennis Long, Elizabeth Valdez, and Washington Governor Christine Gregoire.


Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWIT) is a broad-based polytechnic college offering instruction in 36 areas of instruction toward a spectrum of more than 100 bachelor and associate level degrees and certificates designed to give students the latest cutting edge skills relevant to today's workplace. Founded in 1949, LWIT offers hands-on, real-world training in manufacturing, transportation, energy, business, allied health, computer and information systems, food and hospitality, and health and fitness. For information and news about LWIT programs, please visit lwtech.edu/press_room.