Distinguished Alumni Award

The 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award nominations are now OPEN!


April 15, 2022

Distinguished Alumni Award Nomination Form


2021 Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Lin Zhou

2021 Distinguished Alumni Award Dr Lin ZhouThe Foundation is pleased to announce Dr. Lin Zhou as the recipient of the 2021 LWTech Foundation Annual Distinguished Alumni Award! We look forward to formally honoring Dr. Zhou at Commencement in Spring 2022.

Dr. Zhou currently serves as the President of Bates Technical College in Tacoma, Washington. She is the first female president of Bates Technical College and the first female Chinese immigrant to serve as president at a public two-year college in Washington state.

Dr. Zhou is a shining example of a successful alumnae mastering English language skills at LWTech and continuing on to achieve numerous educational and professional goals. Dr. Zhou first began as a student in LWTech’s Computer Security Network Technician (CSNT) program in fall 1999. After successfully completing this program, she was hired as an employee in LWTech’s Office of Instruction. In her 11-year stint as a LWTech employee, Dr. Zhou was promoted to progressively responsible positions starting as a Technical Support Aide and rising to Associate Dean of Extended Learning.

An outstanding colleague and advocate for the Washington State Community and Technical College System, Dr. Zhou has a distinguished career in higher education. Prior to serving as President of Bates Technical College, Dr. Zhou’s posts include Vice President of Instruction and Executive Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Student Success, Dean of Instruction, Dean of Continuing Education, Apprenticeship and Child Studies at Bates Technical College, and Associate Dean of Extended Learning, and Director of Branch Campus and Continuing Education at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. In thinking about her journey from an English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) student to a college president, Dr. Zhou shared “I feel like I was re-born at LWTech because I started my life over as a new immigrant, from learning how to speak English to navigating cultural differences. I then grew as a professional at Bates Technical College. The opportunities, trust, and confident people at the two institutions helped shape me as a leader. Without the support from mentors, friends and family, I wouldn't have been able to make it this far. Washington’s Community and Technical Colleges do an amazing job for students like me. I am very humbled and honored to be recognized as a success for our system.”

Dr. Zhou holds a Ph.D. in education, with an emphasis in community college leadership from Oregon State University, a Master’s Degree in business administration from City University in Seattle, an Associate Degree in computer science and networking technology from Lake Washington Institute of Technology, and an Associate Degree in accounting from Renmin University of China. In 2017, Dr. Zhou participated in the Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management, administered by the university’s Graduate School of Education.

In addition to her many educational and professional accomplishments, Dr. Zhou is active in many community organizations including Commissioner on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity of American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Board of Trustee for American Technical Education Association, City Club of Tacoma, College Spark of Washington Board of Directors, Workforce Central Board, Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee Board, Washington State Adult Education Advisory Council, and the National Asian Pacific Islander Council Board.

Congratulations to Dr. Lin Zhou on this distinguished honor.

About the Distinguished Alumni Award

Established by the Lake Washington Institute of Technology's (LWTech) Office of the President in 2013, this is the highest honor the institution can bestow upon an alumnus in recognition of professional accomplishments as well as service to the college and/or the community.

The winners of this award exhibit the qualities of community and professional leadership that are symbolic of the mission of LWTech. They promote excellence, inspire others to reach their potential, encourage personal growth, and promote the enrichment of life through education and community service.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to an individual who exemplifies at least one of the two following criteria:

  • Has achieved success in their business, profession, military, or other vocational endeavors
  • Has achieved success in their community, civic and/or volunteer activities

A distinguished alumnus is selected each spring from nominations received from the community. Each year's award recipient is honored at the LWTech Commencement ceremony held in June.

To be eligible for this prestigious award, nominees must have earned a minimum of 15 quarter credits from LWTech. Additionally, winners will be selected based upon notable achievement in his/her career, military or vocational field, outstanding service to the community and/or LWTech, and inspirational impact.

Past Winners