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Big Bend Community College Success Stories

Darci Alamos, 2009

Darci Alamos
Moses Lake, Washington
AAS-DTA 2003-2009

How would your life be different if Big Bend Community College wasn’t there when you needed it?

“If Big Bend Community College wasn’t there when I needed it I would not have my Associate in Arts and Science-DTA degree, therefore I would not be able to finish my BA in June 2012 as I am doing now. I would probably still be working in a factory or waiting tables and I obviously wouldn’t have my job as an Office Assistant here at Big Bend Community College. With that said, I am extremely thankful for Big Bend Community College because not only has it given me the education I wanted but it has also given me my career”.

How did Big Bend Community College help you progress in your professional/personal goals?

“Big Bend Community College helped me progress in my professional/personal goals by having the program available that I needed in order to obtain my transfer degree so that I could move on to get my BA. I have also been blessed with my job as an Office Assistant at Big Bend for the last 6 1/2 years”.

Who impacted you at Big Bend Community College (faculty or staff)?

“I have been impacted by so many faculty and staff at Big Bend. While I was working on my AAS I had the opportunity to be lectured my many great faculty.  Everyone of them are awesome and willing to help in any way possible. As for staff, I have been able to work with just about everyone on campus over the past 6 1/2 years and they have all been a pleasure to know. I have to say the ladies in Registration and now my WorkFirst co-workers have had the most impact on me because I have been with them daily. Not only are they my co-workers but they
have become my extended family”.

Additional Comments:

“Thank you Big Bend Community College, all of the faculty and staff!  Without you I would not be who I am today”!

Darci Alamos, Class of 2009

Lori Benavidez, 1988

Lori Benavidez McIntyre
Moses Lake, WA
AAS Accounting 1988

How would your life be different if Big Bend Community College wasn’t there when you needed it?

“I would still be a cashier working in one of the local mini-marts if it were not for the educational opportunities available at Big Bend Community College”.

How did Big Bend Community College help you progress in your professional/personal goals?

“My first degree was an AAS in Accounting. That degree led to 10 years of employment as a bookkeeper for a local parts supply company. Several years later I was able to return to Big Bend Community College to take the courses I needed in order to transfer to Heritage University. Attending Heritage University was only possible for me because of the branch campus they have on the Big Bend Community College campus”.

Who impacted you at Big Bend Community College (faculty or staff)?

“One of the people who had a large impact on my education at Big Bend Community College was Mr. Rex Wilkes. When I started the courses needed to earn my AAS in Accounting I was the first member of my family to attend college and was very uncertain and nervous. Mr. Wilkes was a valued and greatly respected mentor who offered guidance, support, and assistance to me and my classmates.

Additional Comments:

“Big Bend Community College allowed me to get the education needed to improve the quality of my life–first as a bookkeeper and then ultimately in the profession I had dreamed of from childhood–teaching. Happy 50th Anniversary Big Bend Community College!

Lori Benavidez McIntyre, Class of 1988

Donald Benson, 1972

Donald A. Benson
Palmer, AK
Commerical Pilot 1970-1972

How would your life be different if Big Bend Community College wasn’t there when you needed it?

“I was a Commercial Bush Pilot in Alaska for 20 years—I’m sure that would have changed Dec 1, 2011 8:36 PMI was a Commercial Bush Pilot in Alaska for 20 years—I’m sure that would have changed”.

How did Big Bend Community College help you progress in your professional/personal goals?

“After earning my pilots certificates–I paid for my Airframe & Power Plant certificates by flying in the summer time”.

Who impacted you at Big Bend Community College (faculty or staff)?

“Flight Instructors”.

Donald A. Benson, Class of 1972

Jack Gibson, 1991

Jack Gibson
Moses Lake, WA
AA (Computer Science) 1988-1991

How would your life be different if Big Bend Community College wasn’t there when you needed it?

“I would not have had the successful career in Information Technology that I have enjoyed for the last 20 years”.

How did Big Bend Community College help you progress in your professional/personal goals?

“BBCC gave me the tools and the foundation I needed to excel in the field I chose. Without the education, opportunities and support I received from BBCC I would not be where I am now”.

Who impacted you at Big Bend Community College (faculty or staff)?

“There were so many. But I have to give the most credit to Van Jorgensen, head of the computer Science department, who gave me a terrific foundation and the critical thinking skills that have served me so well in my field. Also Janet Hubbard, former BBCC director of Technology, and Denise Yochum, a former Dean, gave me opportunities that directly affected my my growth, continued education and experience and I am grateful to them for the the faith they placed in me”.

Additional Comments:

“Due directly to my Beg Bend education, I have worked in Information Technology management for two international companies, made a comfortable living and have traveled around the country and even to China where my current company has a site with a computer network that I am responsible for. It all began with BBCC”.

Jack Gibson, Class of 1991

Greg Johnson, 1974

Greg Johnson
Dickinson, TX
Associates in Applied Science 1972-1974

How would your life be different if Big Bend Community College wasn’t there when you needed it?

“I would never have gotten to become a NASA astronaut and launch into space without the fundamental flight training I received at BBCC”.

How did Big Bend Community College help you progress in your professional/personal goals?

“I received my Commercial/Instrument/Instrment Instructor and seaplane ratings while I was at BBCC. I also received 2 years of engineering training which I used to transfer to the University of Washington where I completed a BS in Aeronautics and Astronautics”.

Who impacted you at Big Bend Community College (faculty or staff)?

“Del Lamb and Buck Wheat were 2 instructors who helped me get my first aviation ratings. I invited Buck Wheat to my Space Shuttle launch in May 2009″.

Additional Comments:

“My experience at BBCC was memorable and I will forever be indebted to all my academic and aviation instructors. Greg C Johnson (Ray J) NASA Astronaut”.

Greg Johnson, Class of 1974

Terry Kinzel, 1995

Terry Kinzel
Ephrata, Washington
Assosicate in Arts and Science 1995

How would your life be different if Big Bend Community College wasn’t there when you needed it?

“I would probably still be working 3 or 4 part time jobs for barely minimum wage”.

How did Big Bend Community College help you progress in your professional/personal goals?

“I attended Big Bend during my lunch hour for 3 years to get enough classes (one class a quarter) to get my transferable degree. I needed the AA degree to be eligible for a promotion at Head Start. I got the promotion. That promotion gave me the courage to apply for and get my first position at Big Bend, Families that Work Coordinator-temporary. I was put on full time after 6 months after growing the program from $70,000 to $250,000 and 150 students. I also had to commit to obtaining my BA within two years. I completed the BA degree within two years entirely online through Western Washington University. If President Bonaudi had not insisted, I would not be doing what I am doing now. I am forever grateful for that push”.

Who impacted you at Big Bend Community College (faculty or staff)?

“The single most important person at Big Bend when I was a student was Dave Wolfe. I took several classes from him and he was a great instructor. But the most important thing he did was let me challenge English 201. I needed that class to graduate and I was in a hurry because my husband had cancer and was in chemotherapy treatments. His prognosis was very grim and I was afraid I may have to be the sole provider for my family. I felt I was running out of time and I needed the degree to give me a shot at better paying jobs. Mr. Wolfe allowed me to challenge the class and graduate at the end of Spring Quarter instead of the barrier of returning in the fall for that one class. It made all the difference in the professional choices I had from that time on. It allowed me to apply for the job at Big Bend in 1999″.

Terry Kinzel, Class of 1995

Margie Lane, 1991

Margie Lane
Moses Lake, WA
Associate in Arts & Science 1987-1991

How would your life be different if Big Bend Community College wasn’t there when you needed it?

“Would probably not have completed any degree to improve my opportunities for employment”.

How did Big Bend Community College help you progress in your professional/personal goals?

“Provided classed needed to graduate with degree and attend WSU extension program with junior status. Earned bachelor’s degree at WSU”.

Who impacted you at Big Bend Community College (faculty or staff)?

“Stephen Lane, math instructor. Harrell Guard, VP Candy Lacher, Registrar….and super-hero”.

Additional Comments:

“Facult and staff at BBCC are not only knowledgeable, but very pleasant to work with as a student…..I am not biased”.

Margie Lane, Class of 1991

Nichole McCauley, 1996

Nichole McCauley
Spokane, WA
AA 1996

How would your life be different if Big Bend Community College wasn’t there when you needed it?

“I would be more in debt with student loans. Living in my hometown with my parents while I obtained my AA helped to save money. It also helped me experience college life and a bit of freedom while being in familiar surroundings”.

How did Big Bend Community College help you progress in your professional/personal goals?

“It allowed me to transition from high school to college life gradually. Big Bend helped lay the groundwork for my major in Elementary Mathematics. I took many math courses at Big Bend which helped me increase my love for math.  Experienced professors and small class sizes allowed me to get more one-on-one attention regarding class participation and grading/feedback”.

Who impacted you at Big Bend Community College (faculty or staff)?

“I had several Professors who impacted my educational experience and helped me reach educational goals. Specifically, Dr. Andrus who answered my litany of questions always with patience and John Carpenter who never failed to give specific feedback on my papers helping me to improve my written skills. Both encouraged my love for learning and continued growth”.

Additional Comments:

“I had several Professors who impacted my educational experience and helped me reach educational goals. Specifically, Dr. Andrus who answered my litany of questions always with patience and John Carpenter who never failed to give specific feedback on my papers helping me to improve my written skills. Both encouraged my love for learning and continued growth”.

Nichole McCauley, Class of 1996

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