Four Centralia College students named to All-Washington Academic Team

By The Staff of The Chronicle

Centralia College has named four students to the 2022 All-Washington Academic Team. Each student will receive $500 in scholarships and is eligible for additional transfer scholarships from universities around the state, according to the college.

All members of the All-Washington Academic Team will be officially recognized at a virtual ceremony at noon May 12, accessible online at https://spscc.edu/allwa. In addition, Centralia College representatives will be recognized at the May meeting of the Centralia College Board of Trustees.

The All-Washington Academic Team “has become the showcase for Washington’s community and technical colleges because it honors the highest-achieving academics, individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to succeed in the classroom and in the communities in which they live”, according to a statement on the program’s website.

“This recognition demonstrates the state’s commitment to scholarship and community service from those who attend the state’s public and technical colleges,” the statement said.

Below are brief profiles of each student provided by Centralia College:

Isaac Pope, 18, from Onalaska, has been conducting his own research for years and is already widely published and recognized in professional circles. At age 16, he presented his research on Cascadian volcanic hazards at the annual meeting of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists. He is now co-chair of the association’s communications committee and book review editor for Environmental and Engineering Geoscience. On campus, he is the president of Phi Theta Kappa and a STEM tutor.

In addition to his inclusion on the All-Washington Academic Team, Isaac was one of 20 students nationwide chosen for the All-USA Academic Team. He will receive an additional $5,000 scholarship and be honored at the May 2 national ceremony in New York.

Jordan Neel, 29, of Centralia, dropped out of high school in her senior year due to failures. He never imagined he would approach his college graduation with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Jordan thanks his wife for encouraging him to go back to school and pursue an associate’s degree. Jordan will be the first in his family to graduate from college. He hopes to land a job in the field of information technology in Olympia.

Kevin Thompson, 52, from Chehalis, was a longtime insurance agent before his job was cut by the pandemic. He knew he wanted a fresh start in a new area, which had the potential for stability and growth. He is currently preparing his associate degree in electronics, robotics and automation. He pursued a career as a technician in computer chip manufacturing. In his spare time, he is a volunteer firefighter and paramedic.

Lauren Burnett, 17, from Morton, thinks unlimited energy is part of his superpower: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). She learned to manage her condition with medication and coping strategies, and now she wants to help others. She hopes being open about her disability will help others view their challenges as superpowers as well. When not attending Centralia College in the Running Start program, she is a young life leader in Younglife and an assistant Sunday School teacher. She also helps with a summer cheer camp for elementary school kids.