An e-newsletter for friends and alumni of Highline College.

Table of Contents

2015 Distinguished Alumnus
President Honored by Chinese Officials
Welcoming New Alumni
Employees Recognized for Excellence
Alumni Night at Rainier's Game
Free Art Exhibit at MaST Center
Embark on an adventure to Costa Rica!

Calendar of Events

What’s happening? Below is a partial list of upcoming events. Check here for the full schedule.

Sept. 24: New Student Campus Welcome & Resource Fair; 10am-1pm & 5-7pm in Building 8

Sept. 28: First Day of Fall Quarter

Nov. 14: Black & Brown Male Summit

Dec. 16: Save the Date! Annual Alumni Reception

Dec. 17: Argosy Cruise Christmas Ships & MaST Center Open House

Women's Golf Team Comes to Highline

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Highline College will debut a new Women's Golf Team this fall. The Thunderbirds have hired Steve Turcotte as head coach for the new program. Nate Smith, an assistant professional at Twin Lakes Golf & Country Club in Federal Way, will be assistant coach. Twin Lakes will be the home course for the Thunderbird lady golfers.

The team will begin play this fall with entry into two tournaments, with additional tournaments in the spring. Highline will host its first Highline Classic April 10-11, 2016, at Twin Lakes featuring other Northwest Athletic Conference teams made up of men and women from around the Pacific Northwest.

The current roster includes Jasmine Hansgen of Salt Lake City, Utah. Hansgen will also be playing basketball for the college.

If you or someone you know are interested in playing for the new team, contact Steve Turcotte at (206) 240-9029 or Scholarships and work study opportunities are available for athletes.

Donors Hit a Hole-in-One for Highline Athletics

Thank you to all the donors that came out in full force for the annual T-Bird Golf Classic at Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club. Nearly 150 golfers took a swing to support Highline T-Bird Athletics. Be sure to save the date for next year’s tournament on June 17, 2016.

Volunteer with Highline
Stay connected to Highline and get involved on campus by volunteering! Your time and experience make a difference in the lives of students and our community.
Upcoming volunteer opportunities include:
-Greet new students and welcome them to campus at the Highline College Resource & Welcome Fair on Thursday, Sept. 24 from 9:45am-1pm & 4:45-7pm.
-Are you interested in marine life? Volunteer at Highline's Marine Science and Technology Center! There's no experience necessary and all training will be offered onsite.
Email Madison Gridley at to sign-up or for more details.

Foundation Fundraising Breakfast

The annual Foundation Fundraising Breakfast will be held in October this year, moved from its original later winter/early spring date. The exact date will be announced soon. Last year’s event raised more than $5,000 to benefit student scholarships.

Looking for a New Career?

Get free help discovering a new career with Career Coach. This easy-to-use tool helps you find your ideal career by matching your skills and talents. Use it to explore current local data on wages, employment and job postings. You can even use it to build a professional resume. Get started today with Career Coach.

In Memorium

Highline alumna and internationally recognized author Ann Rule passed away at the age of 83. The true-crime writer published 33 books—including “The Stranger Beside Me” about her former co-worker, serial killer Ted Bundy—and more than 1,400 articles in national magazines. Many of her books appeared on bestseller lists and several were made into movies and television miniseries.

Rule came to Highline as a returning student. She studied crime scene investigation, police administration, crime scene photography and arrest, and search and seizure, knowledge she undoubtedly used in her books.

Throughout the 1990s, Rule was an advocate for the college and very giving of her time. She was a guest speaker in classes and held several sold-out lectures to benefit the Highline College Foundation. For her efforts, Rule was named Highline’s Distinguished Alumnus Award winner in 1998.

We extend our sincere condolences to her family.

About This Newsletter

Highline Connections will be published electronically four times a year in February, May, August and November for friends and alumni of Highline. Do you have questions or comments? Email Madison Gridley:

Highline College was founded in 1961 as the first community college in King County. With approximately 16,500 annual students and 350,000 alumni, it is one of the state’s largest institutions of higher education.

DISCLAIMER: Highline College provides equal opportunity in education and employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, creed, religion, or status as a veteran of war. Prohibited sex discrimination includes sexual harassment (unwelcome sexual conduct of various types).

Renowned Educator and Advocate Honored by Highline

Dr. Gene Sharratt has been recognized for his dedication, passion and outstanding contributions to education by Highline College.

Currently Executive Director of the Washington Student Achievement Council, Sharratt was honored as the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus Award winner during the college’s commencement ceremony on June 11 at the ShoWare Center in Kent.

“Dr. Sharratt represents the ideal Highline College graduate,” said Dr. Jack Bermingham, president of Highline. “He has dedicated his life to improving education and fostering student success. He remains an unabashed community college advocate whom we are proud to recognize as the college’s 2015 Distinguished Alumnus.”

Read more about Dr. Sharratt on Highline’s News and Events page.

Top 10 Highlights for 2014–15

At Highline College, the 2014-15 academic year was busy and successful. T-Bird athletes soared, students succeeded and much more. Read all the highlights on Highline’s News and Events page.

President Honored by Chinese Officials 

Highline College’s president, Dr. Jack Bermingham, was recently honored by Mayor Zhu Minyang of Yangzhou, China, as a 2015 Distinguished City Guest. Mayor Zhu’s presentation to Bermingham was shown on Yangzhou television news.

President Bermingham was one of 13 recipients this year and was the only foreign honoree. He will be a guest of honor during the city’s 2500th anniversary celebration this fall. Yangzhou, a city of about five million in Jiangsu Province, is a sister city of Kent.

Read more about his award on Highline’s News and Events page.

Welcome New Highline Alumni 

Article ImageThe end of the 2014–15 academic year finds many Highline students moving to the ranks of Highline alumni. Congratulations to all graduates for your accomplishments.

A few of the new alumni graduated as Honors Scholars. More than 150 students participated in the Honors Program during the 2014–15 academic year. Out of that group, ten students challenged themselves to graduate as Honors Scholars. These students completed at least 35 credits of Honors coursework, all while maintaining a minimum 3.5 GPA. In addition, they showed their dedication to the campus community by serving as club leaders, mentoring students in the scholarship application process and planning events to encourage other students to become Honors Program participants. Each earned a scholarship for their final quarter at Highline and were recognized at Highline’s Commencement ceremonies on June 11.

201415 Honors Scholars:
Amanda Aldrich
Ya-Ching Chang
Tha Dah Hser
Michelle Jensen
Brendan Newell
Rebecca Ring
Moeka Tamura
Khue Tran
Laura Yanez
Olga Zhosyan

Read about these highly motivated students and learn about their future plans on Highline’s News and Events page.

Two Employees Recognized for Professional Excellence 

Lisa Bernhagen and Natasha Burrowes have joined the ranks of honored Highline College employees, named as winners of the college’s two premier employee awards for the 2014–2015 academic year. The awards recognize professional excellence by full-time staff and tenured faculty members as nominated by their peers.

Bernhagen, who teaches English, received the Outstanding Faculty award for her untiring contributions to students, innovation, fellow faculty and the college’s accreditation efforts. A $1,500 cash award provided by the Highline College Foundation accompanies the honor.

Burrowes received the college’s Employee of the Year award and a $1,500 cash gift, also funded by the Highline College Foundation. The award recognizes her outstanding performance and substantial impact at the college. She has worked at Highline since 2003 and serves as Director of Multicultural Affairs & Leadership.

Read about these two remarkable award recipients on Highline’s News and Events page.

T-Birds Flock to Ball Game

Highline T-Birds took over the ballpark for Highline College Night at Cheney Stadium on July 17. Nearly 200 Highline alumni, donors, members of the campus community and their families enjoyed a night out at the Tacoma Rainiers game.
The evening also included a BBQ dinner with Highline friends, new and old, and a spectacular fireworks show. Check out pictures from the night on the Highline Alumni Facebook page. Although the Rainiers didn’t get a win, fun was had by all!

Free Art Exhibit at Highline’s MaST Center

Marine Life Matters: Differently-Abled Artists Painting the Unheard Voices of Marine Life

Now through August 29, 2015

Thurs., 4–7 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.–2 p.m.Article Image

Visit Highline’s Marine Science and Technology (MaST) Center for inspiring artwork by some very inspiring artists.

The pieces, all of which were created by artists with disabilities, highlight the damaging impact of litter and pollution in our world’s waters. The artists channel their unique talents and vision in an effort to motivate others to save our oceans. All of the pieces are for sale and 80 percent of the proceeds will go to the MaST Center to support programs for the public.

Embark on an adventure to Costa Rica! 

Article Image Highline has teamed up with the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce to offer you the incredible opportunity to travel to beautiful Costa Rica! Coordinated through the Chamber, this travel experience provides the comfort and security of exploring other cultures while they take care of the details. The adventure begins February 22 through March 1, 2016.

Click here for additional details or email Madison Gridley at