Women's Empowerment Banner

women students create change

One Edmonds College student recognized the need for women students to be celebrated on campus for their impactful work. Here is Hermione's story of how she advocated and led the establishment of the Women's Empowerment Movement at Edmonds College.


In 2018, I attended the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) and I was one of the two women selected from Edmonds College (EC) by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). At NCCWSL, I was inspired by the way women provided support for one another. Once I returned from the conference, I searched for a similar event on campus, but I could not find any that celebrated and encouraged women at EC. This led me to begin the process of creating an AAUW EC Chapter, however, I could not get this through to approval early enough to host an event. 

Shortly after I got hired to work as an event programmer for the Center for Student Engagement & Leadership (CSEL), I pitched my idea. My supervisor allowed me to share my ideas with the rest of my colleagues, which was not received favorably by everyone initially. The idea was to bring all women together, not just students. 

It was quite difficult to get the program going and I was quite nervous to present the proposal to the committee, but I had to persist until the Women Empowerment Luncheon (WEL) was funded by the student government. Even though the odds did not seem to be in our favor initially, through the help of my colleagues, the committee, and the student government, we made it happen. In 2019, we organized the first event in EC history that recognized women students on campus for academic excellence, community involvement, and overcoming obstacles through the WEL.

Since I participated in NCCWSL, I learned women are wonderful, open-hearted, magnificent, and ebullient non-stop achievers. I am proud to help create a program that provides meaningful connections for women from different areas of studies; encouraging them to celebrate the hard work of one another. I hope this Women Empowerment Movement will continue to showcase how empowering women are at EC.

MESA Student

Hermione speaking at the 2019 Women's Empowerment Luncheon. 
Photo Credit: Mary Ross - AAUW


Because of Hermione's advocacy and hard work, over 30 women students were recognized for academic excellence, community involvement, and overcoming obstacles in 2019. For many, this was the first time they had been recognized and celebrated. The Women's Empowerment Movement will continue and many more women students will be celebrated for their impactful work. Thank you Hermione for creating positive change at Edmonds College!  #BlackExcellence







Dr. SinghLast year, we celebrated the inaugural Women’s Empowerment Event in recognition of our female students who have demonstrated academic excellence and community involvement, and overcome obstacles to their education. This was the first event in Edmonds College history that recognized the impactful work that women students are doing across campus.

I am proud to see this tradition continue for a second year and to honor this year’s awardees who have impressed us with their commitment to not only their educational journey but also to being leaders in our campus and broader communities. More than half of our students are women, and we know that many are working, some are taking care of families – all while going to school. Women have also been disproportionately impacted both economically and in health outcomes due to COVID-19. During this time, many have worked harder than ever before to stay in school.

The Women Empowerment awards serve as an acknowledgment of the hard work, long hours, and dedication that the women students of our campus community have put in to pursue an education and a better life and community. Please join me in celebrating their accomplishments and contributions. 


Dr. Amit B. Singh

Edmonds College President








The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is a community that breaks through education and economic barriers so that all women have a fair chance. AAUW's mission is to advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy with values of integrity, inclusion, and intersectionality.

AAUW - the Edmonds SnoKing Branch has played an integral role in supporting the Women's Empowerment Event at Edmonds College. Leaders have come together to support the recognition of women on campus. AAUW also partners with Edmonds College through Expanding Your Horizons, selecting students to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL), and through being an AAUW college partner. 

  Learn More About AAUW Here






Staff and faculty from across campus, divisions, and departments nominated women students for academic excellence, community involvement, and overcoming obstacles. 27 women students are honored with a Women's Empowerment Award. These women are truly inspirational. We are thankful we have had the opportunity to have these women at Edmonds College and thank each one of them for their work. Below are some Women's Empowerment Award features.  



Student Picture


I have known Brenda through her work as the Associated Students Executive Officer for Administration. In this role, she is the primary spokesperson for the Association and the Executive Board. What became apparent to me from the time we began working together is the passion she has for representing students and their needs and concerns. She is a "fighter" and works hard to correct and make right what she believe are processes, systems, or people that stand in the way of doing the right thing. She works hard both academically and in representing students at the highest levels of the college. She takes little credit for the work she does and makes sure all are involved in the decision making process. She is an advocate for those that cannot advocate for themselves. She is compassionate and understands the challenges that students face in completing their academic goals at Edmonds College and beyond. She is a role model to the Executive Board team and myself. She has my highest respect and admiration for the work she has done and will continue to do, well beyond Edmonds College.

Nominated by Wayne
Center for Student Engagement and Leadership


Student Picture


I currently serve as Simone's supervisor. She currently serves as our Service Learning Student Programmer. In this role, she has been and continues to be passionate about developing service learning and community engagement opportunities to students. She has done this by collaborating with campus departments, faculty, staff, students, and community partners all over the spectrum. She continually seeks projects that highlight social justice, equity and inclusion. She seeks out meaningful opportunities that enrich our campus. I nominated Simone not only for community involvement but for her academic excellence all while raising a family on her own. Simone is very dedicated to her studies and maintains a 4.0 cumulative GPA. In addition, she has chosen a degree program that I believe highlights her commitment to giving back to her community. Simone has really found a community here at Edmonds College and I know for certain after she graduates, she would like nothing better than to continue to work for the college serving our students and helping them navigate their own obstacles as they seek their own academic goals.

Nominated by Stewart
Center for Student Engagement and Leadership



Green Line


Brenda has made major contributions to EC serving as the Associated Students Executive Officer for Administration by ensuring that all student voices are being heard. Some of Brenda's major contributions to campus has been organizing Safe Space Chats for students in support of Black Lives Matter, helping secure funding for scholarships and the new STEM and Nursing building, advocating for Services and Activities Fees to be equitably distributed, and speaking with policy makers in Olympia. #BlackExcellence


Green Line



Student Picture


Kalei came to Edmonds College from Hawaii to work towards her AA degree and play for the women's basketball team. How far she has come is remarkable. Her humble selfless attitude was a driving force for the team this year. This year as a sophomore she has maintained a 3.52 GPA while leading by example. She has demonstrated a desire to help the community, whether by volunteering to help with the Special Olympics, or leading a youth basketball clinic. Kalei recently signed with Douglas College and will continue her academic and athletic journey towards her Bachelor's Degree in Criminology. She has a strong spirited personality, and we think, is a poster child for Women's Empowerment.

Nominated By Spencer and Nick
Student Picture


Taylor came to us with a keen desire to overcome her earlier struggles in school, with the goal of becoming an engineer from the get go. She took a couple pre-college classes and has taken advantage of about every program or service that she can. She has been active in RiSE, MESA, Society of Women Engineers club, numerous outreach events in our local area and is currently an engineering mentor, helping other engineering students. She has willingly been filmed in our engineering outreach videos and has put in countless volunteer hours helping others. There is no doubt in my mind that she will continue to make a difference in the world. She is a shining example of a student who kept her eye on the prize and is well on her way to getting there.

Nominated By Su
Student Picture


Zoe is a super woman. She is a proud veteran, daughter, loving girlfriend, hardworking career center employee, musician, world traveler and super IT student. At a young age Zoe has seen and done a lot. She is full of life and extremely curious and adventurous; hence, her interest in anthropology. Zoe is extremely helpful to everyone walking into the career center. Her passion for her peers in the IT world and especially her fello musicians is apparent in the way she consistently provides her peers with information on financial and other support. For most of her college life she has performed as a tutor in various subject matters. She is a true student advocate.

Nominated By Ronee
Career Action Center


During her time at Edmonds College, Brie has been an integral and transformative part of our engineering community. As a founding member of the Edmonds Rocketry Club she has been instrumental in growing this organization from a few interested students to a regional presence. She has played prominent rolls in: using rocketry as an outreach tool to area schools, securing program status and funding for the Rocketry Program with CSEL, founding the Edmonds competition rocket team Dynamo, developing Edmonds' NAR Rocket Certification Pipeline, attending high power rocketry launches, marketing Edmonds engineering, participating in promotional videos, starring in the new Edmonds Rocket Therapy podcast.

Brie has also been the Engineering department Student Laboratory Technician for two years. Among her accomplishments: Brie created a barcode checkout system for engineering equipment so that it could be borrowed by students. She overhauled all engineering engines, harvesting useful parts from scrap engines, and created a parts inventory and storage system. She holds office hours during engineering graphics courses to help students one on one with learning the software. She maintains and runs the department 3D printers and holds office hours to help students get started and printing for their projects. 

Brie will be moving on to Washington State University in the Fall where she will continue 

her studies to earn an engineering degree. We wish her the best, and thank her for all her important contributions to the engineering community at Edmonds College.

Nominated by Will
Engineering Department



Student Picture


Sumiayaa is a student who has survived challenging life experiences to enroll in our EdCAP program to finish her GED and pursue a degree in nursing. I first met Sumiayaa when she was a student in my English Prep class the Winter of 2019. The text we used for the course is Things That Make White People Uncomfortable written by Michael Bennett. It is a memoir about how risky and dangerous and yet necessary it is to stand up for racial, gender, and socioeconomic justice.

Sumiayaa was an outspoken and articulate student who challenged her classmates to think beyond themselves to consider other perspectives. I remember thinking this student in a precollege English course was so sophisticated in her formulation of arguments that she could be in a graduate school seminar.

Sumiayaa and another student asked if it was okay if they missed class for one day mid-Winter quarter. When I asked why, she said that there was an African American man who was due to be executed in Texas on very questionable evidence and without proper appeals, and she felt strongly about attending a demonstration on his behalf. Sumiayaa has no fear about standing up for what she believes is right.

This spring I met up with Sumiayaa again as her instructor for HSC 055, a support course for students taking Allied Health 110, Human Body: Structure and Function, a course almost overwhelming in its expectations of what students can memorize about the human body in ten short weeks.

I hear from Sumiayaa’s adviser that she is studying 10 hours per day, and it shows, with a current perfect course grade.

Nominated By Lisa, Larry, and Clay
PreCollege, ENGLP, and HSC


Student Picture


Simply put, Sisson has been an inspiring role model at Edmonds College since Fall 2019. I have had the pleasure of getting to know her through two classes I taught in Fall and Winter, in which she was enrolled, in both classes she worked harder than maybe any other student I have taught in precollege math in my 22 years of experience. More to the point, she has overcome various personal challenges to be an Edmonds College student. None of these life challenges have dampened her spirits one bit. Not only does she invest 125% of her energy in what she studies, she actively seeks to help people around her whenever possible. I have personally watched her reach out and support struggling students of all backgrounds, ages, and creeds. She celebrates diversity with her every compassionate act and has a true social justice moral compass that guides her thinking and actions. I cannot laud her enough. As soon as I saw this nomination opportunity, I could not conceive of a more deserving candidate than Sisson!

Nominated By David

Precollege Education, High School Completion

Student Picture


Alona immigrated from the Ukraine and began studying accounting at Edmonds College where she is scheduled to graduate this year. In the Spring of 2019 she received a federal work-study award and was hired as a library assistant. While excelling in her standard job duties, Alona took on increased responsibilities during a period when her manager was out on extended medical leave. During this time she played a crucial role in helping the Library maintain excellent service to our students through her natural ability to quickly adapt to changing needs. Additionally, Alona was immensely helpful in her ability to leverage her accounting background to quality check library debts by consolidating fines and purging duplicative entries. Alongside her academic and professional excellence, Alona interns with United Way where she helps members of the community file their taxes.

Nominated By Charly

Student Picture


Vanessa is one of the most driven MESA students I have seen. She works, serves as an Engineering Peer Mentor, volunteers, participated in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) club, conducted artificial intelligence (AI) research, and succeeds academically. Vanessa is a returning student and she came to Edmonds College with one goal in mind: to be able to transfer into a computer science program to create AI that enhances human life, such as brain implants that can cure paralysis. This Fall, Vanessa will be transferring to the University of Washington Computer Science program to do just that and we are so proud of her!

Nominated by Holly
Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement

Green Line


MESA Student Research Poster

Vanessa's research project on the Aerodynamic Characteristics in the Development of a Supervisory Program with Deterministic Algorithms for a Predictive Trajectory Model.
Green Line


Patricia returned to school to improve her skills after a job lay off. She is a fantastic, participatory student, and excellent at incorporating the project management skills she is learning even before getting that next career job. She is a volunteer at the Mountaineers, currently working on putting their courses online. She is helping people explore, learn, and conserve while still in school, hunkering down, and soon looking for a job. Patricia is a wonderful, engaged person who is soon to be part of the Edmonds College alumni, who will carry that with her. Patricia embodies an empowered woman, empowering others! 

Nominated by Claudia 
Business Management




We also want to recognize that there are many more women at Edmonds College that are making a positive impact on and off campus. We would like to thank each woman student for their impactful work!   







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