WAVE Scholarship awarded to three

Written by: Tabitha Hanrion
Three high-performing Career and Technical Education BCC students are the recipients of Washington Award for Vocational Excellence (WAVE) scholarships, provided by the state Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board. Tess McMillan, Todd Merkley, and Tracie Wells, will receive grants, which will pay their undergraduate tuition for two years. If the student’s tuition is being paid through other means, the WAVE scholarship can be used to pay for other educational expenses, such as books, supplies, or transportation. McMillan, a .NET Programming and Web Development student, intends to continue studying at BCC, using the scholarship to further increase her skills set. McMillan said she was, “blown away by the quality of the instruction at BCC,” and credited much of her success to Information Technology instructor, Marcia Williams. Nuclear Medicine Technology student, Merkley, will also continue his studies at BCC. Merkley is a resident of Richland, Wash. and is taking classes via video conferencing. Merkley also received his bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Washington State University. The Washington State Legislature created the WAVE scholarship award in 1984. Since its inception, more than 3,000 students have taken advantage of the opportunities the scholarship provides. BCC’s WAVE Scholars had to take part in a rigorous application process. McMillan estimates that she spent over 30 hours putting together her application, which included several essays. WAVE Scholars must maintain a 3.0 grade point average to continue receiving the award. McMillan and Merkley both cited their instructors as important sources of information and support during the application process. The WAVE award application includes a section for the instructor to complete. McMillan noted that a great deal of collaborative effort between the student and the instructor was needed during the application process. Kyra Olson became BCC’s WAVE Coordinator in January. Olson noted that she was very lucky to be starting her new position by “delivering such great news to outstanding students.” After leaving BCC, McMillan intends to work as an independent consultant. Merkley plans to continue in nuclear medicine after he graduates in 2009. ? ?