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In Basket I Summer 2024

New members join YVC’s board

This spring YVC announced the appointment of David Morales and Laura Flores to YVC’s Board of Trustees. Morales is a farmworker rights attorney at Northwest Justice Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to combatting injustice, strengthening communities, and protecting human dignity. Flores serves on the Grandview City Council and owns a human resource consulting firm that supports small businesses.

Flores grew up in Prosser, attended the University of Washington, and has served as a member of the Grandview City Council since 2022, working to advance her longstanding efforts to foster community growth, promote economic development and make a positive difference in her community. Her professional background includes more than 20 years of experience in human resources, project management, process improvement, and training and development. Flores served as a human resource manager specializing in training and development at Inspire Development Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting families with young children, before establishing Ignite Consulting, where she assists small business owners in enhancing their technical skills and empowering and supporting leaders to make an impact.

She serves on the board of Main Street Grandview Association and chairs its Promotion Committee. Her community engagement has also included serving on advisory boards at Perry Technical Institute, the board of Yakima SHRM, and chairing the Giving Tree to coordinate holiday gifts for local foster children and families facing domestic violence.

Laura Flores
Laura Flores

“I am honored to join the Yakima Valley College Board of Trustees and eager to support the institution’s mission to empower students and strengthen our communities.” — Laura Flores

David Morales
David Morales

Morales earned his law degree from Columbia Law School and a bachelor’s degree in history from University of California, Berkeley. Since joining the Northwest Justice Project in 2012, he has worked to represent everyday workers in their fight for justice and bring together communities of people affected by systemic issues such as the loss of affordable housing and lack of representation of Latinos on juries in eastern Washington.

He also is a civic leader in the Yakima Valley, volunteering and serving on the boards of non-profit organizations such as Catholic Charities Housing (Central Washington), La Casa Hogar and the Yakima Symphony Orchestra. For ten years, he has contributed weekly on-air to KDNA Spanish language community radio news coverage of political issues concerning the Latino community. Previously, he has served in leadership roles with the Commission on Hispanic Affairs, United Way of Central Washington, Progresso, and the City of Yakima’s Ethics and Equal Rights Committee, and the Truth and Reconciliation Committee.

Morales replaces Neil McClure on the board while Flores replaces Castulo “Cus” Arteaga.

“Like many of our students, I know what is like to grow up in a low-income, immigrant family and be the first person in your family to go to college. It is the resilience and drive of our Yakima Valley students that inspires me to work towards improving YVC.” — David Morales

Peter Udo teaches
Information Technology Instructor Peter Udo lectures during a recent class for BASIT students.

Udo attends cybersecurity class

Information Technology Instructor Peter Udo recently secured a grant to participate in a cybersecurity program.

This program, through Western Academy Support and Training Center, highlighted new developments in cybersecurity that Udo will be able to incorporate in YVC’s Network Security class and help develop a new class on cybersecurity.

“My understanding of new developments in best practices as they relate to cybersecurity means I can impart this knowledge on our students,” says Udo. “Such knowledge and skills will put them in stronger footing for the job market as well as position them to have greater impact in the community.”

YVC community participates in assessment

Several YVC faculty, staff and students recently participated in the 2024 Assessment, Teaching and Learning Conference presented by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. The event highlighted innovative strategies to create positive learning experiences for students, centering student engagement and equity.

Anselma Bautista, a first-generation student at Yakima Valley College pursuing pre-med studies, presented the conference’s opening welcome on May 2 and Cadence Day, a Running Start student at YVC planning to pursue a career in exercise physiology/physical therapy, presented the opening welcome on May 3.

Sessions presented by YVC faculty and staff included “Shaping Program Learning Assessment at Yakima Valley College” by Pharmacy Technology Instructor Stephanie O’Brine and Associate Dean of Institutional Effectiveness Sheila Delquadri. A talk titled “Hands-on Approach to Implementing UDL in Classroom: The PGCS Model” was presented by Chemistry Instructor Emeka Udenze, Counselor Vicente Lopez, English Instructor Julie Swedin and Accessibility Coordinator Cecilia Macias. Lastly, a highlight of YVC’s efforts in STEM titled, “Nine years of growing YVC’s STEM Program” was led by STEM Director Cristy Rasmussen, STEM Navigator Vanessa Tucker, Udenze and Biology Instructor Matthew Loeser.

ACT tour
Trustees from across the state during a tour of YVC's Yakima Campus. Dean of Arts and Sciences Kerrie Cavaness shares highlights in Palmer Martin Hall.

Washington State Association of College Trustees meets at YVC

In May the college hosted the Washington State Association of College Trustees Spring 2024 Conference, with trustees from the state’s 30 community and technical college districts in attendance. One of the event’s featured speakers was YVC Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Management graduate David McKinney, who now serves on the program’s Board of Advisors.

In addition, trustees participated in tours showing off a number of the college’s programs and facilities, including Allied Health programs, the Larson Gallery and annual Department of Visual Arts exhibit, Raymond Hall and the Yakima Campus Tutoring Center, Glenn Anthon Hall, the newly renovated Hopf Union Building, art classes in Palmer Martin Hall, and our veterinary technology and automotive service technology programs.

Story by Stefanie Menard, AA-DTA ’05, communications consultant. Photos by Matt Barton, graphic designer/multimedia content producer and from file.