YVC Voice

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Linda Kaminski

President’s Letter | Spring 2024

A single experience can change the trajectory of a student’s education and career plans. That was the case for Chloé Peterson, a Running Start student encouraged by her instructor, Melinda Chiprez, to enroll in one of Yakima Valley College’s Spanish for Heritage Learners courses. The course inspired Chloé to see the language she grew up speaking at home as a valuable tool to help other people in her community, something she’s now doing working in Grandview School District’s special education department.  

Every year, many students share similar experiences of having their eyes opened to new opportunities that their YVC education makes possible. In this, our Spring 2024 edition of YVC Voice magazine, we’re pleased to share a number of these stories, and the faculty and staff members who support students in their journeys.  

We highlight how our Guided Pathways model of academic planning and advising is helping students like aspiring accountant Abraham Guzman to focus their studies and achieve their educational and career goals. Another feature story explores different ways our faculty are working to improve instruction — from fostering opportunities for peer-led tutoring in math classes to strengthening the connections between class assignments and real-world applications.   

Our new edition also profiles some of our outstanding faculty members, including Stacey Gingras, who brings practical knowledge from managing a farm in the Lower Valley to her agriculture classes, and Kyle Ashley, who pairs experience working for a Fortune 500 company with a passion for helping first-generation college students find their way to success in the business world.  

And, finally, we’re pleased to share stories of other new opportunities available to our students. This includes a major remodel of Hopf Union Building designed to make the space more inviting for students to study, hang out, participate in student clubs and get engaged in the Yak community. We also look into a new coding workshop that is introducing our students to skills in increasing demand across STEM disciplines. 

Thank you for reading our Spring 2024 edition. As a member of the YVC community, you are essential to our continued success and together we will continue to ensure that future generations of students will find new opportunities through their experiences here.


Linda Kaminski, Ed.D.