Maya Krtalic

Associate in Science

Maya Krtalic knew she wanted to get a head start on her studies so she enrolled in YVC’s Running Start program during her junior year in high school.

The daughter of Croatian immigrants, Krtalic grew up in Yakima, attending West Valley School District. While growing up the family enjoyed frequent trips to Croatia. This summer, Krtalic is earning Croatian citizenship and hopes this is the first step toward studying internationally.

Krtalic enjoyed the college environment and the added variety and challenge that college courses provided.

“YVC provided an inclusive environment much more than what I’d experience in high school,” stated Krtalic. “I liked the variety of courses available to me. I was looking for more rigor than what was available to me at my high school and YVC provided that.”

On campus she served as the secretary of the STEM Club. She also was a member of her high school’s Honor Society and was a founder of the Synergy Club, a club which supports diversity on campus.

She’s thankful to her instructors for helping prepare her to transfer and find future success.

“YVC’s instructors have helped prepare me for the future. It’s a close-knit community with small classes and opportunity to create interpersonal relationships and ask questions of instructors. YVC is blessed with amazing instructors who care about the academic development of students,” stated Krtalic. “I’ve been fortunate to have great instructors across disciplines including Ken Zontek, J.T. Menard and Natalia Dunn.”

Krtalic’s drive stood out to her instructors. She was recently awarded the 2020-2021 Herodotus-Gedosch Award. First given in 1994, this award was created in the spirit of Herodotus, the “Father of History,” and Robert Gedosch, a former YVC history instructor, to recognize exceptional history students. As this year’s award recipient, Krtalic received several books selected by faculty and tailored to her personal interests. Her name will also be included on a plaque that hangs in Glenn Anthon Hall.

She graduated this June with her high school diploma and several credits toward a bachelor’s degree. She was accepted to the University of Washington as a biology major and the University of California, Berkeley, as an integrative biology major. Ultimately, she decided to attend UCLA in the fall and will be majoring in microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics. She hopes to pursue medical school oversees and one day work as an anesthesiologist in Europe.

“YVC has a variety of resources students can take to help enrich themselves,” Krtalic said. Our community has many first-generation families who have unique stories and have made many sacrifices and worked hard to make ends meet. I admire these families and their drive, like my mother’s, have motivated me.”