Walla Walla Community College (WWCC) students Emily Semlink and Dylan DeLange have been selected as All-Washington Scholars, the school announced earlier this month. Both have been nominated to join the Phi Theta Kappa Academic All-USA Team and will participate in the highly esteemed National Scholarship Competition.
Simmelink, of Walla Walla, specializes in education. She is highly driven to succeed, and loves to use her brain to come up with creative solutions to make the world a better place.
“I have good suggestions to make, and I need to be brave enough to speak up when I have ideas, yet humble enough to recognize my mistakes and my shortcomings so that I can learn and become better,” Simmelink said.
Reading, writing, and psychology are all passions for Semelink, evidenced in part by the 86,000-word novel she completed about one year ago. She is a participant in the WWCC Honors Program, through which she maintains a 4.0 grade point average. While her career path has yet to be decided, Simmelink envisions a possible career as an English teacher.
“I want to hear the stories other people write, and I want to create my own,” Simmelink said.
Delange, also from Walla Walla, studies biological and biomedical sciences. She learned the value of education at an early age, and would be the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree. She achieved a 3.97 grade point average and is a member of the college’s honors program. Delange is already planning to pursue a master’s degree in physician assistant studies with the goal of becoming a physician assistant (PA-C) in dermatology, oncology, or obstetrics and gynecology. And Delange may not stop there.
“After obtaining my master’s degree, I would like to obtain a PhD in biology and biomedical sciences, so that I can teach at a university and do medical research,” Delange said.
Service and philanthropy are also of great interest to Delange. She recently organized and promoted a diaper drive to donate diapers, wipes, clothes, toys, bottles, baby food, formula, and other items to the Walla Walla Helpline. She said it was the best part of her year, and now she’s inspired to take it to a whole new level.
“I would really like to either participate in or open a pregnancy center for women in my hometown,” Delange said. “This center will provide women with resources such as counseling and medical insurance information, as well as items needed when the baby is born.”
Both students are recognized as All Washington Scholars and will be honored in a statewide ceremony along with nominees from other colleges. They each receive a scholarship and medal, and are also nominated for their respective Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships. An All Washington Scholar honor can open doors to other scholarships as well.
“Both are excellent students and members of the honors program here at WWCC,” said Staci Simmelink, WWCC Honors Program Chair. “Both have written powerful articles on the importance of education and service, and both would be excellent representatives for WWCC.”
Phi Theta Kappa recognizes the academic achievement of university students and provides opportunities for its members to grow as scholars and leaders. Founded in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa has a presence on nearly 1,300 campuses in 11 countries. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) recognized Phi Theta Kappa as the official honor society of two-year colleges in 1929.
Each applicant was asked to share an essay about one endeavor that has used their college education to improve the community or college, as well as a reference letter. The judges are looking for innovative, creative, original and lasting achievements or undertakings. Students do not need to be a member of Phi Theta Kappa to apply for scholarships.