Campus, Student Spotlight, Students of Clark

Meet Noteworthy Clark Graduates Before Commencement

As of May 27, just over 500 students applied for Clark’s 2022 graduation ceremony. To highlight this year’s outstanding and diverse group of graduates, The Indy sat down with a graphic design artist, the ASCC president, a mother and a video gaming aficionado; four Clark students all receiving their associate degrees June 16.

Angelia Rossberg

Angelia Rossberg, Clark student and graphic design artist. (Photo by Sean Campbell/The Indy)

Angelia Rossberg graduates in June with her associate degree in fine arts – a big step, considering that a college degree was the furthest thing from her mind back in 2018. Originally, Rossberg’s only goal was to finish her high school diploma through Clark’s diploma program for adults over 21.

“That High School+ program and the instructors in there were the reason I felt like I could do it, which was pretty cool,” Rossberg said about making the decision to continue at Clark after receiving her diploma. “I had a really good experience in that program.”

Rossberg recalls taking the first art class towards her degree and finding inspiration through Michelle Ramin, an art professor and director of Clark’s Archer Gallery, who brought art to life in new and exciting ways for her and others in the class.

Rossberg also spent time working for tutoring services, noting that her studies proved challenging when Clark’s classes moved online in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It really made me realize how much I was not that type of learner,” Rossberg said. “It was hard at times and I wish that I didn’t have a lot of my degree online, but there’s also a level of satisfaction knowing that I did it anyways.”

After graduation, Rossberg is joining Clark’s Community and Continuing Education Team as a program assistant full-time.

“My whole experience at Clark has been really great,” Rossberg said. “I’m actually pretty proud to be graduating from there, especially within the art department.” 

Xander Hawkins 

ASCC president Xander Hawkins, is walking in graduation ceremonies for both Clark College and Mountain View High School this June.

Xander Hawkins, Clark student and ASCC president. (Photo by Sean Campbell/The Indy)

As ASCC President, Hawkins’ favorite memory from his time at Clark is participating in the Savoring Excellence Gala on May 24, which celebrated alumni achievements and the step down of Clark Foundation CEO Lisa Gibert. At his table he had the chance to sit and chat with President Edwards and Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle.

“Two years ago before all of this, I would never have imagined that that’s where I was going to have ended up before I even graduated high school,” said Hawkins.

With one class left in the fall, Hawkins is receiving his direct transfer associate degree from Clark before transferring to Washington State University Vancouver in spring 2023. There he plans to double major in English and history before moving onto law school, with the goal of working in American politics or diplomacy.

“I have to say some of my favorite experiences as a student would be in-person chemistry labs and speeches in public speaking class,” said Xander. “Both of those are exciting and scary.”

Shannon Guo

Shannon Guo, 40, is graduating June 16 with two new tools in her pocket for the future: her associate degree and a deeper understanding of English as a second language.

Clark student Shannon Guo and her six-year-old daughter Skylar. (Photo by Sean Campbell/The Indy)

Guo moved to the United States from China in 2013. Shortly after having her six-year-old daughter, Skylar, she noted that alongside being a mother and wife, she wanted to do something for herself and her personal future.

“I have a twin sister and she lives in California,” Guo said. “She told me, you have to go to find a job or you have to go to school; she said women should be independent. She coached me to go to college to study English.”

Guo started at Clark in 2015 with English as a Second Language classes for adults, then taking Career and Academic Preparation courses before continuing on to finish this year at Clark with both her high school diploma and direct transfer associate’s degree. She looks forward to transferring to Washington State University Vancouver in the fall to study digital art and culture.

“I think I learned one thing,” Guo said. “If you really enjoy your learning process and the professors and classmates, they can help you a lot, and you can get more [out of school].”

Nathaniel Hopper

Self-proclaimed video game and computer coding enthusiast, Nathan Hopper, 18, is graduating from Clark this spring with his associate degree, along with receiving his high school diploma from Brush Prairie High School.

Nathan Hopper, Clark student and video game aficionado. (Photo by Sean Campbell/The Indy)

Hopper uses video games to help cope with his ADHD – something he went undiagnosed with until halfway through 

his second year at Clark. He noted that after treatment and utilizing the college’s resources, the quality of his grades has distinctly improved.

“I had seen all of the information about taking advantage of the resources of Clark in that regard and I was like, ahh I’m too good for this,” Hopper said. “As of this term, it’s definitely been a little eye opening as to what all I have access to as a student of Clark.”

Hopper started at Clark in summer of 2020 before his junior year of high school to complete Clark’s associate in science track 2 program in step with his high school diploma. He’s transferring to University of Portland in the fall to continue studying with the goal of eventually becoming a video game designer.

For future students, Hopper recommends taking advantage of the resources available.

“Don’t let your studies take hold of you. It’s easy to get lost underneath looking at the canvas calendar,” Hopper said. “I think it’s important to take things one step at a time and work through what you can.”

(Featured graphic by Ashley Conjugacion/The Indy)

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