Two Edmonds College students recognized on All-Washington Academic Team

All-Washington Academic Team members Emily Hall, left, and Byeolah Kwon.

Edmonds College students Emily Hall and Byeolah Kwon will be honored as members of the 2022 All-Washington (All-WA) Academic Team during a virtual ceremony on May 12 at noon. Phi Theta Kappa, an honor society serving two-year colleges, selects team members based on their academic achievements and community service each year.

“Both Byeolah, a computer science major, and Emily, a botany and horticulture major, have excelled academically and found ways to contribute to the campus community during the pandemic,” said Edmonds College Interim Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences Dr. Robin Datta. “Both have overcome significant challenges to be here, and it is wonderful to see their hard work, dedication, and desire to contribute rewarded.”

South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) invites the entire state of Washington to the 26th annual All-Washington (All-WA) Academic Team Ceremony. The ceremony will honor students from the state’s 34 community and technical colleges. It will be hosted virtually on SPSCC’s YouTube channel and the college’s All-WA web page.

This year’s team of 80 students will receive a KeyBank scholarship and All-WA recognition at the ceremony. Other special scholarships awarded at the ceremony include the Washington State Employees Credit Union (WSECU) Top 16, the Association of College Trustees scholarships, the New Century Transfer and Workforce scholarships, the Coca-Cola Academic Team scholarship, and more.

“Emily and Byeolah are very deserving members of the All-Washington Academic Team,” said Edmonds College President Dr. Amit B. Singh. “They are both outstanding in the classroom and difference-makers in the community. We are excited to celebrate them on Thursday.”

About the scholars:

Emily Hall co-leads the Green Team on campus in organizing environmental and sustainability events. Additionally, she served 300 hours in the AmeriCorps College Support Services program. As part of her hours, she volunteered at the Triton Food Pantry, where she spearheaded a project that successfully improved the pantry’s distribution of food and overall operations.

Hall is passionate about botany and wants to create sustainable agriculture that can help combat food deserts while educating communities about food production. She is studying agricultural science at Edmonds College, maintains a 3.85 GPA, and hopes to transfer to Evergreen State College after earning her associate degree. Hall was recognized in April as one of two President’s Student Civic Leadership Award recipients for Edmonds College.

“I have learned a lot of lessons throughout my life and have grown to understand that I can create a better future for myself despite the past,” Hall said. “The biggest key to doing so is knowing that the aspiration can only come from within myself. I want to be the best version of myself that I can be, and exploring that through education has been validating that it is worth it to invest in myself. I am the only one who can make myself better, and I am committed to doing that every day.”

Byeolah Kwon is an international student from South Korea studying computer science. During her high school years, she suffered a debilitating back injury that stopped her from attending school in person. Forced to learn from her bed using tablets and phones, she appreciated how much technology enabled her to continue learning.

“Because I was not very mobile and even sitting was difficult, I had to rely heavily on technology to study, especially online information sources and helpful apps,” Byeolah said. “A portable tablet that held a world of information to access with my fingertips was what allowed me to continue my studies. In recognizing how much technology had helped me, I decided that I wanted to study computer science.”

Byeolah, who helped lead the Edmonds College Phi Tau Kappa chapter during the pandemic, recognized gender inequities in tech early on and aspires to raise awareness for an equal environment for women pursuing computer science. Byeolah is already on the next step of her academic journey, as she enrolled at Columbia University in New York this spring. Her goal is to use her bachelor’s degree in computer science to be a female role model for young scientists and engineers.

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