WSU Vancouver’s Women of Distinction honors women who make a difference for others

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 1:00pm -- brenda_alling

Sherri BennettVANCOUVER, Wash. – Washington State University Vancouver will celebrate women who have made a difference for others at its annual Women of Distinction event. The celebration and reception take place from 6 to 8 p.m. March 30 at Firstenburg Student Commons. The event is free and open to all registered guests. To RSVP and get a parking permit, visit

The keynote speaker is Sherri Bennett, executive director of the YWCA Clark County, where she has held a variety of roles over the past 19 years. She will talk about her personal story and the inspiration she feels in working with an organization whose mission—to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all—reflects her personal values. She is a graduate of Clark College and Western Washington University as well as a graduate of Leadership Clark County.

All 47 nominees will be recognized for inspiring, mentoring and empowering others. Distinguished Woman awards will be announced in three categories—high school student, WSU Vancouver student and community member. The recipients are selected by community and WSU Vancouver representatives.


The 2017 honorees are:

High School Students

Sophie Carlson, a senior at Union High School

Emily Forrette, a senior at Union High School


WSU Vancouver Students

Samantha Bondurant, a freshman majoring in elementary education

Anna Boneski, a senior in public affairs with a focus on justice studies

Eli Campbell, a senior majoring in digital technology and culture

Allison de Vincenzi, a doctoral student in mathematics and science education

Amanda Flynn, a senior in English

Savanna Ford, a senior majoring in psychology

Sierra Hancock, a senior majoring in psychology

Justine Hanrahan, a senior with a double major in digital technology and culture, and anthropology

Audrey Hickok, a senior majoring in psychology and human development

Diana Larson, senior majoring in human development

Stefani Mammenga, a graduate student in prevention science

Julie Mercado, a senior studying psychology

Victoria Moon, a senior pursuing a double major in social sciences and fine arts

Andrea Olvera, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering

Christine Record, a junior studying human development

Samy Reel, a senior majoring in English and student body vice president

Honor Stevenson, a senior business administration major with a focus on marketing

Holly Ta, a sophomore majoring in business administration

Skye Troy, a senior majoring in public affairs and president of the student body

Maria Tunno, junior studying environmental science

Holly Varner, a junior majoring in social sciences

Stevi Warner, a senior studying human resources and human development


Community Members

Katie Archer, a licensed attorney and owner of Archer Public Affairs

Hope Baker, an employment specialist at WorkSource and co-founder of Vida’s Ark

Elizabeth Candello, a clinical assistant professor of communication at WSU Vancouver and founder of Aisle 10

Susan Edwards, a retired corporate trainer and mentor with WSU Vancouver’s Business Growth Mentor & Analysis Program

Elida Field, owner of Elida Art Studio & Gallery in Camas, Wash.  

Krista Griffin, veterans coordinator for Student Affairs and Enrollment at WSU Vancouver

Teresa Mehigan Haye, who works in child and family studies at Clark College

Kris Henriksen, coordinator of the TeenTalk program at Clark County Department of Community Services

Nikki Hinshaw, assistant director of student involvement at WSU Vancouver

Anne Johnston, a public health nurse with Clark County

Erika Laws, director of membership for the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, owner of Impactful Sales Solutions and founder of Impactful Women Northwest

Darlene Marcellay-Hyland, who does Equal Employment (EEO) discrimination investigations for federal agencies after retiring from the Indian Health Service

Fedilia “Phyllis” McIntosh, who had a 40-year career in a variety of nursing positions

Nelea Nelson, branch manager of IQ Credit Union

Faye Palmerton, a retired administrator with the Portland Public Schools who founded Tlc-Tnt, a dropout prevention program

Rosalba Pitkin, a Mexican immigrant who works in the Office of Diversity at Clark College

Allison Ramsing, an academic coordinator with the Student Resource Center at WSU Vancouver

Betsy Rider, a reading specialist who supervises student teachers for WSU Vancouver

Karin Roundy, a middle-school mathematics teacher in the Evergreen School District

Sujatha Shynne, an IT Systems specialist at WSU Vancouver

Nancy Youlden, vice chancellor of student affairs and enrollment at WSU Vancouver

Pam Younkin, a kindergarten teacher at Sifton Elementary School


About WSU Vancouver

WSU Vancouver is located at 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Ave. in Vancouver, east of the 134th Street exit from either I-5 or I-205, or via C-TRAN bus service.

As one of six campuses of the Washington State University system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. The university provides affordable, high-quality baccalaureate- and graduate-level education to benefit the people and communities it serves. As the only four-year research university in Southwest Washington, WSU Vancouver helps drive economic growth through relationships with local businesses and industries, schools and nonprofit organizations. 

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Nikki Hinshaw, Office of Student Involvement, 360-546-9465,

Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communications, 360-546-9601,

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