Walla Walla, Wash. – Walla Walla Community College (WWCC) students Emmali Simmelink and Dylan Delange have been selected as All Washington Scholars. Both were nominated for Phi Theta Kappa’s All-USA Academic Team and will participate in that highly revered national scholarship competition.
Simmelink, of Walla Walla, is majoring in education. She is highly motivated to succeed, and she likes to use her mind to provide creative solutions to make the world a better place.
“I have good suggestions to offer, and I need to be brave enough to speak up when I have ideas, and yet be humble enough to recognize my mistakes and shortcomings so that I can learn and become better,” Simmelink said.
Reading, writing and psychology are all passions for Simmelink, evidenced in part by the 86,000-word novel she completed about one year ago. She is a participant in WWCC’s Honors Program, through which she has maintained 4.0 grade point average. While she is not yet decided on her career path, Simmelink envisions a potential career as an English teacher.
“I want to hear the stories others write, and I want to create my own stories,” Simmelink said.
Delange, of Walla Walla, is studying biological and biomedical sciences. She learned the value of education at an early age, and she will be the first in her family to achieve a bachelor’s degree. She carries 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 OBGYN. And Delange may not stop there.
“After my master’s degree, I would like to earn 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, clothing, toys, bottles, baby food, formula, and other items to Helpline Walla Walla. She said it was the best part of her year, and that she is now inspired to take it to an entirely new level.
“I would really love to either take part in, or open, a women’s pregnancy center in my hometown,” Delange said. “This center would provide women with resources like counseling and medical insurance information, as well as the items needed when the child is born.”
Both students are recognized as All Washington Scholars and will be honored at a celebration in a statewide celebration with nominees from other colleges. Each receives a scholarship and medal, and they 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 stellar students and members of the Honors Program here at WWCC,” said Staci Simmelink, chair of WWCC’s Honors Program. “Both wrote strong essays speaking of the importance of education and service, and both will be excellent representatives of WWCC.”
Phi Theta Kappa recognizes the academic achievement of college students and provides opportunities for its members to grow as scholars and leaders. Established in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa has a presence on almost 1,300 community college campuses in 11 nations. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) recognized Phi Theta Kappa as the official honor society for two-year colleges in 1929.
Each applicant was asked to share an essay on one endeavor that utilized their college education to improve the community or college, as well as a letter of reference. Judges look 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.
For more information about Walla Walla Community College, visit wwcc.edu. Those wishing to view information about the scholarships available through Phi Theta Kappa should visit ptk.org/scholarships.