Meet Puyallup’s student leaders

Maria Rybalka
Maria Rybalka

Maria Rybalka

President

In terms of your position, what are your plans for the 2014-15 school year?
I want to make Student Government more visible and accessible. Students don’t realize how much of a difference they can make here at Pierce College! Another goal I have is increasing the use of open source textbooks. Open source textbooks are just as effective as normal textbooks; the only difference is the cost. As a leader of Student Government, we have a lot on the agenda regarding goals this year. If there is anything you would like to change, please contact me. Your input is valued!

What should Puyallup campus students know about you?
I am very approachable. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to me!

       What do like to do on your free time?
In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching TV and spending time with friends

What do you wish more students knew about Pierce College Puyallup?
There are a lot of resources readily available to students. For example, we have the tutoring center, writing center, financial aid, counselors, computer labs, the library and the Office of Student Life. At the Student Life Office, you can check out chess, ping pong equipment, foosballs, board games, sport equipment, print ten copies of pages per week, use the phone, attend events and much more! I wish students knew how awesome our events were. Attending events is a great way to meet new people, as well as having fun.
Personally or professionally what are you looking forward this school year?
Personally, I am looking forward to meeting new people in my classes! I am also looking forward to graduating.
What is your secret tip to do well in your classes?
I think the most important thing is attending class every day and making sure to turn your homework in on time. If you have any questions, make sure to talk to your Professors, especially during their office hours. They want you to succeed!
How do you want to make an impact on your campus this year?
Being a student is hard, so one of my main goals is making your life as easy as possible! I want to make an impact through meeting student’s needs.

 

Christi Grohs
Christi Grohs

Christi Grohs

Vice President

In terms of your position, what are your plans for the 2014-15 school year?
For this year, my goal is to help the coordinators on The Activities Board plan meaningful and fun events to help students reach maximum success and have a higher graduation rate. I really want to hear from students to see what they want to see at Pierce so we can assist them to the best of our abilities.

What should Puyallup campus students know about you?
I am completely committed to helping students and I love talking and getting to know new people.

What do like to do on your free time?
I love being outdoors riding my horses. If I’m not outdoors I am spending time with my loved ones. Also, I love to dance and music is one of my passions.

What do you wish more students knew about Pierce College Puyallup?
I wish students knew more about all the wonderful services we offer on campus. For example: many students don’t know how to apply for scholarships, or how to get involved with school activities.
Personally or professionally what are you looking forward this school year?
I am looking forward to challenging myself and growing. I desire to help the students and I am excited to see students grow and make their college experience at Pierce the best it can be.
What is your secret tip to do well in your classes?
Write thorough notes and if you’re uncertain about an assignment make sure you clarify. Also, make friends in the class so you can study together/ talk about the assignments. It will make class more enjoyable.
How do you want to make an impact on your campus this year?
I want to have a higher graduation rate. So many students don’t finish college and I desire to change that.

 

Aimee Gabalis
Aimee Gabalis

Aimee Gabalis

Executive Director of Operations

In terms of your position, what are your plans for the 2014-15 school year?
As a member of the Student Government team I really want to make the changes students want to see around campus happen. If there are any issues or concerns students have I want to ensure they get fixed.

What should Puyallup campus students know about you?
I want students to know that my position is here to serve them, if you see me around feel free to come up say hi, and let me know what concerns you have.

What do like to do on your free time?
I enjoy watching movies and reading on my minimal free time.

        What do you wish more students knew about Pierce College Puyallup?
I wish more students knew about all the opportunities provided through our office and other departments for students to get engaged on campus.
Personally or professionally what are you looking forward this school year?
I am looking forward to growing as a leader this school year, through improving communication skills and using better time management.
What is your secret tip to do well in your classes?
Take good notes. Simple notes from each of your class sessions in an organized manner will help you succeed.
How do you want to make an impact on your campus this year?
I want to make an impact by following through with our projects around campus to make this facility a better one for students.

 

Phil Lewis
Phil Lewis

Phil Lewis

Student Advocacy Senator

In terms of your position, what are your plans for the 2014-15 school year?
I plan on becoming more acquainted with the student body and making genuine connections while talking to them about what they would like to see on campus. I would also like to implement water bottle refilling stations around the campus.

What should Puyallup campus students know about you?
I like to learn more and talk to people and I think long-boarding is really cool.

What do like to do on your free time? Hang out with friends and sleep.

What do you wish more students knew about Pierce College Puyallup?
Pierce College wants to do everything in its power to see you succeed.

Personally or professionally what are you looking forward this school year?
New experiences and just learning more on the job and off the job.
What is your secret tip to do well in your classes?
Making connections with the professor and my classmates.
How do you want to make an impact on your campus this year?
Pushing the campus to become more green and creating a solid relationship with the student body.

 

Michael Blumlein
Michael Blumlein

Michael Blumlein

Clubs Senator

In terms of your position, what are your plans for the 2014-15 school year?
As my position as a club senator I will be helping students to get involved within clubs. My main goal is to increase involvement at Pierce College and to allow students to make more connections and relationships.

What should Puyallup campus students know about you?
The Puyallup Campus students should know that I am here as a resource for them. No matter if it is involving clubs or not I will do my best to help them out.

What do like to do on your free time?
In my free time I like to snowboard and wake-board. Just recently I have been building a custom café racer street bike.

What do you wish more students knew about Pierce College Puyallup?
I wish more students knew that a club is very simple to start and it will allow the people that share your common interests to have support and funding. You can do big things through a club.
Personally or professionally what are you looking forward this school year?
I am looking forward to getting done with my associate in Business, I can’t wait to start interning in the business and field and to start applying to business schools all over.
What is your secret tip to do well in your classes?
My secret tip to do well in classes is to stay organized and show up. If students attend class every single day, they are constantly engaged with the material and it will be easier to remember the course. Also, staying organized will help you delegate times to get the things done you need to and reduce stress.
How do you want to make an impact on your campus this year?
I want to make a positive impact on relationships this year. I think that it is important to help create an environment at Pierce where everyone is like a family, eliminating cliques and groups. I would love to see Pierce College become an even more comfortable place for students to come to.

 

Jennifer Gormley
Jennifer Gormley

Jennifer Gormley

Public Relations Senator

In terms of your position, what are your plans for the 2014-15 school year?
To reach out to students and get them involved.

What should Puyallup campus students know about you?
I like to make new friends.

What do like to do on your free time?
On my free time I like to sing and work on my car.

What do you wish more students knew about Pierce College Puyallup?
How many resources are available to them and how many events we offer.

Personally or professionally what are you looking forward this school year?
Personally, making new friends and getting good grades.
What is your secret tip to do well in your classes?
Sit up front, take notes, ask questions, and do your work.
How do you want to make an impact on your campus this year?
I want to make an impact by getting people involved and feel welcomed on campus.

 

Ian Leitch
Ian Leitch

Ian Leitch

Legislative Senator

In terms of your position, what are your plans for the 2014-15 school year?
I want to make sure that state legislators are listening to the needs of Pierce College students, and taking them into consideration whenever they make policy decisions.

What should Puyallup campus students know about you?
I’m much more interesting in real life.

What do like to do on your free time?
What is free time? But when I have it, hiking, climbing, gaming (video games and tabletop), reading, movies, writing, sports, working on cars. Everything is interesting so I like to dabble.

What do you wish more students knew about Pierce College Puyallup?
The Student Leadership team is here for you! Please come to us with issues that you’re experiencing. You’d be surprised how much can get done.

Personally or professionally what are you looking forward this school year?
The various WACTCSA (Washington Community and Technical College Student Association) events and assemblies. We are working hard to help community college students statewide to help increase access to college.
What is your secret tip to do well in your classes?
Schedule everything. Seriously. Helps so much.

How do you want to make an impact on your campus this year?
We’ll see. Much of my work happens off of campus in terms of communication and those that I work with. I hope to inform Pierce College students of what my peers in WACTCSA and I are doing on their behalf in Olympia. We are trying to make waves there. We’ll see how it goes.

 

Mike Schwartz
Mike Schwartz

Mike Schwartz

Graphics Coordinator

In terms of your position, what are your plans for the 2014-15 school year?
My plans would have to be to get the Raider Relief campus wide and a popular source for students to get information. Other than that I want to grow personally as a graphic designer and do my part in creating successful advertisement for the events we put on.

What should Puyallup campus students know about you?
I enjoy working with people on projects. So if you have or are in a club and you have ideas for promotion please contact me so we can talk. This is also my first time ever working as a graphic designer so in the early part of the year I hope people can forgive some mistakes!

What do like to do on your free time?
Hanging out with friends and taking my dog places. I am also pretty big into videos; playing on PC and Xbox One. I also really enjoy movies and reading. I also love football (GO HAWKS!) and love playing team sports when I have time!

What do you wish more students knew about Pierce College Puyallup?
I wish they knew more about all the fun activities and services Student Life offers. When I was new on campus I had no idea what this office did. Since I have learned I have gone from event attender to being on the Student Life team. It is truly a great way to meet new people and get involved with the college.
Personally or professionally what are you looking forward this school year?
I am really looking forward to expanding my skills in graphic design and of course graduation in the Spring. Other than that, I am excited to be on the Student Leadership team and look forward to working with different student groups.
What is your secret tip to do well in your classes?
I don’t know if they are secrets, but take LOTS of notes, and make a friend in class to study with and be a back up for notes and such in case you have to miss class. Also, ask tons of questions if you have them! Don’t be shy!

How do you want to make an impact on your campus this year?
My biggest impact I think will be the Raider Relief. It is new this year, I am looking forward to expanding its reach (sadly only in one bathroom at this time), and working with students and their suggestions to make it more relevant and informative for the student body.

 

Cassandra Divis
Cassandra Divis

Cassandra Divis

Health and Wellness Coordinator

In terms of your position, what are your plans for the 2014-15 school year?
My plans for the 2014-2015 school year are to influence students in a positive way to make healthy decisions in every aspect, and to help them get excited about having healthy lifestyles.

What should Puyallup campus students know about you?
Something that students should know about me is that I love meeting new people, I am an extravert all the way around. I am quirky and have lots of energy and am always excited about something.

What do like to do on your free time?
In my free time, I like to be with my family. I am very family oriented and we love to go hiking and being outdoors together.

        What do you wish more students knew about Pierce College Puyallup?
I wish students knew about all the amazing things we have here on campus like the tutoring center, the computer lab, and the events.
Personally or professionally what are you looking forward this school year?
This school year I am looking forward to making new connections and getting involved here at Pierce College Puyallup.
What is your secret tip to do well in your classes?
My secret tip to do well in classes: Get to know your professors, when you have questions about things definitely go to your professor’s office hours and the tutoring center. There are amazing resources here, take advantage of them!
How do you want to make an impact on your campus this year?
This year I want to show students that I truly care about them, and I want to be able to be a positive influence for them and help them feel like they can accomplish anything they put their mind to.

 

Cooper Costello
Cooper Costello

Cooper Costello

Recreation and Entertainment Coordinator

In terms of your position, what are your plans for the 2014-15 school year?
I plan on getting in touch with student leaders from local schools to get a “big name” artist to perform for students.

What should Puyallup campus students know about you?
Puyallup students should know that if they want to see anything at this school, that would help them academically in any way, they can come to me, knowing that I can get it done.

What do like to do on your free time?
In my free time I love to go to the gym and practice flipping around with my friends.

What do you wish more students knew about Pierce College Puyallup?
I wish more students knew that there are a lot of opportunities here at Pierce College, and a lot of things to help you succeed.

Personally or professionally what are you looking forward this school year?
I’m looking forward to getting to know all the great people of Pierce College, all the events that I have planed for this year, and all the life fun times I will have on campus.
What is your secret tip to do well in your classes?
Don’t sit by friends. It’s a simple answer but it helps a lot for me.
How do you want to make an impact on your campus this year?
I want to get people involved on this campus. I feel like too many people just go from their car, to class, back to their car. When there is so many great events and clubs on the campus for people to get involved in and make new friends.

 

John Slevin
John Slevin

John Slevin

Sustainability Coordinator

In terms of your position, what are your plans for the 2014-15 school year?
I would like the students to gain a better understanding of the benefits of living more sustainable lifestyles.

What should Puyallup campus students know about you?
I’m always willing to help them and answer any of their questions (or attempt to answer them!)

What do like to do on your free time?
I enjoy playing baseball, watching football, camping, and going for runs.

What do you wish more students knew about Pierce College Puyallup?
The ample access to free resources that they have (tutoring center, recreational items, etc.)

        Personally or professionally what are you looking forward this school year?
I hope I can make more connections with students and create friendships for others.
What is your secret tip to do well in your classes?
Go to class (never skip a day) and talk to your professors during office hours.
How do you want to make an impact on your campus this year? I hope that the connections I form for and with students helps them become more successful and makes their stay at Pierce College a memorable one.

 

Jamie Frees
Jamie Frees

Jamie Frees

Club and Organization Coordinator

In terms of your position, what are your plans for the 2014-15 school year?
My plans for the 2014-2015 school year are all focused around students and clubs. I will be working with the clubs to plan and execute their ideas/events. I want Pierce College Puyallup to have the best club activities yet! My goal for the year is for the campus to be full of meaningful club activity, and to engage a wide variety of students here on campus.

What should Puyallup campus students know about you?
Puyallup campus students should know that I love helping students, especially with their interests or club ideas! I enjoy brainstorming ideas and bringing people’s ideas to life.

What do like to do on your free time?
I love to workout on my free time.

        What do you wish more students knew about Pierce College Puyallup?
I wish more students knew more about the advantages of becoming a club, and the opportunities that exist.
Personally or professionally what are you looking forward this school year?
I am looking forward to meeting and interacting with so many new people, and building relationships with them. I am so blessed to have this job that provides me the opportunity to do so.
What is your secret tip to do well in your classes?
Drink LOTS of water before and during class. If you have to go to the bathroom it is impossible to fall asleep. ☺
How do you want to make an impact on your campus this year?
I want to make a giant impact on the student engagement here at Pierce, through the clubs and other activities. I want the students’ interests to be expressed and shown throughout campus, creating the most welcoming and friendly environment we can get!

 

Kyle Cruz
Kyle Cruz

Kyle Cruz

Social Issues and Services Coordinator

In terms of your position, what are your plans for the 2014-15 school year?
Outcomes this year are to get more students engaged in campus activities, build and foster bonds with new students and those I have no connections with, plan meaningful events around social issues and plan service events that will allow students to realize their power in society.

What should Puyallup campus students know about you?
I am approachable, enjoy lending help, I am an islander and I love to keep things chill.

What do like to do on your free time?
Talk with my family, relatives and friends back home. Also, go on spontaneous adventures, travel around the PNW, spend time with the family I am staying with out here and pretty much anything outdoors.

        What do you wish more students knew about Pierce College Puyallup?
People should know more about the events, clubs and resources offered.
Personally or professionally what are you looking forward this school year?
Making a difference in the students’ lives, so that they may enjoy going to college and realize their potential for a better future.
What is your secret tip to do well in your classes?
Time management between school and non-school life would be one and constant reviewing of class material would be the second.
How do you want to make an impact on your campus this year?
Through availability and making connections.

 

Roxanne Simon
Roxanne Simon

Roxanne Simon

Diversity Coordinator

In terms of your position, what are your plans for the 2014-15 school year?
My plan is to create events that students will participate in that will broaden knowledge of diverse topics.

What should Puyallup campus students know about you?
What should Puyallup campus st I work hard at not being an introvert at school.

What do like to do on your free time?
Ride motorcycles, woodcarving, homework and reading.

What do you wish more students knew about Pierce College Puyallup?
The level of resources we have, the amount of diversity on campus, the ease of getting involved in what is happening on campus.

Personally or professionally what are you looking forward this school year?
Personally, I am looking to increase my awareness about equity and diversity.
What is your secret tip to do well in your classes?
In class, take lots of notes and ask questions, outside of class, schedule time for both study and down time.
How do you want to make an impact on your campus this year?
I would like to see that students are more aware of equity and diversity, and that those that identify themselves in the diverse groups are more comfortable on campus and willing to help educate everyone.

 

Jacey Ortega
Jacey Ortega

Jacey Ortega

Interactive Media and Gaming Coordinator

In terms of your position, what are your plans for the 2014-15 school year?
In terms of my position, I would love to help build a gaming community on campus as well as support existing communities and create lasting connections.

What should Puyallup campus students know about you?
I am always ready to help students.

What do like to do on your free time?
In my free time I read and draw comics, make funny faces at coworkers, and say horrible science puns.

What do you wish more students knew about Pierce College Puyallup?
I wish more students knew about the on campus events and clubs. There are so many opportunities for students to relax and have fun while making new friends.

Personally or professionally what are you looking forward this school year?
This year I am looking forward to planning multiple events surrounding gaming, comic books, cosplay, anime and pop culture in general. I am also excited to finish my degree.
What is your secret tip to do well in your classes?
My tips include sitting up front, actively communicating with your professor, visit your professor during office hours and when absent, email your professor to check in for homework.

 

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost

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Meet Puyallup’s student leaders

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