Jessica Superhero Spring 2016



    Jessica Raney

    My Superpower: Framing Moments

    Picture this [Click!]: A professional photographer returns to the campus where she once studied to document the action and recapture a piece of her beginnings.

    Jessica Raney, of Raney Day Photography, is a graduate of Sultan High School and successful photographer in the Seattle area. She also happens to be a former Cascadia alum, who is very proud of her time at Cascadia.

    “All my friends were heading to universities and I was just confused, unsure, and very intimidated about going to college.”

    Although feeling lost, Jessica found her way to Cascadia. She attributes English Faculty Todd Lundberg with encouraging her to continue asking her “frequent and many” questions.

    “Cascadia launched me in the right direction, and because I had very close to a 4.0, I got offered the President’s Scholarship at Seattle Pacific University. Thanks, Cascadia!”

    Jessica transferred to SPU and pursued a Master’s in Education, which turned into an elementary teaching position. She credits (now Dean) Lundberg with her ability to work with children in a patient and exciting way, same as he bestowed upon her.

    Jessica’s real passion, however, was photography. After taking a few courses in her undergrad, she felt the connection to the camera and the imagery around her. So, she switched lenses from teaching kids in a classroom to owning her own photography business. Bonus snapshot: she gets more time with her husband, daughter, two chickens, and “too many cats!”

    Jessica is still focused on pursuing more education, and identifying her unlimited superpowers. [Click!]

    You can see her work on Cascadia’s website and in its marketing publications.


    Chiwon “Ace” Lee

    My Superpower: Willing to try new things

    A South Korean GED at sixteen. Business experiences in lieu of high school. And aspirations to transfer to one of the best universities in the U.S.

    Chiwon “Ace” Lee moved to the United States from Seoul, South Korea equipped to pursue higher education. Her passion for business prompted her to participate in Stanford’s Summit for Young Entrepreneurs, where Ace worked with other students to build a start-up and present in front of real, Silicon Valley investors.

    Ace says Cascadia’s integrated learning environment is a natural fit for her innovative spirit. Her favorite Cascadia experience so far was a learning community called “Making it Real” that paired cultural studies and English 101. Assignments included heated debates, secret ally projects, creating a blog, writing a script for and performing in the theater of the oppressed, and documentary film making. Her course instructors encouraged her to enter a National Essay contest based on the knowledge she acquired from the class. It took first place!

    During spring quarter, Ace took her first programming class because, “almost all sectors of business are related to, include, or sprout from technology.” She also served as the Director of Public Relations and Technology for Cascadia’s Student Government. A very nice way to finish her first year on our campus.

    The Innovator doesn’t just have ideas, she makes them happen.


    Jennifer Bronson, Robert Bronson, Alexandria Bronson and Donna Husak

    Our Superpower: Joining forces to take on the world!

    Four people, three generations, two family lines, and one campus.

    Jennifer and Robert Bronson are childhood sweethearts who fell in love and had a daughter. Sixteen years later they are all earning their college degrees at the same time, on the same campus. That’s right. The whole incredible family.

    Alexandria, the knowledge-hungry daughter, is currently working towards her associate degree in science while finishing her high school diploma through the Running Start program. She plans to pursue a bachelor degree in veterinary sciences.

    Robert, dad extraordinaire, is pursuing his web design degree at Cascadia while working full-time. He is committed to the grueling schedule, because he sees education as a way to move forward in his current position. “An added bonus, I can seek out support from my wife and daughter who might have already taken [a certain] class.”

    Jennifer, mom-of-all-trades, turned her job loss into an opportunity. She joined her daughter and husband to finally realize her dream of creating and designing websites. Jennifer says having her whole family at Cascadia is bringing them closer together, and driving some fun competition for the best GPA.

    If mom, dad, and daughter weren’t enough, Grandma Husak decided she was missing out. She’s taking advantage of our senior discount and auditing a math, and American Sign Language course. If only we had a “buy three, get one free” degree option. “We should always be looking for something to learn.”

    The family that learns together, stays together… and carpools!  



    My Superpower: Succeeding with Science

    I’ve always loved science. It kept me going through those tough high school years at Inglemoor, even when I wanted to rebel. Chemistry never fully clicked for me until Cascadia. Dr. David Reichgott was the first teacher I had that was able to help me process the information. He kept the standards high, but made science accessible. 

    I became pregnant early on in my college education and struggled with how well I could handle the challenge. The faculty at Cascadia didn’t let me give up. In fact, they encouraged me to explore a variety of challenging classes, and I was able to excel above the circumstances and graduate.

    I found my way to the University of Washington Seattle where I received my Bachelors of Science in General Biology, and then went on to earn my Masters in Teaching. Now, as a high school teacher, I get to share my passion for science with other students who may have struggled, had challenges, or needed extra support, like I did. I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I can look back and see that Cascadia was guiding me towards the very career that was made for me.




    My Superpower:  The Will to Succeed

    I graduated from Bothell High School and decided to wait a bit before going to college. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to study. Eventually, with the help of a neighbor, I realized that Cascadia presented a wonderful opportunity to figure out what interested me.

    So, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and enrolled for a variety of different classes. I was surprised by my abilities in subjects, like math and science, which I had forever sworn off.

    I learned that a formal education can teach you many things about yourself, about others, and about the world at large. Thanks to one of my instructors, Chris Gildow, and experiences like a field trip to the Seattle Art Museum where we spent the afternoon sketching paintings, I became passionate about art. I’d love to have a career where I can use art as therapy.

    It took me five years to earn my associate degree and graduate from Cascadia as class valedictorian. But now I know that passion coupled with the will to succeed can get me anywhere. I’m off to UW Bothell to major in Culture, Literature, and the Arts



    My Superpower:  Fixing Stuff

    I completed my high school degree online while competing on the national motocross circuit. That’s how I learned to rebuild pumps, motors, and all kinds of mechanical equipment.

    I started out at another community college studying mechanical engineering and chemistry then switched to Cascadia to earn an AAS degree in Environmental Technologies and Sustainable Practices with an emphasis in water quality. This was my ticket to a career as a wastewater treatment operator.

    My instructors and advisors at Cascadia bent over backward to help me. To fulfill a degree requirement, I got an internship in a Federal Way water treatment plant. I’m graduating this year and already accepted a job as an operator for the City of Lynnwood.

    The salaries are great, there’s lots of upward movement, and there are plenty of job openings. It’s the perfect combination of science and mechanics. I get to spend my time wrenching on stuff.



    My Superpower:  Cultural Curiosity

    I moved from Pasco, Washington to attend college at Cascadia.

    I enrolled in a global studies class taught by Jesus Perez, where I made a connection between my personal background and an academic subject.

    I got interested in psychology while writing a paper about Cortez’s conquest over the Aztecs; it made me think about what causes people to do what they do without feeling remorse.

    After Cascadia, I plan to transfer to a four-year program to earn a BA degree in psychology and then go into social work.



    My Superpower:  Leadership Skills

    I managed a full course load while serving two terms as student government president at Cascadia

    I organized a book drive for school children in Ethiopia then traveled to rural Ethiopia to visit a school where the books were being used.

    After earning my associate degree in business at Cascadia, I transferred to UW Bothell and was elected student body president.

    I plan to graduate with a BA in business and run for political office.



    My Superpower:  Predicting the Weather

    I forecasted I'd study electrical engineering but then I enrolled at Cascadia and was blown away by John VanLeer’s class, The Science of Weather, where I learned to make weather charts

    I earned my AA degree at Cascadia and my BA at Seattle University.

    Now I'm working as a weather forecaster in Anchorage.



    My Superpower:  Helping People

    I investigated human systems under the microscope in a Cascadia biology class

    Earned an AA degree in integrated studies at Cascadia

    Transferred to UW where I’m majoring in biology

    Now I’m on track to becoming a physician assistant