36th annual Commencement

Heritage University holds 36th annual Commencement ceremony

Heritage University celebrated the accomplishments of this year’s graduates during the 2018 Commencement at the Yakima Valley SunDome on Saturday. Three hundred twenty-five students received their degrees from Heritage this year.

Dr. Lori Alvord, the first Navajo woman to become a surgeon, served as commencement speaker. Student speakers included Jesica Alvarez as baccalaureate degree speaker, and Alfredia Thompson as master’s degree speaker. Colleen Sheahan, class of 2000, received the Violet Lumley Rau Outstanding Alumni Award.


Pictures from Commencement are posted on the Heritage University Facebook page. We’ve also created a music video featuring commencement. Watch it by clicking the link:  https://t.e2ma.net/click/h97ijb/ht3khf/5nn3wd

Enactus captures 2nd place at Nationals

Enactus students capture 2nd place at Nationals

eritage University’s Enactus presentation team recently captured 2nd place in its league at the Enactus USA National Exposition in Kansas City, Missouri. Nearly 90 teams from universities and colleges from across the country competed at Nationals which took place in mid-May.

Team members Kevin Lopez, Anitramarina Reyna, Josceline Mora, Marcus Bravo, Yasmin Silva Sepulveda, Melissa Gomez and Omar Moreno delivered a presentation which focused on four Heritage Enactus projects aimed at helping the community.

The team also included information technology team members Miliset Bustamante and David Mance and were led by advisor Dioselina Verduzco.

Congratulations Heritage Enactus!

The Future of DACA

KCTS 9 and Heritage University co-sponsoring The Future of DACA: A Conversation with Attorney General Bob Ferguson

KCTS 9, the PBS affiliate in Seattle and Heritage University are collaborating to present The Future of DACA: A Conversation with Attorney General Bob Ferguson at the Yakima Valley Museum in Yakima, Wash. on May 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Ferguson will speak out on the legal challenges that aim to block the Trump Administration’s plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The Future of DACA will also include video profiles of some local DACA recipients who will share their stories.

DACA allows the 800,000 undocumented young people known as “Dreamers” to live and work legally in the U.S. Washington has joined 14 states in suing to allow the program to continue.

Kimberly Bellamy-Thompson, social science chair at Heritage University said the university wants people to have a better understanding of DACA. “Part of the mission of Heritage University is to provide access and equity and promote community engagement. Our mission is to educate and share knowledge with those that seek to better themselves and their families,” said Bellamy-Thompson. “There are many people who are still unfamiliar with the immigration policy that established DACA in 2012.”

The Future of DACA is part of KCTS 9’s “Borders & Heritage” series highlighting immigration stories from the Northwest. Longtime KCTS reporter and Yakima Valley native Enrique Cerna will serve as program moderator. The event is free and open to the public. Seating will be on a first come, first served basis. To ensure seating, participants are encouraged to RSVP at kcts9.org/events.

For more information, contact Kimberly Bellamy-Thompson at (509) 952-7288 or Bellamy-Thompson_K@Heritage.edu.

Heritage University Hosts Career Fair 2018

An upcoming event at Heritage University will connect Yakima Valley job seekers with more than 30 employers. Career Fair 2018 is free and open to the public and will also allow participants to network with other professionals.

Career Fair 2018, a collaboration between WorkSource Yakima and Heritage University, will also help employers learn more about opportunities to host interns and work with academic programs at Heritage. Attendees interested in graduate-level social work programs will have the opportunity to meet representatives from Eastern WA University, Seattle University, University of Washington and University of Washington Tacoma.

Career Fair 2018 will be held on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Smith Family Hall located in the Arts and Science Center on Heritage University’s main campus in Toppenish. Employers interested in participating in the event should contact Melissa Hill, interim vice president for Student Affairs, at (509) 865-0411 or hill_m@heritage.edu.

Women’s Day Event

Education consultant and public speaker to deliver keynote address at Heritage University’s International Women’s Day Event

Education consultant, public speaker and former candidate for Washington State Superintendent, Erin Jones, will be the keynote speaker at “Women2Women,” Heritage University’s celebration of International Women’s Day on Saturday, March 17, 2018.

Ms. Jones has been involved in and around schools for the past 26 years. She has taught in black, white and diverse communities. Jones has received many awards during her career, including “Most Innovate Foreign Language Teacher” in 2007; “Milken Educator of the Year” for Washington state in 2008; and in 2013, she was recognized as a “Champion of Change” at the White House. She’s worked for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and in 2016 she ran for State Superintendent, a race she lost by a mere 1%. At the time of her candidacy she was the first Black woman to run for any state office.

“Women 2 Women” celebrates the women of the Yakima Valley and supports early childhood education. It is organized by Heritage University’s Women 2 Women collaborative and is sponsored by the university’s Center for a New Washington. Funds generated by the event go to child care scholarships for students whose children attend the Early Learning Center.

“Education is a key factor to improving the lives of women and children,” said Dr. Natalie Martinkus, director for the center. “The stress of taking care of children can take its toll and become a barrier to women trying to earn their college degree. We want to break down these barriers while providing their children the crucial cognitive and physical start they need for later success.”

Doors open for the event at 9:00 a.m., the program begins at 10:00 a.m. and ends at noon. The event features artwork displays which celebrate the accomplishments of local women in both art and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Refreshments will be served. Registration is $50, and can be completed online at http://www.heritage.edu/2018Women2Women. For more information, call (509) 865-0450, or email