Etcetera 7/12/12

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The Washington State University Tri-Cities GEAR UP program tapped four Walla Walla High School Advancement Via Individual Achievement students to spend eight days in New York and Washington, D.C., for the GEAR UP Summer Trip 2012.

Vanessa Alvarado-Rivas, Ana Andrade, Christina Sosa and Erika Torres are among 20 selected to participate from 11 school districts served by GEAR UP.

According to a release from the Walla Walla Public School District, "These students have truly shown their commitment to higher education by taking advantage of GEAR UP resources in order to plan for a better future."

They demonstrated through essay content, use of GEAR UP services and challenges faced and overcome, that they have a dream, a plan and determination to achieve a higher education.

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Ten area students earned bachelor's degrees from Gonzaga University in Spokane. Graduation exercises were May 13 in the Veterans' Memorial Arena.

They completed undergraduate degrees or are expected to complete degree requirements this year.

Walla Walla: Alexander Hedine, cum laude, criminal justice; Angela McCaw, magna cum laude, English; James Graves, international relations; Morgan Blackburn, Latin American studies; Antonia Narciso, business administration; Madeleine Roach, business administration; Ryan Hawkins, electrical engineering; Michael Higgins, human physiology; Justin Jaspersen, mechanical engineering.

Touchet: Miguel Preciado, business administration.

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Walla Walla College (now University) graduate Gary Jepson assumed the post of chief executive officer at Pekin (Ill.) Hospital on June 25, according to an article in the Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star.

"We are pleased that Gary and his family will be moving to Pekin and joining a strong senior management team and medical staff to provide excellent leadership at Pekin Hospital," said board chairman A. Richard Kriegsman.

Jepson most recently served nine years as president/chief executive officer of Central Texas Medical Center in San Marcos. Prior to that, he was CEO at Tahlequah (Okla.) City Hospital.

He has more than 25 years of health care experience in for-profit, public, not-for-profit and faith-based organizations.

Gary earned a business administration degree from Walla Walla College and his master's degree in health administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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