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Past Employers of the Quarter

Current Winners

Student of the Quarter
Employer of the Quarter

Special Recognition for Past Student of the Quarter

Past Students of the Quarter
Past Employers of the Quarter
Past Faculty Advisors of the Quarter


Hope Heart Institute

Employer of the Quarter, Summer 2011

The Hope Heart Institute is a Bellevue-based non-profit with a 50-year history of revolutionary medical advances and educational curricula that make heart disease - America's No. 1 cause of death - more treatable, beatable, and preventable. Our outreach programs reach tens of thousands each year, fostering healthy communities.

“I was very impressed with the amount of dedication from everyone towards Central Washington University. My expectations were met beyond belief when I was given freedom to create and take on projects of my own interest, instead of just sitting at a desk pushing papers.” - Niki House, nominating student

Officer Jim Ritter, Employer of the Quarter, Winter 2011

Officer Jim Ritter, Police Museum President (pictured with his nephew, Will)

Employer of the Quarter, Winter 2011
Seattle Police Department/Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum

Jim is a 1983 graduate of Central Washington University who has been with the Seattle Police Department for 29 years. He previously served three years as a Deputy Sheriff for Kittitas County. Jim worked as a Patrol Officer, Police Union Director, Training Coordinator for the Seattle Police Officer's Guild, Union Representative, Background Investigations Detective and Undercover Vice Detective. In December of 2010, Jim was assigned to a foot beat in Pioneer Square to further educate those in the region and bridge a traditional gap between the citizens and their police.

In 1997, Officer Ritter founded and built the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum in Seattle's historic Pioneer Square. The Police Museum is a private, non-profit facility, designed to educate the public by demystifying the police. The museum is the official depository for the historic collections of the Seattle Police Department and the King County Sheriff's Office, dating back to their inception in the 1860's.

Since the museum was established nearly 15 years ago, it has expanded its mission to include the restoration of a fleet of original and historic police vehicles from throughout the region. These cars travel the Pacific Northwest and attend a variety of special events and ceremonies honoring those who serve. In 2011, the Police Museum hosted its first intern from Central Washington University. That student continues to assist the museum with its operation.

Officer Ritter firmly believes that student interns provide a crucial element in assisting non-profit organizations and that the college graduates of today are an important factor in the professional development and progression of law enforcement agencies throughout the United States.

“Officer Ritter has taken me under his wing and showed me what it is like, to be not only a leader in the community but an honorable and respectful police officer. As the founder of the Seattle Police Museum, he has … created an institution where the public can connect with law enforcement and police officers. I cannot stress enough how life-changing this experience has been for me, and I firmly believe that Officer Ritter is more than deserving of this award.” -- Sergio Madrigal Mendoza, nominating student

Billy Schumacher Racing, LLC

Employer of the Quarter, Summer 2010

Founded in early 2006, U-37 Billy Schumacher Racing, LLC participates in the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing series. With competitors from all around the United States, the Seattle based team made a grand entry during its first year of competition winning 3 of the 6 races. Always a competitive force in the series, the team began building a new state of the art boat in the winter of 2008. This project consumes over 5000 man-hours and roughly $500,000 for just the new boat alone. BSR under the advisement of one of the team’s many sponsors, Chuck Pepka of Renton Coil Spring, suggested we turn to Central Washington University for some additional engineering help. CWU student Branden Ringeon joined the team at the shop in early June while the equipment was undergoing final preparations for the 2010 season. Initially he was utilized in completing some drawings needed to finalize several key components used in the new boat. Showing a great willingness to learn new methods, Branden was trained in composite layup and method, welding and fabrication, and worked exclusively with crew chief Scott Raney in the preparation of the onboard data acquisition system used by the race team. As the summer progressed Branden became a key and essential member of the race team crew. Near the conclusion of the racing season summer, Branden had the opportunity to work with an aircraft structural engineer to develop structural enhancements for the new boat.

The Crew of the U-37/Billy Schumacher Racing, LLC

For further information on our organization please visit

“I could not... give enough credit to every member of the team that has taught me so many things thus far into my internship. I couldn’t possibly go into everything technical that I have learned, but what I think is the most important is how the team came together as a family to overcome a great hardship.” - Branden Ringoen, nominating student

Andrea Easlick

Employer of the Quarter, Winter 2010
Central Washington University Wellness Center

Andrea Easlick has served as the Health Educator for the CWU Wellness Center since fall 2007. The mission of the Wellness Center is to reduce high-risk behavior related to alcohol and drug misuse; to provide sexual assault prevention, response and advocacy; and to promote other positive health behaviors among all CWU students. Andrea is also the campus Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) and has extensive training and experience in prevention and education regarding sexual assault, stalking, and partner violence, as well as crisis response. She supervises the Wellness Center Peer Health Educators, volunteers, interns, and the student organization Sexual Assault Facts and Education (SAFE). Andrea holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Central Michigan University and a Master of Education with a concentration in College Student Affairs Leadership from Grand Valley State University.

“Andrea is constantly going above and beyond for her students. She will happily work after hours, if it means that our students are benefitting. She is very personal and her door is always open.” – Nikki Newsome, nominating student

"Andrea is so selfless and happy to stay late to accommodate students. Never showing signs of stress, or fatigue, Andrea pushes forward in uplifting her employees and making everyone feel part of the Wellness Center team.” – Amanda Sell, Peer Health Educator, CWU Wellness Center

"Andrea has the phenomenal skill of inspiring confidence while also respectfully asking the student to reach beyond their stretch.” – Gail Farmer, Director, CWU Wellness Center

Anna Canterbury, winner of the Summer 2009 Employer of the Quarter Partnership in Excellence Award

Anna Canterbury, RN, BSN

Employer of the Quarter, Summer 2009
Kittitas Valley Community Hospital

A graduate of the University of Washington, School of Nursing in 1993, Annamelia moved to Kittitas County shortly thereafter to begin her career. Since then, she has enjoyed working in a variety of specialties, including long term care, medical surgical nursing, school nursing, public health and most recently, occupational health and infection prevention for Kittitas Valley Community Hospital. Annamelia is an active member of the Association of Professionals in Infection Control. She feels that her breadth of background has been instrumental is preparing her to teach and mentor Central Washington University Community Health interns, as she is able to communicate in which ways they might be utilized in each health care setting as educators.

When not working as a health promoting, contagious disease fighting nurse, Annamelia enjoys treating her two children to all of the beautiful outdoor opportunities that Kittitas County has to offer. Where else in the world could you tackle whooping cough by day and the ski slopes by night?

"Anna goes the proverbial extra mile for her community. She is constantly scouring the research and best practices by other hospitals for ways that she can improve the hospital and, ultimately, the safety of the patient." - Katheryn Hudon, nominating student

Jeanette Simonton, winner of the Summer 2009 Employer of the Quarter Partnership in Excellence Award

Jeannette Simonton, RN

Employer of the Quarter, Summer 2009
Kittitas Valley Community Hospital

Jeannette Simonton, a native of Kittitas Valley, is currently the Staff Development Director at Kittitas Valley Community Hospital. Previously, she held nursing roles in critical care, emergency and acted as the hospital’s house supervisor.

As the Staff Development Director, she is responsible for the education and certifications for employees both clinical and nonclinical areas. She is an instructor for the following areas: CPR, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Trauma Nursing Core Course. Other responsibilities include OSHA, new employee orientation, skills labs for nursing, professional development and leadership development.

In addition to her staff development duties, Jeannette is involved with the development and execution of a new wellness program for the employees at KVCH. She partners with KVCH Physical Therapy and Employee Health departments, an occupational health nurse, and interns from Central Washington University in the Community Health Education and the Exercise Physiology programs.

She is also working in conjunction with South Central Workforce in Yakima on creating the South Central Healthcare Consortium which is bringing four counties of healthcare educators and facilities together to share resources, training and ideas.

Jeannette earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Seattle University. She became a member of Sigma Theta Tau during her time at Seattle University and is a current member.

She enjoys knitting, swimming and being outdoors with her dog Molly and her husband Craig.

"Every time I speak with Jeannette, I leave feeling inspired, invigorated, and ready to tackle the set of tasks she has given me. Through her respect, kindness, and push for education, Jeannette is representative of a teacher wholeheartedly committed to the cooperative education program and process." - Katheryn Hudon, nominating student

Barbara Kollar, winner of the Spring 2009 Employer of the Quarter Partnership in Excellence Award

Barbara Kollar

Employer of the Quarter, Spring 2009
Swedish Medical Center

Barbara Kollar, M.H.A., C.H.E.S. attained her Master’s in Health Administration from the University of Washington’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine and Bachelor's Degree in Community Health Education (Western Washington University, Bellingham); and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. Barbara has worked in the field of health education since 1995, working at Virginia Mason Medical Center and now Swedish Medical Center. Ms. Kollar is the Patient Education, PsychoOncology and Integrated Care Manager at the Swedish Cancer Institute. She is responsible for management of patient education and integrated care programs provided throughout the cancer care service line at all Swedish Cancer Institute locations and affiliated program sites. She supervises programs and services designed to support and enhance specialized multidisciplinary care services. Areas of emphasis include: patient, family and staff education; psycho-social support counseling; patient and family support groups; nutrition care, fitness and health; spiritual awareness and well being; and a variety of other supportive therapies.

Ms. Kollar has also worked on a chronic pain research project through the University of Washington and is program director of Whole Health Educators, an organization specializing in the development and implementation of customized health education services. Her areas of expertise include grant project management, worksite wellness program development and evaluation, patient advocacy, development of self-care guidelines and development of integrated oncology care services. Ms. Kollar is also a health promotion educator and focuses on health screenings and self-exam education.

Ms. Kollar is passionate about working with health education interns as she is inspired by new professionals entering the job market and enjoys the opportunity to mentor interns who have made a professional commitment to the field of health education.

"Between her positive attitude and her work ethic she has become a very substantial role model in my professional life. I think for an internship position, this quality is very important to have in your supervisor, but I don't think everyone is as lucky as I was to have it." - Shanda Campbell, nominating student

Judi Best, winner of the Winter 2009 Employer of the Quarter Partnership in Excellence Award

Judi Best

Employer of the Quarter, Winter 2009
Washington State Legislature

After 20 years as a full-time homemeker, Judi chose to go to college.  Within five years, she had completed a bachelor's degree and MPA at Evergreen, as a single mom with four children.  Judi began working in the Thurson County Commissioner's office while in graduate school, then moved to a position as an assistant to a state representative.  When the Senate Intern Coordinator position opened in 1994, she jumped at the opportunity.  Judi has since helped to expand the program to include several civic education programs sponsored by the Legislature.  Judi's community involvement has also included: Senior Mediator, Thurston County Dispute Resolution Center; Chair of the Board, Olympia AIDS Taskforce; Board Member, Harmony Hill Cancer Retreat Center; Judge and Trainer, We the People: Center for Civic Education.

Judy has said this about her job: "I am changing the world, one intern at a time. If I can help to train and mentor one person who will go out and offer the community and world a strong voice and willingness to help, I have done my job. I get to do that every year…cool huh?"

About working with CWU interns, Judy says, "The CWU interns I have had over the years have been tremendously successful in working with the Senators who have represented the entire state.  Some of those CWU interns have actually drafted legislation, worked as staff to US Senators, joined the CIA, and have gone into jobs in both the public and private sector."

"Judi has made significant contributions to the interns of her program seemingly at the expense of her own goals.  She is the type of person that will put others before herself, and she is very good at it.  I personally appreciate her very much because she gave me ample opportunities through this program to reach my goals." -- John McKean, nominating student

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