Michelle Geiszler

EvCC Honors Graduate

Michelle Geiszler’s senior picture for Cascade High School, she will be receiving her high school diploma as well as an associate degree from EvCC.

Courtesy Photo

Michelle Geiszler’s senior picture for Cascade High School, she will be receiving her high school diploma as well as an associate degree from EvCC.

Abby Tutor, Staff Writer

Home school to Sequoia High School to Cascade High School and now finally to EvCC, Michelle Geiszler is graduating with honors at 18 years old.

Geiszler enrolled at EvCC as a Running Start student, “I’ll be graduating from Cascade High School after I get my AA,” she said.

Geiszler said Kevin Craft, the chair of the English Department, and Lori Wisdom-Whitley, the director of the EvCC Honors Program have “influenced my approach to learning, my education goals and my critical thinking and reasoning.”

Wisdom-Whitely was the first faculty member she became familiar with. Geiszler said Wisdom-Whitley taught her to be patient with herself and “enjoy the learning process.”

She values these two faculty members for their support in her academic career. “(They) are some of the finest and most caring people, and I have been improved greatly since meeting them.”

When referencing honors students and Geiszler, Wisdom-Whitley said “part of the joy of working at the college is the opportunity to work with these motivated and successful individuals… they have taken the challenge to produce top quality work and it is quite impressive.”

Geiszler had never heard of the honors program until Wisdom-Whitley mentioned it to her in a public-speaking class. After considering the program, Geiszler decided she wanted a challenge. Honors classes have “stretched my intellectual limits… which cannot be taught in a textbook.”

For instance, she took an honors English class with Craft. “He taught me how to be a better observer, reader and thinker, which lead to my overall betterment as both a writer and individual.”

So what kept her motivated? “Red Bull” she said jokingly. “Honestly, while Red Bull did help me during finals, what kept me going was the support of those around me.”

When she first started at EvCC, she kept to herself and focused solely on her academic work. “Basically I was the student that showed up right before class, where I would make class friends, but not real friends, and then went straight home right after class.”

Geiszler got involved with Student LIFE once her second year started and that got her out of her shell to be able to strive to her full potential. 

Geiszler with the “Star Wars” Drive-In committee that’s part of Student LIFE. She has “gotten to know so many people, I have made friendships that will last longer than my time here.”
Courtesy Photo
Geiszler with the “Star Wars” Drive-In committee that’s part of Student LIFE. She has “gotten to know so many people, I have made friendships that will last longer than my time here.”

“It wasn’t until I started getting connected through the honors program and my position as a Student Leader with Student LIFE that I began to truly experience the best of EvCC.”

She believes college is about more than the degree and “(she’s) proof that no matter who you are or how long you’ve been at EvCC, you can get involved and have a genuinely transformational experience.”

Part of the honors program requires that you create a capstone project. For Geiszler’s project, she studied government organizations and non-government affiliated organizations in order to better understand how they distribute aid and provide services. She is fascinated with charities and has interest for working for one later in life.

After the 2010 earthquakes in Haiti, the Red Cross organization committed to aiding to the victims of the quake in several ways. They did not follow through; according to CNN, they received $488 million dollars in donations and only built six homes. Geiszler said she read articles regarding this event. “I have a love for research and truth, so those original controversies encouraged me to investigate many charitable organizations and to discover some truths.”

Geiszler will be presenting her capstone project along with six other honors graduates from 5 to 7 p.m. on June 2 at the Henry M. Jackson Center.

She said the feeling of graduating with honors is worthwhile. “I have made quite a few personal sacrifices in the pursuit of academic success, and finally seeing the rewards at the end of this chapter of my life helps to make up for lost sleep.”