Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards

2018 Martin Scholars

We are pleased to introduce the 2018 Martin Family Foundation Scholars!

Three Martin Family Foundation Achievement Scholars were selected in May 2018. The Martin Achievement Scholarship selects student early in their community college career and will fund, encourage and support their study and eventual transfer to the University of Washington-Seattle Campus. Individuals selected for the 2018 MAS will continue at their respective colleges to complete their courses of study and eligibility credits for specific degree work and will transfer to the UW in 2019. The next deadline for the MAS will be April 2019.

Additional Martin Family Foundation Honors Scholars will be selected in September 2018. The Martin Family Foundation Honors Scholarship enables Washington State Community College students of exceptional ability and outstanding achievement to complete their baccalaureate degrees at the University of Washington Seattle Campus. Individuals eligible to apply for the 2018 MHS are beginning their studies at UW in summer 2018, fall 2018 or winter 2019. The next deadline for the MHS will be in July 2018.

2018 Martin Achievement Scholars:

Jade Cutter, Tacoma Community College

Jade’s passion for atomic physics and space flight began at a young age, spurred by Brian Greene and her grandfather’s innovative work as a manager for Boeing. As a child, she sat on the kitchen counter multiplying fractions to bake half-recipes with her grandfather, and spent evenings with her mother in secondhand bookshops reading voraciously. Growing up, she was an avid Girl Scout and loved the outdoors.

However, her potential would not be realized until much later, as her late teen years were spent struggling with addiction and homelessness. At nineteen, Jade became pregnant, but soon lost her daughter due to poor health. At twenty, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Her fight with it was brief and successful, but it cost her her fertility. The following years were spent recovering and training at an aikido dojo, and remembering her old passions for engineering.

At twenty-four, Jade returned to college with renewed focus. She is pursuing a Bachelor of both Electrical Engineering and Industrial Systems Engineering, with a concentration in photonics. She has been a member of Phi Theta Kappa for two years and was elected the Public Affairs officer of TCC’s Engineering Club. She oversees major club projects and acts as a liaison between the club and her community. Jade also volunteers for local kids’ science fairs and supervised a regional science team competition. She has been invited to intern at a forensic engineering company and is excited to start field work before even finishing her associate’s.

She currently trains tutors and tutors students herself at the school’s Math and Resource Center, and hopes to one day to work with a major spaceflight contractor, assisting with shielding spacecraft electronics from cosmic rays or advancing photonic laser propulsion. Jade believes the best approach to eliminating gender-based discrimination in the scientific community is for more driven, determined women to enter the industry and prove their competency. She joins the field knowing that every obstacle she conquers is one the next generation may not have to suffer.

Jennifer Franzen, Everett Community College

Jennifer is currently attending Everett Community College and is part of the college’s Honors program there. Additionally, as part of the Honors program, Jennifer will be completing a capstone project on the philosophy of Martin Heidegger over the course of the 2018-2019 academic year. She plans to transfer to the University of Washington in Fall 2019, where she intends to major in both Philosophy and Mathematics. Furthermore, she is an active member in the campus’ German club and plans to minor in Germanics. Beyond that, she hopes to earn her master’s degree in Library Science to become a librarian.

Before she started at Everett Community College in the spring of 2016 at the age of 25, Jennifer had been out of school since she was thirteen, having dropped out due to severe anxiety and panic attacks. For much of her adult life Jennifer had felt as if she was too far behind to have any hope of catching up, both academically and socially. However, overcoming this feeling, she was eventually able to find the will and motivation to give college a shot. Time and money were concerns for her, so, in an attempt to reduce the total number of classes she would need to take, she self-studied all the mathematics that she missed over the years. After spending several months teaching herself math, she was successful in placing directly into calculus. While studying, Jennifer discovered she really enjoyed math, and, as a result, eventually decided on Mathematics as one of her majors. Her newfound love of math also motivated her to apply for a peer tutoring position on campus shortly after the start of her first quarter. Through tutoring she helps her fellow students in math for both the campus’ drop-in tutoring center as well as the TRiO program.

Catherine (Kate) Tanski, North Seattle College

Kate grew up on the coast of Maine, spent ten years working on boats, and is now going to school for mechanical engineering.

Her goals as an engineer are not only to improve the efficiency and accessibility of objects and systems, but to use her education and experiences to open the door of opportunity for as many people as she can. Many years of exploration have taught Kate that she practices her values—normalizing learning challenges, non-traditional skillsets, and compassionate communication—through engineering.

When Kate was growing up she had a very difficult relationship with formal education. Instead of going to college, she went to trade school for traditional wooden boatbuilding. Working in various roles (as marine carpenter, experiential educator, deckhand, mate, assistant engineer, and marine regulatory administrator) gave her the chance to explore practical, non-academic experiences that helped her learn how she learns, and how to teach others to teach her.

Boats, shipmates, students, and the ocean have taught Kate the most valuable lessons she’s learned so far. Those lessons—caring for people and the ecosystems around us, patience with the unexpected, the vital importance of regularly learning new things, that every person has something to contribute, and that every experience has something to teach her—combined with her varied experiences, have brought Kate here, to school for mechanical engineering.

She’s finally figured out how to combine her values of service, compassion, and hard work with her strengths of creative problem solving, incremental systems improvement, and mechanical aptitude. Kate is looking forward to the adventures to come.

Kate’s Tips for Future Applicants:
There are a lot of people out there who would love to help you figure out how to write the essays, manage the deadlines, and follow all the guidelines for scholarships. They want to see you succeed. Connect with them. Nurture your community, and lean on it when you need a hand. Dream big, work hard, and ask for help when you need it.