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Bellingham Schools Alums Receive Recognition from WWU

Western Washington University recently announced that Hope Midgley (first photo) from Bellingham High School is a 2016-17 Outstanding Graduate in Special Education and Katherine Mullen (second photo) from Sehome High School is a Presidential Scholar for the College of Fine and Performing Arts. Additionally, Emily Bruland (third photo), a leave replacement teacher at Birchwood Elementary School received recognition as an Outstanding Graduate in Elementary Education.


From Western Washington University’s press releases:


Outstanding Graduate

Hope Midgley of Bellingham graduated cum laude in March with a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree with a double major: special education and elementary education. She is also the Outstanding Graduate in Special Education. While at Western, Midgley completed two teaching internships at Cordata Elementary School, one in the Resource Room and the other in a fifth-grade classroom. She was also active with Campus Christian Fellowship and volunteered with Rebound of Whatcom County’s Roots program. This summer, she will work for Rebound’s Ray of Hope summer camp and in the fall will be an elementary school teacher at Bellingham Christian School. Midgley is a graduate of Bellingham High School and Whatcom Community College and the daughter of John Midgley and Roxanne Klix.


Emily Bruland of La Conner graduated in December 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree with a major in language, literacy and cultural studies in elementary education, along with teaching endorsements in reading and English language learners. She is also the Outstanding Graduate in Elementary Education. Bruland, who worked at a local daycare while attending school, was known in the department for her high-quality, thoughtful, reflective work that was often used as exemplars for her fellow students. Since February, Bruland has been working for Bellingham Public Schools as a leave-replacement teacher at Birchwood Elementary. The daughter of WWU alumni Doug and Susanne Bruland, Emily Bruland is a graduate of La Conner High School.


Presidential Scholar

Katherine Mullen is graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a double major in dance and sociology. Her two majors “go together beautifully in my life,” she said at the recent Western Foundation Scholarship Dinner. “Art is a teacher—it makes us better, more complete people. The arts can spark movements that become catalysts for real change.” During her time at Western, Mullen performed in five mainstage productions in the Performing Arts Center and three performances elsewhere on campus. She also joined the Pacific Northwest Opera to dance in “Carmen” last fall. In addition, Mullen is a talented harpist who has toured with a musical ensemble. She’s known for her strong sense of teamwork, work ethic and creativity that she brings to demanding rehearsal sessions. For her sociology coursework, Mullen’s capstone project explored how political orientation affects interracial dating. She also helped Assistant Sociology Professor Patrick Gillham in research on policing strategies in protest situations. Mullen has traveled extensively in Europe and northern India, including time spent interviewing Tibetan refugees in Dharamshala, and has spoken about their experiences at Fairhaven Middle School and at the Seeds of Change Conference at Whatcom Community College. She also served as a volunteer with the Lighthouse Mission and Growing Veterans. The daughter of Mary Mullen and Michael Chiavario, Mullen is a graduate of Sehome High School and Whatcom Community College. After graduation, she will travel around the world for 10 months, including a visit to Dharamshala, then pursue a master’s degree in sociology.


View the entire list of Outstanding Graduates and Presidential Scholars.

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