Lauren Ellenbecker has been hired as a reporter for The Columbian newspaper, covering Vancouver city government and military/veteran affairs. Ellenbecker is a graduate of Washington State University and most recently worked for AmeriCorps NCCC, where she worked with nonprofits throughout the Midwest.

Shari Phiel has been hired as a reporter for The Columbian newspaper, covering stories on local state and county government. A University of Montana graduate, Phiel has been a resident of the Pacific Northwest for the past 12 years and most recently held the position of online editor for The Daily News in Longview.

Hope Martinez has been hired as a news assistant for The Columbian newspaper, compiling the daily vital statistics as well as other clerical and writing duties for the newsroom. A graduate of California State University – Channel Islands, Martinez is also a local artist operating under the alias @geekygenie.productions on Instagram.

Dr. Karin Edwards, president of Clark College, has been selected as one of 25 leaders selected for the 2021-22 class of the Aspen New Presidents Fellowship. The program supports community college presidents in the early years of their tenure as they aim to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success. The 25 Aspen Fellows, who lead colleges that collectively serve more than 280,000 students, were selected through a highly competitive process. Starting later this year, the Fellows will engage over nine months in residential sessions and virtual learning to develop strategies to meet their goals for student success and equity with data to assess challenges and progress.

Edwards also has been appointed to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center’s Health Board, a 12-member board that sets quality, stewardship, community service and advocacy policies for the company. Edwards assumed her role Oct. 1, serving as president of Clark College in Vancouver. Edwards manages core functions including strengthening racial equity, building community trust, championing student achievement and employee retention, and nurturing effective relationships with the community including local businesses and legislators. Prior to Clark College, Edwards also served as president of Portland Community College’s Cascade campus, and had numerous leadership roles at colleges in Connecticut and New York.