Bates students named to All-Washington Academic Team

Monday, March 17

Students will receive scholarships and recognition as part of prestigious academic team

TACOMA, Wash. - Bates Technical College students Elke Schwartz and Renee Sweet have been selected as members of the All-Washington Academic Team for their academic achievement and community service.  

Along with other top scholars from the state's 34 technical and community colleges, the two will be honored and presented with a medallion at a reception in Olympia on Thursday, March 27.  

Spanaway resident Schwartz, 46, knew Bates was a perfect fit because of the college's reputation, affordability, and flexible schedule. Now completing her degree in Information Technology, she is active in the Associated Student Government and Phi Theta Kappa, the two-year college honor society. She also works in the college's IT department to gain real-world experience and enhance her learning. In addition, Schwartz volunteers in her church and raises funds for the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life to honor her mother, who passed away from cancer.  

For Sweet, 42, the biggest reason she chose Bates was the class size. She knew she'd do better with one-on-one time with the instructor, and she'd graduate with a degree and little student loan debt. Following 13 years as a mail carrier, she decided to change course and enroll in college at age 40. She chose Marketing and Business Management because she wants to work for a socially-responsible business in supply chain management. After this quarter, the Burien native plans to pursue a bachelor's degree in business administration.  

Schwartz and Sweet will receive scholarships from KeyBank and the Washington State Employees Credit Union, and both will have the opportunity to receive other scholarships.  Additionally, several Washington state public and private four-year colleges and universities will extend scholarships to academic team members who transfer into their institutions.  

For more information about the All-Washington Academic Team, go to

About Bates Technical College

Founded in 1940, Bates Technical College offers certificate and degree opportunities in 53 career education programs, and serves approximately 3,000 career training students and 10,000 more community members annually in extended learning, distance learning, high school, and other programs. For more information, go to, or call 253.680.7000.  

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