Saint Martin’s alum appointed to HEC Board

November 14, 2006

Lacey, Washington— Jonathan Sprouffske, a 2004 Saint Martin’s University graduate now pursuing a law degree, was just named to the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB). He is the first private college student to ever be appointed to the student position of the ten-member citizen board. HECB members administer Washington State’s student financial aid programs and provide planning, coordination, monitoring and policy analysis for higher education.

Sprouffske is looking forward to his HECB tenure and “working with a diverse group of people who all feel passionate about higher education and want to see students succeed.” Board members are charged by state law to represent the “broad public interest above the interests of the individual colleges and universities.” He feels uniquely qualified to address student financial aid issues since he personally relied on three, state-sponsored financial aid programs to complete his Saint Martin’s education.

“My father died when I was a high school freshman. Not long after that, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. My financial options to attend college were limited,” recalls Sprouffske. “I knew about Saint Martin’s, in part because my two cousins had gone there, but I needed financial assistance to attend and they made the necessary financial aid possible.”

One of Sprouffske’s objectives following his HECB appointment is to “make certain that all Washington students have access to college.” While earning a double major in business administration and theater arts, Sprouffske utilized three HECB administered financial aid programs, the Washington Promise Scholarship, the Washington Award for Vocational Excellence, and state-sponsored work study to finance his education. Since graduation, he enrolled in Seattle University’s Law School and is currently serving an internship with Smith Alling Lane, P.S., a Tacoma general practice law firm.

While attending Saint Martin’s Sprouffske was active in student government, eventually becoming student body president. He also competed in track and served as a residential advisor. “Saint Martin’s students can get as much out of their education as they are willing to put into it,” he believes. “I chose to be very involved and I was rewarded in spades for that energy.”

He notes that both faculty and staff made significant, positive contributions to his education and his personal development. “Don Stout, Business Professor and David Hlavsa, Associate Professor in Theater, were “instrumental with their inspiration and encouragement. They really pushed me to become the person I am today.”

On the staff side, Sprouffske credits his four-year work study job in Saint Martin’s Campus Security, working with Pat Sturgill, Director, Safety and Security, and Mary Law, University Registrar, with enhancing his education, enjoyment of the campus and his academic success.

A native of the small town of Rainier, Sprouffske recalls how the Saint Martin’s campus community enveloped him when his mother died during his senior year. “I received overwhelming support from everyone. It was truly inspirational how everyone rallied around me.” Sprouffske now serves on the Saint Martin’s Alumni Association Board of Directors as second vice president, in part to give back to the community that always provided so much support.

Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. A Catholic, Benedictine university, Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,200 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey, Washington main campus, and 600 more to three extension campuses.

For additional information:
Anne Kirske
Interim communication director