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Gov. Jay Inslee appoints Dr. Tia Benson Tolle and student Omar Abdulla to the Board of Trustees


Edmonds Community College’s Board of Trustees has gained two new members, Dr. Tia Benson Tolle, and a new Student Trustee, Omar Abdulla.

In December, Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Benson Tolle to serve a term which will run through September 2020. She replaces board member Dick Van Hollebeke, who finished his term in September.

Abdulla was also appointed by Gov. Inslee in December and will serve a term which will run through June 2016. He replaces Student Trustee Girish Chummun.

The Edmonds Community College Board of Trustees is composed of six members appointed by the governor. All members except the Student Trustee serve a five-year term. The Student Trustee serves a one-year term.

Benson Tolle is currently the Director of Advanced Materials at Boeing and has an extensive work history in aerospace materials and engineering. She’s also worked at NASA’s Johnson Space Center as a Flight Crew Instructor and held several technical leadership positions at the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Benson Tolle wholeheartedly believes in education and its role as a key to success and a gateway for opportunity.

Omar Abdulla
Omar Abdulla was appointed as our third student trustee. Abdulla currently serves as a member of the Associated Students of Edmonds Community College and is a student leader committed to contributing to the positive, inclusive environment at the college. He works to provide education, cultural, and social programs for students such as the Brown Bag Lecture Series.

Outside of the college, Abdulla is a part-time sports instructor at the Dale Turner YMCA in Shoreline.

"I'm very pleased about Gov. Inslee's appointment of Dr. Benson Tolle and Mr. Omar Abdulla to our board," said Dr. Jean Hernandez, Edmonds CC President. "Dr. Benson Tolle’s accomplishments in the STEM field is a clear representation of her leadership and I’m confident she will be an inspiration to our students.”

"Edmonds CC and Bellevue College are the only two community colleges in our state system of 34 community and technical colleges to have student trustees," said Hernandez. "I am very proud of our Board of Trustees for establishing the student trustee position and having a student 'at the table' with them."

Benson Tolle and Abdulla join Diana Clay, co-owner of Clay Enterprises LLC, a local real estate development business; Quentin Powers, Vice-President of Internal Audit, Compliance, and Ethics at Premera Blue Cross; Emily Yim, Executive Director of The Washington Alliance for Better Schools; and Carl Zapora, Superintendent of Public Hospital District No. 2 (PHD2) Snohomish County.

The Board of Trustees ensures the accountability of Edmonds Community College. Each member must reside within the college's district boundaries. The trustees also serve the statewide system of community and technical colleges responsible for creating opportunities for students across the state on the Trustees Association of Community and Technical Colleges.