Edmonds Community College alumnus Timm Lovitt was one of five community college students statewide earning a $500 “Transforming Lives” award from the Trustees Association of Community and Technical Colleges at a ceremony Jan. 19 in Olympia.
The annual Transforming Lives award honors students and graduates who overcome barriers to achieve their higher education goals, demonstrating how Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges help transform lives through education and support. Each college fielded a nominee. In addition to Lovitt, others selected were Alain Patience Mizero, Bellevue College; Miraclejoy Curtis, Big Bend Community College; Alan Lovaasen, Olympic College; and Jeffery Ray, Tacoma Community College.
Lovitt is an Army veteran who signed up a week before 9/11. He took part in numerous combat situations while in Iraq and Afghanistan, surviving one car bomb attack that resulted in a traumatic brain injury, which he would eventually overcome. It was Peter Schmidt, Veterans Training Support Center project director at Edmonds Community College, who encouraged Lovitt to deal with his struggles and connected him with Services for Students with Disabilities.
The extra help improved Lovitt’s grades, and he went on to make the dean’s list every subsequent quarter and create both the Veterans and Students Alliance for a Viable Environment clubs.
“Edmonds Community College instructors were committed to my success and challenged me to engage and get involved,” said Lovitt. “The highlight of my time at Edmonds CC was seeing the Boots to Books veterans monument installed on campus in June 2010. My hope is that it helps veterans understand that they have value to their community and that the college is committed to helping them succeed.”
After graduating from Edmonds Community College, Lovitt went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Public Affairs from Seattle University and a master’s in Business Administration from Western Governor’s University. He participated in the first cohort of the Washington Department of Veteran Affairs and later became its first Traumatic Brain Injury Field Coordinator. He plans to pursue a doctorate degree and continue to work with student veterans, which he is currently doing as Director of Veteran Resources and Services at Green River Community College in Auburn.
“Edmonds CC was a springboard to Timm’s academic and personal career, and he made the best of its supportive environment,” the Edmonds CC Board of Trustees wrote in a letter nominating Lovitt. “As a result, he not only transformed his life, but the life of the campus, and many others along the way.”