International Newsletter

Student of the Month: Jonathan Santoso - Indonesia

By Lansing Bryan, September 1, 2017

Why did you choose Green River College?

I chose Green River College for its academic reputation in science and engineering and because of the High School Completion program. This program sounded appealing to me because I could save time and money by completing my High School Diploma at the same time working towards my Associates Degree. Green River was the perfect path towards continuing my higher education and transferring to prestigious schools in USA. I believe that the USA is a country with cutting edge technology and Green River gave me the best introduction. Green River was my first choice due to its location in a suburban area which is ideal to support learning and appreciating nature of the Pacific North West.

How did Green River help you achieve your transfer goals?

Green River gave me a lot of opportunities to excel. I have always dreamt of transferring to prestigious schools, one of which is University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley). Transferring to a good school does not only require good grades, but also being an active member of the community. Green River has an extensive list of leadership opportunities (clubs, volunteers, panels, etc.). By joining these activities, we are able to show our commitment to being an integral part of our community. I joined clubs such as Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and was elected as a Secretary. It is important to note that leadership position does not always mean that we need to be a president or vice president. Instead, it is what you have contributed to the community that counts. I recommend using this as part of your personal statements!

I met my transfer goal thanks to the many people who helped me with the application process.I am extremely thankful to my advisors that were always available to chat with me whenever I had obstacles. Making effective personal statements sounds easier than it actually is. Peers, faculty, and staff all over the campus helped me build and revise my personal statements. I would like to give a shoutout to Andrew Turgeon for helping me brainstorm topic ideas for my personal statements. Also a shoutout to the Personal Statement Advisor for revising my essay, making it more direct and effective. There are lots of resources available at Green River to ensure your success in reaching your transfer goals.

What was one of your most memorable experiences at Green River College?

There are a lot of good memories. I will never forget the time when I studied organic chemistry with my friend, Yasin, during spring break. I learnt the meaning of being resilient throughout the organic chemistry series. It was a challenging series and requires a fresh perspective of the subject. We had a less satisfying results the previous quarter, but we stood back up. We were committed to review and make a better foundation to prepare for the incoming topic for the last quarter of organic chemistry series. This is particularly important as the final for that last organic chemistry class (CHEM&263) was a cumulative exam covering the whole year of the series. We began studying in the Student Union during the break. We did this throughout spring break and during spring quarter. We grew to be more avid towards the subject and ended up loving the series. I felt that I truly loved my major and am fascinated with the topic. I am proud to say that we both aced the exam and passed the class with a 4.0 GPA.

What were some of your major accomplishments?

I recently had the honored of receiving the 2016-2017 International Programs & Service Award as well as the Mathematics Division Awards during the Commencement. Last year, I was selected for “Outstanding Dedication to Chemistry and Overall Academic Excellence” from the Chemistry Department and was awarded with the David Bender Memorial Scholarships through the Green River College Foundation.

Would you recommend Green River to a friend and why?

Absolutely. Green River challenged me so that I can show my best through classes. The instructors are highly trained in their disciplines and you can get a lot of interesting experiences / perspectives by talking to them.

Green River has a strong sense of community that made an introvert like me able to connect and bond with people. By the end of my time at Green River, I knew most people on campus.

Tips: Take the Green River Trail to see the sunset/sunrise whenever you need a boost. It works like magic.

I am particularly fond of the photo below because it contains not only the people that I have known and loved throughout my journey in Organic Chemistry, but also shows the sense of community and importance of humor in an academic setting. With a brilliant instructor, this series is challenging yet eye-opening. With these lovely (read: crazy) friends, I have learned team work and resilience. These people changed me for the better. If I had the option to go through this experience again, I would do it without a doubt.

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