Rachel Solemsaas, vice president-administrative services at Bellevue College, has been named a “Woman of Power In Education” by the Women of Color Empowered organization and the Northwest Asian Weekly Foundation.
She and 12 other honorees will be recognized at a public luncheon Sept. 24 at China Harbor Restaurant in Seattle.
Solemsaas is a veteran of 22 years’ experience in public sector administration. She joined the Bellevue College senior staff in January 2009, arriving from Edmonds Community College in Edmonds, where she served for four years as vice president of finance and operations.
A resident of Lake Stevens, Solemsaas also works to promote education and the welfare of youth as a volunteer in the broader Snohomish County community.
Currently she serves as treasurer of the governing board of Dawson Place Child Advocacy Center in Everett, which aids children and families victimized by sexual or physical abuse.
She served from 2002 to 2008 as a member of the Snohomish County Children’s Commission, an advisory board appointed by the Snohomish County Council to focus on issues of health, safety and child welfare.
Solemsaas earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington and a bachelor of science degree in accounting from De La Salle University in the Philippines.
She is studying currently toward a doctoral degree in community college leadership at Washington State University, with a research focus on eradicating poverty through education, specifically among foster youth.
Solemsaas was born and raised in the Philippines, arriving in the U.S. with her family in 1986.
Women of Color Empowered is a local non-profit organization whose mission is “to showcase the achievements of women who are an inspiration, women who have broken through the glass ceilings, and who are doing great work bettering their communities.”
It selects honorees on the basis of career achievements, contributions to communities of color and inspirational leadership.