We are thrilled to introduce the newest member of the Bellevue College Continuing Education team – Jennifer Sohonie, Director of Community Solutions. Jennifer joins us as the new leader of some of our most popular programs including World Languages, Art & Design, Personal Enrichment, and TELOS for active retirees. With a diverse background in Sociology and Culinary Education, as well as a love for travel and connecting with people, Jennifer brings with her a passion for lifelong learning that aligns perfectly with the needs of our unique programs and students.
Want to learn more about Jennifer and the future of Community Solutions at Continuing Education? Read our Q&A with the new director below:
Why did you choose to work at Bellevue College Continuing Education?
I chose to work here because of the solid foundation that exists for building a strong Continuing Education program. As the demand for high quality learning grows outside of degree programs, Continuing Education will be a greater force in the market place, whether one is seeking professional development, personal growth or lifelong learning. Bellevue College has a quality learning environment with instructors and staff who care deeply about the student experience.
What is your educational background and experience?
I come from the realm of Culinary Education, where I held the role of Campus Director for Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Seattle. In my tenure with the culinary programs, I started as a Faculty member, Director of Education and finally Campus Director. Prior to Le Cordon Bleu, I worked in the fine dining segment of the culinary industry. I worked in restaurants, hotels, and I owned a business where we prepared freshly cooked meals delivered to your home. I earned my BA in Sociology from Duke University and I earned my Masters in Education from American Intercontinental University.
What are you most excited about in your new position?
I am most excited about the team that I am joining. I feel like there is a really positive energy which will lend well to building our programs. Ultimately my goal is to help more students fulfill their potential, and I feel this role brings a high impact in doing so.
What opportunities do you see for Continuing Education in your area?
I think we have an opportunity to increase the scope of our programs. In growing the programs we will be better able to address the needs of our students, allowing them to fulfill their lifelong learning potential. We want to know what is in demand within our community and work closely with instructors to provide an optimal learning experience for our students.
What does lifelong learning mean to you? And why?
In my mind, one cannot stop the learning process as one is never done learning. As one slows their learning, one slows their life.
“In all professions without doubt, but certainly in cooking, one is a student all their life” – Fernand Point
Is there something interesting about yourself that you want to share?
I live to travel. I love to travel with my family. I will travel anywhere. It reminds me that the vast majority of people have kind hearts.
Last Updated January 17, 2018