Each year NSCC acknowledges one or more alumni for their academic achievements, professional accomplishments and service to the community. This year's Distinguished Alumni are James Keblas and Nkwenti Davidson Achu. The two were presented at commencement on June 19th for which they served as featured speakers.
James Keblas attended North beginning in 1997. After receiving his Associate of Arts degree he was accepted into the University of Washington's program for Urban Design and Community Planning, from which he graduated in 2000. In March, 2005, Keblas was named Director of the City of Seattle Mayor's Office of Film and Music. In this position, he promotes and supports film production and the music industry in Seattle. Prior to that role he served as an assistant manager at the Seattle Arts Commission where he was later on the Board of Directors. He was recruited to work for the city from the VERA Project, which he co-founded in 1999 as a music and arts center run by and for youth. The VERA project, now established at Seattle Center with support from the city and the Seattle Arts Commission, has attracted international attention. This spring, James toured Europe as a German Marshall Fellow, an honor for which he was recommended by Mayor Nichols. He has been profiled in the Puget Sound Business Journal, Media Inc. and The Stranger which wrote, " . . . "Keblas has garnered nothing but praise from members of the film community. . "
Nkwenti Davidson Achu, travelled from Cameroon, West Africa, to receive his award. Achu attended North from 1976-1978. He transferred to the University of Washington and then completed his Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Oregon State University. He is a practicing pharmacist in Cameroon as well as the President of his country's Pharmaceutical Society National Council. He has held a number of positions in the Cameroon Ministry of Public Health including the Director of Pharmacy and Medical Analytic Laboratory Services at Nkognsamba Divisional Hospital and the Provisional Director of the Cameroon National Pharmaceutical Cooperative. Among many other professional and community leadership roles, he was the President of the Northwest Branch of the Cameroon Diabetes Association and has received several awards for fostering diabetes awareness through diabetes and hypertension patient education clinics at his pharmacy and through his regular appearances on radio. He was also recently honored as an OSU College of Pharmacy distinguished alumnus.
Watch Achu in an interview with John Sharify
originally published 24 June, 2009