• Dr. Jennifer Ernst will become Yakima Valley College’s vice president for instruction and student services on July 1. Ernst is a first-generation community college student, attending Glendale Community College before earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s degree in English literature from Duquesne University and a doctorate in community college leadership from Ferris State University. She most recently served as dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Henry Ford College in Michigan.
  • Veratta Pegram-Floyd will join Central Washington University as director of undergraduate student advising on June 15. Pegram-Floyd currently serves as the academic and career coordinator of the Tykeson College at the University of Oregon. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in education from Seattle University.
  • Laurie Knebusch of Cowiche was elected chair of the Washington Apple Education Foundation. Darrin Belton of Zillah was elected vice-chairman, Keith Veselka of Yakima was elected secretary and Ben Jensen of Yakima was elected treasurer. The Washington Apple Education Foundation was founded in 1994 as the charity of the tree fruit industry.

Current board members Ben Jensen, Orchard-Rite, Yakima; Bob Mast, CMI Orchards, Wenatchee; Kailan Dunn, H.R. Spinner Co., Yakima; and Rolando Martin, Washington Fruit & Produce Company, Pasco, were each elected to serve an additional three-year term.

Health care

  • Dr. Midhuna Papazian has joined Family Medicine of Yakima, a Yakima Valley Memorial primary care practice. She received her doctorate at Albany Medical College in New York and did her advanced obstetrics fellowship at Swedish First Hill, Seattle.


  • Greg Stewart, retired general manager and president of the Central Washington State Fair in Yakima, has been appointed to the Washington State Fairs Commission. State commissioners evaluate the dozens of fairs around Washington and assist in the preparation of the merit rating used in determining allocations made to fairs in the state. Commissioners also act as ambassadors for the state Department of Agriculture.