Shorewood graduate WWU Presidential Scholar

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Michael Pegis, WWU
Presidential Scholar for
College of Sciences and Technology
Photo courtesy WWU

Michael Pegis, a Shoreline resident who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and was named that department’s Outstanding Graduate, was honored for his scholarly and volunteer work with a Presidential Scholar award at graduation ceremonies at Western Washington University in Bellingham June 9, 2012.

Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard honored seven graduates as Presidential Scholars during Commencement ceremonies. Pegis was awarded a medallion as the College of Sciences and Technology’s Presidential Scholar.

Presidential Scholar awards honor top students in six colleges and were instituted by President Emeritus Karen W. Morse during Western’s Centennial in 2000 to honor graduates for their exceptional scholarship and service to the university and community.

Shorewood graduate Pegis is the son of Lisa Rensberger of Shoreline and John Pegis of Chicago. His research explores the conversion of agricultural waste into usable chemicals and fuels. 

As the lead Chemistry tutor at the WWU Tutoring Center, he worked with over 7,000 students in Math, Chemistry, Physics and Philosophy for the past three years. Recently, he served as a volunteer private tutor for low-income students. He said this is an integral method to not only help students with financial difficulties stay in college but give them the tools necessary to achieve their goals and become successful. As part of his tutoring experience, he conducted research on learning styles and incorporated his findings into the center’s tutor training programs.

He volunteered with the Washington Trails Organization’s cleanup efforts and served food to homeless people through the St. Joseph Parish in Seattle.

After graduation, Pegis will enroll in the University of Washington’s graduate program, where he will pursue a doctorate in Physical Inorganic Chemistry. 



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