Saint Martin’s University Selects Its Sixth and Final Cadre of Act Six Scholars

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Saint Martin’s University welcomes seven new Act Six Scholars to the incoming class of 2028 this fall. The scholars are among 117 emerging urban and community leaders from Tacoma-Seattle, Portland-Salem, Spokane, Yakima Valley, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis-St. Paul area high schools. Each scholar will receive full tuition scholarships as members of the last Act Six cohort.

Photo courtesy: Saint Martin’s University

Selected through a rigorous three-month competition from hundreds of applicants, these student leaders were among 20 finalists who were invited to interview for the scholarship. The scholars were selected for their commitment to serving their communities, passion for learning, eagerness to foster intercultural relationships, and willingness to step out of their comfort zones.

The sixth cadre of Saint Martin’s Act Six Scholars include:

  • Alexandra (Alex) Colocho (Mechanical Engineering, Lincoln High School),
  • Khadeja (Deja) Jangana (Undecided, Foster High School),
  • Austin Linn (Business Administration, Governor J R Rogers High School),
  • Han Nguyen (Pre-dental, Franklin High School),
  • Bailey Oas (Criminology and Criminal Justice, Franklin Pierce High School),
  • Josiah Tiblow (Criminology and Criminal Justice, Todd Beamer High School),
  • Alex Velasquez (Computer Science, Washington High School)


“Selecting the next Act Six Cadre is one of the most rewarding parts of the year,” said Saint Martin’s Dean of Admissions and Enrollment Patty Lemon. “Our campus community is enriched by the unique talents and variety of experiences that each scholar brings. I am excited to see them flourish as they pursue and achieve their academic goals at Saint Martin’s.”

The Act Six network is a leadership development and scholarship initiative led by Degrees of Change that identifies, trains and supports the region’s most promising urban students as transformative campus and community leaders. Recipients of the award receive full-tuition, full-need scholarships over the next four years. Since 2002, Act Six has trained 1,406 scholars from seven cities in 210 cadres for 17 private, liberal arts colleges. While 91 percent are from low-income families or are first-generation college goers, 81 percent graduate within six years—12 points higher than all students at their colleges.

In May 2024, Degrees of Change announced that this year’s cohort would be Act Six’s last. They cited the withdrawal of multiple partner colleges as the reason for the closure, acknowledging the unprecedented challenges facing colleges across the country. Degrees of Change reiterated their commitment to the Act Six scholars still enrolled in partner institutions, affirming that their goal has always been to support students through graduation and to prepare them for successful careers.

“Act Six’s closure makes this last and all cadres currently in the program special,” reflected Lemon. “What they bring to our campus as leaders and to their community will be felt for years to come.”

Please visit the Saint Martin’s University Act Six webpage for more information.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent coeducational university, with undergraduate and graduate offerings, located on a wooded campus of more than 380 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University empowers students to pursue a lifetime of learning and accomplishment through its 31 majors, 11 master’s programs, one doctorate program and seven certificate programs spanning the arts and sciences, business, counseling, education, engineering, nursing, and leadership. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

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