Spokane chemist builds success after starting close to home at SPSCC

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Inspired by SPSCC: Scott Nordahl

Research Chemist, Iasis Molecular Sciences


Scott stands in front of shelving of bottles in lab with microscope and blue gloves

“SPSCC prepared me for a transfer and gave me a leg up when applying into the chemistry program at Western.”

Scott Nordahl, SPSCC (2008), Associate of Arts

Scott always excelled in academics and athletics.  Graduating in the top 10 of his class, he could have gone to college almost anywhere.  But when it came to picking a school, Scott knew that the value of being close to home, and saving significant dollars on tuition, made sense to him.

“I was unsure of where I wanted to take my life after high school, but I did like science.  However, I knew I wanted to continue playing soccer and I wanted to give myself the best opportunity to succeed in a career by continuing my education.”

He found all that and more at SPSCC where he played soccer and earned an associate degree before transferring to Western Washington University’s chemistry program.

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“I grew up in Elma, about 30 minutes outside of Olympia,” said Scott.  In the quiet town of just over 3,000, Scott’s impressive GPA and skills on the soccer field were getting noticed.  “I was passionate about playing soccer and even earned league recognition for my performance on the field.”  When Scott graduated from high school in 2006, he was unsure what his next steps would be, and then found a path at SPSCC.

Scott works in front of a pane of glass, hands extended through gloves to work on the others side“That summer I attended tryouts for SPSCC's Clippers Men’s Soccer program—and earned a spot on the roster.”  He enrolled in math and science classes to sharpen his skills to eventually enter a science or engineering program at a four year university.

Scott continued to excel in school and on the field, earning him a scholarship that reduced his tuition for two years at SPSCC.  He also worked hard to pay for the tuition that wasn’t covered through scholarships.  “In my second year I was able to use the work study program to earn money as an equipment manager for the soccer team while I was a player.”

After graduating from SPSCC in 2008, Scott swiftly transferred to Western’s chemistry program with the encouragement of an SPSCC professor.  He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 2011 and found an opportunity at a startup research company in Spokane, WA: Iasis Molecular Sciences.  “We are currently developing antimicrobial technology, which we intend to implement into medical devices to prevent and treat healthcare acquired infections in the near future.”  He’s worked for Iasis as a Research Chemist for the past five years and is extremely passionate about the company’s work and his role.  And it was his time at SPSCC that really sparked a passion in the sciences that led to his next steps to Western and a career.

Scott stands in front of a microscope, smiling with blue gloves onScott earned an Associate of Arts degree, a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, and is now working successfully in his field.  Attending SPSCC allowed Scott to stay with his parents for a few more years and commute from home.  He also felt good about paying less for tuition than he would at a university while determining a career path.  

“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at SPSCC.  I think it had a huge impact to where I am today. I would recommend SPSCC to any prospective student.  Financially it is a great decision and the classes offered are quality. The degree prepared me for a transfer and gave me a leg up when applying into the chemistry program at Western.”

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