Brigette Hinnant named WSU Tri-Cities 2023 Outstanding Senior for the Department of English

By Lacey Desserault

Washington State University Tri-Cities’ 2023 Outstanding Senior for the Department of English is Brigette Hinnant. Originally from Kennewick, Hinnant has earned a bachelor of arts in English, with a major in literary studies and a minor in professional science and technology writing. Prior to attending WSU Tri-Cities, she was a student in the Running Start program, where she completed an associate in arts and sciences degree with honors at Columbia Basin College.

“I chose literary studies because I have always loved reading and writing. As I’ve grown, I’ve also become interested in more complex topics, so literary studies has helped me understand and critically think about what I am reading and writing about. This major also allows me to pursue topics that I am curious about and exposes me to new topics that provides a space where I can discuss and learn about them,” Hinnant said.

Earlier this year, Hinnant received the Emeritus Society Undergraduate Research Grant in Arts and Humanities for her project entitled “Experience of Filipina War Brides as Immigrants to the United States After World War II.” Currently in collaboration with Patricia Wilde, assistant professor of English, her research incorporates rarely used archives from the Filipina War Brides Association while using a decolonial feminist approach to understand the community building practices of Filipina women in the Pacific Northwest. She will analyze how they managed the challenges of relocating to a new country while preserving their cultural identities from home.

“As a Filipina, my culture and history has been a large source of inspiration for me. I am involved in Asian American studies, women’s studies, and postcolonial studies because of how I can relate to these fields. English encourages me to explore the subjects that mean a lot to me,” Hinnant said.

Hinnant has also received several other awards throughout her academic career, including the Auvil Scholars Fellowship and President’s Honor Roll, and she credits WSU Tri-Cities professors for her academic success. “Without the help of my professors Dr. Patricia Wilde, Dr. Michael Mays, and Dr. Gibran Escalera I would not have had all of the amazing opportunities that I’ve come across. They’ve assisted me through so much and have supported me in my academic endeavors,” Hinnant said. “I chose WSUTC because it is a small campus that allows for more personalized help between staff and students.”

Hinnant’s goal is to publish her research paper to the Peitho Journal and attend graduate school in rhetoric and composition studies, hoping to eventually become either an editor or a professor to conduct more research.