RICHLAND, Wash. – Individuals are encouraged to nominate distinguished female students, staff, faculty members, alumnae or community members who have made notable contributions to the Washington State University Tri-Cities campus through service, teaching or involvement.

Women of Distinction plaquesThe deadline to nominate for WSU Tri-Cities’ Women of Distinction program is March 26. Individuals should submit their nominations at

“We have incredible female leaders and mentors here at WSU Tri-Cities and in the community that both move the university forward and make our region, state and nation a better place,” he said. “I’m excited to welcome nominations for our next class of talented and distinguished female individuals who continue to set an incredible example in our community.”

The selection committee welcomes nominations of women who meet some or all of the following criteria:

  • Exhibits leadership in her discipline or area of expertise
  • Serves as role models and/or mentors to other women
  • Advocates for positive social change that helps close the leadership gap and create a more equitable society
  • Demonstrates a commitment to the missions of WSU Tri-Cities
  • Demonstrates a commitment to social justice and inclusion
  • Has earned respect within their communities
  • Supports policies, practices, attitudes, and/or actions that are intended to produce equitable outcomes for all
  • Gives back to the community through their time, talent, and/or resources

The honorees will be recognized at a photo exhibition and opening reception at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 20, 2018, in the CIC Art Gallery.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Join Washington State University Tri-Cities for a social evening of exquisite wine and food on April 14 as part of the Crimson Food and Wine Classic at Hamilton Cellars and proceeds will go to the university’s hospitality business management and wine business management programs.

Crimson Food Classic at Hamilton CellarsThe evening will begin at 6 p.m. at Hamilton Cellars, 55410 N Sunset Rd. in Benton City, Washington, and will feature six Hamilton wines paired with dishes developed by WSU Pullman lead chef Jamie Callison and WSU students that integrate local and season tastes and flavors.

“It will be an excellent evening of examining and showcasing not only one of our region’s accomplished wineries, but also the hospitality and wine expertise of our WSU Tri-Cities students,” said Robert Harrington, academic director of the WSU Tri-Cities Carson College of Business. “It should be a fun night of food, wine and social networking, as well as an excellent opportunity to get to know some of our accomplished students.”

During the event, students will also present food pairings, manage the silent auction and interact with guests. An example pairing is house-smoked salmon bacon served with roasted Northwest beets, WSU Cougar Gold Cheese, blushing beet stems and paired with 2013 Hamilton Cellars, Weinbau Vineyard Cabernet Franc.Crimson Food and Wine Classic at Hamilton Cellars

“We are so excited to taste the food that Chef Jamie and his students are preparing to pair with our wines,” said Stacie Hamilton, one of the owners of Hamilton Cellars. “Chef Jamie is an amazing chef with an exquisite palate, so we are expecting a magical experience.”

The cost is $75 per person on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets may be purchased at

For more information, contact Deanne Pilkenton at 509-372-7264 or

Richland, Wash. – Anthony’s Restaurants will host the WSU Blended Learning Spring Release Party at Budd’s Broiler at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28. The public is invited to attend.

WSU viticulture and enology student Melanie Ford pours a glass of wine during last year's Blended Learning release party at Budd's Broiler.

WSU viticulture and enology student Melanie Ford pours a glass of wine during last year’s Blended Learning release party at Budd’s Broiler.

Event registration is $125 and includes a wine tasting reception, followed by a four-course dinner prepared by Anthony’s culinary team and expertly paired with wines from some of Washington’s most esteemed wineries. Tickets are available online.

During the tasting reception, guests will be treated to the exclusive, first samples of new WSU Blended Learning student-made wines poured by WSU Viticulture & Enology (V&E) students.

Blended Learning is a V&E class offered to students each semester.  This student winemaking project supports hands-on learning by pairing students with local growers and winemakers who collaborate on all aspects of the winemaking process.

Newly released wines included:

2018 Dry Rosé
Partner Vineyard & Winery: Ancient Lake Wine Company, Columbia Valley

Wine and was released during last year's Blended Learning release party at Budd's Broiler.

WSU wine that was released during last year’s Blended Learning release party at Budd’s Broiler.

2016 GSM
Partner Vineyard: Hattrup Farms, Elephant Mountain
Partner Winery: Bookwalter

2015 Durif
Partner Vineyard & Winery: Kiona Vineyards, Red Mountain

This is the third year in a row that Anthony’s has hosted a fundraising event where 100 percent of funds raised support the WSU V&E Program. To date, Anthony’s has helped raise close to $50,000! Their continued support provides funds for lab modifications and new equipment at the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center in Richland, Wash.


Kaury Balcom, WSU viticulture and enology communication & pubic relations coordinator, 509-372-7223,

The WSU community statewide is invited to attend President Kirk Schulz’s annual State of the University address and reception, Tuesday, March 27 from 3:10-5:10 p.m. in Bryan Hall auditorium. The address, which is one of WSU’s 2018 Showcase activities, will be livestreamed for those unable to attend in person.

The past year has been marked by remarkable achievements across the University’s statewide enterprise. From record-breaking enrollment to major steps forward in

WSU President Kirk Schulz

WSU President Kirk Schulz

advancing health care, from unparalleled success in the athletic arena to WSU’s growing presence in the Puget Sound area, there is much to celebrate.

President Schulz will highlight examples of notable progress from the past 12 months during his remarks and point out how those successes set the stage for the University to become one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities in the coming years.

The address will be available for group viewing at WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, WSU Everett, WSU Vancouver, and the WSU Downtown Seattle office.

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. – Adam Halvorsen knows that providing the best possible patient care is crucial in the health field, which is why he is using his degree in nursing from Washington State University Tri-Cities to advocate for better care for patients and for his nursing colleagues across the state.

Halvorsen got involved in advocating for nursing policy as a student at WSU Tri-Cities. Little did he know, his efforts would lead him to become the WSU College of Nursing Outstanding Undergraduate Student this fall.

“It’s been an amazing ride so far,” he said. “I’ve been very humbled by this profession and by my incredible colleagues, and I’m excited to see where it leads me.”

Inspired by service

Halvorsen’s passion for service grew out of his start in the military. The day after 9/11, he signed up for the U.S. Marine Corps and spent four years active-duty with time in Okinawa, Japan, as well as through a tour in Iraq.

“Sept. 11 happened and on Sept. 12, I signed up,” he said. “I saw a need and I went for it. My core philosophy is service. I believe in service to others before self.”

After he left the armed forces, Halvorsen continued his career in service in two jobs: as an emergency management technician for Medstar Ambulance and as a firefighter for the Gallup Fire Department in Gallup, New Mexico. He enjoyed those roles, he said, but he wanted to be a part of the long-term care and recuperation of his patients, rather than just being a part of their initial care in his emergency care roles.

“The thing with nursing is you don’t see a person at their height of being – you see people at their base,” he said. “To be able to be allowed in that moment of their lives and to try to have a positive impact, it is a blessing to be able to do that.”

He enrolled in the WSU Tri-Cities nursing program, which is where he was introduced to opportunities that would allow him to use his passion to better nursing and patient care for Washington state.

Leadership in nursing

In addition to the hands-on training he received from his experienced professors and instructors in the WSU Tri-Cities nursing program, Halvorsen received the opportunity to take on leadership roles within several state nursing organizations.

He served as president of Nursing Students of Washington State. His experience at WSU also led him to serve as part of the Washington State Nurses Association, as well as attend a national conference through the National Student Nurses’ Association. Through these affiliations, Halvorsen had the opportunity to provide input on association policy, expand communication efforts through video, as well as generally advocate for his peers and future colleagues in nursing.

Adam Halvorsen with a peer at the 35th annual Nurse Legislative Day

Adam Halvorsen with a peer at the 35th annual Nurse Legislative Day

Last year, Halvorsen also joined his WSU peers to represent WSU at Nursing Day at the Capitol in Olympia, which allowed him to interact with prominent government figures to advocate for patient care and speak publically about the importance of nursing education and the nursing profession.

Halvorsen said he hadn’t initially planned on getting involved with these types of leadership roles or that it would lead him earning the WSU College of Nursing Outstanding Undergraduate Student award.

“I honestly didn’t expect it, but I’m honored to represent my incredible peers for the work we have accomplished together,” he said.

Future as a nursing leader 

Halvorsen said the primary reason behind his activism in the nursing field is that he is able to have a positive impact, not only on the current state of health care, but also its future.

“If we could get more students interested in being proactive, not only in policy, but in their communities, we could have a much better impact in nursing, compared with what we think our limits are as student nurses,” he said. “Washington has amazing potential – we have a lot of schools and students out there. There’s an amazing opportunity to grow nursing and help people.”

After graduating this fall, Halvorsen now has the opportunity to exude even more leadership through his role as a director for the National Student Nurse’s Association where he is also head of the ethics and goverance committee for the organization. Additionally, he has accepted a position as a full-time nurse in the cardiac department of the Kadlec Regional Medical Center.

After spending a few years as a full-time nurse, he plans to obtain his doctorate of nursing practice. He hopes to use his career experience and academic credentials to continue with advocacy work and volunteer opportunities. His long-term goal is to work with the American Nursing Association to develop and refine nursing policy.

“It’s been incredible experience so far, both through my education with incredible professors at WSU, in addition to what I’ve been able to participate in through state and national organizations,” he said. “I hope to keep having an impact in nursing so that everyone can benefit.”

Halvorsen said he couldn’t have accomplished his feats without the mentorship he received from the the nurses at WSU, WSNA and those within the NSNA.

“Their guidance and leadership has taught me so much that I will continue to use throughout the rest of my career,” he said.

By Maegan Murray

RICHLAND, Wash. – Organizations and private individuals from throughout the Columbia Basin joined together last month to support the future of regional business, but not in the traditional sense.

Ryan Leaf speaks as part of the Point to Success Brunch at Anthony's at Columbia Point in Richland

Ryan Leaf speaks as part of the Point to Success Brunch at Anthony’s at Columbia Point in Richland.

The dollars didn’t go toward supporting new up-and-coming businesses, building facade renovations, or promoting the next booming business product. Rather, the $36,695 raised at Point to Success brunch event will benefit the Washington State University Tri-Cities’ Carson College of Business. The college will use the funds to support classroom innovation, student academic services and career success activities, and faculty research.

In support of the event, Anthony’s at Columbia Point donated its entire restaurant space, a first-class meal and service for the mid-morning event that welcomed more than 100 people. Other businesses and individuals donated wine for a wine grab at the event, lavish vacation packages, rounds of golf and tours and tastings from local wineries, all of which were auctioned to benefit the Carson College.

McCurley Integrity Dealerships sponsored the appearance of Cougar football great Ryan Leaf at the brunch, who shared his inspiring story of overcoming years of drug abuse to now supporting others in the recovery process. The aspect of community, Leaf said, was crucial to his recovery.

Alaska Airlines, The Lodge at Columbia Point, Abadan, Hampton Inn Seattle Southcenter, NewEdge and Bonsai Audio also gave generously by making Leaf’s trip to the Tri-Cities and stay possible and by sponsoring the costs of the event programs, signage and sound equipment.

“The community support we have seen through the years is truly incredible, given the significant drop over the last decade of state funding that supports the University,” said Robert Harrington, director of the WSU Tri-Cities academic program. “Community support allows us to continue providing a premier education our students will use to provide first-class service in the business sector.”

It just makes sense

For Mike Tvedt, general manager of Anthony’s at Columbia Point, investing in the future of wine and hospitality business just makes sense. Investing in the

A chef cooks an entry that was served as part of the Point to Success Brunch at Anthony's at Columbia Point in Richland

A chef cooks an entry that was served as part of the Point to Success Brunch at Anthony’s at Columbia Point in Richland.

education of future business leaders, ensures students are well-prepared with premier business knowledge, research-driven business methods and a mindset for success, he said.

“The reason we got involved with the Carson College of Business was because of the hospitality program moving to WSU Tri-Cities a couple of years ago,” he said. “It goes back to the founder and owner of our company, Budd Gould, who believes it is important to give back to the community. It seemed like a natural fit that we would be involved with the program and do what we can to make it successful, because we are always in need of great hospitality employees.”

The Point to Success brunch isn’t the only way that Anthony’s has given back to a WSU Tri-Cities program, either. Anthony’s Restaurants own the next-door Budd’s Broiler, which holds the annual release party for the WSU Blended Learning wines. Through the Blended Learning program, wine science students partner with local wineries to produce premier wines. Budd’s Broiler donates the space, service and food for the event each year.

The family-owned-and-operated Anthony’s Restaurants are well-known across the Pacific Northwest for their first-class service, premier food and exceptional standards. But in order to continue that legacy, and even further improve upon their hospitality service, Tvedt said they must prepare those who will lead the business on into the future.

“We strive for five-star service and a five-star experience because that is what people expect,” Tvedt said. “We want to make sure that the future of our business is prepared and has the knowledge and know-how to meet those standards. WSU Tri-Cities is helping us meet that need.”

Impact on the community 

A Carson College Coug herself, Hamilton Cellars owner Stacie Hamilton said her WSU business education has benefited her own business success. In turn, she gives

Hamilton Cellars owners at WSU Tri-Cities Wine and Jazz event

Stacie Hamilton (right), one of the owners of Hamilton Cellars, has used her degree from the Carson of College of Business in her own business.

back to the WSU Tri-Cities business program, not only as a business owner, but also as an advisory member for the Carson College and as an adjunct faculty member at WSU Tri-Cities, because she knows the return will be tenfold for the local community.

In addition to giving monetarily to events like the Point to Success Brunch and donating Hamilton Cellars wine and products, Hamilton creates real-world learning opportunities for students at the winery.

“In addition to classroom education, WSU students require the real-world practical experience, which they get through internships, jobs in local business and generally through mentors in their business field,” she said. “They apply that combined knowledge to develop businesses of their own or grow established businesses. The reciprocity between the community and the university is special.”

Looking to the future

Harrington said the support the Carson College of Businesses has received from community

Robert Harrington (left) and Pauline Garza, a recent graduate of the Carson College of Business

Robert Harrington (left) and Pauline Garza, a recent graduate of the Carson College of Business. Garza is now the head chef at The Lodge at Columbia Point.

individuals and organizations will have an immediate and lasting impact on the future of businesses across the state.

“WSU’s business programs consistently rank among the top programs in the country, and the community support has been a crucial component,” he said. “We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without our community support.”

WSU’s hospitality business program, specifically, ranks eighth in the nation among all programs, nationwide. Harrington said the Tri-Cities-based program, being in the heart of Washington wine country, has the potential to grow immensely and be a huge treasure for the regional business community.

“We strive for excellence across the board, and it shows in our graduates,” he said. “We aim to produce the best business graduates so that our community and their businesses may benefit.”

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities will host a brunch fundraiser on Jan. 27 at Anthony’s at Columbia Point in Richland, Wash., that will support the Carson College of Business.

Ryan Leaf

Ryan Leaf

The Point to Success Brunch will begin at 10 a.m. and will feature WSU football great Ryan Leaf who will present “Lying to Myself: The Ryan Leaf Story – My journey from the very top to the very bottom and back and what it takes to stay there.” The event will also include a wine grab, live and silent auctions featuring prizes ranging from a stay at a penthouse condo for eight in Mexico, to a round of golf with Leaf, to two nights for four on a Lake Union houseboat, in addition to an excellent meal presented by Anthony’s.

“All proceeds from the event make a direct and immediate impact on the success of business education and students at the WSU Tri-Cities campus,” said Robert Harrington, academic director of the Carson College of Business at WSU Tri-Cities. “This investment in quality business education in the Tri-Cities allows us to support innovations in the classroom, services and activities for student and academic career success and faculty development of research that provides business insights.”

Tickets cost $100 per person and may be purchased at

For more information, contact Darcie Bagott at or 509-335-6387.



Darcie Bagott, 509-335-6387,

Robert Harrington, WSU Tri-Cities academic director for Carson College of Business, 509-372-7487,

Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations specialist, 509-372-7333,

By Maegan Murray

RICHLAND, Wash. – Neon rainbow pathways, smoldering ember-lit caves, eerie forests and bridges that lead to mystical lands, are just some of what individuals experience in virtual reality environments created by students as part of a fine arts sculpture course at Washington State University Tri-Cities this semester.

Student experiments with sculpting in virtual reality

WSU Tri-Cities student Alana Ahquin sculpts an environment in virtual reality.

Jonah Firestone, assistant professor of education and director of the Simulation and Integrated Media for Instruction Assessment and Neurocognition (SIMIAN) Lab, first approached Sena Clara Creston, clinical assistant professor of fine arts and digital technology and culture, this semester about using the virtual reality technology in the lab as a means for student course work in the arts.

Creston decided to have her students explore the medium to create 3-D settings that can then be enjoyed and explored by others.

She said typically with art, students are limited in what they can create, as it has physical and monetary limitations. Using Google’s Tilt Brush program in virtual reality, however, students can create 3-D masterful creations that extend beyond what is physically available in the traditional art sphere.

Students created three environments using virtual reality software

Students created three different, but detailed, environments using virtual reality software as part of a sculpting class at WSU Tri-Cities.

“It’s an opportunity for students to create within the parameters of their imagination, rather than within their physical parameters,” she said.

Using imagination to explore beyond physical limits

Students worked in three teams, each group intricately designing and planning for what they would include in their environments. Using basic tools, much similar in scope and style of the Paint program on the Microsoft operating system, the students created complex worlds, each with their own flare and style that encompassed 360-degree views of colorful landscapes.

Student Athena Marquez said even though the parameters of the program were simple in concept, it forced them to use their imaginations to bring scenes and objects to life.

“It’s really freeing,” she said. “You had to use your imagination to create a whole environment.”

One of the teams created a world featuring neon and bright pulsating lights, rainbow paths, banana peels and monsters, inspired by that of Nintendo Mario Kart’s rainbow road. Another group created an enigmatic world that featured a dark and mysterious cloud-like environment featuring archways of trees that led to a cave that showcased flickering golden embers. The last group created an extravagantly detailed dual environment that first welcomes the viewer into a cloud-like nebula that then encourages the viewer to enter into a fantastical forest featuring rich trees, waterfalls, pools and other features.

The students were required to spend a minimum of 20 hours in the lab, but many ended up spending more than 30 hours working on their environments.

A hands-on, enriching experience

“I didn’t know what to think about it, at first,” fine arts student Audrey Danielson said. “But as soon as you started doing it, you become crazy about it. It definitely gave me a great perspective on what is possible with art. There is so much space and you’re free to create these large environments that other people can then explore.”

Experimenting with virtual reality environments

WSU Tri-Cities student Adam Whittier logs into a virtual reality environment that he created with a group of students in a sculpture course at WSU Tri-Cities before putting on the VR headset to immerse himself into that environment.

Student Adriana Iturbe said what she enjoyed most about the project was the fact that it blends elements of art with elements of technology and engineering.

“I think this is something that many more students should experience,” she said. “As an engineering major, what I like is seeing and exploring the connections between disciplines and using those different disciplines to bring a project to life. This project really does open your mind to other experiences.”

Student Adam Whittier said he hopes the opportunity is extended to students from a variety of different backgrounds, as it provides a learning experience like no-other that is useful to the students’ diverse academic tenure.

“There are so many capabilities,” he said.

Creston is now partnering with Bob Lewis, associate professor of computer science, and his graduate student Antonio Ledesma, on an interactive virtual reality art environment. Lewis is planning on teaching a course to program interactive environments. Creston plans to partner with him and his students to conceptualize, design and program these interactive environments.

“We want to make these environments interactive, instead of just static,” she said.

For more information on the SIMIAN Lab at WSU Tri-Cities, contact Firestone at For more information on the digital technology and culture program at WSU Tri-Cities, visit

Wine industry professionals seeking to advance their position or learn more about wine science may benefit from Washington State University’s online wine business management certificate. 

Registration for fundamentals of the wine business, the first of six modules offered by the Carson College of Business at WSU Tri-Cities, is open until  midnight, January 1,  at Students may register for individual modules or the entire one-year certificate.

Instructors include wine-industry experts, business and law professionals, and hospitality professors. Because the wine business management program is taught online, students can complete studies at their own pace within each module.

One unique aspect of the certificate is the wine business resident experiences. Students enrolled in the full certificate participate in two, off-site, hands-on wine experiences. The first introduces the strategic management wine project in Richland. Its proximity to the Red Mountain AVA, a designated American viticultural area in Benton County, Washington, exposes students to an agricultural region that distinctly makes Washington wine unique. The second residency at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in Woodinville aims to immerse students in Washington’s wine business hub.

For more information about the wine business management certificate, call the Wine Beverage Business Management program at 509-335-5766 or email

RICHLAND, Wash. – Students will present on their research, course projects and art from noon – 1 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, Dec. 12-14, as part of the Undergraduate Research Symposium and Art Exhibition at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

Undergraduate Research Symposium and Art Exhibition - Spring 2017Members of the public are invited to attend the student presentations. The sessions will be in Consolidated Information Center room 120, with Thursday’s presentations also in the Art Gallery and SIMIAN Lab, located on the second floor of the library.

Allison L. Matthews, WSU Tri-Cities clinical assistant professor of psychology, said that the symposium provides students with the opportunity to showcase their research designs and findings, in addition to providing them with the public experience of communicating those results to a wide audience.

“This event is a great way for our students to present their scholarship, creative works and real-world research that has the potential for advancing discovery and knowledge in a range of academic subjects,” she said. “The Undergraduate Research Symposium and Art Exhibition allows our students to showcase these projects and highlight their accomplishments.”

Academic areas highlighted during the symposium include: biology, computer science, English, fine arts, history, political science and psychology.

Some of the projects include:

  • Partnering with PNNL to write software that helps advance informatics and instrumentation to help understand fundamental biology, including aiding cancer research.
  • Evaluating the composition of macroinvertebrate samples from the Tucannon River.
  • Exploring how dystopian literature reflects the culture and social anxieties of a given time period.
  • Using quantitative analysis to help establish patient demographics and to assess the relationship between mental health and blood sugar levels – a partnership with the Grace Clinic in Kennewick.
  • Creating virtual reality environments through the use of the Simian Lab on campus.
  • Partnering with CypherPath to write software that can analyze network traffic, which can be used for cyber security.



Allison L. Matthews, WSU Tri-Cities clinical assistant professor of psychology, 509-372-7146,

Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations spe