Student

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities will confer 372 degrees during its commencement ceremony beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at the Toyota Center, 7000 W. Grandridge Blvd. in Kennewick, Wash.

WSU Tri-Cities commencementDoors open at noon. The event is free to the public and tickets are not required.

Among those graduating, 313 students are earning their bachelor’s degrees, 46 master’s and 13 doctoral degrees.

Chancellor Keith Moo-Young will present the welcome address, the Chancellor’s Excellence Award for faculty and staff and will confer degrees. He will also present the Distinguished Alumnus Award to Gesa Credit Union CEO Don Miller. Michele Acker-Hocevar, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs, will present introductions and recognitions.

Israa Alshaikhli, Associated Students of WSU Tri-Cities president, will give the graduate greeting, which will be followed by the student address by valedictorian Kylie Chiesa.

Six students were selected to carry gonfalons, which are colorful banners that represent the colleges, based on their academic excellence. Those students include:

• Dennis Bonilla, agricultural, human and natural resource sciences
• Ana Isabel Sandoval Zazueta, arts and sciences
• David Law, business
• Jasmine Gonzalez, education
• Lorraine Seymour, engineering and architecture
• Mercedez Gomez, nursing

WSU Tri-Cities graduating student Kayla Stark will sing the national anthem.

For more information, visit http://tricities.wsu.edu/commencement.

 

Media Contacts:

Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations specialist, 509-372-7333, Maegan.murray@tricity.wsu.edu

RICHLAND, Wash. – Today, on a fitting sunny morning, Washington State University Tri-Cities dedicated its West Building to an individual known to have a matching luminous disposition whose leadership radiated across the state and nation: late WSU President Elson S. Floyd.

Elson Floyd - WSU Tri-Cities

Late WSU President Elson S. Floyd talks with students at WSU Tri-Cities.

WSU Tri-Cities leadership, faculty, staff and community members gathered to say a few words about Floyd as a curtain was lowered to unveil the new building designation as the “Elson S. Floyd building.”

Floyd passed away in June 2015, but many individuals at the ceremony stated that his legacy will live on for years to come through the tremendous initiatives and values that he instilled across the WSU system.

“Elson Floyd established a great legacy for WSU,” Chancellor Keith Moo-Young said at the ceremony. “Elson was a great friend and mentor.”

Floyd, who was also affectionately referred to as E-Flo to the campus community, was known across the state and nation for his passion for increasing access and affordability for higher education and wholly embodying the Cougar spirit. He successfully established the WSU medical school, which now bears his name, research grants tripled, WSU accomplished a $1 billion fundraising campaign and the university completed a variety of major construction projects including WSU Tri-Cities’ Wine Science Center. He also strongly advocated funding support for higher education institutions and at one-time contributed a portion of his salary toward scholarships during a time of recession.

Elson S Floyd building dedication - May 2017

The official sign is unveiled for the Elson S. Floyd building dedication.

“It has been almost two years since his passing, but the fact that we’re doing this makes a tremendous impact,” Moo-Young said. “We’re always going to be able to shed light on the great things that Floyd has done for this university and for higher education.”

Jana Kay, a coordinator for academic affairs who worked with Floyd throughout the years when he would come to WSU Tri-Cities, grew to know Floyd as a friend. She said the three tenants that he regarded as essential for the WSU system, which included accountability, affordability and access, weren’t just words to Floyd.

“He believed that all students should be able to go to college and afford it, and he truly expected the campuses to serve their communities,” she said. “When he came to the Tri-Cities, he always made time to meet with students and you could see that is where he got his energy … I can’t think of a more fitting tribute to President Floyd than having his name at the main entrance to campus.”

The idea for renaming the West Building as the Elson S. Floyd building came from Mark Mansperger, clinical associate professor of anthropology, who recommended it to campus leadership after Floyd’s passing.

Elson S Floyd building

Elson S. Floyd building at WSU Tri-Cities

“One of the things that I remember most about President Floyd was the professionalism that he always showed,” he said. “I’m really glad to see this name change in his honor.”

Although Floyd’s family could not be in attendance at the ceremony, Floyd’s wife, Carmento, wrote a letter to the WSU and overall Tri-Cities community to be shared.

“While I am unable to be with you this morning, please know that the Floyd family and I are grateful that you have chosen to honor and memorialize Elson in this extremely special manner,” she said. “He saw greatness here at Washington State University Tri-Cities and he wanted the entire WSU family, this community, the state and the world to realize the impact you are having in the world and the lives you are changing daily through your work.”

“He was proud of Chancellor Moo-Young and the leadership he, his faculty and staff were providing,” she said. “This endeavor to rename and dedicate the West Building to the Elson S. Floyd Building is the highest honor you can bestow in memory of Elson. It fills my heart with pride and enormous gratitude. I know that his spirit and huge smile are with you today, as is mine.”

RICHLAND, Wash. – Several students and student organizations were awarded for their leadership, involvement and overall activism during the annual Washington State University Tri-Cities Evening of Excellence.

Evening of Excellence student award winnersThe purpose of the event is to celebrate student accomplishments from throughout the past academic year, as well as recognize students and their mentors who went above and beyond in their educational service.

This year’s awards went to:

  • Unsung Hero: Catalina Le
  • Rising Star: Zachary Harper
  • Student Leader of the Year: Nikita Fisenko
  • Advisor of the Year: Mariella Lora
  • Chancellor’s Award: Alexander Matlock
  • Organization of the year: Dreamers Club
  • Most Improved Organization: Women’s Club Soccer
  • Program of the Year: Multicultural Night
  • Student Employee of the Year: Monique Van Sant
  • ASWSUTC Legacy Award: Maria Rodriguez
  • ASWSUTC Innovation Award: Adriana McKinney
  • AWSUTC Bridge Award: Ana Isabel Sandoval Zazueta
  • ASWSUTC Rock Award: Nikita Fisenko
  • ASWSUTC Perseverance Award: Susana Butterworth

View and download photos from the event at https://www.flickr.com/photos/wsutricities/albums/72157683299952485.

Contacts:

Danielle Kleist, WSU Tri-Cities director of student life, 509-372-7104, danielle.kleist@tricity.wsu.edu

Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations specialist, 509-372-7333, Maegan.murray@tricity.wsu.edu

RICHLAND, Wash. – Students will deliver presentations on their research, classroom projects and art noon-1 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, May 2-4, as part of the Undergraduate Research Symposium and Art Exhibition at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

WSU Tri-Cities Undergraduate Research Symposium and Art Exhibition

WSU Tri-Cities Undergraduate Research Symposium and Art Exhibition

The public is invited to hear presentations, explore topics, ask questions and give feedback.

“Our undergraduates have opportunities to engage in hands-on experiences with research, scholarship and creative works throughout their undergraduate careers, starting with freshman survey courses through senior capstone projects,” said Allison Matthews, WSU Tri-Cities clinical assistant professor of psychology. “The Undergraduate Research Symposium and Art Exhibition highlights their accomplishments in discovery and advancing knowledge.”

Some of the projects that will be featured include:

  • Nondestructive nuclear inspection robot
  • SAE Aero Design – electric airplane
  • Solar Mushroom Dryer – one of three projects that will be implemented in Uganda
  • Social Problems and Service Learning
  • Freshwater Invertebrates from the Columbia Basin
  • Bioinformatic Approaches Further Research for Ovarian Cancer
  • Cinema Verite
  • Digital imaging

The sessions will be in Consolidated Information Center, Room 120, with Thursday’s presentations also in the Art Gallery. 

Disciplines covered will include the sciences, digital technology and culture, fine arts, English, history, political science, engineering, psychology, statistics and exploration and leadership.

RICHLAND, Wash. – A team from Washington State University Tri-Cities whose business plan is to commercialize a WSU-patented jet fuel technology developed by WSU Tri-Cities professor Bin Yang’s lab has advanced to the University of Washington Business Plan Competition’s “sweet 16” round.

Libing Zhang presents during the UW Business Plan Competition

WSU Tri-Cities’ Libing Zhang presents during the UW Business Plan Competition

According to the university website, the goal of the UW Business Plan Competition is to promote student ideas and new venture creation and provide an opportunity for business and science students to present new business plans to Seattle-area venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and investors.

The team, composed of Libing Zhang, a recent doctoral alumna, and master’s in business administration students Manuel Seubert and Taylor Pate, presented the process of taking lignin, a waste product in the cellulosic ethanol biorefineries and pulping process that is considered one of the most abundant renewable carbon sources on Earth, and turning it into an environmentally-friendly, cheap jet fuel that can potentially reduce the carbon emissions for commercial airlines.

The WSU Tri-Cities team advanced from an initial pool of 82 teams in the screening round of the competition, which was then narrowed to a pool of 36 teams in the investment round before the team advanced to the sweet 16. During the investment round, each team had approximately four hours of face time with entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists and competition alumni from the Seattle area.

Last month, the same WSU Tri-Cities team placed third at the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge. Zhang is also the entrepreneurial lead on a National Science Foundation I-Corps lignin-to-biojetfuel project, which was awarded to Yang and his team.

Paul Skilton, WSU Tri-Cities associate professor of management, and Yang are advisers for the WSU Tri-Cities team.

The sweet 16 round of the UW Business Plan Competition kicks off May 25, followed by the final round that afternoon. The final round is open to the public. Prizes will be awarded later that evening at the competition dinner at MOHAI in South Lake Union.

By Maegan Murray

A team from Washington State University Tri-Cities placed 17th recently during the SAE Aero Design Competition in Fort Worth, Texas.

WSU Tri-Cities - SAE Aero Design Competition

The WSU Tri-Cities mechanical engineering team poses with the airplane they designed and competed with at the SAE Aero Design Competition.

The team, composed of senior mechanical engineering students Erik Zepeda, Austin Shaw, Ryan Hagins, Matt Kosmos, Arich Fuher and Jose Espinoza, spent five months designing and constructing their airplane. The plane spanned seven feet long and had a wing span of eight feet.

The team said they chose a different design from WSU Tri-Cities teams who competed in years prior, and that their design was also different from many teams competing.

“Most of the other designs were pretty square, but we wanted to go with a more aerodynamic shape,” Shaw said. “We got numerous compliments on the design of our plane.”

During the competition, the team had a very successful first flight, placing fourth in the first round. During their second flight, however, the team had some electrical problems, which they weren’t able to remedy mid-air and the aircraft crashed.

“Even with that crash, we ended up placing 10th in the flight category,” Shaw said. “If we hadn’t crashed, we probably could have placed in the top five teams. That was disappointing, but everything else went really well.”

In addition to their 17th overall placing, the team placed 23rd in regular class design, 22nd in regular class presentation and 18th in regular class most payload transported.SAE Aero Design Competition - Spring 2017

All of the team members said despite their disappointing second flight, they all thoroughly enjoyed the design process, as well as the competition.

“It was a pretty cool experience, especially since it was our senior project,” said Zepeda. “I had never thought about aerospace engineering before, but now I’m thinking about it as a possible career direction.”

All the team members said the project presented them with excellent preparation for their future careers as engineers, regardless of the field of engineering they each go into.

“It definitely gives you good experience for taking on a large engineering project, as well as working with different people, scheduling, meeting deadlines and making presentations in front of judges,” Fuher said.

SAE Aero Design Competition - Spring 2017The design project was part of a senior capstone course taught by Messiha Saad, WSU Tri-Cities clinical assistant professor of mechanical engineering and faculty adviser for the campus’ SAE Aero Design team. Saad said the competition provides the opportunity for his students to learn the mechanics and importance of teamwork, project organization, scheduling, system and product design, product testing, cost analysis and project reporting.

“Through this design project and competition, my students are able to demonstrate and develop their engineering skills set in a real-world environment with real deadlines and stiff competition,” he said. “I am very proud that my students demonstrated the ability to successfully compete with students from some of the top-rated engineering programs in the country.”

By Terren Roloff, WSU Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. – Hosts in Everett, Vancouver, the Tri-Cities and Spokane are sought to welcome, support and orient Washington State University medical students to their communities during six weeks over a two-year period beginning in September.

While studying for their first two years at WSU Spokane, students will spend six individual weeks in the city where they will be located in their third and fourth years. Individuals and families are sought to help broaden the students’ connections and understanding of their communities during those weeks.

Since Spokane students will already have housing, only hosts in Everett, the Tri-Cities and Vancouver will provide housing.

“We look forward to having hosts introduce students to individuals who are actively involved in their communities, as well as provide fun activities for our students,” said John Tomkowiak, founding dean of the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.

WSU’s charter class of 60 students will begin their four-year medical education program in August. Residents of Everett, Spokane, the Tri-Cities and Vancouver are being sought to host during:

Sept, 3-9, 2017
Nov. 26-Dec. 2, 2017
March 25-31, 2018
Aug. 19-25, 2018
Nov. 11-17, 2018
March 24-30, 2019

Hosts will be invited to participate in the college’s community nights, to be held on Wednesday each of the weeks at the respective WSU campuses.

For more information, please email community hosting coordinator Kyle Holbrook at kyle.holbrook@wsu.edu.

 

News media contacts:
Kyle Holbrook, Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, 509-368-6779, kyle.holbrook@wsu.edu
Terren Roloff, WSU Spokane communications, 509-358-7527, terren.roloff@wsu.edu

RICHLAND, Wash. — Israa Alshaikhli secured her second term as president of the Associated Students of Washington State University Tri-Cities for the 2017-18 school year and will serve with a new vice president – sophomore Zachary Harper.

Israa Alshaikhli is a junior majoring in biological sciences and hopes to one-day become a doctor. Harper is majoring in business administration.

ASWSUTC student leaders

2017-2018 ASWSUTC Vice President Zachary Harper (left) and ASWSUTC President Israa Alshaikhli

The duo ran on a platform of bringing innovation, inclusion, transparency, community and accessibility to all students on campus.

One of the team’s largest initiatives in the upcoming year will be transitioning the student government into the new student union building while maintaining the current student lounge as a student-centered space.

“It will be nice to have a large space that is entirely student-focused,” Alshaikhli said.

Alshaikhli said they are also excited about continuing to build the WSU Coug nation, further connecting all of the WSU campuses together to share resources and provide support for all students.

“It has been our goal to provide the right resources and support in order to build a campus community where everyone feels welcome and represented,” she said. “It feels good to continue what I started last year and improve for next year. One thing that made me really happy about getting reelected is that students trust me to finish what I started.”

Harper formerly served as ASWSUTC’s director of finance. He said he is excited to step into larger leadership role as vice president.

“I’ve had such a great experience serving with ASWSUTC and I’m now excited to work side-by-side with Israa to continue to improve our campus and our community,” he said.

The elected college-specific senators include:

  • Connor Burnham – School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Anjellica Ampil – College of Nursing
  • Tyler Schrag – College of Business
  • Essence Braggs – College of Arts and Science

To learn more about WSU Tri-Cities and its commitment to dynamic student engagement, dynamic research experience and dynamic community engagement, visit http://www.tricities.wsu.edu.

News media contacts:

Jeffrey Dennison, WSU Tri-Cities director of marketing and communications, 509-372-7319, jeffrey.dennison@wsu.edu

Brandon Fox, WSU Tri-Cities assistant director for the office of student life, 509-372-7300, Brandon.fox@tricity.wsu.edu

A collection of underground comics are featured this month as part of a new exhibition at the Washington State University Tri-Cities Art Center.

The exhibition, titled “A life Underground: Exploring WSU’s Alternative Comix Collection,” will be on display through April 30 at the Art Center in the university’s Consolidated Information Center (CIC) building.

"A Life Underground: Exploring WSU’s Alternative Comix Collection" opens April 6 at the WSU Tri-Cities Art Center.

“A Life Underground: Exploring WSU’s Alternative Comix Collection” opens April 6 at the WSU Tri-Cities Art Center.

All the comics featured in the exhibition are prints made from archived publications, featuring works from the “Steve Willis Comix and Small Press Collection” and the “Lynn R. Hansen Underground Comics Collection.” The comics are regularly housed at WSU Pullman’s Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections department.

A reception is being held from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Thursday, April 6, in the WSU Tri-Cities Art Center. The event is free and open to the public.

The exhibition was organized by Adam Whittier, a WSU Tri-Cities digital technology and culture student, who discovered the collection while participating in a conference at WSU Pullman. Whittier also received the help of Robert Franklin, an adjunct instructor, historian and assistant director of the Hanford History Project at WSU Tri-Cities, to curate the show.

A comic book fan, himself, Whittier said he wanted to bring the underground publications to light so that they may be used as a resource for students and community members.

“Comics are one of the most important, engaging and inclusive forms of media that we have available to us, as they have a way of bringing people together, and of being profound, simple and beautiful all at the same time,” he said. “Underground comics of the type in the archives are a snapshot of a peculiar period and worldview, preserved for the exploration and wonderment of future generations.”

Whittier said the collections are difficult for students from other WSU campuses to explore, as the publications are located in Pullman. But with the exhibit, he said he hopes to expose individuals to the diversity and range of underground comics and culture.

“We have a tremendous resource in these collections, and it would be an affront to the art and creativity of the underground cartoonists not to appreciate and share it,” he said.

The WSU Tri-Cities Art Center is open noon – 6 p.m. Monday –Thursday and by appointment.

By Kaury Baucom, Viticulture & Enology

RICHLAND, Wash. – Connor Eck, a senior at Washington State University Tri-Cities originally from Del Mar, Calif., has been named a national Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, a Boston-based nonprofit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education.

The fellowship provides learning and networking opportunities to teach students leadership and how to bring communities together for positive change. As a student winemaker in WSU’s Blended Learning program, Eck worked with local growers and winemakers to develop leadership skills, gain hands-on experience and exercise environmentally friendly winemaking practices.

“I aim to find a way to limit the amount of water used in the farming of grapes and during the winemaking process, while still producing a high-quality product,” he said.

“The cultivation of community-committed leaders has never been more crucial,” said Andrew Seligsohn, Campus Compact president. “Our country needs more people who know how to bring communities together.”

The fellowship, named for Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, chose 273 students for the 2017 cohort. It is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.
News media contact:
Kaury Balcom, WSU viticulture and enology communications, 509-327-7223, kaury.balcom@wsu.edu