To become the regional Professional Development and Community Education Center of Excellence.
We are a customer service organization and as such, our team of dedicated professionals are committed to customer satisfaction, community engagement, and the continuous pursuit of professional development excellence.
Prior to joining the Office of Professional Development & Community Education at WSU Tri-Cities, Semi Bird had transitioned from the battlefield to the business world after 23 years of military service. As an Army Special Forces “Green Beret,” Semi received two of our nation’s highest awards for heroism and valor on the battlefield; the Bronze Star – Valor, and the Purple Heart, for wounds received in combat. Semi knows first-hand, the value of developing high performing teams and the impact on organizational performance. Semi has leveraged his experience in leadership and organizational development to develop a suite of highly effective workshops, seminars, and courses focusing on developing high performing teams and emotionally intelligent leaders.
Semi has held several senior positions in training and leadership development over the years in various sectors of industry to include; government, banking, and education. In his last position, Semi led strategic training initiatives as the Director of Training and Leadership Development for a U.S. government agency. Semi’s international work has taken him all over the globe which culminated with a special assignment in 2013 – 2014 where he served as a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador, Dhaka Bangladesh.
Semi earned his first graduate degree from Villanova University where he studied Human Resource development and is currently pursuing his PhD. in Organizational Psychology. Semi holds certifications in Emotional Intelligence, Behavioral Analysis, Human Resources, Organizational Performance, Lean Six Sigma, and is currently an Executive in Residence at WSUTC.
With a strong passion for education, Timothy Palacios has been a member of the WSU Tri-Cities campus community since the fall of 2012 where he started his higher education journey as a freshman student. As a Student Ambassador for WSUTC Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), Tim had a positive impact on the lives of many of our community’s youth. During the next three years, he would go on to apply the skills he mastered in the Digital Technology & Culture (DTC) program by creating a suite of resources targeted at youth and reflected to make not only college, but dreams a reality.
In 2016, Tim completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in the DTC program with minors in Business Administration and English, and stayed engaged in several campus initiatives as a WSUTC employee. Today, Tim continues to apply a 21st Century approach to education by consolidating the presence of an information driven society with special projects he coordinates for the Office of Professional Development & Community Education.
Kelly Litzko has worked for WSU Tri-Cities in the Office of Professional Development & Community Education since July 2016. She earned her Bachelor of Science degrees in both Public Relations & Organizational Science with a minor in Communication Studies from the University of Idaho. Prior to joining WSUTC, Kelly has experience in organizing campus and community outreach programs focused on enhancing individual leadership and engaging people to make lasting impacts on their community. With a strong background in coordinating events, Kelly works primarily in operations and staff support for the Professional Development department. Kelly is super excited to be a part of the Cougar family!
For over 14 years Micaela has been actively engaged in championing community education and outreach. She has lived in Yakima County for most of her life where she graduated from Grandview High School and then moved to Ellensburg to attend Central Washington University. She later completed her Associates degree from Yakima Valley Community College.
Micaela has partnered and worked with community organizations such as WSPTA, WA Charters, DFER, EOE, and other non-profit organizations. Influencing positive change in Washington schools and supporting community engagement is her life’s passion. Micaela’s many accomplishments include; facilitating effective workshops, outreach planning, community engagement, and developing civic leaders in local communities. She has worked closely with Washington State Legislature leaders to improve education, community engagement, and Hispanic representation from local to state offices.
As a professional consultant on education and community affairs, Micaela has supported numerous organizations by focusing on community and civic engagement, leadership training, educational advocacy, and outreach program development.
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