WSU Tri-Cities Tag

RICHLAND, Wash. – WSU Tri-Cities and the U.S. Department of Energy will hold their second lecture as part of a new series on the Hanford Site from 3-4 p.m. Thursday, April 27, in the East Auditorium on campus. This presentation will focus on the Hanford Site’s radioactive tank waste, which has become the site’s greatest challenge.

Single- and double-shell tanks
river protection logo Sahid Smith, lead engineer for the Low-Activity Waste Pretreatment System Project at the DOE Office of River Protection, will deliver the lecture. His lecture will cover how the single and double-shell radioactive waste tanks were constructed, in addition to the complex combination of 56 million gallons of radioactive and chemical waste taking the physical form of sludge, salts and liquids that all have varying combinations of chemical properties.

Smith began his DOE career at the Richland Operations Office in 2007 as a general engineer, where he worked on the K-Basin Closure Project focusing primarily on the Sludge Treatment Project. He completed several rotational assignments in the Environmental Management Professional Development Corps Program in 2008, including assignments at the Oak Ridge Operation Office and Environmental Management Headquarters. Smith joined DOE’s Office of River Protection in October 2014. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in chemical engineering from Florida A&M University.

Linking to DOE

The DOE and its contractors are actively recruiting interns and staff in a broad scope of professional and technical jobs. Linking DOE operations with faculty, students and the community, this series focuses on opportunities and key challenges to be solved by today’s and tomorrow’s workers.

The lecture will be broadcast live at WSU Pullman, WSU Vancouver, WSU North Puget Sound at Everett and WSU Spokane via the campus AMS video streaming service.

 

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RICHLAND, Wash. – Don Miller, CEO of Gesa Credit Union, will be honored with Washington State University Tri-Cities’ Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award in recognition of his service, career achievements and dedication to the promotion of educational excellence.

Miller will be presented with the award during the 2017 WSU Tri-Cities commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, Wash.

Growing as a professional and as an individual

He grew up on a farm where he learned about long hours, hard work and pitching in to help where needed to get the job done. In high school, he built and managed his own small herd of cattle while juggling his regular school work and other activities.  Managing that venture led to his interest in business and management.

WSU Tri-Cities Distinguished Alumnus Don Miller

WSU Tri-Cities Distinguished Alumnus Don Miller

“That’s really where I started to develop a liking for business and management,” Miller said. “But it would take me a few years to actually head in the direction, professionally.”

As an undergraduate student, he took classes in nearly every subject, often tackling large quarterly class loads at Central Washington University to try and identify what he was passionate about pursuing as a career. Ultimately, he decided on finance and graduated with his bachelor’s from CWU in 1987. Shortly following graduation, he accepted a job at Gesa Credit Union as a junior accountant.

Miller decided to pursue a master’s in business administration from WSU Tri-Cities a few years later because he knew it would not only expand his knowledge and skill in the finance world, but it would also help him develop as a leader. He felt the degree would also better position him to potentially become a CEO of an organization. He graduated with his MBA from WSU Tri-Cities in 1993.

“I worked with so many smart and talented people through the WSU Tri-Cities MBA program,” he said. “I appreciated having the opportunity to work with people of such high caliber who all brought such a diverse range of experience to the table. It was definitely a very knowledgeable and mature group.”

From there, Miller continued to work his way up within the organization and in 2006, received his first chance at a position as CEO with Gesa. The position went to another individual from outside the organization, however, the new CEO was very open to expanding Miller’s job-related experience.

“I worked for her, and she gave me opportunities to build the experience I needed to one-day take on the position of CEO of an organization,” he said. “She told me, ‘If you want to be CEO, I will help you fill those gaps.’ And she did.”

In late 2013, after serving as Gesa’s interim CEO for nearly six months, he took on the full role.

Service to community

Gesa CEO Don Miller (right) was recently named the WSU Tri-Cities Distinguished Alumnus.

Gesa CEO Don Miller (right) was recently named the WSU Tri-Cities Distinguished Alumnus.

Throughout his years of professional growth, Miller has dedicated himself to improving opportunities for up-and-coming professionals. He has taken on mentorship roles for individuals, helped coach his children’s youth sports and participated in church-related activities. Miller said he and Gesa are committed to promoting financial literacy and education.  Currently, he serves on the board for Junior Achievement of Washington in the Tri-Cities.

“I think it’s very important to give back to the community that has supported your own success,” he said. “It’s also important to learn that no person is ever too important for any role. I learned early in life and in my career that, especially within smaller organizations, everyone wears a lot of hats and that you should appreciate everyone’s contributions.”

Miller said he recommends that people define what their own idea of success is and run with it.

“There are always going to be people who are smarter and better than you, but it is important that you recognize and appreciate that fact and not let it intimidate you,” he said.

Miller said people are going to make mistakes in life and in work, but that the important thing is that individuals don’t overemphasize those mistakes, and instead, own them and find a way to overcome and learn from those experiences.

Miller said he also recommends that people challenge themselves in asking the right questions.

“As you a grow as a professional, you learn to ask better and better questions,” he said. “A lot of people are not willing to ask the questions.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities will dedicate its West Building in honor of late WSU President Elson S. Floyd during a ceremony at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 3, outside the front entrance to the building.

The structure, to be known as the “Elson S. Floyd Building,” also will display a sign in Floyd’s honor.

As part of the ceremony, WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Keith Moo-Young will remark on Floyd’s many accomplishments at WSU and the influence that he bestowed on WSU systemwide.

“President Elson Floyd led many tremendous initiatives for Washington State University and his legacy will live on for years to come through the light he shown on students, WSU employees and community members around the nation,” Moo-Young said. “He lived the Cougar spirit and was beloved by many. We are thrilled to honor him and his family by dedicating one of our buildings in his honor.

West Building

WSU Tri-Cities’ currently named West Building will be dedicated on May 3 as the Elson S. Floyd Building in honor of the late WSU president.

The idea for the renaming of the building was presented by Mark Mansperger, clinical associate professor of anthropology, as a means to honor Floyd’s legacy at WSU, and specifically his contributions to WSU Tri-Cities.

Karina Barajas, WSU Tri-Cities principal assistant who also worked directly with Floyd for a time in Pullman, said Floyd’s leadership was evident across the WSU system.

“He was everything I pictured a great leader to be – a man of stature, he would walk into a room and you could easily see and feel the love he had for WSU and for all of us Cougs as students and as employees,” she said. “I am grateful I had the opportunity to serve under his leadership.”

Following the dedication ceremony, light refreshments will be available for those attending. Both the ceremony and reception are open to the public.

 

Media Contacts:

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. – Washington State University Tri-Cities will honor 13 individuals as part of its first women of distinction class during a gallery exhibition opening and reception at 5:30 p.m. on April 13 in the entrance to the East Building on campus.

The program recognizes WSU Tri-Cities female students, staff, faculty, alumnae and community members who have made notable contributions to the campus and community through service, teaching or involvement.

“This is a way to honor our female leaders within the WSU Tri-Cities community who have gone above and beyond to improve access to educational opportunities, driven momentous initiatives within their respective professions and have given generously of their free time in dedication to service and volunteerism,” said Chris Meiers, vice chancellor for enrollment management and student services.

Those being honored as WSU Tri-Cities’ 2017 Women of Distinction include:

  • Amber Eubanks – WSU Tri-Cities community engagement specialist
  • Anna King – news correspondent for the Northwest News Network and Northwest Public Radio
  • Cindy Bruckner-Lea – project manager at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Dana Parmenter – WSU Tri-Cities junior in digital technology and culture
  • Elizabeth Hernandez-Osorio – WSU Tri-Cities master’s student in educational leadership
  • Jana Kay Lunstad – WSU Tri-Cities academic affairs coordinator
  • Katherine Banks – WSU Tri-Cities instructor of political science in the School of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs
  • Kay Olson – WSU Tri-Cities clinical nursing instructor
  • Lisa Godwin – executive director of Tri-County Partners Habitat for Humanity
  • Lura Powell – chair of the WSU Board of Regents
  • Michele Acker-Hocevar – WSU Tri-Cities interim vice chancellor of academic affairs
  • Selene Torres-Medrano – WSU Tri-Cities senior in biological sciences
  • Shawnta DiFalco – commanding officer in the Washington National Guard and secondary school administrator

Photos of the Women of Distinction and their biographies will be on display in the hallway nearest The Bookie, WSU Tri-Cities’ student bookstore, through May 12.

For more information, visit https://tricities.wsu.edu/wsu-tri-cities-women-of-distinction-program.

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.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities welcomes community participation in its annual service day 9 a.m-5 p.m. Friday, April 7.

As part of Cougar Pride Day, volunteers will bring new life to the tiered garden at the entrance of the West Building and the garden around the Cougar statue on campus. Participants will develop a new garden that embodies the Cougar spirit by spelling out “WSU” with a floral arrangement that will be visible to those driving onto campus.

Volunteers will receive a free Cougar Pride T-shirt, as well as free lunch from Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. Those under the age of 18 will need parental consent to participate.

Cougar Pride day is a part of the Cougs in the Community program at WSU Tri-Cities, in which volunteers engage, network and have fun while sharing knowledge, skills and resources. For more information, contact Amber Eubanks, WSU Tri-Cities community engagement specialist, at 509-372-7106 or aeubanks@tricity.wsu.edu.

News media contacts:
Amber Eubanks, WSU Tri-Cities community engagement, 509-372-7106, aeubanks@tricity.wsu.edu
Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations, 509-372-7333, maegan.murray@tricity.wsu.edu

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