WSU Tri-Cities master’s student joins Board of Regents

Isaac Marroquin, a master’s student at WSU Tri-Cities who served in several student leadership roles as an undergraduate, is joining the university’s Board of Regents as the next student regent.

Growing up in Pasco, Marroquin had the opportunity to first visit the Tri-Cities campus as a middle school student.

“That visit really changed my life,” Marroquin said. “It showed me that college was accessible to me and from that point on I knew where I wanted to go to college.”

Marroquin jumped at every opportunity to be involved in activities throughout high school, and knew he wanted to continue being engaged when he enrolled at WSU Tri-Cities. Doing so during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic proved challenging, but Marroquin threw himself into student government. He campaigned largely virtually, meeting with students over Zoom to talk about his goals and hear from them about their concerns.

Isaac Marroquin in graduation gown with Butch
Isaac Marroquin will serve as the next student regent on the WSU Board of Regents while pursuing a master’s degree from WSU Tri-Cities

After being elected as a student senator, he went on to be elected vice president of the Associated Students at Washington State University Tri-Cities the following year and completed his bachelor’s degree last year while serving as president of the organization.

“My experiences in student government really opened up opportunities to learn more about myself, as well as the other campuses across the WSU system,” Marroquin said.

Having just recently turned 21, Marroquin expects to be underestimated a bit due to his age, but said he’ll bring his passion for student advocacy into the role of student regent. His experiences in student government, as well as being a part of the WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor’s Leadership Council, will also pay dividends in his new positions, said Sandra Haynes, chancellor of the WSU Tri-Cities campus

“I am very excited that Isaac has been selected to fill this vital role as the voice of students on the WSU Board of Regents, and I’m looking forward to working with him in my capacity as chancellor as well as seeing what he is able to accomplish in the role,” Haynes, said.

Marroquin first learned about the student regent position from Shain Wright, who served in the role back in 2021-2022 academic year.

“I was talking with Shain about their position and what they do and I was shocked,” Marroquin said. “How have I never heard about this? I then learned it was a role not a lot of people knew the importance of it, so I immediately started asking about how I could get involved and what I had to do to get my name out there.”

He learned from previous student regents the value of relationship building, and sought out student leaders and administrators from across the WSU system to learn more about their operations and what made each of them unique.

Being present and vocal early during his time on the board is one of his ley goals, as the role is only for a short time, so he doesn’t want to wait until it’s too late to have his voice and the concerns of his fellow students heard. He’s also interested in advocating for mental health, both of students as well as employees, and finding the best ways to get resources to those that need them.

When not working toward his master’s degree in education, Marroquin works at a Starbucks in the Tri-Cities area as well as serving as president of the campus boxing club. It’s a sport he’d had no prior experience with before seeing a poster at the campus den and asking one of the coordinators there about it.

“I remember they said, oh that club is dead, but I wanted to give it a try so I met up with some friends and we got it going again.” It’s really an opportunity to experience a different vibe from studying and give you a chance to take a break from that mindset.”

Marroquin was selected by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to succeed student regent Reanne Chilton in the one-year term.

“My goals are to grow Washington’s economy, strengthen our schools, and promote a culture of performance and efficiency in state government,” Inslee wrote. “You can help me achieve these goals. I ask that you take personal responsibility for making sure the Washington State University Board of Regents operates in a way that is transparent, responsive, and focused on implement lean management tools to achieve results. These are the public’s expectations as well as my own.”

Marroquin’s first meetings as student regent are scheduled to take place Sept. 14-15 in Pullman.