WSU Tri-Cities receives $35,000 grant from Battelle for student hardship relief, technology

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WSU Tri-Cities receives $35,000 grant from Battelle for student hardship relief, technology

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities is the recipient of a $35,000 grant from Battelle, which operates the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The grant will be used to provide relief to students experiencing hardship amid COVID-19 and to support technology needs for instruction and academics.

The funds will be used for an assortment of purposes, ranging from individual student support amid financial hardships and struggles, to purchasing vital equipment for faculty to use in conducting virtual instruction, to providing students with technology resources ranging from laptop computers to Wi-Fi Hot Spots so they have reliable technology and broadband service to successfully attend and complete their courses.

“In a time with so much uncertainty and when many of our students and their families have lost their jobs or have had their hours reduced, more students are experiencing unanticipated hardships that negatively impact their ability to continue with their college education,” said Sandra Haynes, Chancellor of WSU Tri-Cities. “These funds will go a long way in supporting students on their road to obtaining a higher education degree and setting them up to succeed in their lives.”

Numerous studies have shown that students who obtain a college degree earn $1 million more on average over their lifetime than those without a degree, have greater career stability and versatility and are more resilient during economic recessions, Haynes said. Many WSU Tri-Cities degree programs, she said, are rooted in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, which makes the gift a great fit for supporting students who will go on to professionally serve at organizations such as PNNL.

“This is one small thing we can do to provide relief to so many students on their road to educational and professional success,” said Steven Ashby, director of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. “Earning a college degree is an important achievement and sets students up for success for generations to come. Our community benefits when we support educational success.”

The WSU system partners with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in an assortment of areas, ranging from research, to academic and STEM-based collaborations and more. In 2018, WSU and PNNL solidified their partnership through the establishment of the WSU-PNNL Joint Institutes, which focus on Nuclear Science and Technology, Advanced Grid and Bioproducts.

“These funds support our region’s students who will go on to become our nation’s future scientists, engineers, communicators, designers and more,” said Paula Linnen, executive director of external affairs at PNNL.


Media contacts:

Jaime Heppler, WSU Tri-Cities executive director of advancement and community engagement, 509-372-7207,

Greg Koller, public affairs, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 509-372-4864,

Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities assistant director of marketing and communication, 619-403-3617 (cell),