Western Professor Laura Laffrado Authors New Book: ‘Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature’
Award-winning author and Western Washington University Professor of English Laura Laffrado’s new book, “Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature,” was recently published by the Whatcom County Historical Society and is now available at Village Books, Amazon, and will soon be at Western’s bookstore.
“Selected Writings” brings back into print the life’s work writings of celebrated author Ella Rhoads Higginson, a Bellingham-based writer of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Higginson’s reputation as a well-known American author faded due to her singular position as a literary writer. Throughout her literary career, Higginson published hundreds of poems, stories, and essays in leading magazines and newspapers, while also writing books including the novel “Mariella, of Out-West,” that was published in 1902, and the nonfiction book “Alaska, the Great Country,” published in 1908.
“The main purpose of writing this was to make Ella Higginson’s writing available to a new generation of readers since it had been so popular during her lifetime but had gone completely out of print and hadn’t been available since the 1920’s at the very latest,” Laffrado said.
The book is includes an introduction, notes and other materials that were collected to reclaim Higginson as a significant voice in American Literature.
Laffrado’s previous books include “Uncommon Women: Gender and Representation in Ninetieth-Century U.S. Women’s Writing,” which was published in 2009 and discusses provocative, highly readable ninetieth century American texts that complicate notions of self-writing and female agency and “Hawthorne’s Literature for Children,” which was published in 1992, and examines a long-neglected aspect of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s literary career in his writings for children.
For more information on her new book, contact Laura Laffrado at (360) 650-2886 or Laura.Laffrado@wwu.edu.
BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University honored its Outstanding Graduates for the 2014-15 academic year at spring Commencement Saturday, June 13.
Faculty members from dozens of academic departments and programs select one graduate to honor as the Outstanding Graduate of the year. Selection is a high honor based on grades, research and writing, service to the campus and community, and promise for the future.
This year’s Outstanding Graduates, grouped by city, include:
Sara Crowell, Outstanding Graduate of the Department of Anthropology, graduated cum laude in June from the University Honors Program with a major in Anthropology with a Biocultural concentration. Crowell got to combine her passion for nutrition, food security and health education when she studied abroad in India, where she designed and taught nutrition classes and conducted a nutrition assessment at a school there. Later, for her Honors project, Crowell presented some of the work on the assessment and helped conduct a fundraising effort to raise money for the school, located in Arunachal Pradesh. Crowell also interned at Centric Brand Anthropology in Seattle and conducted research on consumer culture for natural and organic foods and health products. Meanwhile, Crowell rowed for Western’s women’s crew team and was in the Varsity 4 boat that placed third at the NCAA Division II National Championship. Crowell plans to pursue a master’s degree in global health. A graduate of Bainbridge High School, Crowell is the daughter of Gloria Satur and Mark Crowell.
Jacob Boucher, the Outstanding Graduate of Communication Studies, is expected to graduate magna cum laude in August with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Creative Writing. JD Boucher’s academic research focuses on comic book studies, particularly the ways in which race, gender and sexuality figure into the contemporary comic book industry, representations and audience engagements. He presented his research at two academic conferences and worked with a WWU alum to build a website, homerica.house, featuring American companies that make building materials, home furnishings, furniture and appliances. Meanwhile, Boucher was a resident adviser, co-president of the Communication Club, and a technology volunteer for the Bellingham Center for Independence. After graduation, Boucher will work as a freelance writer and web designer in addition to full-time employment. A graduate of Battle Ground High School, Boucher is the son of Karen and Daniel Boucher.
Nathan Bradshaw, the Outstanding Graduate from the Department of Chemistry, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. He was actively involved in research through a joint project between the research groups of Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Janelle Leger and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Amanda Murphy. He is the second author on a paper published in the journal Advanced Function Materials and two more publications are in the works. He has presented his work at regional and national conferences, including the national American Chemical Society, the Materials Research Society, and he American Physics Society. Bradshaw is also passionate about outreach, active in the Chemistry Club and the WWU Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science and serving as an ACS Science Coach. He’s the recipient of the Denice (Ambrose) Hougen Chemistry Undergraduate Fellowship, the WWU Advancing Chemistry through Service Award and the Scholar’s Week President’s Award for Outstanding Posters. Next, he will attend Northwestern University to work on a doctorate in Material Science and Engineering. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Bradshaw is the son of Nicole Bradshaw and a graduate of Live Oak Academy in Buda, Texas and North Seattle Community College.
Isaiah Ryan, the Outstanding Graduate in Electronics Engineering Technology, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics Engineering Technology. Ryan was the top senior in the EE program, with an overall GPA of 3.97. He was active in research, helping to develop novel laboratory components for an upper-level undergraduate course, research that has been accepted for publication in the 2015 American Society of Engineering Education annual conference. He received numerous scholarships, including two that helped fund a year of study at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. He also completed two internships and volunteered as secretary of Western’s Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers student branch. He hopes to start working in Bellingham as soon as possible. A graduate of Meridian High School and Whatcom Community College, Ryan is the son of David and Valerie Ryan and the husband of Nanhee Ryan.
Sydney Schlotterback , the Outstanding Graduate in Environmental Studies, graduated magna cum laude in March with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a double major in Environmental Policy and Environmental Education.
Courtney Taylor, the Outstanding Graduate in Human Services, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services and a minor in Psychology. She served as an advocacy counselor and intern with Womencare Shelter in Bellingham and as an intern with Western’s Building Resilience and Voicing Empathy (BRAVE) suicide prevention program. She also served as a Helpline advocate and volunteer with Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services and was a recipient of the Jerry House Human Services Scholarship and the WWU Alumni Association Scholarship. She worked closely with Associate Professor of Human Services Trula Nichols to develop a new graduation requirement that focuses on transforming students’ understanding of “helping others” from an act of charity to an act of solidarity. She also studied abroad in India where she helped coordinate women’s developmental education classes with community members and educators in Arunachal Pradesh at Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community.
Quy Ton, the Outstanding Graduate in Theatre, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre. She worked in management on several productions at Western, most recently “/faust,” a devised production which she stage-managed. Ton also completed a self-directed research trip to Vietnam, where she studied Vietnamese theatre and LGBT lifestyles. As a member of the Departmentally Related Activities Committee, Ton also championed for the support of the performing arts at Western. She was also a student representative on the Student and Activities Fee Committee, which allocates more than $4 million in student fees each year. This summer, she’ll work at Everett Kidstage Theatre then spend a year-long internship with Seattle Repertory Theatre. A graduate of Bellingham High School, she is the daughter of Thanh Ton and Khanh Nguyen.
Cecilia Guzmán Castro, Outstanding Graduate of the Department of Elementary Education, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Arts in Education with a concentration in Spanish/Elementary Education and endorsements in Bilingual Education and English Language Learners. Guzmán Castro grew up in a family of farm-workers, has always worked diligently to give back to her community, and is an advocate for culturally and linguistically diverse students. She earned her elementary teaching certification with an endorsement in bilingual education – and completed teaching internships in both English and Spanish. She worked as an after-school mentor of Latino students as a lead mentor in the ALTO program at Shuksan and Kulshan middle schools, recruiting and training more than 20 mentors and providing programming for over 40 middle-school youth. Besides this, Guzmán Castro has been a part of the Building Bridges to Migrant Youth program, and presented research on a study of language attitudes of Latin@ students in local schools at the national conference of the Association of Middle Level Educators in Minnesota. This fall, she will begin teaching second grade in the “Spanish side” of a bilingual program at Madison Elementary in Mount Vernon. She is the daughter of Albino and Carmen Guzmán and a graduate of Cashmere High School.
Lauren Gage, the Outstanding Graduate in Linguistics, graduated magna cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics with a minor in Spanish. She was a leading officer in Western’s Linguistics Club and was a linguistics tutor. She was nominated for the Taylor-Anastasio Award for her research and paper on people’s perception of males who use HRTs – or “high rising terminals,” known more colloquially as “uptalk,” or “Valley girl,” a type of speech more commonly associated with women. She was a volunteer teaching assistant in an upper-division Linguistics class and contributed to the dialectology studies of Bert Vaux at the University of Cambridge. This fall, she’ll move to Ireland to pursue a master’s degree in Speech and Language Processing at Trinity College, Dublin, with a focus in either Speech Science or Experimental Phonetics and Phonology. She is considering a career in forensic phonetics or in the improvement of electronically originated speech. A graduate of Kentwood High School in Covington, she is the daughter of Helen Newman and Bruce Gage.
Jenica Barrett, the Outstanding Graduate in Communication Sciences and Disorders, graduated magna cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a minor in Spanish. Barrett studied abroad in Argentina and volunteered in Costa Rica, educating a preschool staff on hygiene and nutrition for undernourished children. She also volunteered for many organizations, including Operation Smile, the Puget Sound Blood Center, the Bellingham Food Bank, The Arc of Whatcom County, the Arne Hanna Aquatic Center and Reading Corps of Washington. She was a member of the Western Homeless Outreach Club, La Mesa Spanish Club and Western’s National Student Speech Language Hearing Association chapter. She is passionate about working with bilingual people and hopes to travel abroad to work and volunteer in countries where speech language pathologists are limited. She also wants to obtain a master’s degree in bilingual speech language pathology. Barrett is a graduate of Mount Baker High School and Whatcom Community College and the daughter of Blake and Ruth Barrett.
Rachel Hsu, the Outstanding Graduate in Art, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a major in Art and a minor in Art History. Hsu’s work was part of nine exhibitions during her senior year, including two solo exhibitions. She also led the development of the first BFA catalogue for the Art Department. Art faculty members say Hsu is one of the best students they’ve seen in the department in recent years and a promising young artist. Hsu plans to partake in artist residencies and work before attending graduate school. She is the daughter of David and Rose Hsu and a graduate of Inglemoor High School in Kenmore.
Corena Sharp, Outstanding Graduate in American Cultural Studies, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She completed a major in American Cultural Studies as well as a Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies concentration in Law, Diversity and Justice: Transnational Advocacy – along with minors in International Studies, and Education and Social Justice. Sharp presented her research at Scholars Day and at an event for Fairhaven Alumni at Back2Bellingham. She is the recipient of a Libraries Undergraduate Research Award and a Public Anthropology Award for Excellence in Writing. She studied abroad in the Dominican Republic, volunteered at the Womencare Domestic Violence Shelter and worked as a seasonal fruit inspector for the Washington State Department of Agriculture. This fall, she will attend Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, where she will major in International Relations. Sharp is the daughter of Sally and Gary Sharp and a graduate of Inglemoor High School in Kenmore.
Katherine Bareman, Outstanding Graduate of the Department of Accounting, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and a minor in Mathematics. Bareman’s involvement at Western has been extensive, including her roles as reporting secretary, executive vice president, and president of Western’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi. She has participated and led teams of students in case competitions both regionally and nationally, including second-place winners of the KPMG Financial Accounting Case Competition, semi-finalists in the national IMA Student Case Competition and the winners of the College of Business and Economics Excellence in Marketing Challenge. Bareman also served as secretary for the Fraser Valley Young People’s League executive board, and in 2014 was the only undergraduate student selected to participate in the EY Global Mindset Immersion Program, a WWU international program in London sponsored by one of the four major global accounting firms. After graduation, Bareman plans to attend Vanderbilt University to obtain her Masters of Accountancy and become a valuation specialist. She is the daughter of James and Stephanie Bareman and a graduate of Cornerstone Christian School in Lynden.
Julianne Seely, the Outstanding Graduate in Design, graduated cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Design. Seely engaged in diverse visual communication and problem solving, from conventional branding, website and print collateral design to information visualization, motion graphics, promotional video production and user experience. She and a teammate developed and presented Hapi, a water bottle concept meant to address dehydration in seniors, to Scholars Week/Design Days. She and her group also participated in Design Wars: Food Truck Challenge and worked with Hand Crank Films to create a promotional video for Make.Shift art space. She also coordinated the annual senior design shows and interned with Life Center in Tacoma and with Ratio LLC in Seattle. Her freelance work includes projects for Western’s Collegiate Washington Music Educators Association, Happy Feet Fun Run, and Maasai School 121. She is a recipient of the Babcock Memorial Scholarship Fund in Design Production and the President’s Scholarship. Meanwhile, she taught ballet and contemporary dance at A Gift of Dance in Lynden. After graduation she plans to work for a design firm in Seattle. The daughter of Jeff and Renee Seely, Julianne Seely is a graduate of Lynden High School.
Erika Bro, the Outstanding Graduate in Community Health, will graduate in August with a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, and a minor in International Studies. Bro won first place in the Society for Public Health Education Student Case Study Competition and served as president of Western Students Against Violence. She volunteered at SeaMar Community Health Centers, serving Spanish-speaking migrant workers, and was a violence prevention peer health educator through Western’s Prevention and Wellness Services. She completed a public health internship in Peru, studied abroad in Thailand and India, and helped organize a fundraiser to build a school for Dalit caste girls in India. She was also a recipient of the Marian Hamburg SOPHE 21st Century Student Scholarship and the Paul Woodring Arts and Sciences Scholarship. After graduation, she plans to complete the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage across Spain, with her mother, and spend a year abroad gaining field experiences. She also plans to apply for a Fulbright grant to conduct sexual and reproductive health research in Brazil and apply to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to pursue a master’s degree in Public Health. Bro is a graduate of Mercer Island High School and is the daughter of Peter Bro and Barbara Bro.
Alicia Faires, the Outstanding Graduate in East Asian Studies, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree in East Asian Studies and Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics. Faculty members were impressed with Faires’ commitment to education, the quality of her academic work, her seriousness of intent and her respectful demeanor. She made significant contributions to upper-level seminars and has a nuanced understanding of Japanese culture. This fall, she will return to Western for graduate work in Mathematics. A Navy veteran, Faires is an Earth Science graduate of the University of Northern Colorado and the wife of fellow Navy veteran Christopher Corbitt. She works full time at TLD, a Boeing contractor in Everett.
Teylor Wilbur, the Outstanding Graduate in Kinesiology and Physical Education, is expected to graduate magna cum laude in August with Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology. Wilbur has a perfect grade point average and is a classroom leader with a long record of community service work. She was a coach for Girls on the Run and volunteered at the Arne Hanna Aquatics Center and in the Early Enrichment program at Western. She helped organize the medical tent for the Bellingham Bay Half Marathon and the Tour de Whatcom events and helped put together several other events in the community and on campus. She was a student teacher in Anatomy and Physiology classes and a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Circle-K International Club and helped organize the Kinesiology Club. Wilbur completed internships at Performance Physical Therapy and at North Cascades Health and Rehab Center. She’s a recipient of scholarships from the Muckleshoot and Swinomish tribes. She’s headed to Seattle University to become a family nurse practitioner and wants to give back to her Swinomish Tribal Community by making a difference in the health care system. Wilbur would also like to provide healthcare abroad to under-served communities. A graduate of Mount Vernon High School and Everett Community College, Wilbur is the daughter of Maureen Wilbur.
Mitchel Lange, the Outstanding Graduate in Japanese, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Japanese and a minor in International Studies. Lange completed an exchange program at JF Oberlin University in Tokyo and was twice on the Honor Roll. His professors were impressed with his excellent Japanese language proficiency and his ability to render a complex Japanese passage into English in an accurate, engaging style. After graduation, Lange plans to work in Tokyo. The son of Gary Lange, he is a graduate of Kamiak High School.
Rachel Dailey, the Outstanding Graduate in German, graduated magna cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree in German and Music. Dailey, a graduate of the University Honors Program, has truly exceptional German language skills and is a talented musician. She won the WWU Concerto Competition and presented a winning poster at Scholars Week. She also collaborated with another student to give a piano recital as part of the Firehouse Piano Series and was a recipient of the President’s Scholarship. She volunteered with Campus Christian Fellowship and worked at Western’s Writing Center for three years. She is the daughter of Jim and Monica Dailey.
Mia Nafziger, Outstanding Graduate of both the departments of Economics and Political Science, graduated in March magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree. A graduate of the Honors Program, Nafziger completed a combined major in Economics and Political Science as well as a minor in French. In addition to her academic work, Nafziger was deeply involved at Western, serving as a student lead ambassador for the Western Foundation, a research assistant for the Border Policy Research Institute, an intern for Congressman Denny Heck in Washington, D.C., and a research aide for the Washington State Institute for Public Policy. She also traveled to Senegal to intern with the Peace Corps, received an Outstanding Delegate Award with the National Model United Nations and volunteered to raise funds for micro-finance programs with the Slum Doctor Programme. Nafziger is a research assistant at the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, working on projects exploring the effects of employment training and the effects of legalizing cannabis in Washington. She plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Policy. Nafziger is the daughter of Rich Nafziger and Kristin Swenddal and is a graduate of Olympia High School.
Talicia Miller-Poole, Outstanding Graduate in Special Education, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree with teaching endorsements in Special Education and Elementary Education. Miller-Poole was a Woodring Diversity Scholar and a Woodring Peer Mentor. She presented at Western’s Scholars Week and interned as a special education-resource room teacher and as a fourth-grade classroom teacher. At one of her schools, she helped a group of students who were struggling in math to get up to grade level in subtraction. Miller-Poole is devoted to multiculturalism, equity and social justice for students. She is also active in service to the university and the community, assisting with the Homework Club in Nooksack and with fire recovery events in her hometown of Pateros. Miller-Poole plans to move to Battle Ground to teach fourth grade and then return to school for her master’s and doctoral degrees in education. A graduate of Pateros High School, Miller-Poole is the daughter of Tracy Miller and Thomas Miller.
Anneliese Krautkraemer, the Outstanding Graduate in French, graduated magna cum laude in December 2014 from the University Honors Program and with a Bachelor of Arts in French and Economics/Environmental Studies. Krautkraemer volunteered as a discussion group leader in a second-year French class at Sehome High School and taught introductory French for the Western Employee Language Program. She also spent a semester at the University of Grenoble in France. She has been accepted into the Teaching Assistant Program in France and will be an English teaching assistant in the Académie de Versailles beginning this fall. She is a graduate of Pullman High School.
Kodiak Murphy, Outstanding Graduate in Physics and Astronomy, graduated magna cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Mathematics. He spent three years working in the lab of Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Janelle Leger, making significant research contributions in their work on plasmon polariton waveglides, and presenting results at national conferences. He was also very active in outreach, diversity and community-building across STEM disciplines, notably through his work with the Physics Club, the Women in Physics club and the Society for the Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science. He was also a teaching assistant in Physics and the recipient of the Oscar Edwin Olson and James and Joann Albers scholarships. Next, he’ll move to California to begin the Ph.D. program in Physics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he will do research in atomic, molecular and optical physics. Murphy is a graduate of Quilcene High School and Olympic College and the son of Debbi Gottschalk.
Mauricio Romano, the Outstanding Graduate in Industrial Design, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design. Romano received the Senior Merit Award at the Industrial Designers Society of America western conference, one of just five students to receive the award across the country. He spent a year as an intern at Intel in Oregon, where he worked on a range of products, including laptops, tablets and pocket PC’s. He was the industrial designer on the Intel team that created the world’s first 14-nanometer fanless mobile PC reference design at the 2014Computex tradeshow in Taipei, Taiwan. The tablet, called Llama Mountain, is based on Intel’s upcoming Broadwell processor. He holds two utility patents, one provisional patent and five design patents. Meanwhile, Romano’s “Walk Talk” two-way radio design concept was featured in a magazine in Singapore and as a freshman he won an international design contest to make a custom arcade stick. After graduation, he’s traveling across the United States before moving to San Francisco to work for Astro Studios, one of the most successful small design firms in the nation. A graduate of Redmond High School, he is the son of Guillermo Romano and Gabriele Ibarra.
Rachel Wulff, the Outstanding Graduate in the University Honors Program, graduated magna cum laude in March with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance. At Western, Wulff has been a student, guest conductor, presenter, employee, leader and teacher. She performed with the Western Opera Studio, with the Concert Choir and Western Voices ensembles, in guest masterclasses, in two solo recitals and in a variety of other concerts. She was also involved with the Western chapters of the American Choral Directors and Collegiate Washington Music Educators Association. This fall, she will begin work as a music teacher in Mount Vernon. A graduate of Redmond High School, she is the daughter of Dion Yahoudy and Kevin Wulff.
John Levy, the Outstanding Graduate in the Department of Biology, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology, Evolution and Organisms. Levy worked in the lab of Associate Professor of Biology Marion Broadhagen, becoming a reliable researcher and student leader who helped train other students in laboratory practices. He also worked on a collaborative project in the lab of Professor of Biology Jeff Young, where he carried out experiments with skill. He was the recipient of a Research and Creative Opportunities for Undergraduates grant and presented his research at Scholars Week. A graduate of Eastlake High School, he is the son of Mary Lambe and Mark Levy.
Lindsay Skinner, the Outstanding Graduate in Liberal Studies, graduated magna cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities – History of Culture and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. She also completed minors in French and Latin. A graduate of the University Honors Program, Skinner was a recipient of the President’s Scholarship, the Liberal Studies Departmental Scholarship, and a Graduate Student Fellowship. She was also a Math Fellow, a member of the Liberal Studies Leadership Team and Mock Trial, and captain of an intramural volleyball team. Skinner will continue at Western for a master’s degree in Mathematics. A graduate of Skyline High School in Sammamish, she is the daughter of Dana Wood-Skinner and John M. Skinner.
Haley Anne Herrin, Outstanding Graduate of the Department of Management, graduated cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Management and Management Information Systems. She is also a graduate of the University Honors Program. A CBE Leadership Scholar, Herrin showed her exemplary leadership skills through her involvement in Western’s College of Business and Economics. She served on the leadership team of Sigma lota Epsilon and was program coordinator of the Money Sense personal finance seminars for students. She also completed internships with Grant Thornton LLP, the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center, and the BIG Idea Lab. After graduation, Herrin will begin a full-time position in IT audit at Grant Thornton LLP. She is the daughter of Julie and Hilton Herrin and a graduate of Seattle Christian School.
Hannah Newman, Outstanding Graduate in English – Creative Writing, graduated magna cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Arts in English – Creative Writing and a minor in Psychology. She served as student volunteer manager for Western’s Children’s Literature Conference, was editor-in-chief of Jeopardy Magazine and was a student employee in the English Department. She was a recipient of two Teaching and Learning Association awards and a Centrum Scholarship. She has co-founded a literary magazine, The Sweet Tree Review, which will open for submissions in September and release its first issue next winter. She also hopes to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing and become a professor. The daughter of Christy Newman and Anthony Rider, she is a graduate of Shoreline Community College.
Alastair Duncan, Outstanding Graduate of the Department of Decision Sciences, graduated magna cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management Information Systems. Duncan worked closely with his faculty mentor, Senior Instructor Kraig Pencil, to “flip,” or restructure, one of Pencil’s Management Information Systems classes, writing assignments and recording lectures to be posted online. His involvement at Western included his membership of Beta Gamma Sigma and the Management Information Systems Association. He was also appointed to Management Information Systems’ IT Leadership team. He interned for Moxi Works in Seattle and continued to work remotely with the company while completing his studies. Post-graduation, Duncan will work in the Technical Development Program at Liberty Mutual Insurance. He is the son of Bob and Mary Jane Duncan and is a graduate of Sequim High School and Whatcom Community College.
Ellen Olsen, the Outstanding Graduate in Geology, graduated magna cum laude in March with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and a minor in Anthropology. Olsen is a recipient of the President’s Scholarship and the James Talbot Scholarship. She received grant funding for her thesis research on the formation conditions of Skagit gneiss rocks called migmatites in the crystalline core of the Cascades Range, using cutting-edge geo-chemical analytical tools. She is working with Geology Research Associate Brian Rusk to continue her research and plans to submit a manuscript to present her work at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Baltimore. She hopes to begin graduate school in fall of 2016 in either igneous or metamorphic petrology studies. A graduate of Shorewood High School, Olsen is the daughter of Patti and Norm Olsen.
Holden Matheson, the Outstanding Graduate in Computer Science, graduated magna cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. In addition to his nearly perfect grade point average, Matheson completed a senior project with Alpha Technologies through the Corporate Alliance Program. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Matheson is a graduate of Snohomish High School and the son of Woosi Wildwood and Graydon Matheson.
Brynn Hofer, the Outstanding Graduate in Dance, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance. She has performed in Fall into Dance, Winter Dances, the Faculty Dance Concert, Cabaret and New Music New Dance. She performed in the BFA Capstone performance both as a dancer and a choreographer. She represented Dance on the Department Related Activities Committee, which decided on student-related spending within the department, and was the recipient of a grant for undergraduate research to explore the question, “How does someone learn a new movement style?” Meanwhile, Hofer has been a dance teacher in Bellingham for three years and recently became certificated in Pilates training. She was accepted for a dance apprenticeship at the Polaris Dance Co. in Portland. The wife of William Hofer and the daughter of Dori and Keith Nielsen, Brynn Hofer is a graduate of University High School in Spokane.
Hannah Ricker, Outstanding Graduate of the Department of Finance and Marketing, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. During her time at Western, Ricker dedicated herself to the local community, serving both as a campus tour guide and working at a locally-owned clothing store, Garys’. Ricker had the opportunity to spend part of her senior year studying abroad in Spain on scholarship, allowing her to explore part of the world and feed her curious mind. After graduation, Ricker aspires to work at an advertising agency in the field of digital marketing, particularly in the areas of search engine optimization (SEO) and interactive strategy. She is the daughter of Rosemarie and Alan Ricker and a graduate of Skyview High School in Vancouver, Washington.
Victoria Monreal, Outstanding Graduate in Environmental Science, graduated magna cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science with a Marine Ecology emphasis and a minor in Environmental Education. Monreal started at Western in the 2013 Multicultural Initiative in the Marine Sciences Participation program, where she impressed faculty with her willingness to explore a variety of topics, her drive to succeed and her remarkable time management skills. Before enrolling at Western, she spent nine months volunteering in Peru at the Taricaya Animal Reserve and Rescue Center and on an organic farm, an experience that solidified her desire to study the environment and prevent its destruction. At Western, she served as office coordinator of the Office of Sustainability and as a lab assistant in the Biology Department. She presented her research on eelgrass habitat at a meeting of the Pacific Estuarine Research Society and at an international conference of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, winning a competitive grant for the trip and an award for best student presentation. She also won a highly competitive position in the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, where she completed her senior thesis on mosquito developmental ecology. A graduate of Wenatchee High School and Wenatchee Valley College, Monreal is the daughter of Conrad Monreal and Kynne Williams.
Celina Muñoz, the Presidential Scholar for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Humanities Division and the Outstanding Graduate in History, graduated cum laude in March with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. Intrigued by a fifth-grade research project, Muñoz recognized her passion for history at a young age and fulfilled that desire through her research at Western. Her scholarly work often explores the historical and cultural contours of gender, class and race in Western civilization. Muñoz took on leadership roles in the local chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, an honor society for History majors, and worked to establish a peer-review writing center for students in lower-division History courses. She participated in the Phi Alpha Theta Northwest Regional Conference in 2014 and 2015, and was honored that her essay on the role of apothecaries in the 1665 London plague was nominated for best undergraduate paper. Muñoz works diligently to call attention to the needs of marginalized groups, promoting awareness of issues surrounding exclusion and multiculturalism. She was also involved in efforts to reach out to Bellingham’s homeless community, knitting hats, encouraging donations, and generally creating awareness among the college community. As a desk attendant in the residence halls, Muñoz helped to organize events that foster community and move toward models of success and achievement. Muñoz, from Yakima, is the daughter of Roy and Sandra Muñoz. She is considering graduate school and plans to work in a field where she can promote the importance of history and social sciences
Daniel Miller, Outstanding Graduate in Journalism, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Journalism. Miller won awards for his photography from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Collegiate Press and the Washington Press Association. He served as a photo intern at the Skagit Valley Herald, the Bellingham Herald and the WWU Athletics Department. On campus, he was a photographer for The Western Front and the Planet and Klipsun magazines. He was also a Student Admissions Representative, president of Western’s chapter of the National Press Photographers Association, which saw unprecedented growth during his tenure. Now, he’s headed to Flint, Michigan, for an internship on the photo staff of the Flint Journal. He hopes to continue developing his skills as a visual storyteller to become a staff photographer at a newspaper.
Jasmine Strode-Elfant, the Outstanding Graduate in Sociology, graduated magna cum laude in March with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Art. Strode-Elfant worked with Sociology Professors Jay Teachman and Lucky Tedrow on a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grant. She also presented research at the conference for the Pacific Sociological Association two years in a row. Meanwhile, she was vice president of the Demography Club and a recipient of the Ingeborg Paulus scholarship. She had an art exhibit of her work in Western’s B-Gallery. A graduate of Western’s Honors Program, Strode-Elfant is now working as a research assistant in Western’s Sociology Department, co-authoring a book chapter on veterans and families and revising her honors thesis, “’Expertly Crafted with the Finest Ingredients’: Authenticity and Social Class in Food Advertisements.” She hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in Sociology; her research interests include mixed methods research, particularly the construction and presentation of gender in food culture. The daughter of Poppy Strode and Michael Elfant, she is a graduate of Davis High School.
John Rosenbaum, Outstanding Graduate in Philosophy, graduated magna cum laude in December 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and a minor in Accounting. Rosenbaum worked as a logic grader, served as treasurer of the Philosophy Club, helped to found the Theistic Thinkers student club and co-organized the Bellingham Lectures in Philosophy and Religion series. He was a recipient of the Paul J. and Rebecca Ann Olscamp Philosophy Scholarship and worked as a contract editor for Cengage Publishing Co. and as a tax accountant. Next, he’ll pursue a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Baylor University, where he has received a generous fellowship. The husband of Rhiannon Rosenbaum, he is a graduate of Modesto Christian School.
Michelle Runyan, the Outstanding Graduate in English – Literature Emphasis, graduated cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and a minor in Diversity in Higher Education. Runyan served as the Associated Students representative on Western’s Committee on Undergraduate Education, as a board member for the Northwest Hawai’i Ohana, and vice president of internal affairs for the WWU Professional Women’s Association. Her “Coriolanus and Early Modern Notions of Self” was published in Occam’s Razor and her “Emily Dickinson’s Poetry as Religious Experience” was a nominee for Scholars Week. She is the recipient of the John and Elizabeth Moore Education Scholarship, the Whatcom Educational Credit Union Scholarship and the WWU Presidential Scholarship. Her plans include working in higher education, earning her master’s degree in English Literature and teaching at a community college. The daughter of Lou-Ann Couch and Rod Couch, and Noel Runyan, Michelle Runyan is a graduate of Centennial High School in Boise, Idaho, and of Whatcom Community College.
Jasmine Wilhelm, the Outstanding Graduate in Recreation, graduated cum laude in December with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Recreation and Studio Art with a minor in Sociology. Wilhelm participated in the first Western Outdoor Orientation Trips (WOOT!) and later became a head trip leader, leading first-year students on six-day backpacking trips and helping them transition to college. She worked as a resident adviser and a student ambassador for the Western Foundation for two years and a peer mentor for Student Outreach Services for one year. She was a speaker at two TEDx events as well as at the graduation ceremony for the Recreation Program and received the Jake Merrill Outdoor Leadership Scholarship. She interned with Environmental Traveling Companions, leading people with disabilities and at-risk youth on one- to three-day river trips on the South Fork of the American River. After graduation, she worked for a season taking youth from Los Angeles into the mountains to teach them about Earth science, nature and leadership. Now, she’s working in the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior to lead four- to seven-day sea kayaking trips for people with mixed abilities. A graduate of Boise High School, she is the daughter of Jeffery and Peggy Jo Wilhelm.
Julia Barnes, Outstanding Graduate in Canadian-American Studies, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Canadian-American Studies and French. During her time at Western, Barnes became fluent in French and developed an expertise on Quebec and cross-border identity, studying abroad in Montreal during her junior year. She is also known as a natural leader among her peers. After graduation, Barnes plans to stay in the Pacific Northwest. Her parents, Don and Linda Barnes, met while attending Western. She is a graduate of Poolesville High School.
Daniel Krupicka, Outstanding Graduate in the Psychology Department, is expected to graduate in August with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. He spent four quarters as a research assistant in the lab of WWU Psychology Professor Deborah Forgays, helping with research on cell phone usage. He also works at Pediatric NDT and SI Therapy Services, an occupational therapy clinic in Bellingham. He started in maintenance and now also works with therapists to gain skills in occupational therapy and working with children -- he often walks children on therapy horses. He’ll continue to work at the clinic after graduation and complete requirements to apply to graduate school in occupational therapy. The son of Kristen Krupicka and Steven Krupicka, Daniel Krupicka is a graduate of Whatcom Community College and Creighton Community High School.
Rebecca Scheurich, Outstanding Graduate of the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, graduated magna cum laude in December 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Neuroscience and Music. Scheurich also served as lab manager in Assistant Professor of Psychology McNeel Jantzen's Language and Neural Systems Research Lab at WWU, orchestrating several research projects at once. She co-authored two peer review publications with Jantzen and is working on a third. Additionally, she presented her research at the Human Brain Mapping Conference and completed a neurosurgical internship with Dr. David Goldman. Meanwhile, Scheurich was an integral member of Western’s orchestra and worked in the Tutoring Center. Since graduation, Scheurich has been working as a research assistant at ILABS at the University of Washington. She has been accepted into the doctoral program in Psychology at McGill University where she will be working with Professor Caroline Palmer and colleagues at the Brain, Music, and Sound (BRAMS) International Laboratory, studying the neural mechanisms behind music production. She is the daughter of Leslie and Larry Scheurich, fiancé of pianist Michael Refvem, and graduate of Tigard High School.
‘Life Launch’ Four-Day Outdoor Course Aims to Inspire Recent College Grads; Set for July 19-22 at North Cascades Institute
Western Washington University Extended Education’s Life Launch, a new four-day professional-development course focused on helping recent college graduates to discover “what’s next,” is set for July 19-22 at the North Cascades Institute near Diablo.
Led by youth speaker and student-success expert Marli Williams, the program is designed to help young people in their 20s make intentional, meaningful choices as they navigate their lives after graduation. Over the four days, graduates will work to identify their passions and goals while participating in group hiking and canoe excursions around North Cascades National Park.
“I wanted to create a program for recent graduates to give them the tools and confidence to approach the next chapter in their life with curiosity and excitement rather than fear and anxiety,” said Williams. “They will walk away with an increased sense of courage and clarity, and will also have a strong network of support from a community of peers that will continue to hold each other accountable to stay on track.”
The program cost is $995 with an early bird discount of $200 for registrations before July 51. The cost includes meals and lodging at the North Cascades Institute, four days of powerful personal- and professional-growth workshops, and one-on-one coaching from Williams before, during and for two months after the program is complete to help participants stay on track. Each aspect of the program is designed to ensure that graduates walk awaymotivated, inspired, and ready to take on the world.
“The program is for those who want to make a positive difference in the world post-graduation who are looking for some strategies, tools, support and accountability to make their dreams a reality,” Williams said.
To register or learn more, please visit marliwilliams.com/lifelaunch.
The Western Washington University Department of Theatre and Dance is bringing live summer theatre back to campus July 29 through Aug. 30.; offerings include a range of popular musicals and plays, free Commedia performances on Old Main Lawn, and a family-friendly contemporary dance.
Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. and matinees are at 2 p.m. A complete list of times and dates are available online at http://www.tickets.wwu.edu/.
Dance faculty Nolan Dennett directs Western student dancers in “Movement Graffiti” which performs in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room July 29 through Aug. 2. The work is impressionistic – inspired by a range of personal and poetic subjects, and set to music from Arvo Part, Kronos String Quartet, Bobby McFerrin, and Carl Orff, among others. Tickets are $6 for students and youth, and $10 for general public.
Rich Brown brings his Commedia troop to Old Main Lawn Aug. 5-9. Commedia is a highly physicalized, masked comic performance originating from the Italian Renaissance. The show features well-known stock characters such as tricky servants, young lovers, and foolish old men. The performances are free and appropriate for all ages.
The award-winning Broadway musical “Urinetown” plays on the Performing Arts Center Mainstage Aug. 12-16. Urinetown is a musical satire set in a Gotham-like city where a terrible water shortage caused by a 20-year drought has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company. Urinetown won three Tony™ Awards, three Outer Critic's Circle Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, and two Obie Awards. Tickets are $14-19, with discounts available for youth and students.
Called “the most frighteningly realistic depiction of a family summer road trip,” “Leaving Iowa” is a comedy centering on Don Browning, a middle-aged writer who returns home to take his father’s ashes to his childhood home only to discover Grandma’s house is now a grocery store. Leaving Iowa was nominated “Best New Play in the Country” by the Detroit Free Press and one of SoCal Theater’s “10 Most Memorable Moments” of the year after its run at the Laguna Playhouse. It opens in the DUG Theatre in the Performing Arts Center on Aug. 19 and runs through Aug. 23. Tickets are $11 for students and youth, $15 for adults.
The 2015 summer theatre season closes with kid-friendly “Schoolhouse Rock Live!” based on the Emmy Award-winning 1970's Saturday morning cartoon series that taught history, grammar, math, and more through catchy songs and engaging characters like “Zero My Hero.” Schoolhouse Rock Live! plays in the Old Main Theater August 26-30, with matinees on both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $11 for students and youth, $15 for adults.
Western Summer Theatre is sponsored by KAFE 104.1 FM. For more information about Western Summer Theatre, visit cfpa.wwu.edu/theatredance. Tickets and disability accommodation information are available at the Western Ticket Office, (360) 650-6146. Summer Ticket Office hours are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and before show times.
Six students from Western Washington University’s Industrial Design program received recognition and $6,000 in scholarships for their children’s furniture designs as a part of the annual Mount Baker Products Furniture Design Competition.
Western students, children, parents and a panel of seven judges have reviewed and selected the winning designs among 21 different student projects. Entries were judged on concept, creativity, functionality, structure, craftsmanship and form.
They were judged by Lisa Van Doren, Paul Kearsley, Lisa Ochs, Karen Morris, Ray Klein, Arunas Oslapas, and Kyle Thomas.
Van Doren is an owner of Ideal, a design shop on 1227 Cornwall Ave. in Bellingham. Kearsley is a designer and part time Industrial Design department faculty member at Western. Ochs is the program coordinator in Western’s Engineering and Design Department and a mother of two. Morris is a paraeducator at Wade King Elementary School and a mother of two. Oslapas is a professor of Industrial Design at Western. Klein is a designer and owns Klein Product Development, and Thomas is the lead industrial designer at Architectural Elements in Bellingham.
· First prize and a $2,000 scholarship was awarded to Calyn McLeod of Lynden for “Mod Beam,” a modular balance beam for Bellingham Cooperative School.
· Second prize and a $1,500 scholarship was awarded to Peter Jacobson of Edmonds for “Washington for Frame,” a costume wardrobe with silhouette mirrors.
· Third prize and a $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Justin Janczakowski of Mukilteo for “Slope,” a pediatric physical therapy ramp and scooter board for the Bellingham School District Therapy Department.
· Fourth prize and a $700 scholarship was awarded to Jill Kuyt of Longmont, Colorado, for “Artislce,” a three-sided art easel and chalkboard for preschoolers.
· Fifth place and a $500 scholarship was awarded to Tacha Pradappet of Federal Way for “Rhiza,” a plant roots observatory for Blossom Child Daycare.
· Industrial Design students awarded Noah Lanphear of Seattle with the Designers Choice Award and a $300 scholarship for his indoor climbing play structure featuring a rope and an inclined ladder.
Scholarship money and wood for the projects were provided by Mount Baker Products, Inc.
For more information, contact Jason Morris, Western Washington University Department of Engineering and Design, at (360) 650-2514 or Jason.Morris@wwu.edu.
Experienced fly fisher Molly Semenik will speak about women in fly fishing on Wednesday, July 8 at 3 p.m. at Western Libraries Special Collections area, Wilson Library 6th floor, on the Western Washiongton University campus.
The event is free and open to the public.
Semenik began fly fishing when her father gave her his Orvis Bamboo fly rod at age 14. She is a member of the International Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF) Board of Governors and a certified Master Casting Instructor (MCI) who annually teaches over 400 students through schools, shops, clubs, and shows.
Her business, “Tie the Knot Fly Fishing,” specializes in teaching current techniques and philosophies around the sport of fly fishing to men and women of all ages. She and her husband live in Livingston, Montana, surrounded by two mountain ranges with the longest of the nation’s free flowing rivers – the Yellowstone – cutting through the valley floor.
This event is sponsored by Western Libraries Heritage Resources. For more information, contact Special Collection Manager Tamara Belts at (360) 650 – 3193 or at Tamara.Belts@wwu.edu.
West Sound CoderDojo Finds New Home at WWU Center at Olympic College, Poulsbo; First Free Class begins July 11
West Sound CoderDojo (WSCD), which offers free programming classes for kids age 8-18, will host its future classes at the Western Washington University Center in Olympic College, Poulsbo, thanks to a new partnership between the two institutions.
The CoderDojo movement is a global movement of free, volunteer-led, community based programming clubs for young people. Students learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and explore technology in an informal and creative environment. In addition to learning to code attendees meet like-minded people and are exposed to the possibilities of technology. There is a focus on community, peer learning, youth mentoring and self-led learning, with an emphasis on showing how coding is a force for change in the world.
Experience levels range from beginner to advanced and participation is always free.
WSCD, launched this past March, is the newest of 450 chapters now operating in 47 countries. West Sound Technology Association (WSTA) hosted the initiative in this region to provide children (and parents) from Bainbridge to Kingston to Bremerton - and all points in between - an opportunity to learn skills vital for the 21st century economy. It has held six classes since early May at Bainbridge Public Library and Poulsbo City Hall while seeking a more permanent location, and Charles Keating, WSTA president, believes understanding programming is vital even if students don’t they don’t plan to work in the information technology field.
“It’s tough to name any future jobs that won’t require coding, or the problem-solving and critical thinking skills intrinsic to programming,” Keating said. “The fact that kids can learn this while having fun and playing or building games is an added plus.”
In addition to leading the CoderDojo effort, WSTA plays an important role in leading and engaging community efforts to cultivate a technologically savvy, adaptable workforce.
Western on the Peninsulas is committed to technological innovation and STE(A)M education. Candice Merrill, Director of Western on the Peninsulas, sees this partnership with WSTA as a way to both support the community and engage university students of the future. “If you can get kids hooked on science and math early by providing fun ways for them to learn, they are more likely to develop a curiosity and passion for learning that will carry them through high school, into college and, eventually into careers. Opportunities materialize for kids who love learning.”
Parents or guardians must register and attend the two-hour class with their child. Children are expected to bring their own laptops, though tablets may be introduced later. West Sound Coder Dojo’s first class on the WWU Center at OC Poulsbo will take place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 11. Tickets are free but registration is required. To find out more, please visit www.westsoundcoderdojo.com.
Western Washington University’s RN-to-BSN program as well as several additional healthcare organizations from throughout the community are partnering to sponsor a palliative care conference July 8-10 at Bellingham Technical College.
“Helping Providers Heal Without Cure” is designed for healthcare providers, social workers, caregivers, university students and interested community members. Participants will discuss and learn about tools and methods for providing a community of excellence in end of life and serious illness care.
The first day will uncover ways to have courageous conversations. Participants will form groups later in the day to further develop these skills. Day two will focus on the core concepts of palliative care and will demonstrate ways to help manage symptoms. The last day will encourage and educate participants about opportunities for community engagement.
The Palliative Care Institute was established to provide specialized healthcare for those with serious illnesses. The Institute encourages public discussion about treatment options and planning for those with incurable illness.
Western Washington University in conjunction with Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement (WAHA), Community Organized Group for Health (COGH), Whatcom Family and Community Network, PeaceHealth Palliative Care and PeaceHealth Hospice have all come together to support this initiative and palliative care in Whatcom County.
Registration and information for this event is available online at www.wwu.edu/bsn. Early registration is advised as seating is limited. This conference meets the criteria for up to 15 hours of Category I CME. Registration deadline is Monday, July 6.
WWU’s Small Business Development Center to Co-Sponsor Free Business Event With the Port of Bellingham
Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Port of Bellingham are collaborating to co-sponsor a free seminar on how the Department of Labor and Industries can help local businesses cut costs and avoid unexpected liability.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 8:30-11 a.m. on Thursday, June 25, at the Harbor Center Conference Room, 1801 Roeder Ave., in Bellingham.
The event will provide information on the following topics:
· How you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 for bringing an injured worker back in a light-duty or transitional job by using the Stay at Work program
· Hiring 1099 workers or Independent Contractors and determining liability for these workers
· Free risk-management services, safety and health consultation, ergonomics assistance and other resources.
Featured speakers will include Chris Alcatraz from the Department of Labor and Industries and Joyce Allen from the Stay at Work Program.
Alcatraz has been with Labor and Industries since 2011. As an account manager, she managed accounts in multiple industries, including manufacturing, farming and construction. Since taking on a full-time outreach role in 2014, Alcatraz has traveled throughout the state giving presentations and answering questions regarding workers’ compensation coverage. She enjoys meeting with customers face-to-face and assisting with their questions and concerns.
Allen has 13 years of Worker’s Compensation claims experience and is proficient in all aspects of the claim’s process and anticipating the need for vocational services. As an outreach specialist for the Stay at Work Program, she travels throughout Washington meeting with employers and workers in a collaborative approach to bringing injured workers back to work and saving businesses money. Allen is a retired Air Force master sergeant with three tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. Her 22 years of experience working with diverse cultures, ethnic and social groups give her a unique view of the different needs, expectations, and sensitivities of her customers.
Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center is part of the most comprehensive small-business alliance in the U.S., with more than 1,000 active SBDC programs across the country. Western Washington University’s SBDC receives support from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Whatcom County, the Port of Bellingham, and the City of Bellingham.
Since 1983, Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center has given back to the business community and helped to shape the economic future of Whatcom County by providing free, confidential advising, technical assistance, and research to business owners and managers in an effort to help businesses thrive.
For more information on this event, contact Jenna DeRosier, marketing coordinator for Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center, at (360) 778-1762.
BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard honored seven graduates as Presidential Scholars during Commencement on Saturday, June 135.
Presidential Scholar awards honor top students in six colleges for their exceptional scholarship and service to the university and community.
Shepard presented each of the following Presidential Scholars with a medallion:
Susanne Elizabeth Lange Hancock
College of Business and Economics
Susanne Hancock is graduating this spring with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a perfect grade point average. She is known for her insightful and incisive mind and a great willingness to help other students. Hancock dedicates her time to volunteering with programs that support literacy, English language learners and children with learning challenges. In her other home community of Kauai, Hawaii, she volunteered in a special education program at an economically disadvantaged elementary school. She enjoys teaching art classes in elementary schools both here and in Hawaii and was instrumental in creating art programs that integrate multicultural themes, art history, math and science. She raised funds to purchase art supplies for classrooms, recruited professional artists to teach mini-classes and organized an all-school gallery showing at the end of the year. At Western, she was a part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, helping low-income people file their tax returns. She also participated in the most recent College of Business and Economics dean search. Hancock has a strong sense of community and believes, together, we are stronger than the sum of our parts. She is inspired by her husband David, an elementary school teacher, and her two daughters, Ellie and Kate. After graduation, Hancock plans to study for the Certified Public Accountant licensing exam and continue volunteering in her community.
Brenda Helen McGarrity
Woodring College of Education
Brenda McGarrity graduates this spring with a major in Human Services from Woodring College of Education, and a minor in Education and Social Justice. She also completed a concentration at Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies called “Staging the Marginalized Narrative.” McGarrity is the first of her family to attend college, and carried a heavy academic load while working multiple jobs and being a family caregiver. She is driven by a deep commitment to service and social justice, and recognizes the need to initiate and sustain social change rooted in the values of parity and equity. McGarrity has demonstrated this throughout her college career, including internships, in-class learning projects and research. She was an intern for six months at Catholic Community Services Recovery Center, where she showed initiative in recognizing the need to serve pregnant women and members of the LGBTQ community. McGarrity’s knack for community organizing led her to help create Autonomous Students United for Reducing Tuition (ASURT), which organizes around the impact of tuition costs on students, and she was the president of the Students for Social Change club on campus. McGarrity is actively involved in many social justice actions both on and off campus, and she tries to have a presence to stand in solidarity with a variety of struggles. After graduation, McGarrity will attend the graduate program in social work at the University of Washington. A resident of Custer and a graduate of Windward High School in Ferndale, McGarrity is the daughter of David McGarrity and Tracy Farmer and the partner of Jordan Quinn.
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Celina Muñoz graduated cum laude in March with a Bachelor of Arts in History and is this year’s Outstanding History Graduate. Intrigued by a fifth-grade research project, Muñoz recognized her passion for history at a young age and fulfilled that desire through her research at Western. Her scholarly work often explores the historical and cultural contours of gender, class and race in Western civilization. Muñoz took on leadership roles in the local chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, an honor society for History majors, and worked to establish a peer-review writing center for students in lower-division History courses. She participated in the Phi Alpha Theta Northwest Regional Conference in 2014 and 2015, and was honored that her essay on the role of apothecaries in the 1665 London plague was nominated for best undergraduate paper. Muñoz works diligently to call attention to the needs of marginalized groups, promoting awareness of issues surrounding exclusion and multiculturalism. She was also involved in efforts to reach out to Bellingham’s homeless community, knitting hats, encouraging donations, and generally creating awareness among the college community. As a desk attendant in the residence halls, Muñoz helped to organize events that foster community and move toward models of success and achievement. Muñoz, from Yakima, is the daughter of Roy and Sandra Muñoz. She is considering graduate school and plans to work in a field where she can promote the importance of history and social sciences
Sadie July Normoyle
Huxley College of the Environment
Sadie Normoyle graduates this spring magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy and a minor in American Indian Studies. Normoyle’s decision to major in Environmental Policy stems from her passion for working within the political system and advocating for environmental and social justice. As a freshman at Western, Normoyle worked as an intern in the Associated Students Environmental Center and later served two years as the AS Green Energy Fee education coordinator. As a senior, she directed the AS Environmental and Sustainability Programs, overseeing the Outback Farm, the Green Energy Fee, Alternative Transportation and the Environmental Center. Normoyle has worked hard during her time at Western to create a more inclusive community on campus. She has been involved in workshops and events that address social justice issues and helped create and facilitate a workshop on diversity and inclusion. Her studies explored environmental and social justice, particularly the connection between climate change and discrimination, water quality issues and Native fishing rights. “We cannot begin to solve our issues of climate change without also addressing issues of human rights and looking at the connections between the two,” Normoyle wrote. “We need to address the unfair environmental burdens placed on communities in poverty, such as Native communities.” After graduation, Normoyle plans to return to her hometown of Olympia and spend a year exploring the world and gaining more job experience in environmental work. She then plans to apply to law school to specialize in environmental law and American Indian law. She graduated from Black Hills High School in Olympia and is the daughter of Brent and Tre Normoyle. Her three siblings include two fellow alumni: Eli Normoyle, a 1998 Western graduate, and Jill Stewart, who attended Western in the ‘90s.
David Nathaniel Nuqul
College of Science and Engineering
David Nuqul graduated magna cum laude winter of 2015 with a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Mathematics Education and an additional Secondary Mathematics Education Certification. Originally from Jordan, Nuqul is dedicated to serving communities around the globe: His summers included time in Austria as a camp counselor, English teacher and Bible instructor, in Jordan volunteering with at-risk youths and refugees, and in Sri Lanka working in community centers providing food and education to low-income families and single mothers. He has also worked with elderly residents at the Alderwood Convalescent Center in Bellingham and with homeless people at the San Francisco Rescue Mission. An excellent mathematician, Nuqul tutored students as a Math Fellow at Western for three and a half years and feels a calling to teach – he served as a student teacher at an elementary school in Burlington while completing his degree requirements. Now, he’s working as a substitute teacher in Burlington and Bellingham and hopes to become a high school mathematics teacher in Bellingham. The son of Hani and Julia Nuqul, David Nuqul plans to marry his fiancée, 2013 graduate Megan Milford, this summer.
Evan Victor Rumble
College of Fine and Performing Arts
Evan Rumble, who graduated this winter with a bachelor’s degree in Art Education and a minor in Art History, is devoted to the scholarship of teaching and learning and is passionate about multicultural education. Through his research, he explored the concept of "nomadic consciousness," which rejects a Eurocentric orientation in favor of the view that every culture, identity and belief is as deserving as the rest, or, as Rumble writes, there is “no high, fine, or low arts and no high or low culture, just what exists and what has not been discovered." Rumble plans to use this philosophy in the classroom as he embarks on a career in art education. Since graduating, Rumble has been working as a substitute teacher in Bellingham. But he hopes to become a high school art teacher in the Southwest. He knows the Southwest is a challenging socioeconomic environment for many immigrants, and he believes he can help make a difference. At Western, Rumble made great strides as an artist, consistently impressing his instructors with his talent and work ethic. Rumble also has a long record of service, including volunteering in Sehome High School’s art program, at Whatcom Museum’s Family Interactive Gallery and as a student representative on Western’s One World Committee, which is dedicated to internationalizing the curriculum. Rumble is a graduate of Ridgefield High School and Clark College in Clark County. He is the son of Barb Kusik and Newt Rumble and has one older sister, Morgan, a 2009 graduate of Western.
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Maverick Tang graduated magna cum laude in winter with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in Communication. Tang is described by his professors as an extremely driven and passionate student, and he graduated with a nearly perfect grade point average. Even more, Tang has contributed his skills, compassion and engaging personality to benefit others. Sociology Professor Karen Bradley notes that Tang’s insights and willingness to help others contributed to the learning environment and academic success of many of his classmates. Tang spent two quarters working as an intern at the Lighthouse Mission homeless shelter in Bellingham. His papers and journals about his time working at the mission displayed a deep intellectual and compassionate understanding of the issues surrounding homelessness. Tang has demonstrated that he is deeply committed to social justice through his work in the community, and is devoted to finding ways to improve the lives of others. Now that he has graduated, he hopes to travel and become a program director for a nonprofit organization – or start a nonprofit of his own -- that combines humanitarian aid and the outdoors. A graduate of Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, Tang is the son of Jane and Stanley Tang.
WWU Graduates First Cohort of ‘Pathways to Teaching’ Program; Designed to Get Bilingual Instructional Assistants Their Teaching Certification
Berenice Rodriguez always dreamed of being a teacher.
When her family came to the United States on a tourist visa from her native Mexico when she was eight years old so they could work in the berry fields of Skagit County, the dream never wavered. Long hours in the fields before and after school and learning a new language never deterred her. But the realities of being an undocumented student – no financial aid opportunities or loans, and even an inability to pursue a teaching degree at Western Washington University once she transferred there from Skagit Valley College because she would need to be fingerprinted – slowed her dream from becoming a reality.
She graduated with a degree in General Studies but her goal of leading her own classroom eluded her, and there were times when she wondered if it had all been worth it. She got married soon after and began raising a family, always hoping a time would come when she could again pursue her dream.
“I definitely had moments where I wondered if it was all worth it, all that work,” she said. “But you just have to have faith – and in the end, it was.”
The pieces began falling into place in June 2012, when President Obama signed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legislation that granted her a renewable two-year work visa. She would remain a Mexican national – but for the first time, she could work and study in this country without fear of deportation, and she soon began a job as an instructional assistant at Lucille Umbarger Elementary School in Burlington, working mainly with Spanish-speaking students in its English Language Learner (ELL) program.
Soon after, she heard about a new program at Western called Pathways to Teaching, which is designed to help working instructional assistants earn a bachelor’s degree, their teaching certification, and an ELL or Bilingual endorsement while continuing to work. The program aims to increase the number of bilingual, ethnic minority and first-generation teachers in Washington state.
Maria Timmons Flores, the program coordinator for the Pathways program and an associate professor of Elementary Education in Western’s Woodring College of Education, said the seven-quarter program is designed to be completed with the students’ work schedule and family lives in mind and address a critical need.
“In Washington, currently 43 percent of our public-school students are non-white, while only 7 percent of certified teachers are of color. Bilingual education is one of the most powerful ways to close the opportunity gap, yet we do not have the teachers we need to teach in a language other than English,” she said. “This program will develop teachers who represent the communities in which they teach and with the ability to teach in a second language and support bilingual students.”
The cost of the program, bearing in mind the salaries of the instructional assistants who are its focus, is largely paid for by grants and loans. Western’s first cohort of 15 students just graduated from the Pathways program last week, and Rodriguez will start her new job this fall – as a teacher – at Burlington’s Westview Elementary School, teaching in Spanish in a dual-language school.
Shortly before her graduation, Rodriguez gave the keynote speech at Woodring’s annual graduation celebration, where she tearfully recounted the struggles she and her family faced to get to this point – her lifelong dream just a few shorts months away from becoming a reality.
“I always thought a four-year degree took four years, but it took me 10 years to get here. Many doors closed in front of me,” she said. “But thanks to this program and the incredible support you gave us, and because so many of you wouldn’t let us quit when times got tough, here we are. I guess I’m a dreamer – and I invite you to dream, too.”
For more information on the Pathways to Teaching program, contact Maria Timmons Flores at (360) 650-4559 or at email@example.com.