Contact: Carola Williams, program coordinator, Western Washington University RN-to-BSN program, (360) 650-6700; firstname.lastname@example.org.
BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University’s first cohort of RN-to-BSN students received their degrees at Western’s fall graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13 in Carver Gym on Western’s campus.
The group of 24 students is the first cohort to graduate through Western’s new RN-to-BSN Program, which began in September 2013.
Over the course of five quarters, the students have completed coursework in Nursing Leadership, Social Justice in Healthcare, U.S. Health Policy, Global Health, Organizational Change and Interdisciplinary Care Coordination. In addition, all students completed projects with practice partners in the community, including PeaceHealth Medical Center and Medical Groups, Whatcom County Health Department, Bellingham Technical College and Whatcom Community College Nursing Programs, Bellingham Senior Center and the Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement.
“Nurses in our program are prepared with a variety of skills to lead the transformation of the healthcare system,” said academic program director, Casey Shillam. “I am incredibly proud of our graduating students and predict that they will be powerful leaders in the nursing profession, advancing the profession and ensuring patients and families have access to the highest quality healthcare available.”
Comprised of four men and 20 women, the cohort represents a more gender-diverse demographic than the nursing practice itself: 20 percent of Western’s first RN-to-BSN cohort is male, while 10 percent of registered nurses in the U.S. – and only 7.3 percent in Washington state – are male, according to a 2008 report by the Washington Center for Nursing.
Within the cohort, 11 students have 1 year or less of clinical practice, while eight members have 2-5 years of clinical practice and five have between 6 and 22 years of practice.
Offered through Western’s Woodring College of Education, Western’s RN-to-BSN Program is designed for associate-degree and diploma-prepared nurses who have completed their pre-licensure Registered Nurse (RN) studies. It provides RNs in Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties the opportunity to continue their professional education to the bachelor’s degree level, along with structure to support students’ ability to balance school with busy work, family and personal lives. Classes are scheduled to meet one day per week on Western’s campus.
Contact: Paul Cocke, Director, WWU Office of Communications and Marketing, (360) 650-3350; Paul.Cocke@wwu.edu
Dec. 17, 2014
BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University is one of the 100 best values in public colleges, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. The ranking, released today, cites four-year schools that combine outstanding education with economic value.
Kiplinger’s magazine ranks Western 91st on its list of the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2015.
"We're honored to again be recognized by Kiplinger's for the value and quality we provide to students. Protecting access to an outstanding academic experience has been our foremost institutional priority during these turbulent economic times. Thanks to our innovative faculty and staff we've been able to maintain Western's commitment to providing a superb education at a reasonable cost,” said Western President Bruce Shepard.
Western has appeared on the list multiple times, a testament to the consistent value the university offers. Western was 93rd on the list in 2014, ranked 74th in 2013 and 81st in 2012.
Western also has consistently received strong rankings in U.S. News & World Report surveys of colleges and universities in the nation. Western is the highest ranking public, master’s-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to U.S. News & World Report college rankings.
Kiplinger’s assesses quality according to a number of measurable standards, including admission rate, percentage of students who return for their sophomore year, student-faculty ratio and four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include financial aid and average debt at graduation.
"We salute this year’s top schools,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. “Balancing top-quality education with affordable cost is a challenge for families in today’s economy, which is why Kiplinger’s rankings are such a valuable resource. The schools on the 2015 list offer students the best of both worlds.”
Contact: Hannah Nevitt, Western Washington University International Programs and Exchanges program coordinator, at (360) 650-2174 or Hannah.Nevitt@wwu.edu
BELLINGHAM— Three Western Washington University students were selected among 800 American undergraduate applicants from 356 colleges and universities across the U.S. to receive prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to study or intern abroad during the spring 2015 academic term.
The Gilman Scholarships are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The three recipients are as follows: Blanca Castillo, a Linguistics major from Okanogan studying in Meknes, Morocco for the Winter and Spring 2015 quarters; Lucero Manjarrez-Mendoza, an Economics major from Yakima studying in Florianopolis, Brazil for the Winter and Spring 2015 quarters; and Kaeli Wells, an Urban Planning and Sustainable Development major from Flagstaff, Arizona, studying in Kathmandu, Nepal for the Spring 2015 quarter. Each student was awarded $4,000 to fund their international education program.
Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad or internship program costs. The program aims to diversify the students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go. Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in a career-oriented international internship for academic credit are eligible to apply. Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages, and economies -- making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.
The program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The full list of students who have been selected to receive Gilman Scholarships, including students’ home state, university and host country, is available on its website: www.iie.org/gilman.
For more information, contact Hannah Nevitt, Western Washington University International Programs and Exchanges Program Coordinator, at (360) 650-2174 or Hannah.Nevitt@wwu.edu, or visit studyabroad.wwu.edu.
Western Washington University Youth Programs will host a Holiday “Funtivities” celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20 in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room on Western’s campus.
The event is free and open to community members of all ages.
Children may be dropped off any time during the event allowing parents an opportunity to finish holiday shopping, while their children enjoy holiday crafts, games, snacks and movies under the supervision of Western’s Youth Programs staff. Parents are also welcome to stay and enjoy the program with their child.
Activities will include face painting, origami ornaments, Kwanzaa mkeka mats, Hanukkah tissue paper sun catchers, handprint paper wreaths, cookie decorating, board games, Santa storytelling and more.
In addition to holiday festivities, parents will have the opportunity to complete their shopping through a “Dollars for Scholars” silent auction with gifts donated from local businesses. All proceeds will benefit Western’s Youth Programs’ scholarships for students in need.
Western Youth Programs have encouraged youth to experience the joy of learning and to consider pursuing opportunities in higher education for 32 years.
For more information about Holiday “Funtivities” or Western Youth Programs, please visit wwu.edu/youth or call (360) 650-3308.
A new research vessel has arrived at Western Washington University’s Shannon Point Marine Center (SPMC); it will enhance access to marine environments and support the marine center’s research and educational activities.
The 35-foot research vessel “Magister” was funded through a $162,300 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Borman Family Foundation also funded electronics for the vessel.
“This new vessel is spectacularly well-equipped for oceanographic work around the Salish Sea,” said SPMC Director Erika McPhee-Shaw. “It has a wonderful winch and A-frame set up for water column profiling and for collecting water samples for chemical and biological analysis. Inside the wheelhouse are great lab benches, and an amazing set up where students can see some of the data coming from the profiling instruments in real time. It is an incredible resource for the kind of immersive, experiential learning for which Western is known.”
“Magister” is a landing craft-style work boat design with a bow door, both hydraulic and electric roof-mounted winches that lead forward to an A-frame, a large, covered walk-through cabin and a small aft deck with a davit, Sampson post and marine head.
The vessel was custom-manufactured at Bean Custom Marine Fabrication in Clarkston, Wash. The new aluminum vessel is powered by twin 200-horsepower engines and can cruise at 24 knots.
“Magister” is a species of local crab that longtime and retired SPMC Director Steve Sulkin studied, so the research vessel is named in his honor. Sulkin successfully obtained the NSF grant for the vessel, which will permit the marine center to meet the growing needs of the educational and research programs at the university by permitting more coordinated use of the SPMC’s vessel fleet, while also providing new capabilities for field work.
A primary aim of the NSF grant for the research vessel is to study chemical communication between planktonic microbes in local waters, as a way to better understand how marine food webs are regulated. Other projects that will benefit from the new vessel include studies of the causes and effects of harmful algal blooms and impacts of ocean acidification.
The grant to SPMC was the result of the highly competitive process to which proposals to NSF are subjected. Since 1995, NSF has provided grants that have supported the purchase of the three other smaller vessels that make up the SPMC fleet.
“I am looking forward to safely and efficiently supporting the research programs and education of the university, and am excited about this upcoming field research season,” said Capt. Nathan Schwarck, who is the R/V Magister’s primary skipper.
Everett Community College recently took delivery of a research vessel similar in design to the Magister. That vessel also was NSF funded and manufactured at Bean Custom Marine Fabrication in Clarkston.
The Shannon Point Marine Center’s mission is to support and promote marine science academic programs at WWU, develop new information about local marine environments, train the next generation of marine scientists, and provide public education events.