New WSU DAESA Division Led by Mary F. Wack

PULLMAN, Wash.—A merger of programs within the Washington State University Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President has created the new Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement (DAESA), said Mary F. Wack, vice provost.

“At WSU, we invite our students to make change, innovate, and lead for the public good through comprehensive learning and experiences,” said DAESA leader Wack.

“Our responsibility in the DAESA division is to support students by providing pathways to exceptional resources and experiences for all undergraduates. Moving ahead, we will rethink and redesign those resources and experiences. We will also champion great teaching.”

DAESA Comprised of Programs, Subprograms

The division will build upon programs that prepare students for success, design initiatives that address barriers to academic engagement, collaborate system-wide to advance student achievement, create a more effective and relevant general education curriculum, and assist students to degree completion and careers beyond.

DAESA includes programs under the former OUE, which was led by Wack from its start 13 years ago; the three-year-old OAE under the leadership of Michael Highfill; and UCORE with its new director Clif Stratton. The programs previously in the OUE include: the Academic Success and Career Center led by Terese King; the Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning led by Kimberly Green; the Distinguished Scholarships Program led by April Seehafer; First-Year Programs led by Karen Weathermon; WSU LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) led by Yadira Paredes; Research Scholars led by Mary Sánchez Lanier; the Transfer Clearinghouse led by Waylon Safranski; the Office of Undergraduate Research led by Shelley Pressley; and the Writing Program led by Victor Villanueva.

Subprograms under First-Year Programs are First-Year Focus, First-Year Success Seminar/UNIV 104, and the Common Reading Program. Under OAE are ATLAS, Cougs Rise, Crimson Community Grants; Invest in Cougs, and Student Success Seed Grants.

DAESA to Lead, Partner

“We have the opportunity as a new university organization to capitalize on our strengths and envision our future in collaboration with many great partners,” said Wack.

Highfill added, “We think that the renaming of our combined capacity as the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement signals to us, to the university, and to our external stakeholders that this strategic alignment and coordination of resources will drive academic innovation, student development, and scaling and amplification of student success efforts on a system level.”

“We will work to ensure an undergraduate experience for every student that integrates student learning within the classroom with experiences beyond the classroom. We are poised to help WSU reach its Drive to 25 goals and help students, faculty, and staff achieve new heights,” Wack said.

Media Contact:

Mary F. Wack, WSU Vice Provost for Academic Engagement and Student Achievement, 509-335-8044,

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