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Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement Office of the Provost

WSU Names Terese King, Michael Highfill to New Provostial Administrative Posts

Interim assistant vice provosts Michael Highfill and Terese King are shown on the left and right, respectively.

The Washington State University Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President has filled two new interim vice provost positions with experienced program directors and alumni Terese King and Michael Highfill. “These appointments support the evolving role and responsibilities of DAESA at the university,” said William B. Davis, DAESA interim vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement. “We appreciate the vision and leadership they will bring to their new roles and look forward to the many valuable contributions they will make.”

PULLMAN, Wash.—The Washington State University Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President has filled two new interim vice provost positions with experienced program directors and alumni Terese King and Michael Highfill.

“These appointments support the evolving role and responsibilities of the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement (DAESA) at the university,” said William B. Davis, DAESA interim vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement. “The new roles also recognize the incredible contributions these two have made to WSU undergraduate education over the course of their careers.

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William Davis Named Interim Vice Provost for DAESA

Bill Davis, Interim Vice Provost for Academic Engagement and Student Achievement.

William (Bill) Davis has been appointed interim vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement and will begin a one-year term on July 1. Davis will succeed Mary Wack, who has served as vice provost since 2007. She is retiring, but will stay on through August as Davis transitions into his new role. “We are fortunate to have such a strong leader like Bill Davis to serve in this role, one that is critical to our educational mission at WSU,” provost Elizabeth Chilton said.

William (Bill) Davis has been appointed interim vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement and will begin a one-year term on July 1.

Davis will succeed Mary Wack, who has served as vice provost since 2007. She is retiring, but will stay on through August as Davis transitions into his new role.

“We are fortunate to have such a strong leader like Bill Davis to serve in this role, one that is critical to our educational mission at WSU,” provost Elizabeth Chilton said. “We will certainly miss Mary’s expertise and vision. We are fortunate that the division is transitioning into good hands, and we are excited to welcome Bill to the provost’s office.”

Davis has served as the associate dean for undergraduate education in the College of Veterinary Medicine since 2012. He earned his Ph.D. at Northwestern University, and has earned numerous awards for his teaching, faculty service, and academic advising since joining the WSU faculty in 2001.

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WSU DAESA Announces 2021 Division Awards to Faculty, Staff, and Students

The Washington State University Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement (DAESA) celebrated faculty, staff, and students whose contributions through academic year 2020-21 promoted students, teaching, and learning success and excellence university wide. The awards announced are being made by DAESA units that include the University Common Requirements (UCORE) program, the Academic Success and Career Center (ASCC), the Transfer Center for Policy and Resources, the Office of Academic Engagement, and First-Year Programs.

PULLMAN, Wash.—The Washington State University Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement (DAESA) celebrated faculty, staff, and students whose contributions through academic year 2020-21 promoted students, teaching, and learning success and excellence university wide. The awards announced are being made by DAESA units that include the University Common Requirements (UCORE) program, the Academic Success and Career Center (ASCC), the Transfer Center for Policy and Resources, the Office of Academic Engagement, and First-Year Programs.

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WSU Launches First Institutional Survey to Gauge Graduates’ Post-college Plans

A WSU graduate holds up his diploma in celebration during a commencement ceremony.

With a goal to better understand graduates’ immediate plans, Washington State University has emailed a questionnaire to 5,748 seniors asking about what they will do following graduation. “It’s important to understand that this is the first time we have conducted a university-wide survey to gather this type of statistical data,” said Mary F. Wack, vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement. “The new ‘Undergraduate Placement Survey’ will give the university its first comprehensive picture across the institution.”

A WSU graduate holds up his diploma in celebration during a commencement ceremony.PULLMAN, Wash.—With a goal to better understand graduates’ immediate plans, Washington State University has emailed a questionnaire to 5,748 seniors asking about what they will do following graduation.

“It’s important to understand that this is the first time we have conducted a university-wide survey to gather this type of statistical data,” said Mary F. Wack, vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement.

“Are they stepping into a job? Entering graduate or professional school?  Job searching? Joining the military, or a volunteer or service program? Taking time off?  Staying in the U.S. or going abroad? The new ‘Undergraduate Placement Survey’ will give the university its first comprehensive picture across the institution.”

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WSU Accepts Smith Teaching and Learning Grant Applications through March 15

Retired WSU President Samuel H. Smith.

Washington State University faculty with innovative ideas to enhance teaching and learning are encouraged to apply by March 15, 2021 for a Smith Teaching and Learning Grant of up to $5,000, announced Mary F. Wack, vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement. There are two focus areas of this year’s awards: increasing course completion and student progress by reducing high C-DFW rates and redesigning large lecture courses for active student engagement in a flipped or hybrid course design.

PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University faculty with innovative ideas to enhance teaching and learning are encouraged to apply by March 15, 2021 for a Smith Teaching and Learning Grant of up to $5,000, announced Mary F. Wack, vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement.

There are two focus areas of this year’s awards: increasing course completion and student progress by reducing high C-DFW rates (grades of C-minus, D, F, or Withdraw) and/or closing equity gaps; and redesigning large lecture courses (100+ students) for active student engagement in a flipped or hybrid course design. Proposals should address one of the areas through innovative practices that improve student learning.

Retired WSU President Samuel H. Smith.
Retired WSU president Samuel H. Smith.

“Creative faculty have received dozens of Smith grant awards over the past two decades, and their diverse projects have resulted in many educational advances and new programs and pedagogies,” said Wack. “Thanks to Smith grants, thousands of undergraduates have reaped the benefits of faculty innovation throughout their educational experience at WSU.”

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WSU OAE Awards Jordan Frost Inaugural First-Generation Alumni Excellence Award

First-Generation Alumni Excellence Award presented to Jordan Frost in 2020 by the Office of Academic Engagement.

Former student body president and student regent and current Washington educator Jordan Frost received Washington State University’s inaugural First-Generation Alumni Excellence Award, presented by the Office of Academic Engagement (OAE). Frost earned two degrees at WSU—a B.A. in history in 2018, and a Master’s in teaching in 2019. “We envision this award as a way to celebrate exceptional WSU alumni who were first-generation students themselves,” said Ali Bretthauer, director of OAE College Success Programs.

PULLMAN, Wash. — Former student body president and student regent and current Washington educator Jordan Frost received Washington State University’s inaugural First-Generation Alumni Excellence Award, presented by the Office of Academic Engagement (OAE).

First-generation students are those whose parents did not graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree. Frost earned two degrees at WSU—a B.A. in history in 2018, and a Master’s in Teaching in 2019. While an undergraduate in Pullman, he was elected and served as head of the Associated Students of Washington State University; as a graduate student, he was selected to serve on the university’s Board of Regents.

Since graduation, he teaches social studies and is activities director at Issaquah High School, responsible for oversight of the student body organization budget, student government advising, campus events, school culture, and community engagement. » More …

WSU First‑generation Students Celebrated at Nov. 2–9 Events

The first-generation lapel pin shown on a backpack. The pin displays the hashtag #CELEBRATEFIRSTGEN.

Several events, Nov. 2-9, allow Washington State University to join in the national celebration of a key population segment–first-generation students, the Office of Academic Engagement (OAE) said. Across three dates, the OAE will host a story share on social media, a faculty roundtable on student support, and a presentation by an accomplished alumnus. All events are free and open to the public. “There are first-gen celebrations planned nationally around this time, and we joined in because we realize that there are thousands of WSU students systemwide who identify as first-gen,” said Ray Acuña Luna, director for OAE’s College Access Programs.

Several events, Nov. 2-9, allow Washington State University to join in the national celebration of a key population segment–first-generation students, the Office of Academic Engagement (OAE) said.

Across three dates, the OAE will host a story share on social media, a faculty roundtable on student support, and a presentation by an accomplished alumnus. All events are free and open to the public. The OAE is part of the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement, in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.

“There are first-gen celebrations planned nationally around this time, and we joined in because we realize that there are thousands of WSU students systemwide who identify as first-gen,” said Ray Acuña Luna, director for OAE’s College Access Programs.

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WSU UCORE Course Renewals Suspended One Year until Fall 2021

Clif Stratton, Director of the UCORE program.

Renewals of University Common Requirements (UCORE) courses at Washington State University have been postponed during the 2020-21 academic year. The decision was made by the 23-member UCORE Committee, which approves such general education courses and assesses the effectiveness of the UCORE curriculum. All existing UCORE courses must be renewed through a formal process to maintain alignment and adherence to UCORE learning outcomes.

PULLMAN, Wash.—Renewals of University Common Requirements (UCORE) courses at Washington State University have been postponed during the 2020-21 academic year, Clif Stratton, UCORE director, said Tuesday.

The decision was made by the 23-member UCORE Committee, which approves such general education courses and assesses the effectiveness of the UCORE curriculum. All existing UCORE courses—some 400 of them—must be renewed through a formal process to maintain alignment and adherence to UCORE learning outcomes.

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WSU Lands 3 DOE Grants Worth $4M for Services for Veterans, STEM Students, and Future Teachers

Michael Highfill, Executive Director of the Office of Academic Engagement; and Ali Bretthauer, Project Director of the ATLAS program.

Washington State University’s Office of Academic Engagement (OAE) has received word from the U.S. Dept. of Education (DOE) that it is awarding three student support services grants to benefit veterans, STEM students, and future teachers at the university. OAE Executive Director Michael Highfill said the grants—totaling over $4 million—will each serve between 120 and 140 low-income and first-generation students annually.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mary F. Wack, WSU vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement, 509-335-8044, mwack@wsu.edu.

Michael Highfill, executive director of the WSU Office of Academic Engagement, 509-335-9851, michael.highfill@wsu.edu  .

Beverly Makhani, director of communications and marketing, WSU Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement (DAESA), 509-432-3430, makhani@wsu.edu.

PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University’s Office of Academic Engagement (OAE) has received word from the U.S. Dept. of Education (DOE) that it is awarding three student support services (SSS) grants to benefit veterans, STEM students, and future teachers at the university.

Michael Highfill, Executive Director of the Office of Academic Engagement.

OAE Executive Director Michael Highfill said the grants—totaling over $4 million—will each serve between 120 and 140 low-income and first-generation students annually.

Michael Highfill, Executive Director of the Office of Academic Engagement.

“We are pleased with this federal investment in WSU and our successful efforts to serve students through ambitious and innovative programming,” said Mary F. Wack, vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement. She leads the university division of the same name—which uses the acronym DAESA and is part of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.

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