PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University computer engineering major and electrical engineering minor Marielibeth “Vanessa” Moran is the WSU 2023 Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY), said the Academic Success and Career Center (ASCC), program host. A senior, Moran has worked for WSU Concessions, CORETECH, and the LAUNCH (Into Experiential Learning) program in the provost’s office, and has been an active participant in the Office of Academic Engagement’s Invest in Cougs program. Moran is also applauded for being consistently enthusiastic, conscientious, and a problem-solver, with her performance and attitude reflecting her work ethic, commitment to excellence, and a willingness to invest the time and effort to ensure a job is done to the best of her ability. She plans to graduate in 2024.
PULLMAN, Wash.—Proposals from 13 Washington State University faculty working independently or in groups have been awarded six Smith Teaching and Learning grants for 2023-2024 to address equity gaps in student performance, experiential learning to help meet employment criteria, or eliminate differences in student achievement across multi-section courses. “The proposals we have chosen to support this year are very diverse and will have the potential to impact the education of thousands of WSU students in the future,” said William B. Davis, interim vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement. “We are pleased that many faculty applied for a Smith grant and that proposals had solid and creative ideas to benefit teaching and learning.” Smith awards are funded by the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Teaching and Learning Endowment, established in honor of retired WSU President Sam Smith in 2000. The grants are overseen by Davis.
The Washington State University Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement (DAESA) celebrated the recent accomplishments of faculty, staff, and students at an April 13 event where a spectrum of awards was presented. “The endeavors our programs undertake to advance academic student success and promote faculty development are impressive,” said William B. Davis, interim vice provost for DAESA, part of the Provost’s Office. “We are pleased to recognize at our annual celebration the outstanding accomplishments of so many of our people.” A total of 19 types of awards were presented at the annual event.
A Washington State University system-wide committee has updated the suite of one-to-four-credit university (UNIV) student-success courses and processes for the first time in a decade, resulting in several changes effective starting in fall 2023. Some changes impact the elective courses themselves, and some changes impact procedures. “The UNIV Curriculum Committee saw the opportunity to be more intentional as to how instructors across the university teach using the UNIV curriculum, and to create processes to ensure centralized review of new UNIV course proposals and also that defined student learning outcomes are built into syllabi across every section taught,” said Michael Highfill, interim assistant vice provost for academic engagement and student development, and committee chair.
Washington State University faculty with innovative ideas to advance teaching and learning are invited to apply by March 13 for awards to fund projects. Both funding opportunities must directly attend to issues related to inclusivity, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA). Smith Teaching and Learning and TCI IDEA grants have similarities but are quite distinct, with key differences between the two. Smith Teaching and Learning grant proposals must address classroom culture and instructional pedagogy through innovative practices that improve student learning. Transformational Change Initiative (TCI) Grants for Advancing IDEA fund collaborations and projects of varying scope.
Washington State University students can explore job possibilities by meeting with more than 100 employers at the spring Career Expo days, Feb. 6 and 7. The virtual expo on Monday runs from noon to 3 p.m., and the in-person expo Tuesday is from noon to 4 p.m. in Beasley Coliseum. “We’re expecting more than 120 employers to be at tables in Beasley, and about 45 employers are ready to engage virtually with students the day before,” said Amanda Morgan, associate director of the Academic Success and Career Center, which organizes and hosts the Career Expo. All students from all majors and years in college are invited to the event and should register beforehand on Handshake.
Washington State University students are encouraged to learn about the detailed processes involved to apply for financial aid at the seventh annual “FAFSA-WASFA Fest” on the afternoons of Oct. 12 and 13. The event is from 3:00-5:30 p.m. each day, with student peer experts and staff available in the Commons Student Center Room 210 on the WSU Pullman campus, as well as virtually via Zoom. Interested students can also schedule a private session. Pizza will be available for all attending in person, and everyone is eligible for door prizes.
Washington State University faculty and staff are encouraged to meet with employers when students and others seeking jobs and internships attend this fall’s Career Expo and Technical Fair on Oct. 3 and 4. “It’s a great way for us to connect academia to employers offering jobs and internships, and to learn directly from recruiters what job skills are in demand for our students,” said Amanda Morgan, associate director of Academic Success and Career Center (ASCC). “Of course, we also hope faculty and staff will encourage their students to attend the event. More than 250 employers will be there and that offers great opportunities.”
For the first time in its 16-year existence, the Washington State University Common Reading Program has produced a detailed guide to help faculty and staff better use the year’s common book strategically and effectively in classes, assignments, activities, and programming. “The 58-page booklet is online and packed with information, ideas, examples, and references to bring to life the 2022-23 book, Braiding Sweetgrass, for first-year and other students in creative and even fun ways,” said Samantha Solomon, principal investigator on the grant that funded the guide’s creation.
Washington State University faculty have been awarded the university’s inaugural Transformational Change Initiative (TCI) grants for advancing inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) to advance teaching and learning systemwide. “The four funded projects show a remarkable depth and breadth of creativity in terms of IDEA initiatives,” said Erika Offerdahl, director of the Transformational Change Initiative. “We are pleased the grants will support innovative projects that can be in place for students as early as fall semester.”