Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement Office of the Provost

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.”

» More …

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.”

» More …

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 …

Three Student Teams Land Fall 2020 Prizes at WSU’s Third Adobe Creative Jam

Adobe Creative Jam Live: Peace Out 2020.

Ten finalist teams from 12 sections of the Washington State University’s First-Year Success Seminar/University 104 course presented apps on the theme of “resilience” at the third Adobe Creative Jam, and three teams took home top awards, said Cynthia Williams, program director. “Thanks to our ongoing partnership with Adobe, our students were once again able to demonstrate the skills learned in UNIV 104 to creatively identify and communicate their innovative solutions to a complex problem,” said Williams.

Adobe Creative Jam Live: Peace Out 2020.Pullman, Wash. — Ten finalist teams from 12 sections of the Washington State University’s First-Year Success Seminar/University 104 course presented apps on the theme of “resilience” at the third Adobe Creative Jam, and three teams took home top awards, said Cynthia Williams, program director.

“Thanks to our ongoing partnership with Adobe, our students were once again able to demonstrate the skills learned in UNIV 104 to creatively identify and communicate their innovative solutions to a complex problem,” said Williams. UNIV 104 is part of First-Year Programs, a unit in the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement in the provost’s office.

The fall 2020 Jam’s first-place winners are Sidney Serna, Ashley Driesler, and Isabella Croston, for their app “Unbottle.” They will receive a 12-month subscription to Adobe Stock’s collection of images, graphics, videos, 3D objects, and templates and Creative Jam backpacks full of swag. » More …

Nov. 4: WSU Students Compete at Third Adobe Creative Jam

Adobe Creative Jam Live: Let's Jam.

The top 10 teams from Washington State University’s UNIV 104 freshman seminar course will compete virtually for prizes at 6:00 p.m., Wed., Nov. 4 as part of the third Adobe Creative Jam, said Cindy Williams, program director. The top teams were chosen from a field of 60 teams of two to three students each across 13 sections of the popular first-year course. Finalists will present apps they created that are centered around this year’s theme of “resiliency.” The public is invited to watch the presentations online.

Adobe Creative Jam Live: Let's Jam.Pullman, Wash. — The top 10 teams from Washington State University’s UNIV 104 freshman seminar course will compete virtually for prizes at 6:00 p.m., Wed., Nov. 4 as part of the third Adobe Creative Jam, said Cindy Williams, program director. The public is invited to watch the presentations online.

Finalists will present apps they created that are centered around this year’s theme of “resiliency.” The top teams were chosen from a field of 60 teams of two to three students each across 13 sections of the popular first-year course. » 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.

» More …

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.

» More …

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.

» More …

Two WSU NSF-sponsored Undergraduate Summer Research Programs Move Ahead Despite Pandemic Challenges

Screenshot of a Zoom meeting from the orientation event for summer 2020 REU students.

Friday Public Research Presentations Online

Despite in-person restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, two National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored research programs for undergraduates went forward at WSU this summer and welcomed 16 students from 15 universities—online. Both are in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Hassan Ghasemzadeh, NSF REU Principal Investigator, associate professor of computer science, 509-335-8260, hassan.ghasemzadeh@wsu.edu

Larry Holder, NSF REU Principal Investigator, professor of computer science, 509-335-6138, makhani@wsu.edu

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

PULLMAN, Wash.—Despite in-person restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, two National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored research programs for undergraduates went forward at WSU this summer and welcomed 16 students from 15 universities—online.

Both are in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. They are: Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Training in Wearable Computing,” led by Hassan Ghasemzadeh, associate professor; and, Undergraduate Research in Smart Environments,” led by Larry Holder, professor. In addition to these principal investigators, several faculty serve as mentors, supported by graduate assistants.

» More …

WSU Fund Distributes $500,000 to Help Students Weather COVID-19 Crises

Awards Continue to Be Made

The Crimson Community Grants (CCG) fund at Washington State University provided a half million dollars to nearly 800 low-income students statewide to help meet educational and related expenses during a spring semester impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are pleased to be able to offer meaningful assistance at this difficult time for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at all campuses, and to be a resource they can turn to in this unique period,” said Michael Highfill, executive director of the Office of Academic Engagement (OAE).

MEDIA CONTACTS: Michael Highfill, executive director of the WSU Office of Academic Engagement (OAE), 509-335-9851, michael.highfill@wsu.edu

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

PULLMAN, Wash.—The Crimson Community Grants (CCG) fund at Washington State University provided a half million dollars to nearly 800 low-income students statewide to help meet educational and related expenses during a spring semester impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Michael Highfill, executive director of the Office of Academic Engagement (OAE).

“We are pleased to be able to offer meaningful assistance at this difficult time for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at all campuses, and to be a resource they can turn to in this unique period,” said Highfill. The CCG is managed by the OAE, part of the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement in the Office of the WSU Provost and Executive Vice President.

» More …