Avid listeners of Northwest Public Radio know her name and recognize her voice, but they are unfamiliar with what defines Janelle Mendoza’s character: a determination to overcome obstacles and graduate from WSU with two undergraduate degrees.
Janelle was facing an abrupt end to her educational journey at WSU. “I couldn’t afford many things that were essential to doing well in school, such as purchase books or even pay tuition, which held me back from registering in classes,” she recalls.
Her parents had been borrowing the money to help pay for tuition, fees, books, and housing. But financial pressures increased dramatically when her family was no longer eligible for the program that provided much-needed assistance. Her parents struggled to help with her monthly expenses.
Fortunately, Janelle received scholarships that helped keep her on course to her goal. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social sciences with a concentration in psychology and Spanish. One year later, Janelle graduated with a degree in journalism and media production, and hopes to pursue a career as a music journalist.
Scholarship support enabled Janelle to enrich her experiences at WSU while earning her degrees. She was involved with Cable 8, the student-run television station at WSU, and worked on PAC-12 Network broadcasts of sporting events. In her final year at WSU, Janelle enjoyed working as an announcer for Northwest Public Radio and serving as marketing and development manager for KJEM 89.9 FM, a new jazz station on the Palouse.
A few facts about Janelle, in her own words:
Why WSU: “WSU has the best broadcast news program in the Northwest, and one of the best in the nation. Another contributing factor was that my parents both attended WSU and met here, so I was raised to be a Coug.”
Something people might not know about me: “I have an organic lotion company and sew my own clothes.”
When I need a break from my academics: “I enjoy traveling, learning new languages, and playing with my dog.”
What fuels me: “Making my family proud.”