Steve Sylvester, Ph.D. (’89 Vet. Med.)


I first gave to WSU many years ago. Raises went across campus, and as a post-doc, I got four dollars more per year. So, I wrote a letter to the provost, thanking him, and said I would donate my entire raise back to WSU.

I am an associate professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences and College of Veterinary Medicine at WSU Vancouver. When I was in college, I worked two jobs in the construction business during the summers just to afford to attend. It’s much more difficult today for our students.

My research centers on reproductive processes, how they are influenced by environmental contaminants, and the sources of those contaminants in humans and other animals. Our lab tries to identify molecules in the environment that may alter reproductive processes in plants and animals. On the human side, we work to understand how contaminants accumulate in breast milk.

For me, it’s always been about the students—those with financial emergencies, those who want to do undergraduate research, and those who want to have something to eat.