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Launching rockets, ad campaigns, and opportunities

Small gifts add up to big impact for WSU student projects

Every fall and spring, CougStarter, WSU’s crowdfunding platform, helps student clubs across the system raise money to enhance their extracurricular experiences. While these campaigns might be modest in scope, they can open doors to important opportunities.

Typically, 10-15 groups are selected each semester to participate in this online fundraising approach— past participants have ranged from Coding Cougs to the Archery Club to Stream Cleans (an environmental club) to the French Club—allowing them to raise money for projects as diverse as stocking the food pantry or attending a professional conference, with fundraising goals ranging from … » More …

Giving First-Generation Students an EDGE

Carson College scholarship/mentorship program fosters belonging and success.

Dominic Devengenzo (above) has always loved sports. By high school, he knew he wanted to be an agent for athletes but wasn’t sure he could afford college to get the skills he needed. And he worried about fitting in—no one in his family had ever attended college.

Thanks to EDGE (Expanding Diverse Group Experiences), a program for first-generation (first-gen) students at the WSU Carson College of Business, Devengenzo has benefitted from both scholarships and a support network that are making his dreams possible.

The WSU experience started for Devengenzo in April 2020 when, during … » More …

Hear That Enthusiastic Cougar ROAR?

WSU program serves students with intellectual and development disabilities

Evan Henniger (above, with his parents) comes from a long line of Cougars. Growing up, there was never a question in his mind that he’d be one, too, someday.

His parents, Mike and Lisa Henniger, weren’t as sure. Because he was born with an intellectual disability (IDD), the idea that Evan could enjoy the same kind of WSU experience … » More …

Cougar Cage Funding Reaches Total of Nearly $750,000

Latest round of “Shark Tank” style competition funds both faculty and student research.

In only three short years, the Palouse Club’s Cougar Cage has earned significant buzz for its entrepreneurial spin on traditional philanthropy.

Modeled after the popular TV show Shark Tank, Cougar Cage brings together the Palouse Club — a group of generous Puget Sound area Cougs — to consider projects from WSU faculty and students looking for philanthropic investments. Those selected by the Palouse … » More …

WSU Students Rescue Hiker in Grand Canyon

Thanks to training supported by first-ever ORC director

Last fall, while hiking the Grand Canyon, WSU students Alana Duvall and Johannah Ludwig saw another hiker hunched over on the side of the trail.

From a distance, the woman looked like she might be taking a break from the strenuous ascent, but when they reached her, it was clear she was in distress.

Duvall and Ludwig, both skilled adventure facilitators, were leading five other students on a WSU Outdoor Recreation Center (ORC) backpacking trip (pictured above), and they immediately … » More …

Christi Webster: Bioengineering a Brighter Future

By AnneMarie Hunter

Perhaps it was swimming with her brothers in the frosty waters of St. Mary Lake at Glacier National Park. Or, picking huckleberries along the park’s trails.

Maybe it was hiking in Shenandoah National Park while her father, Pete, taught her about ecosystems along the way.

It could have been playing hide and seek in the world’s tallest trees at Sequoia National Park. Or, catching sight of mountain goats and big horn sheep in Logan Pass.

“All of those experiences came together so I ended up where I needed to be,” said Christi Webster, bioengineering major in the » More …

ROAR Student Lives a Life of Joyful Creativity

By AnneMarie Hunter

In August, Vanessa ‘Nessa’ Ankney began her first year as a Washington State University ROAR (Responsibility Opportunity Advocacy and Respect) student.

WSU ROAR is a two-year inclusive, post-secondary education program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). An integrated, on-campus educational experience, ROAR empowers students to achieve their personal and professional goals and become self-determined, independent adults.

Nessa, a passionate, gifted artist, will graduate from the ROAR program in 2023 with an emphasis on fine arts. As part of her fall schedule, she is enrolled in Amy Petersilie Heile’s ENGL 100 (Introductory College Composition) course.

Recently, Nessa shared … » More …

Meet Christana Craig

By Tiffani Stubblefield

“Being a Cougar means being courageous, adventurous, and intellectual,” says Christana Craig, a sophomore in the College of Nursing.

Christana chose Washington State University after attending the Children of Aztlan Sharing Higher Education (CASHE) Conference at WSU. CASHE is a leadership conference that encourages high school students of all backgrounds, especially Chicanx/Latinx to pursue higher education. The experience of being welcomed by a group of peers representing the heart of WSU took Christana by surprise and showed her what being a true Coug was about.

Growing up in a low-income family in Pasco, Washington, a college education was not a … » More …

Versatile Student Achieves Her Dreams through Enduring Optimism and Commitment

By AnneMarie Hunter

May was a marvelous month for Bahama native Charisma Taylor.

She graduated from Washington State University (WSU) with a bachelor of arts in hospitality business management from the Carson College of Business. She was named a WSU 2021 Top Ten Senior. And, she qualified for nationals in the triple jump during the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field West Preliminaries hosted at Texas A&M.

These achievements represent the culmination of years of determination, discipline, and aspiration for this 21-year-old student, athlete, and pastry chef.


When she was seven years old, Charisma discovered she loved to … » More …

Musician Reignites Passion and Focus After Difficult Year

By AnneMarie Hunter

During recess, most third graders go outside to play.

Some, however, play the marimba with their fellow students. Brandt Fisher was one of those recess marimba players.

“When I joined the marimba band in third grade, we learned music by ear,” Brandt said. “This taught me how to truly listen to music and the musicians I played with. And, playing during recess was so much fun.”

By sixth grade, Brandt had discovered the saxophone and a passion to play music for the rest of his life. Since those first marimba band concerts, Brandt has pursued his passion and shared it with … » More …

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