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Meet Our Students

Budding Engineer Works on Climate Change, and Changing the Climate in STEM

By Cindy Hollenbeck

Washington native Hannah Goodspeed remembers when she was still in daycare, and she got into a fight with some boys who said Legos weren’t for girls. Perhaps that early love of Legos and ability to advocate for herself foretold her choice of career. Hannah is a civil engineering major who researches climate change at Washington State University Pullman.

As she came of age in the small town of Ephrata, Washington, Hannah was interested in just about everything. She wanted to be a professional dancer, volleyball player, teacher, counselor, and at one point, a physician’s assistant. Because she has always appreciated a challenge, … » More …

Future Teacher Finds Home at WSU Vancouver

Just as she’s always dreamed, Andrea Castillo is studying elementary education at Washington State University Vancouver. The aspiration began when she was six, living in Ajijic, Jalisco, a town on the north shore of Lake Chapala in Mexico. Andrea was a grade ahead of most students her age. “My teachers were strict,” she said. “They pushed me to work hard and help others do well. And they expected me to have superb handwriting.”

Andrea’s father had tried in vain to secure a job in Mexico that paid enough to support his family. So, he moved the family to the Unites States for better opportunities. Once … » More …

Cowlitz Coug Finds Her Voice

Shana Lombard distinctly remembers sitting on the bleachers as an elementary student at Chief Leschi tribal school and hearing ‘Education is knowledge. Knowledge is power.’

“Those words spoke to me and gave me the notion that education is beneficial for Native Americans, and we should pursue it. Most importantly,” Shana reflects, “no one can take away our knowledge or our education.”

A member of the Cowlitz tribe, Shana attributes her current life aspirations to her time at Chief Leschi, “I learned about my indigenous roots and what it means to be indigenous, specifically Native American.” What does it mean to be indigenous? “We are treated … » More …

Coug Loves Athletics and Helping Others

As the Lead Student Strength Coach for the Washington State University Men’s Baseball and Women’s Soccer teams, Cameron Dwyer’s hit a home run. As a baseball-loving kid whose summers were defined by games, tournaments, and traveling, the Spokane-native once dreamt of becoming a professional baseball player. At the same time, Cameron knew his other aspiration of making a positive impact on others meant he should go to college.

Cameron chose WSU because he’d grown up around Coug fans and always heard the University had a positive culture. “It’s close enough to home,” he said, “that I get to see my family. They come to Pullman … » More …

Life Imitates Art for Petite Coug

After watching the movie The Devil Wears Prada, Kim Santos knew she wanted to leave her homeland, Guam, for a career in New York City. Judging by what this WSU senior has accomplished so far, it’s easy to believe she will achieve that goal and every other one she sets.

Describing Guam as a “mini Hawai’i” with a laid-back, relaxed lifestyle, Kim grew up on a ranch subsistence farming with her family. However, like many aspiring artists, she looked at the stars and imagined far more for herself than staying in Guam. “What I wanted,” Kim said, “was bigger than the island.”

When Kim’s mother … » More …

She’s Got Game: Destined for School of Design

When Sarah Rosenthal was old enough to use a computer, she got hooked on playing the SIMS, a life simulation video game where the player creates characters and builds houses for them. In the game, Sarah built homes with wood, stone, drywall, and landscaped yards. She developed eccentric but functional houses with patios and pools, massive balconies, and secret passageways. She preferred building the homes to creating the characters, and some nights, stayed up so late playing, she fell asleep on her keyboard.

By the time Sarah was enrolled in college, she started to realize her computer science and fine arts classes weren’t keeping … » More …

Finding Forestry: CAHNRS Student Loves Plants, and Pullman

In high school, Alec Solemslie was asked to research careers in the natural resources field for an assignment. On a whim, he chose forestry, and didn’t think too much beyond finishing the project. Years later, when he started researching universities, he happened upon a press release that mentioned Washington State University would be reinstating its forestry program. Alec thought back to his high school project.

He dug up information on WSU’s preexisting forestry program as well as programs at other universities and realized there were far more facets to forestry than he could have imagined. In addition, although he’d initially thought of attending a larger … » More …

Meet Loan Lam

“Your daughter has Leukemia.”

Loan Lam’s parents were stunned. It was July 1999 and Loan was a few days away from celebrating her 9th birthday. The formal diagnosis: childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common type of cancer in children. With ALL, the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell).

Advancements in modern medicine saved her life. According to the National Cancer Institute, from 2005-2011, the five-year relative survival rates for ALL: 91.2 percent for children and adolescents younger than 15 years, and 92.9 percent for children younger than 5 years.

However, beating ALL requires rigorous treatments. “Pediatric … » More …

Meet Spencer Anderson

College Bound, With an Interception

Washington State University senior Spencer Anderson had always planned to attend college, perhaps even graduate school. “Both my parents graduated from college,” he said, “so secondary education was expected of me.” At WSU, Spencer majors in communication and broadcast journalism, and minors in sports management.

WSU senior Spencer AndersonSpencer was born and raised in the Tri-Cities in Washington. He confessed he “wasn’t the most creative or imaginative kid growing up.” By the time he reached middle school, he’d set his sights on a … » More …

Meet Celia Balderas


Celia Balderas thumbnail photoCelia Balderas
Senior, majoring in Comparative Ethnic Studies at WSU Pullman, and recipient of the Lou and Ruth Allen Pass It On scholarship, which encourages recipients to practice the Pass It On Principle: you get most for yourself when you learn to share what you receive with others.

Celia is from Pasco, Washington. She graduated from Chiawana High School and Columbia Basin College where she was a Running Start student. She is the second-oldest of seven children and will be the first in her family to attend and graduate from a university.

» More …

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