Beth Jan Smith received the only doctoral degree bestowed at the WSU Tri-Cities spring commencement. And while the news story didn’t say so, she may have been the only graduate who could celebrate in tandem with her child.
Beth earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership. Her daughter, Janel Beth, took part in the ceremony because she is scheduled to complete her B.A. in history this summer.
Beth has been a part-time community college adviser and adjunct instructor while finishing her dissertation on “The Influence of a New Student Introduction Program on New Student Retention at a Two-Year, Rural Community College.” Chances are she can put her advising expertise to work at home. She has five children, of whom Janel is the first to earn a four-year degree.
A certifiably happy moment
Not all happy academic endings involve caps and gowns. This year, 320 teachers obtained their Professional Certification through WSU — including this ProCert group in Wenatchee. Pictured from left to right are Dr. Joan Wright, instructor, with teachers Oliva Gonzalez-Franco, grade 1; Stephanie Ross, kindergarten; Betsy Myers, kindergarten; Jake St. John, high school English; Koni McLean, high school French and English; Malinda James, pre-school. Not pictured: middle school teacher Alicia Lopez, who was home with her new baby.
When our dean and associate dean died last summer, many of us felt the loss of their friendship and expertise. But only one of us, dean’s assistant Stacy Mohondro, sat between the two suddenly empty offices.
For her exceptional support of the interim deans in a time of abrupt transition, for helping the bereaved families of Judy Mitchell and Len Foster, and for her excellent work and ready smile under all circumstances, Stacy has been honored with the Administrative Professional Contribution Award.
“What makes Stacy special is her great understanding of the importance of each person, and of his or her role in the college mission,” said her nominator, Krenny Hammer.
Faculty and staff from the Department of Teaching and Learning gathered Thursday to bid adieu to their former chair, Cori Mantle-Bromley, who is about to leave the Pullman campus and head eight miles east to become dean at the University of Idaho’s College of Education. Cori, who has served as interim associate dean for the last year, gave a wry smile when she saw that her farewell gift was the portrait of a cougar. UI’s gain isn’t entirely our loss, as Cori’s new position bodes well for educational cooperation across the state line.
Hats (and mortarboards) off to our Athletic Training Education Program. It’s been a truly stellar academic year, as you can tell from these student highlights shared by program director Kasee Hildenbrand:
• The Northwest Athletic Trainers Association District 10 gives out four undergraduate scholarships each year and, this spring, WSU students Yoko Jingi and Lee Martin were recipients.
• Jamie Jolliffe was selected as the winner of the Bobby Gunn Scholarship to attend the National Athletic Trainers Association’s meeting in San Antonio.
• A WSU student was selected to attend the Collegiate Sports Medicine Foundation Student Leadership workshop in Florida for each of the past two years (Omar Fercha and Josh Emery), with both going on to leadership positions–Omar as WSU Athletic Training Club president and Josh as District 10 student vice president.
• Also at the district meeting, two groups presented case studies during the Undergraduate Student Forum. One group, which did a case study on Acute Compartment Syndrome, won the presentation portion of the program and was able to present the topic to the certified members the next day. Group members were Omar Fercha, Emily Clarke, Josh Williams, Shelby Witschen, and Daisuke Yamada.
• Daisuke Yamada was selected for the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society program and will intern with the Seattle Mariners for this summer.
• Ten of the 13 graduating seniors graduated with Honor cords (above 3.5 gpa)
• Nationally, only 43.3 percent of those who take the exam to become certified athletic trainers pass on the first try. Ten WSU students took the exam in April with a first-time passing rate of 90 percent.
• Student Lee Martin was awarded an National Athletic Trainers Foundation Scholarship and will be recognized at the national meeting in Philadelphia this June.
On top of all that, the Athletic Training Club was very active. Members raised awareness and money to fight cancer by sponsoring a Relay for Life team; provided volunteer medical assistance for sports and recreation events; and, with their annual Halloween food drive, scared up more than a ton of donations for the Pullman food bank.
Cake baking and bird song inspired this year’s Inga Kromann Medal winners. Like so many WSU Pullman students who have competed in the children’s book design contest, the two elementary education majors reached into their own childhoods for stories to tell.
Marissa Miller, a junior from Gig Harbor, dedicated A Cooking Adventure with Grammy Mammy to her two grandmothers, who “taught me that the best foods are made with love.” She was so excited by the creative process that she plans to keep making books after she’s launched her teaching career.
Molly Ward won the Kromann Medal for best illustration. Her book, Sounds of the Northwest, resulted from her love of the outdoors. “I’ve always been intrigued with the sounds of nature,” she said, crediting her family for providing help with the project — which, she found, involved lots of planning, hard work, time and patience. Molly, a junior, grew up in Olympia and now lives in Portland.
Honor medals went to William M. Fitzgerald for his book Randy, to Cheryl Fredericks for Molly’s Pumpkin, and to Nicole Ragsdale for The Three Little Sheep Can’t Sleep. Bound copies of their books will be kept in the Brain Education Library.