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Washington State University

Athletic training student scores commencement honor

Corinne Gaddis and athletic training classmates
Corrine, second from right in center row, with classmates

Corinne Gaddis’s version of turning lemons into lemonade: turning a sports injury into a career.

Corinne was a junior at Coupeville (Wash.) High School when she pulled a hamstring while long-jumping. To get back on track, she worked with an athletic trainer. Talking with him got her thinking about what to study in college. That led her to the WSU College of Education’s Athletic Training Program.

Corinne Gaddis, College of Education highlight student
Corinne Gaddis

“I’m interested in how people get injured and how they heal,” says Corinne, who will be among the highlight students at the May 7 commencement in Pullman. “I’d love to teach health and fitness or be the athletic trainer at a high school.”

She’s already taken the necessary test to become a certified athletic trainer. She also earned a health and fitness teaching certification. Next step: WSU’s Masters in Teaching Program. She’s enrolled for fall 2011, when she will be back working with the WSU football team. This year, she was assigned to the football Cougars as part of the 1,500 hours of clinical experience she needed as an undergraduate. In the upcoming season, she’ll be a paid intern.

“I’ll be going to all the away games,” she says. “I only went to UCLA last year.”

Assistant Professor Kasee Hildenbrand nominated Corinne to be the College of Education’s highlight student. She describes Corinne as an exceptional scholar, a mentor to younger students and someone who, despite a natural shyness, has learned to hold her own when dealing with those strong-willed guys on the gridiron.

Visiting grads recall golden years

Carol and Joseph Ackerman take the tour
Carol and Joseph Ackerman on the College of Education tour

“We met by the fountain.”

“I had two careers.”

“My sons were Cougs, too.”

And, most of all, “Wow, has this place changed!”

It is Golden and Diamond Grads day on the Pullman campus, and the College of Education welcomed a lively bunch of alumni for a couple of hours. You can see more photos at

Our alums, including those sporting golden and silver ribbons on their name tags, lunched and chatted in the science methods classroom.  They were greeted by Dean A.G. Rud and by Sharon Morgan of the WSU Foundation.

Their tour of the Education Addition and Cleveland Hall included an upbeat report by Student Services Director Angie Hammond, who had just heard that the college will be able to admit more undergraduates next year after having to cut back enrollment in the last few years. Which means there will be a good crop of alumni for the Golden Grad reunion of 2066.

By the way, the visiting WSU alums included some from the classes of 1935 and 1941. (Though none from the College of Education were present. They were probably out on adventure vacations.)

Reading researcher headlines Vancouver Showcase

Thursday is showtime for researchers at WSU Vancouver. Taking center stage at the eighth annual Research Showcase will be Associate Professor Stephen Kucer, winner of the 2011 Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence.

cartoon of boy reading bookChancellor’s Award winners are chosen for their research quality, quantity and impact on the community. There’s no question about the potential social impact of Stephen’s research passion: improving reading skills. He’s taken his message about literacy to the halls of Congress.

The title of his 4:15 p.m. Showcase talk will be “What is the Link Between Discourse Processing and Discourse Comprehension? Or, Do Reading Mistakes Really Interfere With Understanding?”

His research poster, one of 100 that will be on display from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Firstenburg Student Commons, is titled  “Going Beyond the Author: What Retellings Tell Us About Comprehending Narrative and Expository Texts.”

There also will be posters from four other Department of Teaching and Learning faculty:

  • Tonda Liggett, “Teacher education, critical pedagogy, and the influence of neoliberalism”
  • Tamara Nelson (with David Slavit, Angie Deuel and Michele Mason), “Secondary Science & Mathematics Teachers’ Interactions around Student Learning Data during Collaborative Inquiry”
  • June Canty, “Teacher Induction in SW Washington: The Stories of Four Beginning Teachers”
  • Susan Finley (with Morgan Parker), “At Home At School: Service Learning and Community Engagement Approaches to a Socially-Just Pedagogy”