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Cougs All Nine

Since Baseball games are dictated by outs and not time, in theory, a game could last forever. For some people, that’s what makes the game so theoretically romantic.

For others, even nine innings is simply too long.

As part of assistant professor Alex Gang‘s Sport in American Society class, 10 students initiated a social campaign to encourage those in the WSU community to attend a Coug baseball game and then stay until the end of the game.

The game they chose was Friday, April 12, against California.

The students had roughly a month to design and execute the campaign and their tasks included:

  • Come up with a catchphrase that conveyed the purpose of the campaign.
  • Develop promotional strategies (both online and offline) to disseminate information to the WSU community.
  • Incentivize staying until the end of the game.

The group included 10 students and named the campaign Cougs All Nine.

Sport Management student Hyrum Futrelle said the group decided to focus on baseball because it was a main sport during spring.

“We were also aware of the problem of people not showing up to baseball games in large numbers and also not staying throughout the whole game,” Hyrum says. “This is a problem in all our sports, but it does seem to be a bit worse in baseball.”

To prepare, the group launched an Instagram page, appropriately named @CougsAllNine. At the game, they gave out stickers to attract spectator attention, as well as host a table with information. The big draw was a raffle where three people drawn would win a baseball signed by the WSU players.

And, like peanuts and a cold one, nothing says baseball like a hot dog. The group worked with WSU Concessions and handed out half-off coupons for hot dogs for the next game people went to, but fans couldn’t get those until after the 8th inning.

The effectiveness was put to the test immediately, because while temperatures at first pitch hovered in the low 60s and comfortable, the forecast called for rain to roll in around the seventh-inning stretch.

And rain it did.

But in a close game that saw the winning run on base for the Cougs (they’d ultimately lose 4-3), fans stuck around. Yet three fans were delighted to win baseballs. Won of those was WSU ROAR scholar Richard Roloff.

Hyrum says the part that was the most fun for him was seeing people get excited about these giveaways, and just the ability to talk to them when they entered the ballpark.

Because this was associated with a Sport Management class, and there needs to be learning, Dr. Gang says the group is going through its evaluation process of the social campaign.

Hyrum says the evaluation was pretty evident to him.

“If we were to do this again, I would like to start the campaign before the season to give us time to reach more people and further develop our ideas,” he says. “We could also measure our success over a few different games at different points in the season.”

Oh, by the way, total game time was only two hours and 39 minutes.


#ThrowbackThursday: Sam Graff

Sam Graff – Athletic Training


Tell us a little about your background.
My name is Sam and I was born and raised in Tri-Cities, Washington, more specifically Pasco! Both of my parents are recently retired educators. My mom taught elementary and then moved into reading recovery and LLI and my dad was at the high school teaching weight training, PE and health and was also the head football coach. I have three younger brothers who all played multiple sports so there was lots of competition growing up. I pretty much grew up in a family that revolved around athletics so we kept my parents very busy. We spent many off days in our mom’s classrooms and PE gyms, at our dad’s school in the basketball gyms and out on the fields. My dad was a high school football coach my whole upbringing and into adulthood and for much of that time I can’t remember a Friday or Saturday in the fall that didn’t involve a football game. My grandpa was a college basketball coach for many years and my uncle is a current college basketball coach so we spent many holidays traveling to support when we could! The only way we were able to all get together and take a family vacation was if we had a tournament or post-season game to go to! Athletics and education have always been a huge part of my life!

What did you study at WSU? Did you always know you wanted to study that?
While at WSU I received my Bachelors in Athletic Training and became a Certified Athletic Trainer after completing the Board of Certification Exam. As I mentioned I’ve grown up around sports and coaches but more specifically around football and basketball and knew that I wanted to be involved in that in some capacity. During my first semester of college I went home one weekend in the fall and went to watch one of my dad/brothers football games. At the time I was still trying to figure out what degree I wanted to pursue. I was watching their athletic trainer during the game when I realized that athletic training was something I might be interested in. There was the athletics portion of that but more importantly an opportunity to take care of people. From then I went back to Pullman and started looking into the athletic training program. I reached out to the program and was able to get more information/requirements on how to apply. Long story short I am now in my 11th year of being an athletic trainer at the collegiate level.

What has been your favorite thing about WSU, as well as the College of Education?
Although to me at the time, WSU felt like it was such a HUGE school, there has always been that family atmosphere and a sense of a home away from home. No matter what, I always felt like I had people to go to and confide in during my time there. Whether it was within athletics or within the athletic training program, the faculty and staff made us as students feel cared about. I love keeping in touch with everyone I’ve crossed paths with there and always love returning to visit and catch up.

Is there a memory you have from WSU that stands out in your mind as unforgettable, transformative, etc.?
When approaching the end of my time at WSU there were many discussions about what I wanted to do next. Those conversations and the decision to go to graduate school was pivotal in contributing to my career now. I remember it being a very stressful time because I knew I needed a master’s degree if I wanted to work at the collegiate level but the thought of it was so intimidating. I was a home body and thought that moving to Pullman was a huge accomplishment. I also struggled in school at times so the thought of moving even further and getting a master’s degree was daunting and I really did not think I was capable. I would have stayed at WSU forever, if I had it my way. The mentors I had at WSU are the reason I was able to get out of my comfort zone and further my education. Our Director of Athletic Training and Head Football Athletic Trainer at the time and Athletic Training Program Director and Clinical Coordinator were my biggest supporters. If I didn’t have them I would never be where I am today. I remember talking to each of them about my next steps and feeling that they had all the confidence in me to be successful. All of these mentors are people I still confide in and keep in touch with. I am forever grateful for them.

What has your career path been since you left WSU? What do you currently do? Tell us about your NOW life!
After graduating I stayed at WSU another year and was an Intern Athletic Trainer for the football program. After that I went to grad school at the University of Wyoming where I was a Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer. After that I actually came back to WSU as a temporary assistant for football and filled in as someone had left right before the season. I then went onto work another internship at Stanford University as an Intern Athletic Trainer for the football program there. After that I finally landed my first full-time job at the University of Montana as an Assistant Athletic Trainer with the football program. I grew to LOVE Montana and would have loved to stay with the Griz. I spent 4 years there but eventually it was time for me to look into what the next step would be for me. An opportunity to be a head football athletic trainer kind of fell in my lap and it was the next step that I needed to take in order to further my career. I am now at New Mexico State University as the Head Football Athletic Trainer and in the fall of 2024, it will be the start of my 3rd season with the Aggies.

What makes you an agent of change?
I hope to be a positive influence on the next generation and hope that they can learn from me in a way that will help prepare them for the next stages in their life after college. Many life lessons have been learned throughout my time and I’m sure there are many more to come. I think that as a young adult I can offer some great advice to young athletic trainers and young athletes who are pursuing any type of leadership role within their profession. Times are changing but I think it’s important to remember that life isn’t always fair and its not about what hand you’re dealt but how you handle it. Work hard and treat those how you would want to be treated. It goes a long way.


Food: BBQ or Mexican (the southwest spin on Mexican food does hit different)

Restaurant in Pullman: Feeling “fancy” South Fork or Sella’s, but Cougar Country was always our go-to

Band/song:Don’t really have a favorite song or band cause I have many. Big country music fan but also love my fair share of rap, pop, hip hop and R&B. Anything with a good message or a good beat, I’ll listen.

Movie: Remember the Titans

TV show:Pretty much any reality TV on Bravo but I’m also very competitive so The Challenge is also one of my favorites

Favorite Coug sport: Football obviously but also love seeing Coug basketball make a run in the NCAA Tourney! Will always be pulling for the Cougs no matter what sport it is!

#ThrowbackThursday: Josh Therrien

Josh Therrien – Kinesiology (Athletic Training)

What did you study at WSU?
I graduated in 2007 with my Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Athletic Training.

What has been a career highlight of yours?
Making a positive impact working with countless student athletes, coaches and athletics support staff. The professional opportunity to be part of medical teams at multiple college football bowl games, the College World Series, two Final Fours, and winning a Gold Medal with USA Baseball in the U18 World Championships in Korea.

Tell us about your NOW life!
I’m currently the Assistant Athletic Director for Student Athlete Health and Performance at Gonzaga University. I oversee the Sports Medicine, Sports Performance, and Nutrition areas for the athletic department.

What makes you an agent of change?
Working sports medicine in collegiate athletics is an amazing opportunity to have impact on the lives of our student athletes. Making that impact helps to change the lives of future generations as our athletes go on to be successful athletes, citizens, people


Food: Asian

Restaurant in Pullman: Cougar Country and New Garden

Band: Eric Church

Song: Drowning Man, by Eric Church

Movie: Bull Durham

TV show: The Sopranos

Favorite Coug sport: Football

Favorite spot on campus (when you were a student): The Summit and Martin Stadium

Hobby: Golf; pickleball; spending time with my wife, Jill, and our two sons, Abel and Olin

Place to visit (you’ve been to): Priest Lake (Idaho) and Barcelona

Dream vacation spot (you haven’t been to): Mediterranean

#ThrowbackThursday: Matthew Rinaldi

Matthew Rinaldi – Athletic Training


Tell us a little about your background.
I was born in Moscow, ID and grew up in Spokane. Growing up coming down to Pullman for football and basketball games was a regular occurrence so I’ve always been a Coug at heart.

What did you study at WSU? Did you always know you wanted to study that?
At WSU I studied athletic training. When I was young I helped my mom study while she was going through massage therapy school.  Early on that cultivated an interest in medicine for me. I had further exposure to athletic trainers and physical therapists through playing sports and always had such great experiences with them and saw how much they helped us all. So, going into college I knew iI had an interest in the medical field and wanted to have a profession that put me in a position to help people so athletic training was a natural fit.

What has been your favorite thing about WSU, as well as the College of Education?
The sense of community around WSU is truly incredible and I have been fortunate to experience that community for most of my life. Whether that’s the random “go cougs” in an airport, a flag flying on TV, or a professional connection, it is alway easy to find support of a coug somewhere. Within the College of Education, the professors are what made it feel special. Professors who frequently went the extra mile to ensure success of the student.

Is there a memory you have from WSU that stands out in your mind as unforgettable, transformative, etc.?
So many fond memories that stand out in different ways. As part of the athletic training program I had the great experience to work alongside all of the athletic teams including spending my senior year with the football team. Being able to travel with the team was an incredible experience both for my education and professional experience, but also just a lot of fun being able to travel to other stadiums and have great times with co-workers and classmates. Another memory that has been transformative for me probably seemed like just another day in the classroom. I had a professor, Dr. Hildenbrand, who shared with us a quote: “attitude is the difference between an adventure and an ordeal.” While I’m sure this is not an original quote to her, but how she presented it that day made a large impact and is a quote I come back to very frequently, sometimes daily, to help guide how I approach challenges.

What has your career path been since you left WSU? What do you currently do? Tell us about your NOW life!
After leaving WSU I went to EWU for physical therapy school. From there I worked in a physical therapy clinic in Spokane and worked to establish athletic training coverage at a local high school. My wife and I then moved to Denver for 3 years where I worked as a physical therapist and took on a new job, DAD! During that time we had our two lovely daughters and have since moved back to Pullman this last July where I work for Summit PT as a PT and help educate current WSU athletic training and kinesiology students in the clinic.

What makes you an agent of change?
Professionally, I strive to be an agent of change in each patient I interact with. My goal is to inspire and curate in themselves skills and habits that will help improve their quality of life, whether that be reducing pain, getting back to work, or being able to run 10 miles. Outside of work, I see myself as an agent of change each day to my daughters, hoping to instill in them qualities I feel allow me to facilitate change: kindness, optimism, patience, responsibility, and open-mindedness.


Food: Peanut Butter 

Restaurant in Pullman: Sella’s

Band: No favorite, just love good music in all genres.

Song: Currently, Achilles Come Down, by Gang of Youths

Movie: Saving Private Ryan / O Brother, Where Art Thou?

TV show: LOST

Favorite Coug sport: Football

Favorite spot on campus (when you were a student): Kimbrough Hall… roof.

Hobby: Board Games!

Place to visit (you’ve been to): Manarola, Italy

Dream vacation spot (you haven’t been to): Cuneo, Italy

Four take home MLK awards

A faculty member and two doctoral students were honored by Washington State University with system awards as part of the university’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations.

Shameem Rakha, from WSU Vancouver, an associate professor in Teaching and Learning, was honored for her inclusion and justice efforts.

Students Johana Thomas Zapata (Mathematics and Science Education), Golrokh “Rose” Maleki (Language, Literacy, and Technology), and Oluwasola Samuel Oni (Educational Psychology), were also recognized.


As part of the weeklong festivities, WSU hosted an awards banquet on Thursday, January 18 in the Comption Union Building Senior Ballroom. In addition to the poetry, dance, and singing performances, the MLK Spirit Awards, as they are known, were given out.

Recipients of the awards were notified by Obie Ford III, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
Katherine Rodela, Rakha’s colleague at WSU Vancouver, says she has seen the work Rakha has done first hand.
“It’s so well deserved for all the hard work enacting justice, equity, and belonging in our college and campus.”
Congratulations to Dr. Rakha, Johana, Rose, and Samuel.

CRESCENT Shakes: Unearthing Earthquake Science in the Pacific Northwest

Stephany RunningHawk Johnson is helping advance earthquake preparedness in the Pacific Northwest through the Cascadia Region Earthquake Science Center (CRESCENT)


The Pacific Northwest is no stranger to the looming threat of earthquakes. With the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) running along its coastline, the region faces the potential for devastating seismic events.

Subduction zones, such as the CSZ, are renowned for hosting the largest and most destructive earthquakes on the planet. The complex interplay of geological and geophysical factors within these zones gives rise to a wide range of cascading hazards, including tsunamis, landslides, and liquefaction. The CSZ has been a focal point for scientific investigation, leading to significant breakthroughs in earthquake physics and impact assessment. The proposed CRESCENT seeks to bring together a diverse community of researchers and stakeholders, leveraging existing knowledge and cutting-edge technologies to develop comprehensive models of earthquake systems.

But, thanks to a groundbreaking research initiative, the PNW is taking a significant step forward in earthquake preparedness. WSU College of Education faculty member Stephany RunningHawk Johnson is part of a team of researchers, fronted by the University of Oregon and Oregon State University, leading the Cascadia Region Earthquake Science Center (CRESCENT). It’s aim is clear: Consolidating decades of research data and developing a comprehensive understanding of subduction zone earthquakes.

Stephany RunningHawk Johnson smiling at camera while standing in front of some trees blocking the way to the Education Addition building.
Stephany RunningHawk Johnson is part of the CRESCENT team helping bolster the regions earthquake resiliency.
The Need for a Dedicated Center

The existing body of research on earthquakes has predominantly focused on transform fault systems like the San Andreas fault. However, subduction zones operate under fundamentally different conditions and exhibit unique earthquake processes. The CSZ offers a distinct opportunity for studying these processes due to its low-angle geometry and vast seismogenic fault area. By establishing CRESCENT, researchers aim to bridge the gap in understanding subduction zones and make significant strides in earthquake science.

Regional Importance and the Call for Resilience

The Pacific Northwest region, spanning three states and two countries, faces a host of cascading hazards in the aftermath of a large earthquake. While public awareness of these risks has grown, the region’s earthquake culture is still developing. Challenges such as unreinforced masonry, evacuation distances, and fragile infrastructure pose unresolved issues that undermine public safety and resilience. The CRESCENT project recognizes the urgent need to address these challenges and ensure the region’s preparedness for future events.

Education and Workforce Development

A key aspect of CRESCENT’s mission is to cultivate a diverse future geoscience workforce. Recognizing the imperative of social justice, the center will collaborate with minority-serving institutions in the Pacific Northwest, national pedagogical institutions, and ancestral inhabitants to foster inclusivity in geoscience education. The center will also employ state-of-the-art methods, including data science, artificial intelligence, fiber-optic sensing, and high-rate geodesy, to train the next generation of researchers and practitioners in earthquake hazards.

Collaboration and Stakeholder Engagement

CRESCENT aims to build strong partnerships with regional tribal nation organizations, federal, state, and local governments, agencies, utilities, civil organizations, and non-governmental organizations. These collaborations will ensure that the center’s research aligns with the interests and needs of stakeholders. By integrating the knowledge and expertise of various entities, CRESCENT strives to create a cohesive earthquake science community that works towards a common goal of enhancing resilience.


The establishment of the Cascadia Region Earthquake Science Center (CRESCENT) marks a significant milestone in earthquake preparedness for the Pacific Northwest. By consolidating research efforts, fostering collaboration, and addressing critical knowledge gaps, CRESCENT will drive advancements in subduction zone earthquake science. The center’s comprehensive approach, encompassing research, education, and stakeholder engagement, will not only benefit the region but also provide transferable knowledge applicable to other subduction zones globally. Through CRESCENT’s efforts, the Pacific Northwest can work towards a safer, more resilient future in the face of seismic events.

  • Daniell, J. E., et al. (2011). Subduction earthquakes. Nature Education Knowledge, 3(10), 48.
  • Walton, M. A. L., Staisch, L. M., et al. (2021). Insights into the Cascadia Subduction Zone from the Eocene Siletz River Volcanics. Geosphere, 17(5), 1381-1395.
  • Belenky, V., et al. (2014). Economic analysis of seismic hazards in the Pacific Northwest. The Earthquake Engineering Online Archive, 21(6), 1-21.
  • NASEM (2020). A Vision for NSF Earth Sciences 2020-2030: Earth in Time.
  • Petersen, M. D., et al. (2020). The 2018 USGS National Seismic Hazard Model: Overview of improvements and implications for future seismic hazard assessments. Seismological Research Letters, 91(3), 1213-1229.

Kathryn Sheridan-Stiefel earns fellowship

Special Education doctoral candidate Kathryn Sheridan-Stiefel was awarded a graduate student fellowship from the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service. In addition to the aid it will give Kathryn in continuing her research, it also comes with a $1,500 award.

The Foley fellowships are open to currently enrolled WSU graduate students, in any discipline. The fellowships are aimed at students who are in the later stages of their graduate education, to enable completion of research projects. The summer fellowships will be awarded to graduate students that apply to at least one of the following categories:

  • Conducting research in the area of just and sustainable societies and policies.
  • Seeking to enhance their public policy research skills and pursue a research agenda focusing on major policy issues.
  • Conducting research in the area of political institutions and democracy.
Kathryn’s research

Kathryn said she was “extremely grateful for the support to complete this research project!”

We had the chance to sit down with her and ask her about some of the specifics.

We had the chance to sit down with Kathryn and ask her some questions about the fellowship and what it will help her do.

Question: What is the focus of your research?

Answer: My research focuses on evidence-based practices for increasing and optimizing the inclusion of students with intellectual and developmental (IDD) disabilities in both K-12 and postsecondary education settings. Because students with these types of disabilities are the most likely to receive their education in a segregated setting, my research also focuses on how special education and disability policy (such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Every Student Succeeds Act) currently contribute to the continued exclusion of children with complex support needs in community schools. At this time, the research literature that examines the implementation, outcomes and perceptions of special education policy very rarely considers the viewpoints of students with IDD–whose lived experience is integral to understanding how inclusive systems can be improved.

Question: How will the fellowship help you in your research?

Answer: The Foley Fellowship will help me complete a retrospective interpretive phenomenological analysis that allows for young adults with disabilities to provide critical insight regarding how special education policy is implemented and perceived by students for whom these policies are designed.

Question: Specifically, what part of the fellowship will help with what components of the research?

Answer: The fellowship will allow me to purchase transcription software, equipment, and compensation gifts for 10-12 participants, as well as provide compensation for additional coders. These tools and resources will allow for me to complete a comprehensive and rigorous study within an efficient timeframe. The use of transcription software and equipment will provide me with the tools to record and transcribe interviews, becoming fully immersed in the data. Additionally, funds for compensation gifts and hiring additional coders will allow me to work with and appropriately compensate a team of participants and co-researchers.

The fellowship is available thanks to the generous gifts of Scott and Betty Lukins, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Foundation, and Alice O. Rice.

M&S Ed student wins travel scholarship

By C. Brandon Chapman – College of Education
January 11, 2022

Doctoral student Johana Thomas Zapata has received a travel scholarship to the annual Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) conference.

The conference will be held Feb. 10-12 in Henderson, Nevada and Thomas Zapata, who is in the college’s Mathematics and Science Education program, is one of only four across the world to receive the Susan Gay Graduate Student Conference Travel Scholarship.

The scholarship covers the cost of graduate student early registration and provides addition money to offset the cost of attending the conference. Thomas Zapata said she’s excited to attend and to continue being part of the organization.

“Being part of the AMTE community allows me to share with peers my interest in mathematics educations and expands the spectrum of my access to materials and expert in the field,” she said.

In the application, Thomas Zapata had to talk about her background, her future goals as a mathematics teacher educator, and her progress within the doctoral program. In another paragraph, she expressed her teaching and research interests and the current direction of her work.

Thomas Zapata said WSU and the College of Education has helped that work.

“WSU has helped me learn more about the theories in teaching and learning and think of ideas to improve mathematics education equitably,” she said. “The courses I have taken in the last two years encompass different perspectives that encourage to look at mathematics as an inclusive subject that students should be eager to learn.

Professor Amy Roth McDuffie said  she cannot think of anyone more deserving of the scholarship than Zapata.

“I was delighted, but not at all surprised,” she said. “Johana embodies many of the goals of AMTE including focusing on educational research that informs practice, aiming to improve the way we prepare and support teachers, and emphasizing the importance and value of equity and diversity in teaching and learning.

Roth McDuffie said Thomas Zapata’s experience teaching in her home country of Honduras and graduate studies in Ireland and the U.S. support her multi-cultural and multi-lingual perspectives.

“Johana’s experiences and perspectives have enriched our college, and I’m sure that AMTE attendees will appreciate her views and participation, as well,” Roth McDuffie said.”

The scholarship is named after Susan Gay in honor of her extraordinary service to AMTE over many years as conference director, president, secretary, and board member-at-large.


COE Ph.D. student nationally recognized for science video

Melissa Pearcy is a winner.

And even if the video she recently submitted to a national competition didn’t actually win, she’d still be a winner, just for the truths about STEM education that she believes in and her desire to share those with others.

But she did win an award so perhaps she could be called a double-winner.

Each year, The Science Coalition (TSC), which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group of more than 50 research universities, hosts a video challenge for students like Melissa to tell their stories and help spread the word about why science matters.

As the TSC says: “The power of a great story can change the world.”

We agree.

Melissa’s video won Honorable Mention.

Read Full WSU Insider story

Ph.D. student wins WSECU award

By C. Brandon Chapman

Jose Riera says WSECU is like family, so it only makes sense that the credit union wants to help one of its favorite sons.

Riera is a doctoral student in Washington State University’s College of Education and is part of a small handful of individuals who have won WSECU scholarships in the amount of $3,000.Jose Riera smiling at camera while in front of some trees with their fall leaves.

“WSECU has played an essential part of my life since I moved to Pullman,” Riera said. “They provided me with my first and only banking relationship in Washington and their staff at the WSU campus branch has always treated me like family.”

And, just like a big family reunion, where everybody knows one another, Riera said this award has a little extra significance due to its proximity.

“It is not often that a scholarship recipient gets to meet their donors in person, so getting this recognition from a community-based organization where I know my donors personally is particularly meaningful.”

Timely help; overarching benefits

Riera is studying Language, Literacy and Technology. While worth it, education can cost a lot. Riera said he’s grateful for his graduate assistantship but also appreciative of this award which helped him complete his summer research under the guidance of professors Sola Adesope and Joy Egbert.

“This scholarship provided very timely financial assistance for my summer schooling and living expenses, as my graduate assistantship does not cover the summer months,” Riera said. “Thanks to this financial peace of mind, I was able to dedicate myself fully, furthering my research studies.”

These studies include effective ways of enhancing language instruction for immigrant learners, and individuals with verbal impairments.

Always one to share the spotlight and give credit where it’s due, Riera is excited as what this research can potentially mean for WSU, in general, and the College of Education specifically.

“While I am grateful for the honor, the WSECU award truly belongs to the College of Education, as the college provided me with the opportunities and support that made it possible,” Riera said. “As a proud College of Education student, I trust that this award will generate attention to our program’s instructional excellence, so that WSECU and other caring institutions may help other students to benefit from the college’s superb program, just like I have.”


Jose expresses gratitude…
I would like to express how grateful I am for the blessings I have received, particularly during these challenging times when the lives of so many millions of people have been devastated by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis and racism. I am grateful for WSECU and for the support and recognition that they provided me. I am grateful for the unwavering support that I receive from my advisors Yuliya Ardasheva, Tom Salsbury, and Don McMahon, and for the opportunities that Sola Adesope and Joy Egbert have granted me. I am grateful for those who wrote letters of support for this award (Ardasheva and Dr. Carmen Lugo-Lugo at the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race, and Ms. Davi Kallman from the Access Center). I am grateful for the support that I receive from the COE, the Access Center, and the entire Pullman community. And most importantly, I am grateful for having been blessed with my beautiful daughters Natalia & Marilyn, for whose love and respect I strive every moment of my life.