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Grad student honored by the Canadian Bureau for International Education

By Kyla Emme

We’ve all gotten that participation trophy at the end of the season, or that certificate of appreciation at the end of a grueling project.

But then you have WSU graduate student Faraj Aljarih, snagging a spot as an honorable mention for the CBIE Libyan Student Excellence Award. With 2016 being the inaugural year of the annual award, the nominees set a high bar. There are around 2,500 Libyan students with the CBIE in the U.S. and Canada, there were only 200 applications accepted, and then it was narrowed down to 6 winners. These winners included medical doctors, avid volunteers, and intense researchers – all of them making contributions to their campuses, industries and communities here in the U.S./Canada and back in Libya.

Faraj was self-nominated for the award, but his idea to do so only came after some encouragement from WSU Professor, Dr. Joy Egbert. Both she and Dr. Sara Chang wrote letters of recommendation for Faraj, all the while being a solid support system for him throughout his on-going work on his Master’s thesis. His Master’s research is looking into the relationships between inclusion of culture and learner engagement in language tasks. His hopes are that his research paper will get published in a well-known academic journal in the field of teaching and learning, and that he will be able to present his research in several conferences. He graduates this spring semester, so you may end up seeing him at a conference near you soon.

But receiving this award and eventually getting published are just stepping stones for Faraj as he sees a much bigger purpose for doing all this work.

“I hope I can give more to the society. As an international student from Libya in the United States, I have a big responsibility. I have a responsibility toward my society back home in Libya as I am sponsored by the people’s money to study abroad.” Faraj said. “Also, I have a responsibility toward the society here as I was nicely welcomed and given the opportunity to accomplish my life goals. So whatever I do for the society, whether here or back home, will be small. Giving back to society is a pledge that I will do all that I can to keep.”

Animals do more than teach us responsibility

Can a new pet help a child learn responsibility? Sure! They can learn how to take a dog for a walk, for example, or make sure the cat’s food bowl gets filled every day, or make sure the goldfish tank gets cleaned out.

But, if you’re of the vein that it’ll just be dad who ends up walking the dog in the end, perhaps here’s another reason to take interest: a new book shows not only what a pet can teach us, but what the pet can teach people about other people. And, if that’s not enough, it shows how the interactions of humans and animals throughout history can shape our own actions, be it moral, ethical or otherwise.

Rud_photo02The book is called The Educational Significance of Human and Non-Human Animal Interactions: Blurring the Species Line. and it edited by our own A.G. Rud, distinguished professor in the College of Education, along with Suzanne Rice, professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Kansas.

The book contains chapters from scholars from across the country and an array of disciplines to examine the intersection of humans and animals. The topic is on the rise in education and the WSU College of Education has been involved in research on our campus

The book contains three sections exploring human animal interactions from various perspectives. One of them includes examining several K-12 educational practices in which animals play a role. That includes showing how animals serve as teachers to humans, and how animals have characteristics formerly thought to be only the domain of humans.

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WSU alumni are teacher of the year finalists

By Kyla Emme

Two WSU education alumni have been chosen as regional finalists for the 2017 Washington Teacher of the Year Award. Jose Corona, a third grade teacher at Kirkwood Elementary School, completed the WSU teacher prep program in 1995. He was the regional finalist for ESD 105. Kendra Yamamoto, a preschool teacher at Martin Luther King Elementary School and teacher mentor for Vancouver Public Schools, completed her ESL endorsement at WSU Vancouver. She was the ESD 112 regional finalist.

This year, eight regional finalists had been chosen for this award, but only one has received the honorary distinction of “Teacher of the Year.” This honoree will now represent Washington as its nominee for the National Teacher of the Year Award.

All regional finalists have gotten the opportunity to share their teaching stories with legislators and educational leaders. They also have been provided with the opportunity to go around the state and share their expertise with the community and up-and-coming teachers. There are cash awards and other prizes given for their achievements also.

Kendra received a “full-ride” scholarship for her endorsement that stemmed from a grant of WSU Vancouver’s Dr. Gisela Ernst-Slavit. “TEAMS is a 1.3 million funded program by the US DOE,” Ernst-Slavit explained, “it’s designed to prepare practicing teachers and school administrators to work with ELLs in Southwest Washington.”

Since graduating from WSU, Jose has spent his 20 years of teaching at Kirkwood Elementary School. This school was no random choice, though, as he grew up in Toppenish and felt the need to go back.

Large scholarship donation to help future teachers

It’s not specifically a College of Education scholarship, but the college is certainly excited at the opportunity today’s announcement brings.

As the state teaching shortage continues, the “Logan Scholarships” may help give students an additional incentive to choose teaching as their career.

Here is today’s announcement from the WSU Foundation:

WSU’s largest endowed scholarship benefits future teachers

By Trevor Durham, WSU Foundation

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University announced today the creation of its largest endowed scholarship fund, made possible through a $16.5 million estate gift from San Francisco Bay area developer, philanthropist and alumnus Roscoe “Rock” Logan and his wife, Jane.

“Rock and Jane were committed to advancing education opportunities for young people so they can be successful in school, in their careers and in life,” said WSU Interim President Daniel Bernardo. “Their transformative investment in and care for the futures of WSU students – and in the education of our state’s youth – is both humbling and inspiring.”

Beginning in 2016, the R.H. and Jane Logan Scholarships will be awarded annually to WSU undergraduate and graduate students who plan to pursue careers in teaching, have a 3.0 or higher grade point average and demonstrate financial need. The awards are renewable for “Logan Scholars” as long as they continue to qualify according to the criteria.

For additional information about this scholarship, please visit:

“The creation of this scholarship is a game changer,” said Bernardo. “WSU will be able to create remarkable opportunities for our students to pursue careers as educators. The ripple effect of this generous commitment will in turn benefit the next generations of students who will be taught, mentored and inspired by Logan Scholars.”

Students interested in applying for scholarships at WSU should visit for more information.

Born in 1911 in Illinois and raised in Wapato, Wash., Rock Logan graduated in 1933 from then Washington State College with a degree in engineering and architecture. Following service in the Navy, he moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 1947 to begin a 50-year partnership that ultimately became Braddock and Logan, builders and developers throughout California.

An avid football fan, Logan was a founding partner in the Oakland Raiders NFL franchise and was also a supporter of the San Francisco 49ers.

Born in September 1933 in Selma, Ala., Jane Logan attended Auburn University. She met her husband, Rock, while sailing. The couple married in 1974.

Rock and Jane were active and generous in their community. They established the Foundation for Cardiac Research at UC San Francisco; their other philanthropic interests and associations included Meals on Wheels for Alameda County, Holy Names College, Alta Bates Medical Center, Oakland’s Providence Hospital Foundation and the Art Council of California.

In addition to being a longtime member of the WSU Alumni Association, Rock also supported the Oakland and San Francisco symphony orchestras, International Host Committee of California and was a member of the Western Society of Watercolorists, Richmond Yacht Club, I00 Club, Family in San Francisco, Claremont Country Club, World Affairs Council and Commonwealth Club of California.

An Adopted Cougar at WSU, Jane served on the WSU Foundation’s Board of Governors and Board of Trustees and on the Foundation’s Northern California Leadership Advisory Council. She was active with the Oakland Children’s Hospital, the East Bay Community Foundation, the American Symphony Orchestra League and the San Antonio Youth Project. She was a member of the Bellevue Club, the Claremont Country Club and the Lakeview Club.

In addition to receiving the WSU Foundation’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Award in 2005, Jane received numerous awards for events and fundraising from the Oakland Symphony; the American Cancer League, Northern California; National Philanthropy Day and the Salvation Army. In 2008, she was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Holy Names College.

Rock Logan died in 1999 at the age of 87. Jane passed away in 2013 at the age of 79.

Through their estate, the Logans also created endowed scholarship funds at Holy Names College, the University of Oregon and Heritage University in Washington state.


Trevor Durham, WSU Foundation, 509-335-2093,

Family creates scholarship to honor wife and mother

By Breck Smith – College of Education intern

Many teachers give their hearts to instill in us the things they see as vital to our education, critical to our success and important to our future. Mary Alice Hall-Vaughn, a beloved educator, may no longer be alive but she will continue to positively impact others through a scholarship that has been named in her honor.

Mary Alice’s life was cut short from an aggressive form of liver cancer in May 2014. Her husband, Chuck Vaughn, always admired the passion she had for helping improve and motivate students to excel in their education. After he lost Mary Alice, it became Chuck’s mission to help continue her work by serving others. Chuck enlisted the help of his two sons, C.J. and Joe, to help him create the Mary Alice Scholarship.

Their goal is to assist students at WSU who are pursuing a degree in teaching from the College of Education. The family was able to give out the very first scholarship this year to a recipient for the 2015 fall semester.

Mary Alice devoted over four decades of her life to teaching and giving back. She began her career as a behavioral intervention specialist at the Camarillo State Hospital where she taught life skills to autistic adult residents. She would later accept a position in the Peninsula School District where she taught special education and later kindergarten. She also continued her own education by earning her National Board certification in November of 2008 and in the years that followed she dedicated her time to training and helping guide other teachers through their process of applying and obtaining this same certification. She not only impacted the kids she taught in her classroom, but also offered a helping hand to other teachers seeking to advance their careers.

“I want to bring awareness to the fact that something good can come out of such a horrific event in ones life, and that not everything surrounding a death in the family has to be sad,” said their son, Joe Vaughn. “My mother would be proud to know that we started a scholarship in her name that helps future teachers pursue their goals. It makes me feel closer to her knowing that we can preserve her memory in such a positive way that can benefit others.”

To donate to the Mary Alice Scholarship you can contact Andrea Farmer at or 509.335.4956.

Application tips from our scholarship guru

Amy Cox, development program coordinator
Amy Cox

Washington State University students who are flush with cash: You can ignore this. But if the jingle of scholarship money would be music to your ears, be sure to read this advice from guest blogger Amy Cox, WSU College of Education development coordinator.


The College of Education awarded 91 undergraduate and 53 graduate scholarships for the 2012/2013 academic year across our four campuses.  I encourage all graduate students and certified undergraduates to apply for the upcoming academic year.  The scholarship application deadline is January 31 and the financial aid deadline is February 15.

All undergraduate and graduate Students must apply online for scholarships through WSU Scholarship Services.

You can complete the scholarship application over multiple sessions. So take your time, think about your answers and complete each question. The College of Education will use this information in creating its lists of potential award recipients.

Please note, there are a few College of Education majors that are not on the list of chosen majors, including counseling psychology.  If you cannot find your major, choose the closest one for Major No. 1 and education for Major No. 2.

Please pay close attention to the following question: Leadership, responsibility, contribution to community and family, and co-curricular involvement are important at Washington State University.  Please prioritize your top four experiences in these areas over the last three years. This is the section on the application for you to input any employment, volunteer work and club memberships.  In this section, please be sure to list any/all college and/or club involvement within WSU.

We’re proud of our student researchers. So be sure to complete the following request as your answer will be considered by College of Education scholarship application reviewers: Participation in research and creative projects is important for undergraduate and graduate students at Washington State University. Please list your participation in research or creative projects, laboratories, hospitals and clinics. Include work done at other institutions.

Also, pay close attention and answer all essay questions when completing your application.  The essays answers are read and scored by members of the College of Education faculty.  These weighted scores are used by the Scholarship Committee when making yearly scholarship awards.

All College of Education scholarships have criteria, such as the student’s field of study, that must be considered at the request of our generous donors. A common requirement is financial need. The Scholarship Committee determines that need on an EFC (expected family contribution) score, which you receive after completing the FAFSA application. I highly recommend completing that online form so that you will be considered for those scholarships.

For more information on applying for scholarships, click here; or check out the frequently asked questions.

If you have any additional questions, contact me at 509-335-7843 or Good luck!





New research, outreach center responds to growing Native population

The following article about the Pacific Northwest Center for Mestizo and Indigenous Research and Outreach was published Dec. 4, 2012, and is posted with permission.

By Estelle Gwinn
Staff writer, Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Susan Banks-Joseph and Brian McNeill
Susan Banks-Joseph and Brian McNeill, founding co-directors; Lali McCubbin is interim co-director

Growing diversity at Washington State University spurred the creation of a new Mestizo and Indigenous Center at the College of Education.

“We’re located in an area where there are a number of local tribes and at the same time there’s an increasing Latino population in Washington state,” said Brian McNeill, co-director of the new center.

McNeill said he saw a regional need to address the common issues many indigenous populations face and started working to establish the center about two years ago.

“In places like Tri-Cities, Walla Walla and Franklin County the Mexican American population in schools is getting close to 70 percent,” McNeill said. “In communities like Pasco at least 50 percent are Latino. We need to start paying attention to what those demographics are.”

WSU has a responsibility to serve these populations, McNeill said, because it is a land grant university.

The center focuses on not only Native American populations but any indigenous groups, which refers to populations whose ancestors were the original inhabitants of a designated land or nation, McNeill said. The center also focuses on Latino populations, which are often part of the Mestizo experience, meaning they are forged from several different ethnic backgrounds. The center is one-of-a-kind in the Northwest region and possibly unique to the entire nation.

One of a kind

“There’s no question this is a unique center. There’s no other center we can identify in the U.S. that’s focused on Mestizo and indigenous populations,” said Mike Trevisan, associate dean for research and external funding at WSU’s College of Education. “There’s a variety of Mestizo populations in Washington who go unnoticed and unsupported. Hopefully this center will shed light on that and find ways to encourage support for these people.”

McNeill said the center is different from any others because it brings several groups together and addresses their common needs. He said many native populations do not consider Mexican American populations to be indigenous even though they have many of the same social concerns.

“From an educational standpoint it’s important to know what those commonalities are and break down some barriers, even amongst our own people,” he said.

An example of those common concerns is academic success and access to higher education, which center researchers are looking into now.

A 2008 study by WSU’s Clearinghouse on Native Teaching and Learning looked at the educational achievement gap among Native Americans. The study was commissioned by the Washington state Legislature and researchers are now following up on the Legislature’s progress.

Another study at the center reaches out to leaders in local Native American tribes and Latino communities, something that was not receiving enough attention prior to the creation of this center, McNeill said.

Finding solutions, together

“We want to ask them what they think our research agenda should be and what they see as the priorities,” he said. “That way we have the communities we serve setting the agenda for what they think is important.”

From the interviews conducted so far, McNeill has noticed that many groups want to be partners in research and help come to solutions as opposed to being the subject of research just for the sake of finding out something new about them.

Trevisan said the new center is a good fit, since diversity is a priority area for the college’s research profile.

“We are about educating people and doing community work,” he said. “As a consequence we are in a position of responsibility to promote these ideas and make known the needs within the region in particular.”

Published Dec. 4, 2012 and posted with permission

Scientist David Urdal honors parents with scholarship for teachers

A.G. Rud and Grace Urdal hold Cougar flag
Dean A.G. Rud and Grace Urdal show Cougar pride as David and Shirley Urdal look on

In a 1984 interview, near the end of his long career at Washington State University, Professor Lloyd Urdal discussed changes in special education, minority education, adult education, education funding, and the need for better preparation of math and science teachers—all of which are major issues in 2012.

Presaging today’s demands for science, technology, engineering and math experts, he said: “We do have a tremendous pressure now in terms of the computer science age, and the development of computer specialists and the exploration of outer space and you name it.”

Urdal, who died in 1996, often thought in terms of shaping the future. Now, his family has continued his legacy. The couple’s son and daughter-in-law, David and Shirley Urdal, have created the Grace and Lloyd Urdal Endowed Scholarship in Education with an initial gift of $25,000.

“Dad was always working hard, always believing strongly in what he did,” said David. “He valued teaching educators. He had a wonderful sense of humor.”

Encouragement and education

The scholarship will be available starting next year to WSU College of Education students who plan to teach mathematics or science. Math was a favorite subject of Lloyd’s. He was an expert in academic assessment and evaluation. And science is his son’s calling. David Urdal is the recently retired executive vice president and chief scientist at Dendreon Corp., a Seattle biotech firm known for innovative cancer research.

Lloyd Urdal
Lloyd Urdal (WSU Archives photo)

“And my son is a science teacher,” David said of John, who teaches at Madison Middle School in Seattle.

Lloyd and Grace encouraged their children—including daughters Joan Kingrey, Christy Urdal and Valerie Kalhovde—to pursue whatever interested them. Joan was the only one to follow in her father’s footsteps. A longtime public school administrator, she taught educational leadership at WSU Spokane before her recent retirement.
“I resisted the idea of going into education for a long while, but eventually figured out it was in my DNA,” said Joan. “I’m pretty sure my father hoped I would be a college professor.”

A WSU alumna, Joan remembers how students appreciated his humor “and his ability to bring even the most fearful through advanced statistics.” She remembers him smoking his pipe in Cleveland Hall—home of the College of Education and a building of which he was very proud. It was a state-of-the-art facility when it opened in 1963.

Lloyd served nine years as the first chair of the college’s Department of Education. The predecessor to today’s Department of Teaching and Learning was created within the college in 1964.

Transplanted Canadians

Lloyd was the first in his large Canadian family to go to college, but not until he’d studied engineering and served as a mechanic and pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. He and Grace met as students at Camrose Lutheran College near Edmonton, and he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Alberta. From there, it was off to the University of Chicago for a Ph.D. in social sciences. He returned to the Alberta plains each summer, earning tuition money by working the family farm.

For three years, Lloyd was director of research and then principal at UC’s Laboratory School—an experimental school founded by famed education philosopher John Dewey. In 1955, he accepted a job teaching at the WSU College of Education.

After living in Edmonton and Chicago, the isolated four-hill college town of Pullman “was a shock,” Grace Urdal recalled. The shock wore off, affection followed and the rolling hills of the Palouse have been her home ever since.

The Urdals became U.S. citizens soon after their arrival. At first, Lloyd focused on teaching—mostly undergraduates, as there were few WSU education graduate students at the time.

Lloyd was a popular man on College Hill, his widow remembers.

“They all loved him. He was just an excellent teacher,” said Grace, who worked for a while as a secretary in the veterinary college and later in the university human resources office.

After his retirement in 1986, Lloyd chose not to maintain a campus office as some emeritus professors do.  With family and travels, the couple had plenty to keep them busy in the decade before he died.

David said the scholarship is a good way to honor the memory of his much-missed father and his still-active mom. Joan agrees.

“My parents were a wonderful team, and I know they are both proud of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” she said. “They’re a tough act to follow.”


Murals capture Chicano/Latino heritage

Children with Freedom School mural
Pauline Sameshima’s mural, now at Lighty Hall, and the kids who colored it.

Labor leader Cesar Chavez and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta played historic roles in the protection of farm workers’ rights. To folks at Washington State University who planned this month’s Freedom School, that made them the perfect heroes to highlight Chicano/Latino heritage.

WSU College of Education folks in Pullman played major roles in the Freedom School event. Clinical Assistant Professor Paul Mencke was among the planners.

Associate Professor Pauline Sameshima contributed her original art, as did WSU undergraduate David Padilla. Both designed murals featuring Chavez and Huerta, and a group of young Picassos associated with our college pitched in to help color them.

David Padilla mural
David Padilla’s mural on display in Cleveland Hall

The kids pictured above are, from left:  Sachiko Price, daughter of faculty members Paula Groves Price and Cedric Price;  Skyla and Evanee, children of graduate student Manee Moua; Daniel Mendez-Liaina, son of  advisor/instructor Veronica Mendez-Liaina; Rory McBeath, son of graduate student Francene Watson; and Paul Jr. and Carter, sons of  Paul Mencke.

You can read about the project in the WSU News article, Murals from WSU Freedom School on display.

Did you know? According to the 2010 census, 50.5 million people or 16 percent of the population are of Hispanic or Latino origin. That’s a significant increase from the 2000 Census, which registered the Hispanic population at 35.3 million or 13 percent of the total U.S. population.


A handmade gift, a lifetime experience

Yukako Hayashi and A.G. Rud

When  Yukako Hayashi was a university senior in Japan, she took the test to become a teacher. It was a career she had imagined since childhood. She failed the test.

After spending a year as an office worker, she tried again. And passed.

After a decade as a primary school teacher, Yukako still has a strong zeal for education. And it has brought her to Washington State University.

She is in Pullman as part of the annual exchange between the WSU College of Education and the Nishinomiya School District. A Japanese teacher comes to Pullman to study for two months in the fall; an American teacher with ties to the college (currently Mari Stair) works in Japan.

When she’s not soaking up Cougar culture at WSU, Yukako will spend most of her time perfecting her English-language skills. She began her English studies when she was in middle school. These days, English lessons for Japanese students start in fifth grade.

“Students like the English activities,” says Yukako, who now supervises her district’s Study and Research Division, International Section.

In an get-acquainted meeting at Cleveland Hall, Yukako presented Dean A.G. Rud with flower art she created. In return, she got a crimson and gray scarf with a Cougar emblem. She’ll be in Eastern Washington through Oct. 22. She told the dean she had been to the United States before, including a visit to the San Francisco area for a two-week student exchange while she was in college.

The dean replied that he’d be making his first trip to Japan in November, as part of a delegation celebrating the 25th anniversary of the WSU-Nishinomiya relationship. He said:  “It’s a big deal!”