I had the wonderful opportunity to have lunch today with five student-athletes from the College of Education. This was part of the “Dining with Deans” initiative established by Athletic Director Pat Chun. We had lunch in the Gray W Jack Thompson Legends Lounge, which is the cafeteria on the fourth floor of the Football Operations Building. Note that the food is healthy, the view was fantastic overlooking the football field, and the company was wonderful.
I met with the following students:
- Emily Coombs (track and field – elementary education)
- Travell Harris (football – sport management)
- Mikaela Kirton (swimming – kinesiology and sport science)
- Owen Leonard (baseball – kinesiology and sport science)
- Ivy Elling Quaintance (rowing – kinesiology and sport science)
In addition to the students, we were joined by Pat Chun, as well as the department’s Senior Associate Director of Academics/Compliance Thad Hathaway.
I am impressed by the students’ dedication to their sport AND to their academics. All had good things to say about their respective courses, faculty, and programs. Being a Division I athlete, and being a student at a major university, requires dedication, determination, and a certain amount of savvy to make it all work. All of these students clearly have what it takes to succeed.
Some of these students are a long way from home as well; thus, they have made some sacrifice to be here at Washington State University, away from their family and friends. None of them complained. All conveyed in one way or another that being at Washington State University was a privilege.
I came away from the lunch with a renewed sense of connection to the Athletic Department and feeling really good about the quality of our student-athletes.