MAY 2017


Provost Bernardo attends a reception with WSU and SFCC leadership


Spokane Falls Community College (SFCC) began conducting classes at WSU Pullman in April after the schools partnered to continue community college services in Whitman County. The partnership will expose SFCC students to university life and enhance transfer opportunities, while honoring the separate and distinct missions of each institution. The community college serves more than 200 students in Pullman each quarter, offering two-year transfer degrees, adult basic education, GED prep, and high school completion.

Close to 80 percent of the students at SFCC’s Pullman campus in transfer degree courses plan to attend WSU, or have attended WSU and are fulfilling some of their requirements at the community college level.


Dean Tomkowiak calls a student to offer admission


The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine continues to prepare for its first class of 60 students, who will begin this fall. Dean Tomkowiak personally called each student to offer admission. Some of the admitted students came back to the WSU Spokane campus for the Second Look Visit, a two-day event for the candidates to learn more about the college, meet some faculty and staff, and familiarize themselves with the community.

The college also announced in April a partnership with Arivale, which will allow for the first class of students to participate in the company’s innovative Scientific Wellness program.

Dean Tomkowiak was on KHQ’s Invest Northwest program recently to talk about the college as it prepares for its first class. The college also continues to turn out impressive research, including recent work from Jason Gerstner, an assistant research professor, who studied how a particular gene is involved with the quality of sleep.


Join us in celebrating our newest WSU graduates on May 6 at Beasley Coliseum. Thousands of Cougs will be honored with their crowning academic achievements at ceremonies throughout the day. The ceremony for the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences; the Voiland College of Engineering; and the College of Veterinary Medicine will be held at 8 a.m. The College of Arts and Sciences ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m., and the ceremony for the Carson College of Business, the Murrow College of Communication, the College of Education, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, and the College of Pharmacy will take place at 3 p.m. Each ceremony will last approximately two hours.

Find all the details on Spring Commencement at



Thumbi Mwangi, a clinical assistant professor in the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, was one of twenty-two early career scientists recognized as an affiliate by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS). Mwangi coordinates research and educational activities at the school’s East Africa program and was recognized for his impact in the field of infectious disease research. The AAS provides affiliates with mentoring from senior scientists and other opportunities for development and funding to further enhance their impact in their communities.

Graduate student Faraj Aljarih garnered an honorable mention from the prestigious CBIE Libyan Student Excellence Awards earlier this spring. Of close to 2,500 Libyan students in the United States and Canada in the CBIE, only 200 applications were accepted and 6 winners were selected. Faraj’s master’s research in the College of Education explores the relationships between inclusion of culture and learner engagement in language tasks.

The Society of Ethnobiology announced WSU professor Steve Weber is a recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Ethnobiologist award. Weber is a corecipient of the award with Steve Emslie of the University of North Carolina. Weber and Emslie founded the Society of Ethnobiology, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Weber teaches anthropology at WSU Vancouver and was instrumental in development of the BA in anthropology. He’s also mentored hundreds of undergraduates and trained international scholars.

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