As we approach the end of this most unusual school year, I want to say how incredibly proud I am of our students, faculty, and staff who persevered through some of these most challenging times.
Our students and faculty have shown strength, perseverance, and resilience, navigating classes and research while they often managed concerns about the health and well-being of family and friends. I have been amazed by our commitment to learning and teaching in unprecedented circumstances.
I’m happy to report that our reputation continues to grow and that our continued success is being recognized with a marked improvement in our national graduate program rankings. This newsletter includes stories of our student success as well as awards for our faculty and students. More recently, two of our students, Gunnar Sly and India Dykes, have been named Goldwater Scholars, and one of our graduate students, Garry Smith, received a graduate fellowship from the American Heart Association.
A team of students at WSU-Everett has also been named as one of only five finalists and the only one from the U.S. in an international software engineering competition. The competition will conclude at the International Conference on Software Engineering, set to begin May 25.
The pandemic has also provided some new and exciting opportunities for interaction and growth. In recent weeks, our Lunch and Learn lecture series provided students with the chance to meet with Gary Steele, a WSU alumnus, successful entrepreneur, and founder of the cybersecurity company, Proofpoint. We also recently hosted a visit with Jessi Hall, senior director for Vertical Integration at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. These events have expanded our community, allowing for visits with influential industry leaders and entrepreneurs who otherwise might not have been able to make their way to campus.
As we look forward to better times ahead, I would like to express my thanks for the researchers and engineers across the world whose work in understanding this virus and in developing vaccines are helping us to defeat it. I greatly appreciate the work of my colleagues at WSU as well as those around the world who spend long days in laboratories working to solve our society’s most challenging problems. The important research over the past year provides a wonderful example of how our work can have real-world impact and truly change lives for the better. The education that we provide prepares our students to solve real-world and difficult problems, and they are ready to take on our future challenges.
We’re looking forward with great excitement to more face-to-face teaching and learning this fall, once again providing hands-on learning opportunities as well as a safe learning environment for our students.
Thank you for your continuing support in our endeavors. Your efforts make an enormous difference in our students’ lives and are more important than ever.
Dean, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99163