Feeling Thankful

Mary Rezac standing outdoors with her arms crossed.

Dear Colleagues,

As students return to classes and a new year gets underway, we look back at a great year of successes in the Voiland College.

In spite of pandemic headwinds, our research enterprise grew this year to $30.7 million, and we awarded more than 1000 undergraduate and graduate degrees in our 29 fields of study on 6 campuses throughout Washington. Two of our researchers were named among the most highly cited in the world, and Dr. Yong Wang’s single-atom catalysis workwas featured in the prestigious journal, Nature. John Bussey, a student in materials science and engineering, received a Goldwater Scholarship, and one of our student clubs has also been chosen to compete in an upcoming NASA competition.

The support that our alumni and donors provide is truly making a difference.

I especially want to thank our many generous donors and supporters who are helping to grow our student success building campaign. With plans for state-of-the-art facilities for our engineering and design district, we aim to meet the need for more collaborative and modern spaces for our students, better preparing them for jobs in high-demand fields, including in computer science, engineering, and design. With our donors’ support, we have gained momentum in our effort, and it’s so exciting to be planning for design and construction of our first new facility, the Schweitzer Engineering Hall, slated for construction in 2024.

Multi-story building with floor-to-ceiling windows.
Conceptual rendering of Schweitzer Engineering Hall.

Earlier this spring, Ed and Beatriz Schweitzer and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratory provided a $20 million investment in the building, and then this fall, the Boeing Company threw their support behind a student success center.Along the way, we have received support from many of alumni and friends, and we’re moving forward with this building project in what promises to be a unique public-private partnership. The new building will be a welcoming and modern home for new and prospective students and faculty.

As we develop new facilities, we also celebrate the support that builds our reputation and grows our programs. Paul Hohenschuh and Marjorie Winkler supported an endowed position for Voiland School’s George Austin Endowed Director, and the late Floyd Rogers and Judy Huie-Rogers provided three endowed chair positions to the university in computer science and power engineering. While these gifts help our faculty to grow and build their research programs, they also provide needed support in fields that directly affect industries and the economy in our region.

We’re looking forward to a busy and productive year ahead, as we move forward with starting programs in cybersecurity and energy conscious construction, areas that are critical to our state and nation’s growing economy. In addition, a new certificate program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and developed by several WSU and Voiland College faculty aims to bridge the disciplinary gap between the humanities and engineering fields.

Our hallways are once again crowded with eager students, and our faculty are busy managing classes, attending conferences, and meeting their grant proposal deadlines. As 2023 gets underway, I remain thankful for devoted faculty and staff, our hardworking students, and our many generous friends who help to make our thriving and busy community possible.

As always, Go Cougs!

Dean Mary Rezac's signature.

Mary Rezac
Dean, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99163