Dear Colleagues,

The end of the school year is upon us, and I wanted to take a few moments to thank you all for your hard work during this year of transition.

At this time of year, many of you are working hard to support your students as they make their way through final projects, exams, and graduation. At the same time, it’s a great time to recognize and enjoy the successes that come about from our efforts.

Our senior capstone design expo is a wonderful event that highlights the hands-on work and real-world experiences that truly prepare our students for successful careers. At this year’s expo, we had more than 120 student teams and student club participants, including from our Tri-Cities campus.

I also want to congratulate the students who succeeded in WSU’s recent Business Plan competition. Participation in these projects and competitions give our students transformational, life-changing experiences.

Last week, we also wrapped up another successful Executive Leadership Board meeting. Our board members had the chance to visit with many students at the capstone design event and to talk about how to share and grow our transformational education experience.

Congratulations to all of you who are doing outstanding work to further the college’s mission. In particular, I’d like to congratulate Steven Saunders, Jean-Sabin McEwen, and Dae Hyun Kim, who received distinguished Early Career awards; Jenny Voss and Jake Travis Gray, who received National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships; Amelia Brown, who earned a Goldwater scholarship; Kelvin Lynn, who received WSU’s Eminent Faculty Award, and Xiaopeng Bi, who was awarded the President’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Congratulations, also, to the outstanding faculty, staff, and students in the college who we recognized at our recent Voiland College Convocation.

I have enjoyed serving as your interim dean, and I greatly look forward to Mary Rezac taking the college helm on July 1. I have already begun working with her during the past month to help with the transition. Mary has great ideas and vision for the college, and I am excited that she will continue our strong growth trajectory in our education, research and outreach programs.

Have a wonderful summer, be safe, and see you in the fall!

Interim Dean Don Bender signature

Don Bender, Interim Dean
Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture

Safety tip of the month:
Will you have undergraduates in your lab this summer? If you haven’t already, make sure you are following lab safety protocols and have taken lab safety training.