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Potensky, Chapman, Ternes and Kaiser in Pullman for the competition

PULLMAN, Wash. – April 2018 – On Friday, WSU’s top student venture teams displayed their innovative products and services at the 16th Annual Business Plan Competition hosted by the Carson College of Business. TEST Robotics, an interdisciplinary Boeing Scholars team from Washington State University Everett won the grand prize of $15,000.

“When our name was called for the grand prize, it was a complete thrill,” said Samantha Chapman, a senior strategic communication major. “Two of us instantly burst into tears, and it felt like we were floating to the front of the room. We worked tremendously hard on this project, and that moment made it all worth it to us.”

The TEST Robotics team includes Chapman, Timothy Kaiser, a senior electrical engineering student, Troy Potensky, a senior mechanical engineering student, and Emily Ternes, a junior hospitality business management student.

The team’s product is a tool-cleaning robot that automates the process of cleaning composite tools used in aerospace manufacturing. When composite tools are used, they need to be cleaned and coated before they can be used again. The team’s robot deals with the coating of the tools. “Instead of a human doing this process, it allows for the human to set the robot on a tool and spend their time doing something less tedious,” Chapman said.

The team is one of several groups of Boeing Scholars at WSU Everett. Those groups are granted the opportunity to work directly with Boeing mentors who advise students and provide them with hands-on, industry experience. Boeing presented TEST Robotics with the challenge of reducing the time it takes to clean composite tools.

The interdisciplinary nature of the team is a hallmark of the WSU Everett campus, uniting students from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture and the Carson College of Business.

“Our team has learned that it is really helpful to have students from different majors working together,” Chapman said. “Because this competition involved both making a product and then creating a business plan for it, it was perfect to have engineers, a business major and a communication major all working together. We took advantage of each other’s strengths and learned a lot about each other’s fields of study.”

The team was able to travel to Pullman to participate in the competition thanks to a generous grant provided by Union Bank and Robert Williams.

The Business Plan Competition gives students the opportunity build skills in a real-world setting, network with industry professionals and prepare to succeed in a global business arena.

The students are the first class of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, named for the late WSU president who fought for the creation of the school.

Story by Chris Daniels, KING 5 News (Watch the story on KING 5 News here)

MONROE – March 27, 208 – The first students from Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine are making their way into local, rural clinics.

“We are just trying to immerse ourselves as much as possible,” says Meredith Morrow-Okon, pausing for a moment in between her shift at Providence Clinic in Monroe. “Trying to get a feel for what the medical needs of this community are.”

Morrow-Okon stands out for what she is wearing on the side of her lab coat: a WSU Logo. She is a pioneer, a part of a mission that started on the Pullman campus several years ago.

Then WSU-President Dr. Elson Floyd believed there was a shortage of rural doctors, and suggested the state back the creation of a new Spokane medical school.

There was heavy resistance. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle told Floyd there was little appetite for it, especially with the University of Washington already filling a need.

Floyd persevered, often flying to the west side of the state to meet with Olympia lawmakers. What few knew was that he was also fighting colorectal cancer. Floyd got the votes, and the bill was signed in April of 2015.

Dr. Floyd passed away less than three months later.

There was really no dispute over what to name the school.

“This is his legacy,” said Dr. Larry Schecter, Associate Dean for the Floyd College of Medicine.

The school welcomed the inaugural class this past fall. Morrow-Okon is one of the first 60 students.

“One of the reasons it was created and exists is to begin to create a workforce for rural and underserved areas,” he said. “It’s remarkable, a joy, a pleasure to watch the students. It’s a pleasure to watch the physicians that are teaching them.”

Schecter says the students are placed into local clinics and hospitals for week-long “intersessions.” This week, four students are inside Providence Monroe, meeting with patients across all ages with a variety of issues.

Monroe was picked because of geographic and demographic factors. The students will spend six weeks in the first year in the on-site, real-life scenario, learning from doctors like Deb Nalty.

“We are trying to open their eyes to the joy of practicing primary care,” said Nalty, acknowledging the need for more rural, family practice doctors. “It’s significantly more difficult for us to find people than our colleagues on the I-5 corridor.”

Students will spend their first two years of school primarily in Spokane and have the option in the last two years to spend the rest of their time at one of WSU’s regional campuses. Morrow-Okon, who originally hails from Bellingham, plans on finishing her studies on the WSU Everett campus.

She admits it is not what she planned years ago while working on her degree in International Studies at the University of Washington.

“I didn’t really take any science classes. My area of focus was human rights and, within that subtrack, I really focused on health and on health care access as a human right,” she said, noting she had an “ah-ha” moment. “I want to get my hands dirty and I want to get my boots on the ground. What can I do to help this situation?”

That led her to WSU and the new program in Floyd’s name. She now wears the lab coat with his name, handed out in a ceremony last year.

“There was not a dry eye in the house. I’m kinda getting choked up, even thinking about it,” she said, “’Make him proud,’ is something that motivates all 60 of us.”

by Eric Stevick, Everett Herald (read the story on

Photo by Dan Bates, Everett Herald

EVERETT — March 26, 2018 — Gordon Taub wasn’t always an engineering professor contributing to research papers such as one entitled: “An examination of the high order statistics of developing jets, lazy and forced plumes at various axial distances from their source.”

Long before earning a bachelors degree in computational and mathematical science, a masters in applied mathematics and a doctorate in mechanical engineering, he was a drama major.

He worked for companies that made video post-production equipment, had a karaoke-hosting business and once helped edit a short-lived soap opera. He even did open mic stand-up comedy a few times.

All of which has come in handy as he searches for ways to best engage his mechanical engineering students at Washington State University Everett.

It is why he can be found some days lecturing alone in a classroom-turned-studio on the third floor of the campus off North Broadway. He is his own one-man production crew, and he takes advantage of new technology that makes it appear as if he is writing backwards on an invisible chalkboard.

“I’m trying to do what is called flipping a class,” he said.

Flipping a class is an instructional strategy that blends tradition with technology, a way that takes time to make time. He has recorded a series of short lectures his students watch online outside of the classroom. That allows him to give students more individual and small group attention when they’re trying to solve problems inside the classroom. In other words, he’s less the center of attention in the front of the room and more of a roving consultant around it. More class time is dedicated to applying skills than taking notes.

Taub uses the flipped format in what’s called a finite element analysis class. He hopes to do the same next year with a dynamic systems course.

He’s well aware that the subjects are densely technical and deep into mathematics. That’s why he makes short high-quality videos, in the neighborhood of five to 10 minutes. They’re intended to be bite-sized bits of knowledge that can be slowly digested. Students might have four or five videos to watch between twice-weekly classes.

Travis Norton, a junior mechanical engineering student, has come to appreciate the format. He wouldn’t want to try to learn the material solely online, but he likes the idea of being able to go back and review the lectures.

In most classes, “if you miss anything, you are kind of on your own,” he said. “With this you can watch it over and over and over again. You can watch it until you get it.

“I can watch it before class and apply it during class,” he said.

What makes Taub’s video lectures unusual is his students never see the back of his head. When he writes he is facing the camera. A transparent pane of glass suspended in a metal frame stands between him and the lens. On the edges are embedded LED lights that illuminate his notes and equations.

Early on, some students asked him if he was writing backwards. Some assume he is left-handed. Something called a video switcher is used to flip his writing so it doesn’t appear to be backwards.

When he has a big chunk of information to present, he can save the writing time by dropping in pre-prepared Power Point slides that seem to float in as illustrations and diagrams. He can write on them if need be. All the while, he can control colors, backgrounds and darkness.

“The idea is to make things more interesting and engaging for students,” he said.

Taub is using what’s known as a Lightboard, the brainchild of Northwestern University engineering professor Michael Peshkin who figured visually stimulating videos for his students would free up class time for more valuable interaction.

Taub estimates that he has spent eight hours in preparation and production for every hour of actual video. He said it has been worth it because it is allowing him to reach his goal of spending more time working with his students on the material they need to know.

The reward of that extra time has justified the work.

“My current position is I’m going to keep going forward,” he said. “For the classes I teach I will look at it on a case-by-case basis to determine if it is a good candidate.”

EVERETT, Wash. – March 23, 2018 – All next week, the Everett Police Department will host 100 local officers for a Child Abduction Response Team (CART) training at WSU Everett. The police officers will be parked in parking lot K in both marked an unmarked cars.

A CART is a multi-jurisdictional team which is comprised of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies as well as private agencies.

Members are assigned a position based on their experience, expertise and the needs of the team. They can rapidly deploy once they are notified that a child has been abducted or is missing under suspicious circumstances.


EVERETT, Wash. – March 2, 2018 – When a five-person submersible descends to the floor of the North Atlantic this summer, part of a historic series of private excursions to map the famed RMS Titanic’s wreckage in 3-D imagery, it will be WSU Everett students that helped make it possible.

“The whole electrical system – that was our design, we implemented it and it works,” said Mark Walsh, a 2017 WSU Everett graduate in electrical engineering from the WSU Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture. “We are on the precipice of making history and all of our systems are going down to the Titanic. It is an awesome feeling!”

This morning the WSU graudates were featured on KING 5 News. Watch the video linked below and read the full story here.


EVERETT. Wash. – Feb. 22, 2018 – Nella Ludlow has been named director of the interdisciplinary data analytics undergraduate degree program for Washington State University (WSU). Ludlow, who is based at WSU Everett, is a clinical professor in computer science with a background in artificial intelligence research and real-world data technology.

Prior to joining the WSU faculty in 2016, Ludlow served as a U.S. Air Force scientist for 16 years. Her assignments included working at two national laboratories in information technology and medical/human factors, and as an assistant professor at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. After retiring from the military, she successfully led three technology research companies, one of which won $35M in military research and development contracts in less than a decade.

Ludlow earned dual bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physical sciences at WSU Pullman, completed a master’s in computer science at Wright State University, and received her Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinburgh. She completed her post-doctoral studies at Cambridge University.

“Nella’s public- and private-sector experience have made her an incredible resource to our students in Everett,” Chancellor Paul Pitre said. “She will capably serve WSU students and industry partners for WSU system-wide.”

The WSU data analytics program is offered jointly by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture at three WSU campuses: Pullman, Everett and Global. Ludlow is in Pullman regularly to teach hybrid courses, including this semester’s Professional Skills in Computing and Engineering (CPTS 302) course.

The advisory board for the program boasts big data leaders from The Boeing Company, Microsoft, Tableau Software, Google, Informatica, Moss Adams, Matisia and PEMCO Insurance.


OLYMPIA, Wash. – Feb. 13, 2018 – Four mechanical engineering students from Washington State University Everett represented WSU Tuesday at Undergraduate Research Day in Olympia.

They joined delegations from the University of Washington, Eastern Washington University, Western Washington University, Central Washington University and the Evergreen State College to present their research projects and answer questions in the Capitol rotunda. Representing WSU were students Ryan Durkoop, Megan Stanavitch, Alex Reeves and Matthew Miller.

Their senior capstone project has attempted to test whether the recently opened academic building on the campus has been as energy and water efficient as hoped and recommend improvements.

Building efficiency amenities include a rooftop solar array, the utilization of rainwater for use in and around the building to reduce the amount of water drawn from the municipal water system and the utilization of excess heat from the data center to augment building heating systems.

The students are making use of hundreds of different data points to determine whether the building is performing as advertised. Early indications are positive.

“It matches very closely,” Durkoop said.

In addition, students are studying the merits of utilizing a neural network to incorporate a form of artificial intelligence to predict when energy use could be curtailed. For instance, a heated classroom may need to be cooled once it is filled with students. But if class time were anticipated heating and cooling costs could be mitigated.

“We’re basically trying to put Siri in the building,” Stanavitch said.

Students started their day with a welcome from Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib in the Senate Rules Room. They then took to the Senate gallery to watch the Senate take up Senate Resolution 8683 to recognize undergraduate research. You can view video of the proceeding below.

They then made a quick visit to the Senate wings where they were greeted by Sen. Kevin Ranker, the chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee and resolution sponsor. From there they took their posts in the rotunda, answering questions about their research from legislators, lobbyists and other passers by.

Video of Senate Resolution 8683 can be viewed at this link.




WSU Everett students Lindsey Major and Samantha Chapman

Just shy of 100 WSU students gathered in Olympia today for their annual Coug Day at the Capitol event, with all six university campuses represented.

The day of advocacy is organized by the Associated Students of Washington State University and allows an opportunity for students to meet with state lawmakers and discuss higher education priorities.

Follow the day’s events on Twitter with the hashtag #CougDay2018.


On Jan. 17, the WSU Edward R. Murrow College of Communication hosted Washington state’s chief privacy officer in an event at WSU Everett. Read about the presentation on the WaTech blog, home of Washington’s technology services agency, and watch the video below through Facebook.






Last night, we were all hit with the heartbreaking news that a member of the Cougar family took their own life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hilinski family, teammates and coaches of WSU Football and the rest of Cougar Nation. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with depression, anxiety and stress, or may be otherwise at risk, please reach out to WSU Everett staff or the support lines below:

WSU 24-Hour Line: 509-334-1133
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

At WSU Everett, you can refer to the Student CARE Committee and a linked guide for resources at this link: