May 10, 2021
Greetings #EverCougs Community,
This weekend we celebrated the accomplishments of the class of 2021. We are so very proud to watch them complete their degrees, here at WSU Everett, rise to new careers, continue their passions in graduate school, and start to make a distinct impact on the world.
Our Class of 2021 is a talented bunch. Alicia Campos Macias exemplifies the type of students we are graduating. Hailing from Marysville, Alicia earned her degree in Electrical Engineering from the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, and is now recognized by Washington State University’s Alumni Association as a Top 10 Senior. She served as senator and secretary for our student government, is a MESA (Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement) student ambassador, is secretary for the WSU Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and a member of Society of Women Engineers. Unsurprisingly, her award is for Campus Involvement. This is richly deserved recognition for Alicia!
Another example of the rising stars in our midst is Claire Jackson, a newly minted member of the Order of the Engineer as a graduate of WSU’s Mechanical Engineering program, this year’s student government president, and 2021 President’s Award for Leadership recipient. Claire has been wonderful to work with in her role advocating for our student body, and I am so proud of what we accomplished together during a challenging year.
Our student teams have also seen tremendous success. A brilliant group of software engineering students earned a position in the university competition at The International Conference on Software Engineering, one of the largest and top annual software engineering conferences in the world. The WSU Everett team has developed an AI-supported tool to facilitate ‘agile software development,’ a modern software engineering approach. Dr. Bolong Zeng, the students’ faculty advisor, likes to call it a “Meta Software Engineering project,” as they use Software Engineering knowledge to develop a Software Engineering tool with the purpose of assisting Software Engineering.
Our interdisciplinary Boeing Scholars team was among 20 teams selected to compete in the 2021 Carson College Business Plan Competition. They wowed judges with an augmented reality tool using the Microsoft HoloLens 2 to facilitate safer, more efficient co-working environments for ground crew personnel at airfields working with autonomous airplanes.
Those students have matured under the tutelage of our world-class faculty. I would like to congratulate those faculty members who earned promotions for their incredible work teaching our students and their contributions to research and scholarship. Dr. Xiaopeng Bi was promoted to scholarly professor, Dr. Jacob Murray has been promoted to scholarly associate professor, Lucrezia Paxson was promoted to scholarly associate professor, and Dr. Brad Gaoloch is now a tenured full professor.
In April, influential local businesswomen were featured by WSU Everett and the WSU Carson College of Business before an audience of students, alumni and community members. They discussed leadership philosophies, best opportunities for jobs and advancement, and their experiences working in business arenas where women have been historically underrepresented. I invite you to watch that panel at this link, moderated by our own associate vice chancellor Lynne Varner.
Like our graduates, our campus takes another solid step into the future. This fall we will greet our first cohort of Business Administration students. We are pleased to have this new program that will be an excellent complement to our Engineering programs and Hospitality Business Management program.
Summer courses begin today for students looking to get ahead, and we fully expect an in-person Coug experience this fall. We will work with Snohomish County health experts to keep safety as our top priority. We are excited for this fall as we work toward getting back to our normal operations. With all of us doing our part to end the pandemic by getting vaccinated and wearing masks, as recommended by the CDC, we know we can prevail.
Each day the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter. I want to thank those who helped get us through some dark and troubled spots along the way. I am grateful to our 2021 Cougs Give campaign donors, who gave to the tune of more than $15,000 and dozens of pounds of food for the WSU Everett Student Food Pantry, including a special grocery run specifically for vegan meals. Our students have felt your generosity and thus, spirit of the entire WSU Everett community.
I also want to thank our Snohomish County Council for investing in local public education to change lives by dismantling barriers to the generational impact of higher education. We are excited to embark on another opportunity to work in concert with our partners in early learning and K-12 education to improve outcomes for learners of all ages in Snohomish County.
Vax up, mask up, and Go Cougs!
Dr. Paul Pitre, Chancellor
WSU Everett & Everett University Center