Thursday, July 20, 2017

Global Campus students splash the day away at Silverwood Theme Park

Silverwood Theme Park logo
Eighty five Global Campus students, their families, and friends flocked to Athol, Idaho, on July 5 for a free day of amusement rides, crazy water slides, a BBQ lunch buffet and unlimited beverages at Silverwood Theme Park—all courtesy of ASWSU Global, their student government.  

Michelle Whitlow, social sciences major and ASWSU Global student involvement chair, summed up the Summer Rendezvous event at Silverwood as “a fantastic student engagement opportunity.”  “Meeting and mingling with my fellow leaders and students was truly an unforgettable experience that I will always treasure,” said Whitlow.

“Our group arrived at Silverwood and immediately found the Global Campus student booth where we were greeted by some very friendly ASWSU student leaders,” said Krystal Kincaid, Global Campus social sciences major. “We were really proud of our Global Campus and how well organized the event was. We felt so welcomed, lunch was terrific, and we had a great time riding all the rides.”

In addition to water park fun, ASWSU Global provides many family friendly events throughout the year for fellow Global Campus students to connect, including snow tubing on Mt. Hood, Homecoming and Apple Cup football tailgate parties, graduation receptions, and next up: Rendezoo.

The annual Rendezoo event is at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium on Sunday, Aug. 13. Global Campus students and up to three guests can enjoy free admission, a catered lunch, and browse the resource fair, where students can meet WSU staff who provide support and services to online students. Space is limited so register for Rendezoo today!   

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Global Campus PSM grad awarded for improving crime scene DNA processing


Kristina Hoffman holding award
Kristina Hoffman received the
Outstanding Early Career Achievement
Award on February 15, 2017.
If you believe TV detective shows, crimes are solved quickly and justice is served in under an hour. In reality, it can take months just to process crime-scene DNA.

Thanks to the work of Kristina Hoffman, a 2015 Washington State University graduate, it now takes the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory about 25 percent less time to process DNA samples, which ultimately leads to faster crime resolution. For her achievement, Hoffman was recently awarded the 2017 Outstanding Early Career Achievement Award by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Hoffman, a forensic scientist at the WSP crime lab in Marysville, Washington, conducted her DNA research as part of her internship for the online professional science master’s (PSM) degree in molecular biosciences. The online PSM program offered through WSU Global Campus is designed for students who want to pursue careers in science that require skills in management, communication and business.

While working on her internship at the WSP crime lab, Hoffman applied lean business management practices from WSU’s Lean Agility course to improve the productivity in the workflow of DNA sample processing and reporting. "The PSM department was so instrumental in my lean project and is the primary basis for me being eligible for this award," explained Kristina.

The AAFS Outstanding Early Career Achievement Award is given annually to an early-career forensic scientist who has demonstrated leadership and outstanding achievement. The recipient’s contributions should advance forensic science and its application to the legal system in a manner that promotes professionalism, integrity, competency, education, research, practice, and collaboration.

"When I was researching graduate programs, I knew right away that the PSM degree was a perfect fit for what I was looking for in order to prepare for career advancement," said Hoffman. "I loved the design and flexibility of the online WSU program and how I could maintain my full-time job and tailor the curriculum to fit my interests in lean management." Hoffman completed the program in December 2015.

To learn more about Kristina's research, read the WSU News post. Information about WSU’s online PSM program and how to apply is available on the WSU Global Campus website.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Online Integrated Strategic Communication major launches


hands at desk holding business meeting papers, laptop

Washington State University's new online strategic communication bachelor's degree—offered by the nationally acclaimed Edward R. Murrow College of Communication—gives students an opportunity to major in Integrated Strategic Communication (ISC) and gain the skills necessary to prepare for careers in virtually any industry or business that requires strategic communication professionals.

“It’s exciting to offer this degree to a broader base of students who appreciate the quality education available from our college and WSU Global Campus,” explains Ryan Risenmay, clinical assistant professor in the Murrow College and coordinator of the online degree.

The new program is offered in conjunction with WSU Global Campus and focuses on an applied curriculum that is developed and taught by faculty with industry expertise. Students will learn about advertising and public relations principles, as well as how to use digital and traditional media.

Stacey J.T. Hust, chair of Murrow College’s Strategic Communication department, said students in the online ISC major will acquire a unique skillset that will prepare them to effectively target consumers and specific audiences. "Students will also learn how to effectively create and brand messages that address communication objectives," Hust said.

Career opportunities with this degree include public relations firms and ad agencies, and jobs with a wide range of businesses that require communication professionals for social media, digital marketing, corporate communications, and more.

Apply by July 21 to start on Aug. 21. Get started on our Apply Now page.

To learn more about the integrated strategic communication online major offered through WSU Global Campus, visit the Global Campus website.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Four Global Campus students present at research fair



Top left, Rebecca Podszus, Crimson award winner, with her research poster. Top right, Autumn Segner. Lower right, Segner presents virtually to WSU Provost Dan Bernardo. 

WSU Global Campus student Rebecca Podszus’ research on how nature mitigates stress earned a top award at this year’s Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA).

“Presenting at SURCA was so exciting!” said Podszus, a psychology major from Olympia, who traveled to Pullman for the March 27 event. “As online students, we have limited opportunities to interact with the rest of WSU, and this type of in-person event is so valuable.”

Podszus was among 225 students competing at SURCA, the only WSU-wide event featuring the faculty-mentored research and creative activities of undergraduates from all majors and campuses.

Other WSU Global Campus presenters were Megan Block and Leslie Taylor, both psychology majors who came to Pullman for the showcase, and Autumn Segner, a humanities major, who presented online from her home in the Midwest.

Segner sent her research poster to Pullman to be displayed at the competition, and spoke with judges using video-conferencing software.  “I certainly recommend SURCA as an opportunity to talk to new people and get a different perspective on your research,” she said.

The judges awarded prizes in eight categories. Podszus earned the Crimson award in the Social Sciences category.  “My study focused on nature exposure and stress relief,” she said. “Specifically, I hypothesized that people who feel connected to nature actually seek out nature to relieve stress.”

Dr. Lee Daffin, Jr., psychology professor and faculty-mentor, said participating in SURCA also offers post-graduation benefits. “The experience you gain from presenting at a large scale conference is invaluable,” he said, “and impressive to both graduate schools and future employers.”

To learn more about SURCA, and how to participate at next year’s competition, visit surca.wsu.edu.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Global Campus Online Degrees Among Nation’s Best

WSU Global Campus Online Degrees Ranked 15th in the Nation

Washington State University Global Campus has ranked in the top five percent in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 list of best online bachelor’s programs. WSU Global Campus placed 15th in a field of 311 colleges and universities offering online degrees. The publication also ranked WSU’s online MBA 27th in the nation and online graduate engineering program 28th in the nation.

The 2017 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs report evaluated data in four categories: student engagement, faculty credentials and training, peer reputation, and student services and technology. WSU received an overall score of 87. Visit the U.S. News & World Report Best Online Bachelor’s Programs website to learn more about the college rankings and methodology.

“We are delighted to be recognized in the top five percent of undergraduate online programs,” said Dave Cillay, vice president of WSU Academic Outreach & Innovation. “This recognition is a public affirmation of the great work being accomplished at WSU. I am so proud of our faculty and staff who work so hard to extend access to our courses to students around the world.”

WSU’s Global Campus offers 10 undergraduate and 12 graduate degrees in many disciplines, as well as numerous minors and certificates. New degrees this year include a BS in Economic Sciences and an MS in Software Engineering. A highly-anticipated BS in Data Analytics is set to launch in the fall of 2017, and additional degree programs are currently in development.

As the name implies, Global Campus enrolls students from throughout the U.S. and around the world. Online students engage with the WSU community through unique extracurricular opportunities including an online student government, face-to-face gatherings, and the Global Connections program, which hosts enriching online educational and cultural events.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Long flight leads to homey welcome

Heather Conley visits WSUOutside Van Doren Hall are, from left, Heather Conley, advisor Kathreen Miller and Heather’s mother, Janet.

She was fed up with overcrowded colleges, poor service and uncaring staff. What the Anaheim, Calif., resident really wanted was a homey feeling and a supportive university.

Then Heather Conley saw a TV ad for Washington State University. The ad showed WSU’s world-class research activities, but what really got her attention were the bucolic Pullman campus, the historic buildings, and the warm welcoming atmosphere.

Heather signed up for WSU’s online Global Campus, and discovered that community values can indeed travel over the internet.

“It’s been so easy here,” said Heather, who is majoring in accounting. “The sense of community means I get the same support I would if I were based on campus. My advisor has been really informative, and I knew if I ever had a problem I could just contact someone to get help.”

Heather was so impressed with WSU faculty and staff that in June she and her mother, Janet, flew up to Pullman to visit the campus. They saw the grizzly bears, bought Cougar shirts at The Bookie and had ice cream at Ferdinand’s.

Afterward, they stopped by Van Doren Hall, where they chatted with Heather’s academic advisor, Kathreen Miller, as well as Debbie O’Donnell, director of marketing and student services, and Kelly Newell, director of outreach and program development. Kelly—as if to exemplify Pullman’s small-town feeling—had just watered the flowers on Van Doren’s porch, and was carrying a watering can.

“I came here to get a better connection with the school,” Heather said. “Now I can feel its full effect. I can feel a sense of purpose and know that this is something I really want to achieve.”

Heather’s visit had another powerful effect: She decided to move out of California. She’s transferring to WSU Pullman next year.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Grad launches nonprofit to help moms

Hope Evans1In her day job, Hope Evans is a copywriter who helps well-off couples take luxurious vacations at Caribbean resorts. After work, Hope helps a different clientele: struggling single moms. On Mother’s Day 2016, she launched a nonprofit called Hope for Single Moms, which offers funding, resources, opportunities for spiritual growth, and education.

Hope is a single mom who had long considered helping others like herself. In January 2015, she enrolled in the online strategic communications master’s program offered through The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. That decision brought both inspiration and empowerment.

More...

Inspiration came when she realized that balancing education, work and child care is especially tough for single mothers.

“The demands of a toddler far outweigh the demands of master’s degree—or pretty much anything else in life,” she said. “It made me realize the lack of resources and support services available for single mothers.”

Empowerment came from her strategic communication courses.

“The program helped me focus and fine-tune the ideas I already had for the nonprofit,” she said. “It reached far beyond traditional communication methods, and taught me how to be a designer, a digital communicator, a researcher, a psychologist—a CEO of my own communication business.”

Hope chose WSU’s program based on first-hand experience. The Lynnwood, Wash., resident earned her bachelor of communication from WSU Pullman in 2007: “I know that WSU has one of the top communication programs in the nation, so when I decided to pursue my master's, WSU was the first, and only, place I looked.”

She finished the online master’s program in a year, and with a 4.0 GPA. Her degree, she said, has created new career options. “Equipped with this master’s, I now feel more marketable as a writer and communicator,” she said. “I’m ready to start a new adventure that allows me to unify writing and serving others—that’s why I’m here.”

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Degree gives her room to move

Global Campus graduate Sarah BottomsAs a space planner for the University of Washington, Sarah Bottoms was responsible for 20 million square feet at three campuses. But, when she wanted to advance, she hit a wall.

“In order to make it very far in the state system,” she said, “you have to have a bachelor’s degree.”

In 2011, she enrolled at Central Washington University. Then her husband, Brent, got a job as a prosecutor for Pacific County, and moved her and their three children to Raymond, Wash., a tiny community far from any universities.

“I needed a highly rated program that I could do from home,” she said. She chose Washington State University Global Campus.

More...

WSU’s online program is challenging, she said. “At a brick and mortar school, you can show up, you don’t need to always post on a discussion board,” she said. “At WSU Global, I had to write everything—my writing skills have really increased.”

Bottoms earned her 2016 bachelors in social sciences, with a minor in American Indian studies. On May 2, just two days after attending the Global Campus commencement celebration in Seattle, she started a new job as a facility senior planner for the state Department of Corrections.

“I’ll be in charge of all the lease space in the state,” she said, “designing new lease spaces and doing renovations.”

Also attending the Seattle celebration were her children, husband, and her mother, Lisa Johnston, who was brimming with pride: “WSU is a known university,” Johnston said, “it’s a respected university, and it’s a respected university degree.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Student wins contest, trip to Geneva

Kari Whitney presentationKari Whitney is livestreamed into WSU Pullman.

     On April 8, she sent her teenage daughter to a Comicon convention, her husband to visit his brother, and the dog on a doggy playdate. The only thing she forgot was to close the windows.
     That became important about 5:15 p.m. that day, when WSU Global Campus student Kari Whitney learned she and her team had won the university’s Global Case Competition. She let out a piercing squeal. “My windows were open,” she said, “and I can only imagine what the neighbors might have thought!”
     The annual Case Competition brings together five teams of WSU students to solve a pressing problem. Each team comprises five students. This year’s focus was arbitrary detention in the U.S., and the top prize was a trip to Geneva to present solutions to United Nations representatives.
More...      Kari, a humanities major, presented online from her home in Tacoma. WSU Global Connections, which helps online students participate in WSU activities, livestreamed her segment into a packed WSU Pullman auditorium, and over YouTube.
     Most teams focused on immigrants and refugees. Kari’s team, Dignity Before Detention, looked at the inequity of jailing the poor because they couldn’t afford small fines, or to rent an ankle monitor.
     “Since my contributions would be webcast,” Kari said, “I scripted myself and rehearsed repeatedly in front of a camera, occasionally sending a recording to my teammates for critique.”
     During her time at WSU Global Campus, Kari has also been a student senator, and won a WSU Center for Civic Engagement award for writing about food bank clients. She’s highly organized, and like most Global Campus students, skilled at using technology to communicate.
     “Kari was incredibly effective,” said teammate Margaret Wyckoff. “Once our connection went out. While I looked at what we were going to cover, she made an entire video of her part, uploaded it to YouTube and sent it to us. And it was really good.”
     Teammate Kasey Markland said Kari was expert at collaborating over the Internet. “She would do the presentation in a way where we could see her, the presentation and her comments simultaneously.”
     Kari heard about her win from the YouTube livestream. After startling the neighbors, she immediately texted her husband and daughter: “I'm going to Geneva!!!”
     Her husband was delighted, but her daughter, Helen, was overjoyed. “We’re nothing if not a practical family,” Kari said. “Helen was ecstatic that my travel to Geneva might result in the appropriation of Swiss chocolate for her.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Building better lives for widows, orphans

Francoise Gakuba     A decade ago, Francoise Gakuba came to the U.S. from Rwanda. She already had a food science degree from the University of Burundi, but wanted to better help her native county.
     “Households in Rwanda lack infrastructure, such as clean water, electricity, refrigeration systems, that support food safety,” she said. “I want to teach them food safety and management skills to help them create projects that generate money.”
     In spring 2014, the Seattle resident enrolled in Washington State University’s online master's in agriculture, food science and management option. The program, offered through WSU Global Campus, combines food science with executive management courses.
More...      “Finding the combination of science and management was a good move,” Gakuba said. “This program enhanced my confidence in the area of food safety, and gave me the skills I need to help communities in developing countries.”
     Gakuba made a trip back to Rwanda in 2014 and worked alongside the non-profit group Equipping, Restoring, Multiplying Rwanda (www.ermrwanda.org). The group, managed by her husband, is helping the country recover from the 1994 genocide in which 800,000 Tutsi men, women, and children were killed, as well as thousands of Hutus who opposed the massacres. Gakuba’s specific focus is on widows and orphans.
     “My role is oriented toward food safety, product development and training to help widows develop small-scale businesses to generate income,” she said. “The organization has a vocational school for them and we are working on starting a culinary class, which will include food safety education.”
     ERM Rwanda also lets Americans sponsor widows and orphans. During her 2014 trip, Gakuba collected information about food safety education needs, and helped families figure out how to use their sponsorship stipend, which is $40 a month for widows, and $35 for orphans.
     Without training, she said, families often decide to spend that money on immediate needs, instead of investing it for future profit.
     “I motivated four families to identify their priorities and use their sponsorship wisely by choosing a feasible project,” she said. “As a result, two were able to buy land to be able to farm, and the other two were able to get running water with the plan to sell the clean water to neighbors. I also helped teach teenagers about the Bible and personal hygiene.”
     Barbara Rasco is Gakuba’s advisor at WSU. “Francoise is dedicated to helping improve the lives of families through better health and food safety practices in the home,” Rasco said. “She is focused on making the world a better place in the best tradition of a land-grant university.”

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Two students make Case contest finals

Kari Whitney and Victoria ButtressKari Whitney, left, and Victoria Buttress.

For the first time, two WSU Global Campus students are finalists in the Global Case Competition. Each is on one of five teams selected to solve a global issue. This year’s topic is arbitrary detention in the United States.

Kari Whitney and Victoria Buttress are the two finalists. Kari will be presenting remotely, and Victoria is coming to Pullman.

“While I am still just beginning to understand what arbitrary detention is, I am thrilled to have teased out some of its weighty issues and come up with some quite workable solutions,” said Kari, a Tacoma resident majoring in humanities. She’s working with students who have chemical engineering, economics, and political science backgrounds. “Together, we make a strong team,” she said.

Victoria, a human development major from Turlock, Calif., also praised the diversity of the teams. “The way the competition is set up—to include students at all levels and all backgrounds—is absolutely brilliant,” she said. “If I weren't graduating in December, I would definitely enter the competition next year too.”

The winning team will go to Geneva this fall to present its solutions to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

“As an undergrad student,” Victoria said, “this opportunity is almost unheard of!”

The final presentations start at 3 p.m. (PT) April 8, and Global Campus students are invited to watch them live. Register here.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Student uses writing skills to help hungry

Kari Whitney     The stories compress long pain into brief paragraphs.
     Bill tore out both kneecaps in a car crash when he was a teenager. “The doctors, they put the bones in the wrong places.” He’s 58 now. He wants to work as much as possible. Social Security says he’s working too much, and cut his benefits.
     Patti is a disabled senior who fled her abusive husband. Her son fled too. “My son was found dead and we don't know how it happened.” Then her car was stolen.
     There’s Rosemary, who takes care of 13 grandchildren. And Paul, a laid-off locksmith. And Debbie and Steve, who retired and were living in their van on $504 a month: “We were eating, but not a lot.”
     There are 562,000 stories like these; that’s how many people are helped annually by FISH Food Banks of Pierce County.
     To help share those stories, WSU Global Campus student Kari Whitney wrote a series of short profiles for the food banks’ newsletter and social media, changing some of the names. Her efforts brought her a Community Involvement Award from WSU’s Center for Civic Engagement. More...      “I was surprised and honored,” Whitney said. “They're using my materials to illustrate the wide range of food insecurity in our community and to encourage people to donate food, money, and time.”
     Whitney was nominated by Emily Happy, the food banks’ director of development and communication.
     “There is an unfortunate stigma associated with hunger, poverty and needing to ask for help. All too often, we see people in the parking lot in tears, about to go into the food bank for the first time, totally overwhelmed,” Happy said. “Stories like the ones Kari captured put a face to hunger and help remove the stigma.”
     Whitney is a Tacoma resident majoring in humanities, and an ASWSU Global student senator. She volunteered as part of a human development course on families in poverty.
     “I was sent out to interview clients to help the food bank explain to potential contributors why people needed food,” she said. “And, wow, people need food! We discussed national food insecurity in class, but I was surprised by the diversity of circumstances that brought people to the food banks.”
     While WSU students bring university-level skills to community groups, said Erin McIlraith, the Center for Civic Engagement’s marketing and communication coordinator, the benefit is mutual. “Community organizations also provide a hands-on learning experience that students cannot get through standard coursework,” McIlraith said.
     Along with her community involvement, Whitney is also a senator in the online student government.
     “I thought this would be a clock-in, clock-out thing for me when I first signed into Blackboard. However, many classes include weekly discussion threads that require original posts and substantive replies, and I found that my classmates were real people with fascinating perspectives, and I wanted to interact with them more,” she said.
     “It was a natural progression to start attending webinars and Senate meetings and face-to-face events.”