Monday, November 23, 2015

Musical mash-up at grad receptions

IMG_0237At Washington State University commence- ments, the musicians play Pomp and Circumstance. But at WSU Global Campus pre-commencement receptions, there’s not much pomp, and the circumstances are more eclectic than classical.

That’s because the Global Campus student government, which organizes the Pullman and Seattle events, lets students choose their favorite songs, then assembles them into a wide-ranging playlist: Classic rock. Contemporary country. Pop. R&B, hip-hop, and the uniquely peculiar Dead Milkmen.

Some songs inspire: “Today is where your book begins/The rest is still unwritten.”

Some songs empower: “We ride and never worry about the fall/I guess that's just the cowboy in us all.”

And some may comfort those with average grades: “Happiness on earth/Ain't just for high achievers.”

The auditory free-for-all started last spring, when ASWSU Global decided to better tailor the receptions to the students’ tastes.

“They’re all sharing this incredible sense of pride and accomplishment,” said ASWSU Global liaison CeCe Smith. “We thought they should be able to share their music too.”

The diverse music reflects the diverse student body, Smith said. “Our students have a wide range of cultural and professional backgrounds,” she said. “It's one of the benefits of Global Campus courses: Students learn from their classmates as well as their professors.”

Does that make up for hearing Glenn Miller segue into Van Halen into Tim McGraw into Bon Jovi?

“These folks are WSU graduates,” she said. “They know how to embrace differences—and find beauty in unexpected places.”

--Richard H. Miller/WSU Global Campus

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Free tickets spread the power of crimson

Angi and Jim DavisJim and Angi Davis at the WSU Pullman tailgate party.

WSU Global Campus students were recently immersed in Cougar spirit—complete with knuckle-biting plays, screaming fans, and glorious victories—thanks to free football game tickets from the student government.

ASWSU Global usually hosts skiing events, zoo visits, tailgate parties, the Tacoma Rendezvous, and graduation receptions, all funded by student activity fees. This fall, the student government voted to give away about 200 tickets to four away games, Homecoming and the Apple Cup.

Shandie Morrison got tickets to see the Cougs battle the Ducks in Eugene, Ore. She had never been to a WSU game before. “It was a night I will never forget,” said the social sciences major from Vancouver, Wash. “My husband and I got decked out in Coug gear, and screamed and cheered while standing in the middle of a sea of Ducks.”

The game went into overtime, then double-overtime before WSU made an interception to win, 45-38. “After the game I have never been high-fived and hugged by so many strangers in my life,” Morrison said.


Angi Davis, an MBA student from Snoqualmie, Wash., was already a dyed-in-the-wool Coug when she got tickets to the Homecoming game, where the Cougs beat Oregon State, 52-31. Davis’ husband, Jim, is a former Cougar defensive back, and her daughter is a WSU cheerleader. “I love WSU,” Davis said. “Free tickets or not.”

Love, however, has a flip side: In the Davis household, there’s an edict against a color associated with a rival school. “We seriously own no purple,” Angi Davis said. “When they were younger, the girls weren’t allowed to buy clothes in any shade of purple. I am not allowed to plant purple flowers in the summer.”

Mollie Erickson, an accounting major from Spokane, still allows purple in her house—but maybe not for long. Her conversion to Coug-mania started with last year’s ASWSU Global Homecoming party and barbecue. Then there was January’s free skiing night, followed by free tickets to this fall’s Homecoming game.

“These events have made my whole family into Cougars,” Erickson said. “My husband just bought a Cougar cap. And my daughters now say they want to go to WSU too.”

For Sarah Gardner, a psychology major who came to Homecoming from Sammamish, Wash., the ticket giveaway was less about gridiron clashes and more about the softer side of Cougar spirit:

“I think these events just add to the whole feeling of what WSU is about,” she said, “warm and welcoming and inviting.”

Thursday, September 17, 2015

WSU Global Campus is on your team

Sina staff support WSU Global Campus is dedicated to helping students achieve their goals. In addition to the many resources offered by the entire WSU system, Global Campus provides its own resources. Here are a few: 

Personal advisors. Your advisor is your personal navigator on your academic journey.

eTutoring. Get free unlimited online tutoring on everything from accounting to writing. eTutoring website

Virtual mentors. The VMs are in many courses to help with non-academic issues. Most are WSU Global Campus seniors or graduates.

Tech support. 24/7 help from our tech support office.

Career help. Map out your future with a  free advice from WSU career counselor Chris Miller.

Proctored exams. Global Campus staff offer an online proctored exam service.

Other support. Here's a link to our support services staff.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Grad now helps run Seattle’s largest hotel

Burl Battersby-wsmBurl Battersby had been in Japan a day and a half. He was 18, an exchange student from Arizona. Someone handed him a book and asked him to read it to a classroom of 14-year-olds to improve their English pronunciation.

“I think the book was Greek fables,” he said. “I had trouble saying some of the names.”

When he finished, he heard the desks shaking. Three thoughts went through his mind: 1) Wow, this must be the Japanese version of applause. 2) This is great, I really like teaching English. 3) It’s an earthquake!

The ground stopped moving, but Burl’s desire to become a teacher had taken root. In so much of life, however, inspiration is seismic but accomplishment is incremental.


To pay for college, Battersby got a room-service job at a Scottsdale resort. He got promoted—got promoted again and again—working at top Arizona hotels, the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, the Sheraton Seattle.

By 2006, Battersby’s teaching goal had been derailed by success. He was director of Six Sigma at the Sheraton Seattle. He had a dream job—helping re-envision the future of 1,100 hotels worldwide—in a dream location: A marble-floored high-rise next to the convention center in a city vibrant with technology and aerospace.

In 2007, the Sheraton added a new tower and became Seattle’s largest hotel, with 1,236 rooms, 44 meeting spaces and two posh ballrooms. “This a city in itself,” Battersby said, “with upward of 4,000 people here on a given night, plus 500 or so associates, who represent almost every culture you can imagine.”

The new tower required new employees, many of whom spoke little English. Battersby saw a chance. He got an ESL certificate, and taught hundreds of classes in the basement cafeteria.

Re-inspired, Battersby enrolled at Washington State University Distance Degree Programs, now called WSU Global Campus. By 2012, he had earned his bachelor’s in humanities—“it gave me a global perspective, and helps me work better with the different cultures here”—and went on to earn his 2013 MBA online from WSU.

Last year, Battersby became director of rooms at the Sheraton, where he oversees nearly every aspect of the guest experience. Also last year, he finally became a faculty member. He teaches hospitality business management classes for Skagit Valley College’s online program.

Did the reality match the dream? “It’s exactly what I wanted it to be,” Battersby said.

Battersby plans to start his doctorate —perhaps moving to Pullman—in the next few years, then become a full-time professor.

For now, he’s delighted to be both a teacher and a hotel executive. Each, after all, involves sharing knowledge. And, in each role, he offers people the same advice he’s followed for 25 years, advice that applies whether you envision yourself running an opulent hotel or a college classroom: “Don’t lose sight of your end goal,” he said. “I never gave up. Don’t give up.”

--Richard Miller

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Top tips from three amazing grads

tips from three gradsGlobal Campus graduates, from left, Katie Walsh, Paul Cummins and Cynetha Blacketer.

To have a successful semester, says one WSU Global Campus graduate, remember these three words: “Plan, plan, plan!”

Katie Walsh graduated this past spring with a bachelor’s in business. She was an ASWSU Global senator and won WSU’s 2015 President’s Award for Leadership.

“I once took seven classes in one semester,” she says. “I created a spreadsheet to track the assignments and when they were due. By putting all this information side by side, I was able to schedule the time I needed to complete the assignments.”

Another 2015 business graduate, Paul Cummins, used a similar strategy to earn 74 credits in a single year—while working full-time, raising two kids, coaching his eldest son’s basketball team, maintaining a 3.6 GPA, and running an occasional 200-mile relay race

He listed all his due dates in a spreadsheet, and each week reviewed the spreadsheet to make sure he was on track. “You never want to be behind,” he says. “If you get a little behind, you have to work so much harder to get caught up.” Cummins also recommends “grouping” courses: Taking classes with similar curriculums so you can apply concepts learned in one class to another.

Global Campus graduate Cynetha Blacketer also advises being organized, but added another tip, perhaps related to her 2015 psychology degree: “Pick one day a week when you will not deal with schoolwork,” says Blacketer, who also was a student senator. “This helps you decompress and avoid the dreaded burnout that we all experience at some point. We all learn in a specific way and at a specific pace, so pace yourself in the manner that best works for you.”

Friday, August 7, 2015

Global Campus goes beyond classroom

Money Talk video promoGoing to a university can mean more than going to classes. That’s why Global Campus offers you extracurricular activities and events that range from tailgate parties to guest lectures to fascinating webinars.

In general, in-person events are organized by the student government, ASWSU Global, and online events are organized by the Global Connections program.

You can find a list of ASWSU Global events here.

Global Connections has just opened registration for its first three online events this fall: how to get the most financial aid (see video, above), a webinar on the human-animal bond, and a virtual 5K run. Check out the website.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

WSU email changes; new name for zzusis

WSU Student Working on LaptopWSU has two big announcements for fall semester:

WSU email addresses changing.

  • Many email user names were “first.lastname.” That’s changed. All user names are now the network ID user name—the same name you use for zzusis and Blackboard. (If that’s already your email user name, then it hasn’t changed.)
  • The word “email” has been dropped from “”
  • Example? If you used to log in as, you’ll now log in as simply
  • Starting Aug. 24, all official WSU email messages will be sent to your WSU email account. If you had a different account listed as “preferred,” that account will be automatically switched to your WSU account. Be sure to use that WSU account.
  • Emails sent to your old address will be forwarded.

These changes include a bonus: When you log in to, you can get Microsoft Office for free.

Zzusis has been renamed.

Zzusis is now called myWSU. None of the content is changing, just the name. If you go to zzusis, you’ll be automatically redirected, but you might as well bookmark the correct URL:

Thursday, July 2, 2015

U.S. News: Global Campus in top 20

US-News-option3U.S. News & World Report has ranked
WSU Global Campus
20th in the nation among online undergraduate degree programs.

The 2015 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs report rated 296 schools on four categories: student engagement, faculty credentials and training, peer reputation, and student services and technology. (Complete methodology here.) WSU Global Campus was awarded 91 out of 100 points in the category of faculty credentials and training.

“WSU faculty have always been the heart of our online program,” said Dave Cillay, WSU vice president in charge of the Global Campus. “They bring not only a profound understanding of their fields, but also a genuine commitment to helping students succeed.”

The Global Campus offers eight undergraduate and 12 graduate degrees, as well as undergraduate and graduate certificates. Global Campus students also engage with the WSU community through unique extracurricular options, such as an online student government, face-to-face gatherings, and the Global Connections program, which presents online educational and cultural events.

Last year’s U.S. News report ranked the Global Campus undergraduate program 21st in the nation.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New student government takes office

ASWSU Global leaders 2015

The new ASWSU Global student government is in place and ready to begin working for you. Want to know more about some of your classmates? Check out their brief bios. They’ll be organizing this series of fun events. You can get a quick look at past events in this YouTube video.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Global Campus ranked 12th in nation

     WSU Global Campus has been ranked the 12th best online university in the nation by The Best Schools organization.
     “We selected the best online colleges based on academic excellence, faculty credentials, student support, awards, rankings, and reputation,” said senior editor Brian Jenkins.
     In 2014, the group ranked WSU Global Campus as the best in Washington state.
     Wondering about other Global Campus awards? Select the “More” button below for a long list.

· Undergraduate program ranked No. 20 in nation (top 10 percent) by U.S. News and World Report
· OMBA and EMBA ranked 21st in nation by U.S. News

· Best in State from Edudemic
· CrimJ Bachelors best nonprofit in nation by Criminal Justice degree Online
· Top online college in Washington state by The Best Schools.
· Global Campus ranked 12th in nation for graduation rate by Online Schools Center
· Graduate degree programs in business and engineering ranked third in nation for veterans by U.S. News & World Report
· Bachelor’s degree program ranked eighth in nation for veterans by U.S. News & World Report.
· Social Sciences degree program ranked ninth in the nation for affordability by the Social Science Careers website.
· Criminal justice program ranked 10th in the nation by Create a Career.
· Criminal justice program named sixth in the nation by
· Undergraduate program ranked ninth in nation by The Best Schools.
· Undergraduate program ranked No. 21 in nation (top 10 percent) by U.S. News and World Report.
· OMBA program ranked seventh by U.S. News and World Report.
· Engineering program ranked 21st by U.S. News and World Report.

· The Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education by the Sloan Consortium.
· Online MBA ranked first in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.
· Third in the nation for online bachelor’s degree in psychology from
· Third in nation for online sport management master’s by TheBestSchools.
· Ninth best public online college by Affordable Colleges Online.

· Third place from TheBestSchools for online criminal justice bachelor’s degree.
· Sixth place for supporting the military by the 2012 Guide to Online Schools.
· Ninth place from SuperScholar for undergraduate business degree.
· Seventh place for the bachelor’s degree in criminal justice by SuperScholar.

· Fourth place for the overall degree program by the SuperScholar website.
· Institution Achievement award by the National University Telecommunication Network.
· Sixth for student services by U.S. News and World Report.
· Online MBA program ranked first in admissions selectivity and third in student engagement and accreditation by U.S. News.
· Fourth in nation for online degree programs by SuperScholar.

· Center for Transforming Student Services Innovation Award for Virtual Mentor Program.

· Institution Achievement Award from the National University Telecommunications Network.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

GC student wins leadership award

Katie WalshWSU Global Campus student Katie Walsh has won WSU’s 2015 President’s Award for Leadership, which honors those who “demonstrate exceptional leadership and service to the university.”

“When I heard the news, I was ecstatic,” said Walsh, an ASWSU Global senator who is graduating next month. “It is such an honor to be seen as a leader in my community.”

Among those nominating her was John Larson, ASWSU Global president. “She has been a tremendous asset through her recruiting efforts to bring needed talent to the organization,” he said. “We will miss her cheerful nature and resourcefulness.”


Nominator Kelsea Holbrook, ASWSU Global vice president, praised Walsh for launching a ski event for Global Campus students. “Katie wanted a face-to-face event for the students of Eastern Washington,” Holbrook said. “Instead of just providing suggestions, she researched the feasibility of a skiing and tubing event at Mount Spokane and coordinated all the details.”

Walsh is chair of the ASWSU Global Technology Committee, ASWSU Global secretary and pro tempore treasurer, member of its Governing Documents Task Force, and on the Center for Civic Engagement Student Advisory Board. She is double-majoring in management operations and management information systems. The Redmond, Wash., resident will use her degree to find a management position integrating data analytics, internal auditing and compliance.

Walsh, along with her sister, two sons, and niece, will be attending the 5 p.m. April 23 awards ceremony at WSU Pullman. The rest of her family, she said, will be watching the live-stream presentation, which will be available at this link.

Monday, April 13, 2015

CrimJ student helps run Amazon security

Matthew NugentThe burglar alarm awoke 10-year-old Matt Nugent. His mom grabbed him and his sister, barricaded them all in the master bedroom.

“There was a sense of panic,” said Nugent, now 25. “Then I looked out the back window and saw two patrol cars and immediately knew everything was going to be OK.” The alarm turned out to be false—the paperboy had slung the Sunday edition into the front door—but Nugent had found his passion: To work in law enforcement.

As a teenager, Nugent put aside the siren call of law enforcement, and considered more lucrative careers. But when he was 18, the police arrived again: Nugent was in community college and working as a waiter. An officer stopped by for a to-go order.

“I went up to him and said, ‘How would someone get into law enforcement?’” The officer didn’t hesitate. “Let me take you on a ride-along,” he replied.


Nugent never turned back. He transferred to Bellevue College to study criminal justice. He got a job monitoring alarms at Microsoft’s global security operations center, and worked his way up to shift manager. After his Microsoft contract ended, he enrolled in WSU Pullman’s criminal justice program.

Before he could move to Pullman, Amazon came knocking. They needed someone to build its global security operations center for corporate facilities. Nugent was 23. No way could he pass up that chance. He quickly re-applied to WSU’s Global Campus and started as an online student in January 2013.

Nugent spent 11 months creating the security center for Amazon. It monitors 175 offices worldwide and responds to about 10,000 alarms per week, dispatching either local law enforcement or on-site security. Most are minor breaches, such as people using an emergency exit or not swiping their security badges. But Nugent and his team also deal with bomb threats, medical emergencies and building evacuations. “We’re training for the absolute worst, the worst of the worst,” he said, “things like active shooters.”

Nugent also helps out protect his own community as a volunteer with the Kirkland Police Department. He started in 2008 with the department’s Police Explorers program, which introduces teens to law enforcement, and is now a civilian advisor, acting as liaison between the department and the program.

Nugent will graduate this spring, and has begun applying for master’s degrees in emergency management, criminal justice, and cybersecurity.

“I’d like to work toward obtaining a position in local or federal law enforcement,” he said. “My folks think I’m absolutely crazy to leave something like what I have. But I want to follow my passion and my heart.”