Monday, May 3, 2010

She 'defines what it means to be a Coug'

      WSU Online student Sandy Thomas – who “defines what it means to be a Coug” – will be among 15 students honored as highlight students during spring commencement.
      “After nine years of hard work and commitment, graduation is finally here,” Thomas said. “To be recognized as a highlight student at commencement will make earning my degree even more special.”
      But Thomas will be more than recognized. As a highlight student, she’s in for some serious highlighting:
      She’ll sit in a front row during the May 8 ceremony at Beasley Coliseum. She’ll stand as her academic and volunteer achievements are described to the crowd. Her face will be shown on the giant monitors and on the live videostream.
      The Bellingham resident is earning her degree in social sciences with a minor in political science. She has a 3.94 GPA, and is graduating summa cum laude. She is married to Doug Thomas, a 1987 WSU graduate. “I want to hang my diploma next to my husband’s,” she said. Their daughter, Lauren, has enrolled as a freshman on the Pullman campus this fall.
      “On my first day as an academic advisor, Sandy came in to discuss her next semester,” said Craig Stephens, who has worked with Thomas for five years. “Her dedication to being successful in her classes and choosing courses that related to her personal goals was immediately apparent.” More...      Thomas is the second consecutive WSU Online student to be highlighted. In fall 2009, Debby Poris was honored. She had been student body president, and won both regional and national awards as an outstanding non-traditional student.
      Thomas will use her degree to further her philanthropic work, which includes volunteering at Bellingham High School and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and serving as a School Buddy Mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
      In 2009, her philanthropy helped her become the first WSU Online student to win WSU’s President’s Award, which honors leadership and community engagement.
      “She has truly spoiled our staff,” Bellingham Principal Steve Clarke said in his President’s Award nomination letter, citing her coordination of monthly luncheons that serve up to 100 staffers. “We are the envy of the other schools in town.”
      Thomas has also been an intern for U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash.
      “What made Sandy’s time with us exceptional was the amount she was able to give back to both the office and our constituents,” said her supervisor, Luke Loeffler.
      That internship was part of her Liberal Arts 497 course, taught by Carla Michaelsen. “Sandy Thomas exemplifies the best of an American spirit of giving back through dedication, perseverance and compassion,” Michaelsen said.
      Thomas is as dedicated to good causes as she is to her WSU studies, her academic advisor said.
      “With her devotion to her education, as well as her philanthropic and advocacy work, Sandy Thomas defines what it means to be a Coug,” Stephens said.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Sandy. Well done. Can't wait to meet you at the May Graduation Reception. ~ Debby