Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Twins following parallel paths

williams sisters cropped     In an online course, no one knows if you look different. They also don’t know if you look the same.
     For identical twins Katrina, in red, and Kanethia Williams, that’s a relief. In grade school, looking the same wasn’t so great. “Hey! Twin!” their classmates shouted. “Which one are you?”
     The sisters still lead twin lives. They live together in Federal Way, Washington, work for the same company and are both earning social sciences degrees through Washington State University’s online degree program. If a stranger calls one by the other’s name, they go with the flow. “We usually act like we know them, even if we don’t,” Katrina said.
     The Williamses, 25, grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and moved to Washington in 1996. Katrina attended Tacoma Community College. Kanethia went to Highline and Green River community colleges. When it came time to finish their university degrees, they returned to parallel paths, both enrolling in WSU Online.
     “With online classes, you can set your own schedule,” Katrina said. “We both wanted to study psychology and liked the flexibility of the WSU program.”
     Kanethia echoed that.
     “I enjoy being able to access my coursework any time of day,” she said. “I always recommend the program to other people.”
     The sisters both work online as guides for ChaCha, a free search engine for mobile users. When people call or text questions about any topic (Can you make pancakes in the microwave?1 Tell me a corny joke2), they look up answers on the Internet.
     After graduation, Katrina will still help people, but in a more transformative way.
     “I plan to work as a chemical dependency counselor,” she said. “I would like to get a master’s in social work or community counseling.”
     Kanethia hasn’t made up her mind about her career. But Katrina spoke for her: “She is considering the same career path as me.”


1Yes, but they won’t get brown.

2 A three-legged dog walks into an Old West saloon, goes to the bar and says: “I’m looking for the man who shot my paw.”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Grad learns that dreams within reach

We love to stay in touch with our grads. So we were delighted to receive a letter from Fred Misumi. Fred earned a 2005 business degree from WSU’s online program and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. Here are excerpts from his August letter to his academic advisor:
Fred Misumi
I just graduated from Pennsylvania State University MBA last week!  Ended with a GPA of 3.88, and have some recommendations set up for potentially pursuing Ph.D. in finance!
Right now, I am sorting out options for the next chapters of my life. One that looks appealing is to become a finance professor at a major university – which means that I'll likely have to get some teaching experience under my belt, and of course earn a Ph.D. at some reputable school.  Of course, another option is that my employer could move me up the totem-pole/food-chain as well.  But I'm not holding my breath for a promotion to fall into my lap.  I have to work hard at shaping my own destiny.
Once again, I have to thank you for your support and encouragement.  I still remember so clearly the time I asked you for input on taking 12 credits in a single term after acing the previous two terms with nine and six credits respectively. I took a great leap of faith and not only realized that I could do it, but that I could do even more. It was that stretching moment that has helped me to overcome the challenges I experienced in completing the MBA at Penn State. 
I have learned that I can do much more than I think I can, so long as I’m willing to strive for things beyond my comfort zone. What may seem like impossible goals to complacent people are actually realistic objectives for someone who has been striving and achieving goals in increasingly rapid succession.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Grad student helps redesign Sociology 430

Jennifer Murray Two professors team up with graduate student to offer revamped online sociology course. The story is in WSU Today.

'Americans get an F on marriage'

     The statistics are startling: More than 40% of all babies born in the United States are born to unmarried women, and the number of new marriages among American women over the age of 15 has declined by roughly 50% since 1960.
     "Americans get an F on marriage," says WSU Associate Professor of Anthropology, Dr. Nancy McKee, who will discuss the reasons behind the numbers at three free, non-credit events, open to alumni and current students.
     The October seminars will be held in Everett, Richland and Spokane. Alumni can get more details and register at the alumni events page. Students should go to the current events page.

More budget cuts. WSU President Elson S. Floyd discusses upcoming budget cuts in his Perspectives column.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Online fitness program named top value

fitness image

This Newsweek article on good values in online education highlights WSU-affiliated program that offers professional certificates in fitness.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Join fellow Cougs in the community

beach_header082813      What are you doing Oct. 2? How about going to the beach, or helping build a house?
     Clark County students are invited to join fellow Cougs for a beach cleanup at Vancouver Lake Park and Frenchmen’s Bar Park. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. with refreshments and visiting afterward. Kids are invited, and garbage bags and gloves will be provided.
     You can RSVP by email.
     Students in Cowlitz County can help build a house for Habitat for Humanity. The Kelso event has two shifts, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, and noon to 3:30 p.m.
     Bring work shoes, food and drink. For information, email Byron Rickert at, and list your shift preference.

Scholarship applications now available: The 2011-2012 admission and scholarship applications are now on the Web. January 31 is the deadline for completing the scholarship application.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Can the cutest baby get cuter? Yes.

talia2     Back in July, we posted a photo of Talia, the new daughter of WSU Online staffer Thomas Wilson and his wife, Naomi. We boldly claimed that  Talia was the cutest baby ever, since the dawn of civilization.
     Now Thomas and Naomi have justified our confidence, and our aesthetic judgment, by sending us a new photo, above.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fun, free, exciting events this weekend

Coming to Pullman this weekend for bowling and football? While you’re here, all WSU Online Students are invited to use the Student Recreation Center for free all day Saturday, September 11. Students must bring their CougarCard, and will have access to the full facility, including the swimming pool, cardio, weight room, racquetball, volleyball, basketball and more. If you stop by from 10-11 a.m., you can get a free Wellbeing T-shirt or travel mug.

Later Saturday, you can help establish a new WSU tradition. Before the game against Montana State, WSU Athletics invites Cougar alumni, students, fans, faculty, and staff to join the Cougar football players and coaches for the first “Cougar Pride Walk” at 1:30 p.m. Wear your crimson and bring your friends and family to help form a tunnel for the team to walk through from the Cougar Pride Statue to Hollingbery Fieldhouse.

The Cougar Pride Statue is next to the WSU Athletics Ticket Office (720 NE Stadium Way, Pullman WA 99164).

If you’re planning on coming to the game, act fast. The deal for discounted tickets ends today.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Grad earning masters in forensic psych

Heidi Hyatt WSU Online graduate Heidi Hiatt sent us a nice letter recounting her experiences at WSU, and updating us on her grad school studies in forensic psychology.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Thank you, WSU, for your part in giving me a solid foundation in criminal justice so that I could move on to the hybrid discipline of forensic psychology. All those nights I spent mulling over police ethics, public administration, and history, and all those days I was immersed in crime control theory, juvenile justice, and civil liberties have been worth it.

“The coursework plus the guidance of dedicated advisors and a dependable, caring administration made for a memorable experience that I highly recommend to others.”

You can read the rest of Heidi's letter here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Party in Pullman; bring the family

football classic     Next weekend, Sept. 10-11,  is Family Weekend and Future Cougar Day at WSU Pullman. Lots of fun activities are planned, including a Cougtastic game of Hula Hoop-hot potato.
     If you're a WSU Online student or guest, there's also bowling Friday night at Zeppoz. Here’s a map. Barbecue/picnic-style food will be provided at 5 p.m., and bowling begins at 7. Please let us know you’re coming.
     The next day, you can join fellow Cougs at Martin Stadium as WSU takes on Montana State. For information on discounted tickets, go to WSU Athletics.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New publication, Web site released

cybercougscreen The new and redesigned CyberCoug newsletter is out, but this time, it's only part of the story.
WSU Online's student government has also created a Web page, above, that includes new features, such as RSS feeds from WSU news sources, and links to videos. Please have a look and let us know what you think.