Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cougar pride: Resistance is futile

sheila carrigg     Sheila Carrigg was working with kids, and she got some kind of infection. Her clothes turned crimson and gray. Her head buzzed with the Cougar fight song. This peaceful preschool educator found herself smack-texting her four Husky siblings: “You’re going to get a beatdown.”
     It all started when she volunteered at a Mount Vernon, Wash., youth group. “More than 60 percent of the staff were WSU alumni,” she said. “It gets infectious when they’re all taking about Cougs this and Cougs that.”
     Each had a different degree, she said – “demonstrating the strength of WSU’s programs” – but they shared a contagious sense of camaraderie. “I wanted to be a real Coug,” she said.
     Once you’ve got Coug fever, there’s no turning back. Carrigg transferred to WSU Online from Skagit Valley College, and is earning a BA in human development. That decision has helped her move from assistant teacher to center manager at Skagit/Islands Head Start in Mount Vernon.
     Carrigg takes one online course per semester, has a 3.73 GPA, and plans to graduate in August 2012. “Studying after a long day at work is more pleasant knowing I can go home, kick off the shoes, slip into PJs or sweats, settle into a comfy chair, and take breaks as often as necessary.”
     She enjoys interacting with her diverse classmates, both online and at such events as the Tacoma Rendezvous.
     “Everyone in the online program is focused and committed to earning their degrees,” she said. “WSU Online also works hard to provide social connections so non-traditional students can experience Cougar pride.”

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