Monday, October 24, 2011

Spokane woman wants to keep it real

Emily photo-use thisChoosing an online degree program came down to one word: Legitimacy.
     “The fact that WSU’s online degree is considered the same as its on-campus degree is very important to me,” said Emily M. Carstens Namie as she sipped a 16-ounce triple Americano at a Spokane coffeehouse. “It’s about legitimacy. I wanted something legitimate, and for me that’s a real school with a real campus.”
     But a “real school” means more than alumni networks, football games and Cougar pride.
     “I also questioned how well other diplomas are received by real-world employers,” she said. “I just don’t think they’re quite as credible.”
     Emily is from The Dalles, Ore., and earned her associate’s degree from Columbia Gorge Community College. She moved to Spokane in 1998, worked in finance and human resources, then launched a private practice as a counselor/Reiki master. She was also a staffing coordinator and a legal assistant before deciding to push the boundaries of her life. She applied at WSU Online.
     “I was highly impressed with the degree of professionalism I received from the moment I inquired about the program,” she said, “and with how friendly and helpful people were.” More...     When she’s not busy maintaining her 3.93 GPA or working as a senator for WSU Online’s student government, Emily is learning to climb mountains and mentoring at-risk teens. She previously volunteered at Spokane’s East Central Community Center’s Starfish program, and still mentors teenagers.
     “My teenage years were tough and there were people in my life who helped me through it,” she said. “This is my way of paying it forward.” Emily has just begun a new volunteer role, answering calls at Spokane Mental Health’s First Call for Help hotline.
     Emily graduates in December 2012 with a B.A. in social sciences with an emphasis in psychology. Next on her educational to-do list: obtaining a master’s and a Ph.D. in forensic psychology.
     While she hasn’t settled on a specific career yet—“I’m letting the path unfold in front of me”—she has an excellent compass.
     “I want to add value to the people who come into my life. It’s a spiritual principle that I try to adhere to.”


  1. Every time she reaches her goals, she sets out for more challenging goals & always pushes her limits, personally, professionally, & spiritually. As one of the first troubled teens she helped mentor & raise, I can say, that I have yet to meet anyone who strived to push the envelope & stretch herself to her limits to achieve whatever goal she may currently be pursuing. Emily has always been such an inspiration to me, and I have always wanted to follow in her footsteps!

  2. Go Emily! I'm so proud to see another Coug pursuing a forensic psychology degree. I hope we can interest more Cougs in this field to the point that maybe WSU will be interested in offering such a master's degree. Keep up the awesome work!