Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WSU Online launches Seattle grad party

erica vieiraWSU Program Coordinator Erica Vieira is the advisor to the WSU online student government and a 2011 WSU Online graduate.

WSU Online grad partyIn 1994, the newsletter for WSU distance students announced a pilot program to create “electronic-mail stations” in 10 cities. An opinion column recommended buying a WSU Online Seattle eventcomputer— so long as the modem wasn’t faster than 9,600 baud. And the cover showed the distance program’s first graduation reception, which drew three out of the five spring semester graduates to the Pullman campus.

Today, email is ubiquitous, young people might assume “baud” refers to Shakespeare, and WSU Online routinely welcomes hundreds of students to its face-to-face events. On April 28, WSU Online is adding one more, the first graduation reception in King County. WSU President Elson S. Floyd will address the Seattle gathering.

King County holds the largest number of WSU Online students, more than 400, said Erica Vieira, program coordinator for the online student government, which organizes and funds student events. Neighboring Snohomish and Pierce counties are second and third, respectively.

“Traveling to Pullman during graduation season can be quite stressful for West Side students,” Vieira said. “The ASWSU Online student government wanted to help those students share this wonderful moment of pride and accomplishment.”

One graduate didn’t choose between the Pullman and Seattle celebrations. She’s coming to both.

“I have family on both sides of the mountains,” said Darene Follett, of Anacortes, Wash. “I wanted to thank them all for being my inspiration, and for letting me use the time I would otherwise be spending with them to fulfill my life-long dream.”

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