WSU Vancouver to Graduate More Than 900 Students at 2013 Commencement
VANCOUVER, Wash. – Washington State University Vancouver will graduate 906 students at its 2013 commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. May 11 at the Sleep Country Amphitheater. Chancellor Mel Netzhammer will preside over the ceremony. Tony Rojas, president of Slalom, LLC, and member of the Washington State University Foundation Board of Governors, will deliver the keynote address.
BACKGROUND ON THE CLASS OF 2013
The graduating class of 2013 is represented by 13 doctoral candidates in the areas of anthropology, education, environmental and natural resource sciences, and psychology.
The 133 master’s candidates will receive degrees in accounting, anthropology, business administration, computer science, education, engineering and technology management, environmental science, history, mechanical engineering, nursing, psychology, public affairs and teaching.
The remaining 760 bachelor’s candidates will receive degrees in anthropology, biology, business administration, computer science, criminal justice, digital technology and culture, education, electrical engineering, English, environmental science, history, human development, humanities, mechanical engineering, nursing, political science, psychology, public affairs, social sciences or sociology.
AWARDS AND HONORS
2013 Chancellor’s Award for Student Achievement
Santos-Pinacho, Blankenship and Pimentel
Monica Santos-Pinacho is a student leader, student advocate, student employee and mentor for future students. She expects excellence of herself, as demonstrated by the 3.8 cumulative GPA she earned while working 20+ hours per week in one of her many campus jobs including Office of Student Involvement student intern, Cougar Center staff member and lead on many campus events.
For the last three years, Monica led College Goal Sunday, an event that helps high school students and their parents complete financial aid paperwork. Thanks to her leadership and community connections, WSU Vancouver hosts one of the largest College Goal Sunday workshops in the state and boasts the largest Hispanic attendance. Monica has also been involved in the HB1079 Coalition—a statewide coalition to support undocumented students. She co-led the organization of two Southwest Washington HB1079 trainings.
Monica’s future is bright. She aspires to work in Washington, D.C., perhaps with the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. She has a real passion for access to higher education and serving underrepresented communities. Wherever she lands, those she leaves behind at WSU Vancouver will certainly say one day, “I knew Monica when…”
2013 President’s Award for Student Leadership
Michael Blankenship has never let his part-time job, double-degree studies or multiple campus positions prevent him from excelling as a student leader.
Michael transferred to WSU Vancouver from Clark College in 2010 and immediately began helping peers through his role as student diversity intern. Michael continued this dedication to diversity through his work with the LGBTQA Outreach Committee, membership in the Cougar Pride club and involvement with the MOSAIC Planning Committee, all while maintaining a 3.86 GPA. Through his role as lead ambassador, Michael often gave campus tours for prospective students, legislators, public officials and most recently a small delegation of higher education colleagues from Germany.
Michael has been praised for his efforts to empower other students to become engaged in their education. He served on the ROAR New Student Orientation Planning Committee and was responsible for managing the Freshman Orientation Team. His innovative ideas and positive attitude made him an invaluable student leader who consistently dedicated his efforts to enriching student life on campus.
2013 Students’ Award for Teaching Excellence
Ron Pimentel, clinical assistant professor of marketing and faculty director for the professional sales program, provides students with the tools necessary to excel in and out of the business world.
He has served as the faculty advisor to the WSU Vancouver chapter of DECA since its formation in 2010 and has advised students in multiple sales competitions including the Western States Collegiate Sales Competition and the National Collegiate Sales Competition. His students have lauded him for the active role he plays in encouraging them to participate in competitions and for his mentorship throughout the process.
Through such roles, Pimentel motivates his students to seek an education that goes beyond the requirements of the classroom. He teaches marketing, sales and consumer behavior through a hybrid-learning model that mimics success in sales. He is known for teaching performance-ready sales skills that enable students to sell products and services with confidence and passion once they enter the workplace.
With his dedication to WSU Vancouver and his commitment to providing support for career building opportunities, Pimentel’s ability to inspire and motivate his students is a sales pitch all its own.
ABOUT THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Tony Rojas is President of Slalom, LLC, the parent company for Slalom Consulting, a national business management and technology consulting firm; Two Degrees, a national accounting and finance professional services firm; and mLevel, a software-as-a-service product group focused on the casual learning market. Headquartered in Seattle, the company has 12 offices across the U.S. employing more than 2,300 professionals and staff.
Prior to his current role at Slalom, Rojas served as president and Co-CEO of Corbis, one of the largest visual solutions providers in the world. He led a workforce of more than 1,000 employees with offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Rojas received a bachelor of arts in business administration from WSU and currently serves on the Washington State University Foundation Board of Governors. Rojas’s passion for technology, education and diversity has guided his ongoing involvement with WSU and dedication to helping students.
The Sleep Country Amphitheater is located at 17200 NE Delfel Road, Ridgefield. Parking and gates open at 11 a.m. on commencement day. The seating area opens at 11:30 a.m. Concessions will be available. Commencement is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.
The Sleep Country Amphitheater is a covered outdoor venue. Please be aware that umbrellas are not allowed in the venue. Golf cart and wheelchair service will be provided to guests who need assistance. Accommodations for deaf and hearing-impaired guests will be available. Sign language interpreters will be on hand in a designated area and amplification devices will be available at the information booth.
More information about WSU Vancouver’s 2013 commencement ceremony can be found at: vancouver.wsu.edu/commencement
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Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communications, 360-546-9601, email@example.com