Washington State University to Honor 337 Graduates in Spokane Ceremonies
Susan Nielsen, Washington State University Intercollegiate College of Nursing, 509/991-9151 (cell), email@example.com
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Washington State University Spokane will celebrate its 14th class of graduates when diplomas are handed out Friday, May 7, at WSU's Spokane commencement ceremony. The program, which includes graduates of the WSU Intercollegiate College of Nursing and some programs of Eastern Washington University, begins at 2 p.m. at the Spokane Opera House.
State Sen. Lisa Brown will serve as the commencement speaker. Brown served two terms in the Washington House, and is finishing her second term in the Senate. She is a ranking member on the Rules Committee, has served in Senate leadership and is a member of the Governorís Sustainable Washington Advisory Panel.
Among her awards for public service are the Liberty Bell Award, assuring equal justice for all (2002), the Housing Hero Award (2001) from the Spokane Low Income Housing Consortium and Washington Low Income Housing Congress and the Women of Achievement in Government Award from the Spokane YWCA (1997). She holds a doctorate and masterís degree in economics from the University of Colorado and a bachelorís degree from the University of Illinois. Brown is an associate professor at Gonzaga University in the organizational leadership program.
Immaculee Mukakalisa, who will receive a bachelorís degree in nursing from WSU, will serve as student speaker. Mukakalisa, originally from Rwanda, came to the United States in 1998, first living in Idaho and then enrolling at WSU in Pullman. She chose nursing as a profession, she said, because first and foremost she wanted to serve people and help them be healthy. She worked hard to learn English so she could begin taking the courses she needed to become a nurse.
WSU Spokane will honor 146 students earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture, construction management, criminal justice, exercise science, electrical engineering, health policy and administration, human nutrition, interior design, landscape architecture, speech and hearing sciences, teaching and technology management, including 12 receiving a postgraduate school psychology certification from WSU and EWU.
Another 72 students will receive a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. ďPharmacy students are entering an excellent job market, with average starting salaries of $72,000 to $75,000 per year in a highly competitive market,Ē said Dana Lohrey, director of pharmacy student services. Given the national shortage of pharmacists, graduates are often offered signing bonuses, student loan repayment benefits and relocation packages. The department reports a 95-100 percent placement rate for its graduates for at least the last decade, and each of this yearís graduates either has a position or soon will have, Lohrey said.
The graduation honors 89 students receiving bachelor's degrees in nursing from the WSU Intercollegiate College of Nursing and its consortium partners EWU, Gonzaga University and Whitworth College. All baccalaureate nursing graduates receive joint degrees from WSU and from the institution at which they did their first two years of study. Sixteen students will receive a masterís degree in nursing from WSU.
Fourteen EWU students earning master's degrees in communication disorders who have studied in the joint WSU-EWU program will also be granted degrees at the commencement.
Faculty awards being recognized during the ceremony include Joseph Coyne, professor, health policy and administration, WSU Spokane Faculty Excellence Award; Louise Kaplan, assistant professor, nursing, WSU Vancouver, WSU Intercollegiate College of Nursing Excellence in Teaching Award; and Cynthia Corbett, associate professor, nursing, WSU Intercollegiate College of Nursing Excellence in Research Award.
Students being recognized with a WSU Presidentís Award include Stephanie Jaross, bachelorís degree in nursing (WSU); Emily Moses, masterís degree in interior design; and Heather Wagoner, masterís degree in technology management.
Notes to photographers and assignment editors:
10:00 a.m.: Commencement brunch. Visual/audio opportunities include presentation of WSU Cougar logo lapel pins to graduating students by WSU alumni (approx. 10:25 a.m.).
1:00-1:30 p.m.: Students are arriving for robing; may be able to pick up interviews on the fly.
1:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.: Students are not available for interviews; robing and ceremony in progress
1:55 p.m.: Faculty wearing full regalia will march from the music room (downstairs from main lobby) up the stairs into the main Opera House; bagpipers will play as faculty walk down the aisles in the Opera House.
1:55 p.m.: Students begin march into the Opera House across the breezeway, coming from the northwest quadrant of the Ag Trade Center; they will follow faculty into the Opera House.
Approximately 3:45 p.m.: Cougar mascot Butch comes onto the Opera House stage at the close of the ceremony to lead the recessional off; Butch stands at the door to greet the exiting graduates; great ďhigh fiveĒ shots with students and families.
4:00 p.m.: A postcommencement reception will be held at the Riverpoint campus in the lobby of the Health Sciences Building, 310 N. Riverpoint Blvd., with Butch also there for pictures.
College of Nursing news release on prospects for nursing graduates
WSU Spokane: www.spokane.wsu.edu
College of Nursing. www.nursing.wsu.edu