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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences first-generation

Q&A with first-generation students

Hagedor, Burley, Rangel, and Wesley.A WSU system-wide celebration of National First-Generation Day on Monday, Nov. 8, honored first-generation students, faculty, and staff on each of our campuses. Meet four of our extraordinary CAS students:

Angela Hagedorn, a junior majoring in history; Brian Burley and Alma Rangel, both seniors majoring in psychology; and LaShay Wesley, a senior majoring in digital technology and culture. » More …

History first-gen grad honored for excellence

Jordan Frost.Washington educator Jordan Frost received the University’s inaugural First-Generation Alumni Excellence Award, presented by the Office of Academic Engagement (OAE). Frost earned two degrees at WSU—a BA in history in 2018, and a master’s in teaching in 2019. While an undergraduate in Pullman, he was elected and served as head of the Associated Students of Washington State University; as a graduate student, he was selected to serve on the WSU Board of Regents. » More …

Find what motivates you

Steve Garl with his family.WSU has been a major part of Steve Garl’s life from when he began his college career to his working life today. Throughout those more than four decades, another force has also always been there: family.

“My mom and dad played a big role in encouraging me to get my degree. I also wanted to be a good example to my siblings. I got a lot of support from all of them, and that went a long way.” » More …

McNair scholar bridges cultures in life, research

Lysandra PerezIt’s fall 2014. New freshman Lysandra Perez, the first in her family to attend college, sits on the bed in her Streit-Perham Hall dorm room. The emotional farewells are done, and her parents are driving back home to the small town of Moxee, near Yakima. Her roommates won’t be arriving for another few days.

She is all alone. “What do I do now?” she remembers thinking in a moment of panic.

Fortunately, the panic didn’t last long. “I had to remind myself that going to college » More …

Campus involvement empowers first-generation, non-traditional student to soar

WSU graduate in his cap and gown getting photo takenWSU Tri-Cities alumnus Geoff Schramm never thought he would go to college.

Coming from a family where no one before him in his family had gone to college, he said it was sort of a family tradition that he goes straight into the workforce after high school.

“That’s just what you did in my family,” he said. “I didn’t have a blueprint for college or someone that could tell me about the experience. In some odd way, I felt it wasn’t for me when I was young.” » More …