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Honors College Ambassadors

Honors student ambassadors serve as liaisons between the college and prospective students and their families. The ambassadors are current students who represent Honors at academic fairs on campus and university recruitment events. They also visit high schools across the state to share their WSU and Honors Experiences with Washington communities. The program is managed by the Honors College Recruitment Coordinator, Trymaine Gaiter.


View Previous Ambassadors

Got a question for the ambassadors?

Sydney AlmgrenSydney Almgren

Why did you join the Honors College?
I joined the Honors College because I wanted to get the most out of my college education and make sure that I was challenging myself. My high school never offered any honors classes and only a few dual credit ones, so having an honors curriculum and more opportunities was something I’d always wanted.

How has the Honors College prepared you for your future?
Not only has the Honors College challenged me academically, it has also been a source of personal growth as well. Being a well-rounded student prepares me for a successful future, no matter what that future may include.

What is something you wish you wish you had known when you first started college?
I was really nervous to start school at such a large university as a freshman, and I felt very out of my comfort zone. But all I needed was just a little extra courage and an open mind, which really helped me adjust to college life.

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Allison BeggsAllison Beggs

What do you like most about being a student in the Honors College?
The Honors College provides a rich environment to promote personal and academic growth. The Honors College provides ample opportunity to get involved and there are many highly motivated and high achieving peers. Additionally, professors have a better chance to invest in each student because of the small class sizes.

What opportunities or experiences have you had through the Honors College?
I was able to do research over the summer through financial assistance for housing provided by the Honors College. I was also able to work with and meet students from Southeast University located in Nanjing, China through the Honors College leadership program.

Share a Personal Experience at WSU or in the Honors College
My parents dropped me off in August just in time to attend the fall ALIVE! session. The first two days of ALIVE! were full of fun, exciting things mixed with a little bit of heartbreak form leaving my parents and my home in Missouri. When it came time to sign up for classes, there was nothing left. It was overwhelming and not at all how I had planned to start my college experience. An Honors College advisor spotted the two baby tears starting to well up in my eye and calmly suggested that we go for a walk. On our way around the building they knew exactly what to say to bring everything back into perspective and when we returned, I was ready to take on the world and the filling up classes.

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Dayna BoordDayna Boord

Has anything surprised you about being in the Honors College?
I was really surprised by how helpful the Honors College has been to me thus far. Not only are there classes such as mindful meditation offered, but the professors are extremely helpful and make aneffort to connect with their students academically and individually. I know all of my Honors College professors by name and would trust any of them to give me a positive and thoughtful letter or recommendation.

Future plans/goals:
My near future plans consist of studying abroad in France to finish my minor in French and I plan to have an internship with Amazon this summer. I recently also applied to a Boeing internship and will hopefully get one of them. Upon graduation I plan to work for a company with great employee benefits and for a company that inspires team work, community, and diversity. I hope to utilize my international and management degrees as well as my French minor by working abroad or communicating with international partners.

Is there anything special about living in Pullman or about being a Coug?
I love living in Pullman, but it wasnt always this way. The first semester I remember going home most weekends and telling my parents that I would never call Pullman my home. Now when I go home to visit and I think about going back to my home in Pullman. Pullman is a community, every time I walk to class I see at least three people I know. My friends turned into family and Pullman has shown me that you can have fun doing anything as long as its with good people.

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Zili ChangZili Chang

How has the Honors College helped shape your college experience?
I met my best friend at the Honors College Ice Cream Social, and I got my first job working for the Honors College! I have also taken some very interesting classes and met a lot of cool people.

What has been your favorite Honors College class thus far and why?
I enjoyed Honors 380 with Yvonne Berliner. The topic of the course was the muralist movement of the Mexican Revolution. I learned about the role of institutionalized art in shaping public thought.

Is there anything special about living in Pullman or about being a Coug?
Yes! Pullman is a beautiful place with a special community. The Daily Grind is a great space to study or spend time with friends, and there are a lot of good restaurants in Moscow.

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Hannah GillilandHannah Gilliland

Has anything surprised you about being in the Honors College?
I have been so pleasantly surprised by just how much the Honors College faculty cares for us as students! I am so grateful for all of the support and guidance that they have given me.

Is there anything special about living in Pullman or about being a Coug?
The real question is: what is not special about being a Coug? Between the exciting Cougar Football Saturdays, the tight-knit WSU community, and the constant thrill of being apart of an active campus, there is nothing to dislike about Pullman!

What is a fun fact about yourself?
I actually grew up in Florida and was planning on attending the University of Florida, but after my parents brought me on a WSU campus tour I changed all of my plans at the last minute! I fell so in love with everything and everyone at WSU.

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Vanessa GiramataVanessa Giramata

What do you like most about being a student in the Honors College?
The Honors College faculty. They are supportive, and full of knowledge that they eagerly share so as the students may learn. They listen and support students’ ideas and genuinely care about our success. Their commitment to helping students is unparalleled.

How has the Honors College prepared you for your future?
Through the Honors College, classes have allowed me to improve my critical thinking, and analysis. It has also majorly improved my writing skills, which is something very important especially with my plan to go to graduate school.

Is there anything special about living in Pullman or about being a Coug?
There is a great sense of family here. For someone like me, having traveled 8,500 miles to come to college, I was worried about the whole transition process. But Cougs are really special, they care and Pullman is now my home away from home.

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Daniel GotoDaniel Goto

What opportunities or experiences have you had through the Honors College?
Through the WSU Honors College, I spent last summer in China on a research fellowship at Southeast University where I conducted research making quantum dot LEDs. I got to co-author a research paper while exploring historic sites like the Great Wall, Tienanmen Square, Terracotta Army, Forbidden City, and Shanghai Tower.

How did you spend your free time when you lived on campus?
I spend my free time working out at the Chinook, flying drones, or hanging out with friends.

Myths you can bust about the WSU Honors College:
There is a myth that Honors College classes are really hard. I would say that the classes have slightly more work than some classes but, they are also more engaging and don’t feel like more work since the material is interesting.

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Kristian GubschKristian Gubsch

What do you like most about being a student in the Honors College?
As a student, I most enjoy the conversations that are scheduled in the Honors lounge throughout the semester with alumni. It provides students the opportunity to ask them questions, hear their story, and be inspired by their path to where they are currently. The most memorable talk that I attended was when we met with the Starbucks Chief of Technology and she talked about her journey to this position and how her WSU education helped her get to where she is today.

What opportunities or experiences have you had through the Honors College?
I completed the first and second-year leadership courses in the Honors College (Honors 198 and 499), have had the opportunity to become an Honors 198 Facilitator, has helped me receive several scholarships and research opportunities, and have talked to many successful alumni that graduated from the Honors College.

Future plans/goals:
In the near future, summer 2019, I will be completing an internship with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as part of the Hollings Scholarship Program. In the distant future, I plan on attending graduate school and completing a PhD in Chemical Engineering with the ultimate goal of researching and developing technologies to limit the effects of climate change.

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Allisa HorstAllisa Horst

Why did you join the Honors College?
When I first joined the Honors College, I just thought of it as being something I could tack onto my resume in order to help my chances in getting a good job. Now that I actually know what the Honors College is about, I stay because of the friendships, the assistance from the professors and staff, the incredible amount of extra opportunities, and the community that the Honors College offers!

What is a fun fact about yourself?
A fun fact about myself is that I had an internship in Germany the summer of 2017. It was my first internship and first time out of the country! I lived with two German college students, and I was able to visit a total of five different countries while I was there.

What is your favorite weekend activity in Pullman?
Outside of school and my work, I really love hanging out with my friends and being involved in my clubs. On top of that, my favorite activity is actually playing Dungeons and Dragons! I got into it senior year of high school and found a group of really great people to play with freshman year and have been playing since.

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Haeley JohnstonHaeley Johnston

How has the Honors College helped shape your college experience?
The Honors College has provided me with amazing academic opportunities but it has also had a huge impact on my personal life. None of my friends from high school came to WSU so I was pretty nervous about making new friends. At my ALIVE! session the summer before my freshman year, my group was all students from the Honors College. That weekend, I ended up meeting my best friends. My freshman year, my friends from ALIVE! and I spent every day together and today one of my best friends from ALIVE! is my roommate!

What has been your favorite Honors College class thus far and why?
I’ve had many interesting Honors College classes thus far but my favorite one has been my 298 class, the topic was the history of walking. We kept journals to document the (assigned) walks we took around Pullman and I wrote my final paper on the relationship between walking and love!

How has the Honors College prepared you for your future?
I actually came into college as a biochemistry major but with the help of my peers in my honors classes, I found out about the major of science communication which combines both my passions for science and working with people! I’m now certified into the Murrow College of Communication and loving it.

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Kendra KendallKendra Kendall

What opportunities or experiences have you had through the Honors College?
The Honors College has given me opportunities to expand my area of knowledge and make meaningful connections with my peers. One of my favorite experiences I’ve had in the Honors College is presenting my research on Shakespeare’s Hamlet at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference. I was able to stay for several days in Seattle presenting my research and learning about other honors students’ research.

What has been your favorite Honors College class thus far and why?
Honors College courses are always enjoyable—the instructors choose what they want to teach and are always passionate about their course! If I had to pick a favorite it would be Dean Norton’s Honors 290 course. Dean Norton taught a very interesting class about 10 materials that changed the world. This class was my favorite because it was a topic I was not familiar with and was able to learn so much about!

How has the Honors College prepared you for your future?
The Honors College has taught me one of the most valuable skills: how to research. Being able to learn something you may not be familiar with and bring yourself to a higher level of understanding will be important in any future careers.

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Sophie MadillSophie Madill

What do you like most about being a student in the Honors College?
My favorite part about being a student in the Honors College is the amazing community I’m surrounded by on a daily basis. In a difficult academic environment, your peers and the faculty in the Honors College are such a huge support system and well as major motivators. This has definitely helped me be more successful and have a lot more fun. They all know what you’re going through and are there to help you tackle every obstacle thrown your way.

Why did you join the Honors College?
I joined the Honors College in order to push myself academically. I knew this journey would not be easy, but I wanted to get as much out of my college education as I possibly could. With the immense opportunities that the Honors College provides, there is no shortage of programs intended to help you grow as a student, thinker, and person.

What opportunities or experiences have you had through the Honors College?
Because I am still new to WSU, my experiences have been limited. However, I was offered the incredible opportunity to be a member of the Honors College Direct Admit Nursing Program for the Class of 2022. This program allows me direct admission into WSU’s Nursing School with the completion of my prerequisites and a maintenance of a minimum GPA.

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Darya MaysamDarya Maysam

What has been your favorite Honors College class thus far and why?
I am currently a part of the leadership section of the Honors 198 course. I am really enjoying it so far because it is a free-thinking, highly-engaging course. The course is once a week and is set up as a discussion-based class. Every week, guest speakers will present a topic and we will do activities to assess our class environment and our internal mindset. Additionally, the professor and student mentor in charge know everyone by name which creates a friendly and familiar atmosphere.

Future plans/goals:
My future plans include maintaining a 4.0 GPA throughout my college career while double majoring in Animal Science and Math, being accepted to the WSU School of Vet Med, and holding a leadership position in either Pre-Vet Club, Companion Animal Club, Raptor Club, or KZUU. I also plan to become more involved in the fine and visual arts programs by taking photography and drawing courses, as well as becoming a part of the symphony and chamber orchestras on campus.

What are the Honors College faculty like?
The Honors College faculty are extremely caring and welcoming. I often see them around campus and they remember me and say hello. Whenever I have a question, I can send them an email and get a timely response. They are always excited when students are interested in their programs and professors that do not even know me treat me like one of their own.

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Tri NguyenTri Nguyen

What do you like most about being a student in the Honors College?
I love many aspects of the Honors College! First of all, there are several advantages of studying in a small class size; and one of them is that I am able to join, share, and discuss the topics in a much deeper way, more critical thinking is involved, and I gain valuable feedback from the professor more often. Second, the Honors College has a diverse group of students coming from different academic areas; therefore, I am able to learn from various academic fields and can critically analyze a problem from different perspectives. Lastly, the advisors at the Honors College are so flexible that I can make an appointment with them whenever fits my busy schedule to discuss my academic performance, my class schedule, and a lot more.

What is your favorite place on campus and why?
“The library is by far my most favorite place on campus. Most important resources are available inside the library: CougPrints, academic books and journals, the reference section, and quite places to study. Plus, the CUB is next door when you get hungry!
Tip: If you are going to take exams or quizzes online, and professors don’t require you to sit in class to do so; the library is the place for you to go! Its internet connection is fast and reliable.”

What is a fun fact about yourself?
I am the first one in my family to come study in the States!

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Patrick RobichaudPatrick Robichaud

What opportunities or experiences have you had through the Honors College?
I participated in the 1st and 2nd year leadership classes in the Honors College and really enjoyed them. They were some of my favorite classes because of the presentations and guest speakers. I also studied abroad for a semester at Swansea University in Wales and went on a faculty-led trip to Ecuador which were both fantastic experiences and I recommend that everyone study abroad during their time in college.

Future plans/goals:
I plan on getting a Master’s degree in Water Resources Engineering and I want to work with cities to make sure they have a reliable water supply as the climate changes. I am also interested in science policy and how our government can adopt more science into its regulations.

How has the Honors College prepared you for your future?
The Honors College has taught me the importance of relationships and getting to know your professors; which is easier to do in smaller classes. The programs and presentations that the Honors College hosts have taught me the importance of hard work and that you should apply for as many things as possible because you never know when you might get accepted.

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Claire SteinClaire Stein

What has been your favorite Honors College class thus far and why?
My favorite Honors class was English 298 with Professor Hanly. The class was about medieval literature, specifically Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales.” The class was so interesting because it combined history and literature. I could also tell that the professor was incredibly passionate about the course he was teaching, which truly made the class more enjoyable!

What is your favorite place on campus and why?
There’s a little patio on the third floor of the Spark Building that not too many people know about. It’s my favorite place because it has a great view of Pullman, and there’s tables and lawn chairs up there so you can do work and then just relax!

Favorite memory from your freshman year at WSU:
One of the first big snow dumps of the semester happened on a weekend, so naturally my roommate and I spent hours that night sledding down Thompson Flats. I built a snow man and also a snow sheep, which took me more time to make than it probably should have.

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Taylan SwiftTaylan Swift

Why did you join the Honors College?
I joined the Honors College because I wanted a more rounded education and a tighter community within the whole of WSU. It brought the best aspects of a liberal arts education, like small class sizes and individual attention, to a big state university, with its immense resources, accomplished faculty, research, and competitive programs.

How did you spend your free time when you lived on campus?
“Freshman year, I spent most of my time in the dining halls – first going to eat dinner, then sticking around later and later as more and more friends came in and joined the table. I usually ended up having dinner, dessert, and a second dinner every night.
Weekends were anything goes – usually staying up late, going to campus events, CUB movies, swing dancing, and spending half the day at the REC.”

What are the Honors College faculty like?
The honors faculty treat you like equals. At one time, they are very chill about their class, but also expect a lot from you because they know you’re capable of doing really well with the subject. They never give out busy-work like in high school. Often times, the curriculum is based on discussion or projects which can be a lot of fun.

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Katie VinzinskiKatie Vinzinski

What opportunities or experiences have you had through the Honors College?
I was a participant in HABILE, the Honors and Business Innovation Leadership Experience, which provided me with a community mentor, and I am currently in the process of securing an internship with the company he works for–as a sophomore! Honors has also provided many opportunities to interact with successful faculty and community members in my fields of study.

Future plans/goals:
I am completing 150 credits in four years, with a double major in accounting and human resources and a minor in economics. While my majors may seem like an unlikely combination, I am striving to understand the accounting side behind recruiting good talent, and the personal side behind payroll and budgeting. Ultimately, I hope to sit for and pass the Certified Public Account Exam.

Share a Personal Experience at WSU or in the Honors College
In my Honors 298 class, Writing and Research Honors, I was meeting with the professor often regarding a specific set of assignments. She took the time out of her day to get to know me personally and help review my writing. She offered personalized suggestions, asked how I was doing academically outside of her class, and how I was doing in life. She was such a positive force on my first semester in college, and I saw this genuine consideration in her relationships with my classmates as well. She even made us homemade cupcakes with caramel sauce on our last day of class! I can’t do her dedication to her students enough justice, but she made such in impact on my first semester of college academically and otherwise!

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Lucy WavraLucy Wavra

Has anything surprised you about being in the Honors College?
I was surprised the Honorable College was so diverse! We are proud to represent people from all backgrounds, of all ethnicities, sexualities and genders, and people involved in a variety of clubs and teams all across campus. Go Cougs!

How has the Honors College helped shape your college experience?
The Honors College has provided a home base for me academically. I try to balance my commitments with an activity to do for fun, a job, a leadership commitment, and an academic commitment. The Honorable College provides a hands-on and mentally challenging environment to get the gears turning in my head, as well as provide a safe and uplifting community of students and faculty that want to see you succeed.

Future plans/goals:
I plan to graduate with a BA in History, a minor in Spanish, and potentially a minor in Communication. Then, I plan to get a Masters in Education, and move on to a career in secondary education. After retirement, I would like to work in a museum as a curator or program specialist. And if all of this fails, I will attend the most prestigious clown school and join the circus.

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