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Undergraduate News & Awards


Kay Hall, WSU Vancouver, on what’s after graduation

Kay Hall

This spring, Kay Hall was awarded an Academic Achievement Award for Outstanding History Major and won first place in the undergraduate podium presentations with a project titled, “State v. Towessnute and State v. Meninock: State Conservation and Indigenous Rights,” at Vancouver’s Research Showcase. We caught up with Kay to find out what’s next!

Hall writes, “WSU Vancouver has been a great place to pursue my research interests in public and environmental history. Classes like History 409 and History 427 have contributed to my knowledge and passion for this area of study. I’m excited about applying historical scholarship to contemporary issues, such as through improving community health by restoring sustainable landscapes. I believe that understanding the past is the first step to building a better future, which was a central theme in my senior thesis on the history of tribal fishing rights in Washington state. My presentation on that topic won first place at the Research Showcase on the Vancouver campus. I’ll be pursuing public and environmental history further this fall at Colorado State University. I can’t wait to get started.”

Congratulations, Kay!


Tanaka Axberg, WSU Vancouver, on what’s after graduation

Tanaka Axberg and daughter

This spring Tanaka Axberg was awarded an Academic Achievement Award and placed third in the undergraduate podium presentations with a project titled, “Mau-zau-mau-ne-kah v. United States” at Vancouver’s Research Showcase. We caught with Tanaka to find out what’s after graduation.

Axberg writes, “I’ve been working in the corporate world for the past 25 years, surprisingly for only three companies so far. In 2019, I decided to pursue my passion for history at WSUV. I was terrified at first after being away from school for so long. Dr. Whelchel was extremely helpful with navigating my course schedules and helping me succeed. I took away a lot from his class, HIST 436, which was one of my first classes at WSUV. This last semester was my favorite, and I thoroughly enjoyed all of my classes, ANTH 230, FINE-ART 303, HIST 427, and HIST 469. The teachers at WSUV are amazing and they are always encouraging and supportive. I never felt dumb or small, and they always made time for me when I needed it. This fall I will be attending PSU in their Public History grad program. Two years ago this was not on my agenda and it would not be possible without the strength of the teaching staff at WSUV.”

Congratulations, Tanaka!


Please join us in congratulating students who were selected as Outstanding Seniors or received Academic Achievement Awards!

Outstanding Seniors:

  • Katie Hosking
  • Maggie Craddick
  • Sophie Ongtooguk
  • Tanaka Axberg
  • Matt Wheatley

Academic Achievement Awards:

  • Kay Hall
  • Ivana Shackelford Palusak
  • Timothy Varney

The department plans to award the following scholarships to support current students pursuing a major or minor in History:

  • Asia Program Excellence Award
  • Claudius O. Johnson Memorial Scholarship
  • Frederick and Lisolette Dumin Memorial Scholarship
  • George & Bernadine Converse Historical Endowment
  • Katherine Gilbert Blinn Scholarship in History
  • La Porte/Thorson Memorial Endowed Scholarship in History
  • Middle East History Research and Scholarship Fund
  • Morris Reed Scholarship in History and Political Science
  • Paul C. Anderson Scholarship in History
  • Raymond Muse History Scholarship
  • Ruth Magnuson Roberts Scholarship in History
  • Stan Berry & Siu Family Lifetime Friendship Endowment
  • Wayne Stanford History Scholarship

Thank you to our donors, alumni, and friends for supporting our students with contributions to these scholarship and award funds.