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Undergraduate News & Awards

Christine Gasparyan named Outstanding Senior in History!

Originally from Los Angeles, California, Christine Gasparyan majored in History and enjoyed dividing her time between the History Club, Habitat for Humanity, and the Pullman Child Welfare Food Pantry while working as a staff assistant for the Access Services department in the WSU Libraries system. Christine was named the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Senior in History for 2020. She also was selected to receive the Middle Eastern Research Scholarship to study influence of 20th– century Western imperialism as well as the Thigpen Research Scholarship recognizing her research into racial disparity in the American prison system based on discrepancies in education, policing, and hiring practices that keep racial minorities from being successful. Christine graduated summa cum laude in May and finished her student career on the President’s Honor Roll.

“I’d like to start off by thanking my family for the support they’ve given me throughout my undergraduate career, especially when I decided to uproot my life in Los Angeles and move to Pullman to finally finish my bachelor’s degree. The faculty and staff of the history department at WSU have also played a major role in my academic success, providing me with the valuable tools I’ll need to become an effective and engaging secondary history teacher. Theresa Jordan was especially helpful from my first semester to the last, gradually becoming my mentor as I delved more into the principles of teaching social studies and history. Her input for my numerous lesson plans and assignments was invaluable as she taught me how to adapt my teaching style for multiple types of learners. I’ve been very lucky to have such a strong support system around me and they have tremendously contributed to my success.

“As a future teacher, I am responsible for providing my students with the necessary skills to help them succeed after high school, as well as teaching them compassion, kindness, and tolerance for beliefs and ideas that may differ from their own. I admire teachers for the amount of work they do and the positive impact they have every day on the lives of their students, which is one of the main reasons why I have chosen to make teaching my life-long career. I am excited to begin my next step with WSU’s Master in Teaching program to help me finally fulfill this goal. I’ve chosen a career that’s going to be remarkably rewarding and I cannot wait to start!” –Christine Gasparyan

“Christine has impressed me as a mature, responsible young woman who is not only deeply committed to education but also gifted with high intelligence and such a tremendous work ethic that she will exceed expectations wherever she goes. Her students will benefit from her efforts in the classroom, and we will all benefit from her efforts as an engaged citizen and participant in her community.”  –Theresa Jordan, Clinical Associate Professor of History

Christine will complete her master’s in teaching degree at WSU before pursuing a teaching position in central or western Washington. Learn more about her.

Congratulations, Christine!

Savanna Navarro Kresse, WSU Tri-Cities, earns national ‘Honor Role’ award through ALL IN Challenge program


WSU History student Savanna Navarro Kresse was honored in Washington, DC, last November with an award from the national ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge program for her work in increasing student democratic engagement on campus and in the regional Tri‑Cities community. Selected as one of 10 students for the category, Savanna was specifically recognized for her leadership in helping college students to improve nonpartisan civic learning, political engagement, and voter participation.

“Her leadership and passion for providing access in positive change is evident to everyone around her,” said Chris Meiers, WSU Tri-Cities vice chancellor for student affairs. “We are incredibly proud of the work she continues to display at WSU Tri‑Cities and in her local community. She is an inspiration to her fellow students and has created many lasting legacies at WSU Tri‑Cities.”

Read the full article, “Tri‑Cities student earns national award,” at the College of Arts and Sciences Story Hub!

Congratulations, Savanna!

Student Profile: Hezekiah Willard, senior, WSU Pullman

One word that describes me: Curious. I love to learn, and I know many, many useless fun facts because I research things I get curious about.

Most memorable experiences at WSU: Probably being a co-chair for the V.I.B.E.S. conference, one of the largest student-run conferences that takes months and months of preparation to bring over 100 underrepresented students to WSU to experience higher education. Through this experience, I not only developed my skills in a professional sense but was able to make connections with students, student-leaders, faculty/staff, and administration. These memories will go with me wherever I go, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to plan and execute this conference.

Clubs or Extracurricular Activities: Black Men Making a Difference; Black Student Union

SpongeBob character I most Identify with: Probably David Hasselhoff in the SpongeBob movie. Why would I want to be a sea creature when I could be David Hasselhoff?

Advice I would give to a prospective student: Get out of your comfort zone and get involved with something you are passionate about. There is always room for growth and opportunity, but most people are too scared to grab onto those opportunities. Getting out of my comfort zone has helped me in so many ways in school and beyond, and the connections I have made from getting involved will follow me forever.

My plans after graduation: I hope to go to graduate school to pursue a career in student affairs and hopefully one day get a job as a retention counselor for underrepresented students.

Student Profile: Erin Mills, BA, WSU Global Campus

Favorite WSU History course: Women in the American West

Most notable accomplishment: Finishing  my bachelor’s degree while balancing my life as a wife and mother.

Advice I would give to a prospective WSU Global student: Learning how to be a student is a job in itself, so I would advise a meticulous study schedule. This is especially important for online classes where you have the freedom to structure your own time.

If I was not a history major, I would be…: An anthropology major!

Plans after graduation: After I take some time off to spend with my kids, I plan continue my education and apply for graduate school.

The department was thrilled to distribute 17 undergraduate scholarships this spring!

The following scholarships and undergraduate awards were granted to students majoring or minoring in History:

  • Asia Program Excellence Awards
  • Asia Program Excellence Fund
  • Claudius O Johnson Memorial Scholarship
  • George & Bernadine Converse Historical Endowment
  • Katherine Gilbert Blinn Scholarship in History
  • Paul C. Anderson Scholarship in History
  • Professors William M. Landeen & Claudius O. Johnson Scholarship Fund
  • 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 the scholarship and award funds listed above.