Professor Farrokh Safavi Provides Student with Laptop in Recognition of Bruce & Cyndie Shepard

Western Today Staff

Farrokh Safavi, Western professor of Finance and Marketing, has made available a laptop computer to an incoming Western student, in recognition of the leadership of retired WWU President Bruce Shepard and his wife Cyndie.

Freshman Kimberly Beebe was selected by the Western Admissions Office as a deserving student for the 15.6-inch Lenovo laptop, which was presented to her on Monday by Clara Capron, assistant vice president for Enrollment and Student Services.

Beebe thanked Professor Safavi, saying the laptop was a “huge blessing” to her.

She plans to major in psychology at Western.

“I eventually plan to earn my master’s in mental health counseling. I spent 16 years going in and out of foster care and feel like I can help foster children because I know what they went through. I want to specialize in at-risk youth and foster children,” she said, adding, “I definitely feel that no matter how hard the situation is that you are going though, strive to push through. Academics can be the way out of your struggles.”

Beebe, a recent graduate of Blaine High School, received a President’s Award for Educational Excellence signed by President Obama, as well as a Jack and Ramona Cole Scholarship. Beebe now works at a restaurant and has worked on a farm and as a babysitter. She also volunteers at Christ Community Church in Bellingham, and went on a mission trip with the church to Mississippi, where she tutored children and worked in a food and clothing ministry.

In a letter to her, Safavi congratulated Beebe on her admission to Western and said that the Admissions Office and WWU Foundation praised her work ethic. “You are an outstanding high school graduate and I am enormously impressed by your qualifications. There is no doubt in my mind that you will stand apart as one of the many stars Western has educated in service to our global community,” Safavi said in the letter.

Safavi provided the laptop to Beebe as a way of welcoming her to Western and to recognize the service to Western of Bruce and Cyndie Shepard.

“For more than a century, this university has prioritized the education of undergraduates. Here, you will meet professors who go out of their way to educate, not just lecture. Instructors at Western work to prepare graduates to meet the challenges posed by our ever-changing world,” Safavi wrote. “We believe this task requires more than simply administering exams. Professors do what they can to accommodate varied schedules, allowing students the opportunity to drop by for friendly conversation, questions regarding course material, future plans, or even encouragement and advice.”

He wrote that former President Bruce Shepard “stands apart as a special contributor to Western’s enhanced reputation. He has recruited highly qualified faculty, skilled and dedicated staff, and set aside funds for the purchase of advanced educational technology for the university. Under his leadership, faculty and staff have felt united in the cause of educating and serving Western’s diverse student body.”

He also praised the efforts of Cyndie Shepard “who has devoted herself to the growth of our university community” by providing guidance and offering opportunities for development of Western students.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - 11:12am