Annual Report features a look at the best of last year

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 8:16am
Western Today staff

Western Washington University's Annual Report, a look back at the many accomplishments of students, faculty and staff throughout the past year, is now online.

Created by Mary Gallagher and Matthew Anderson in the Office of University Communications, the report is published online only for the first time.

The interactive site pulls highlights from Western Today over the past year, sortable by the categories Advancement and Alumni Development, Building the Campus, Community Outreach, Cultural Events and Lectures, Curriculum, Diversity, Environmental Sustainability, Excellence of Faculty and Staff, Graduate Programs, Innovation and Research, Intercollegiate Athletics, International Programs, Leadership, Student Excellence, and Student Life.

A few of the stories you'll see in this year's report:

Students and faculty engaging with the community

Retired astronaut George “Pinky” Nelson leads Science Math and Technology Education’s efforts to improve science education throughout the state.

Students applied their knowledge to help area businesses with the Small Business Development Center and the College of Science and Technology’s Corporate Alliance Program.

Nearly 3,000 students enrolled in courses with a service-learning project. Examples included producing a promotional video for Catholic Community Services and writing a successful grant application for WeSNIP, an animal welfare organization.

Western's inviting atmosphere helps students succeed

The new Learning Commons is popular: Visits to the Tutoring Center grew 31 percent and the Writing Center saw a 78 percent increase in traffic.

Visits to the Academic Advising Center were up nearly 20 percent.

Viking CareerLink, the Career Services Center’s online networking tool, grew 83 percent since it was introduced in 2010. An average of 550 jobs are on the site each day.

Seattle-area students didn’t have to leave home for summer school with Western’s new summer courses at North Seattle Community College.

Western faculty: distinctive and collaborative

Biology Professor David Hooper led an international team of prominent ecologists proving that biodiversity loss emperils the planet’s health.

Fairhaven Assistant Professor Raquel Montoya-Lewis, a judge in tribal court, was appointed to a federal commission on juvenile justice.

Geology Professor Scott Linneman was the Washington Science Teachers Association Higher Ed Science Teacher of the Year. (The Middle School Science Teacher of the Year? One of Linneman’s former students.)

Fairhaven Professor Dana Jack’s “Silencing the Self Across Cultures: Depression and Gender in the Social World,” won the Ursula Gielen Global Psychology Book Award from the American Psychological Association.

Western is home to intellectually adventurous students

Deborah Blakesley won The American Prize in Vocal Performance, college and university opera division.

Western’s team won a prestigious Outstanding Delegation award at the national Model United Nations Conference in New York City. 

Viking 49, a rugged off-road vehicle designed by the Vehicle Research Institute’s Baja SAE team, placed 10th in a national competition.

The student magazine The Planet won two national awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. 

Masen Furer of Residential Technology Services, was Washington state’s Student Employee of the Year.

And more

In addition to Western’s Division II national basketball championship, Western athletes brought home three top-10 national finishes: second in rowing, ninth in men’s golf and 10th in men’s cross country - and their fourth-straight all-sports Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship.

Western received the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction award in part because of Compass 2 Campus, one of the state’s largest mentoring programs.

Western’s softball field received new artificial turf, renovated dugouts, new outfield poles and fencing and new bull-pens – but no state money – in a $1.2 million project funded by in-kind and cash donations. Watch for more public-private projects like this.

Students helped install Do Ho Suh’s stunning “Cause and Effect” sculpture in the AIC West building.

Students and faculty established a service-learning program in Rwanda in summer 2012. Western faculty also took students to China, Costa Rica, India, Greece, Peru, Tanzania, Mexico, Italy and Kenya.

Visit the Annual Report at