Meet the 2018-19 Outstanding Graduates from the Huxley College of the Environment

  • Melanie in a purple dress sits in tree
    Melanie Roy
  • Riley Embly

More than 50 Western Washington University students and graduates received Outstanding Graduate honors for the 2018-19 academic year.

Faculty members from dozens of academic departments and programs select one graduate to honor as the Outstanding Graduate of the year. Selection is a high honor based on grades, research and writing, service to the campus and community, and promise for the future.

The graduates were recognized at spring Commencement June 15. The two Outstanding Graduates from the Huxley College of the Environment are:


Melanie Roy

Outstanding Graduate of Environmental Sciences

Melanie Roy of Houston, Texas graduated magna cum laude in March with a Bachelor of Science. Roy majored in Environmental Science with an emphasis on freshwater and terrestrial ecology. During her time at Western, Roy interned with the Biology Department's research lab to study the water quality of agricultural streams in Whatcom County. She also worked as a stream restoration intern with the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association to remove invasive species and replace them with native vegetation to improve the salmon habitat along the Nooksack River watershed. Roy also worked as a student admissions representative during her junior and senior years. There she gave campus tours to prospective students and their families, served on student panels, and supported the outreach events for the office of Admissions. Roy is a graduate of Bellarie High School and is daughter to Jeffery and Donna Roy.


Riley Embly

Outstanding Graduate of Environmental Studies

Riley Embly of Lakebay graduated magna cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Arts and majored in environmental policy. During his time at Western, Embly excelled in his classwork and completed a senior thesis providing a critical analysis of the environmental consequences of contemporary agriculture. He's known as a thoughtful, intellectually curious, kind and engaged student who seeks to thoughtfully build a more inclusive student experience. Outside of academics, Embly served as one of the first student senators to represent Huxley College of the Environment. He also helped with political campaigns and led a union organizing drive. He earned an associate degree at Tacoma Community College and thought he was done with school. But he says that having good people in his life and a desire to make a positive impact on the world inspired him to work hard and earn his bachelor's degree. After graduation, Embly will travel to Malaysia for five weeks, then tour Spain by bicycle. Eventually, he plans to earn his master's in environmental policy or business sustainability. Embly is the son of Gayle Graves-Embly and Tex Embly.

Click the heart to favorite

Your feedback is crucial to telling Western's story.
Monday, July 22, 2019 - 12:33pm