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Frequently Asked Questions

General request for more information

The College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) Ignite Program allows you to participate in a signature experience involving transformational learning opportunities. You will have the opportunity to learn more about your academic area of interest through undergraduate research – you will be able to dive right in! You will interact and collaborate with outstanding college instructors that, in many cases, are also world class researchers. The Ignite Program is offered exclusively to qualified first-year students pursuing a major within CAHNRS. Each Ignite Undergrad can earn up to $1,500 for participating in this program, dependent upon your hourly involvement.

Being an Ignite Undergrad allows you to participate in undergraduate research and experiential learning tailored to what most interests you. You will strengthen your critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, focus on your academic and professional interests, and gain transferable skills that best prepare you to be job ready, day one! Additionally, you will gain access and develop relationships with faculty, staff, and fellow students in your academic area of interest.

The qualifications for Ignite are below:

  • First year student showing academic interest in a CAHNRS major.
  • Enrolled at WSU as a full-time student (12 or more credits)
  • Have a minimum high school or transfer GPA of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Expressed interest in research.
  • Complete Ignite Registration.

If you believe you meet these qualifications and were not contacted, please reach out to Judy Hopkins at

  If you qualify for the Ignite program, you will receive an electronic offer letter via email. If you are interested, please initiate your registration. The program selection closing date is August 1, 2023. If selected, Judy Hopkins, your college internship and career development coordinator will work with you to explore your interests and help you identify a faculty member who will serve as your mentor for this experience during the 2023/24 school year. You and your mentor will work together to identify a project for you to pursue that is related to your academic area of interest. Please reach out to Judy via email ( or by phone at 509-335-0049 if you have any questions.  

To qualify for this program, you must have an academic interest in a CAHNRS related major. There are a variety of majors in applied sciences offered within CAHNRS! To see which major would best suit you, please visit our CAHNRS website to review our majors: CAHNRS Undergraduate Studies.

No experience is needed! You will be exposed to a variety of excellent academic learning opportunities. Curiosity is an excellent way to discover your major and professional interests.

If you have additional questions, please contact our internship coordinator, Judy Hopkins at or (509) 335-0049.

Being an Ignite Undergrad will give you the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor who is an expert in your academic area of interest. Alongside your faculty mentor, you will gain hands-on experience, receive guidance and begin to develop a network of resources accessible to you to assist in navigating your college experience.

To qualify for the Ignite Program, you must be enrolled in a CAHNRS major. If your additional major is in a different college within WSU, you still qualify for this opportunity.

Pursuing only a minor within CAHNRS does not qualify you for this program.

You can receive academic credit, but it is not required. Please speak with your faculty mentor and academic coordinator for details.

Time commitment

To get the most out of your Ignite experience, you should plan to set aside approximately 10 hours per week. The good news is you will be working with a faculty mentor – someone who already understands your anticipated academic workload.

Upon arrival at WSU, you will have the opportunity to connect with your faculty mentor at our mandatory CAHNRS Ignite orientation dinner (offered within the first month of fall semester) to review expectations and establish a schedule that works for both of you.

The Ignite Program occurs fall, spring, and/or the summer semester of your first year on-campus. You will have flexibility to meet your faculty mentor to discuss the best time to start the program. You will also meet with potential mentors and academic advisors during the mandatory Ignite orientation dinner typically held the first month of fall semester.

We require each Ignite Undergrad to attend the Ignite orientation dinner typically offered in the beginning of fall semester. There will be additional check-ins with your faculty mentor throughout the semester. Additionally, there will be an end-of-the-year celebration.

It is recommended you apply approximately 5-10 hours per week. Here are a few examples from previous Ignite Scholars:

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons in Dr. Zack’s lab from 2-5pm for 13 weeks during fall semester
  • Tuesday and Thursday in Dr. Johnson’s lab from 8am-1pm for 13 weeks during spring semester
  • Wednesday and Friday afternoons in Dr. Carter’s lab from 1-3pm and on Saturdays at Spillman Agronomy Farm from 8-11 am for 14 weeks.

What go I go next?

Ignite Checklist

  • If you meet the qualifications, we encourage you to complete Ignite Registration. After you have applied, you will receive an offer email if you qualify for our program.
  • Any questions can be sent to Judy Hopkins –
  • Attend New Coug Orientation.
  • Attend the Ignite orientation dinner typically offered during the first month of fall semester.

You will be paired with a faculty mentor that best aligns with your academic area of interest and professional aspirations. This will occur when you arrive on campus in Fall and participate in the Ignite orientation dinner typically offered within the first month of fall semester.

This program is structured to assist you with making meaningful connections within your first year of college. Having a faculty mentor to guide you as you navigate the transition to WSU is a rewarding experience. Your faculty mentor is well aware of your academic workload and will guide your work. This mentor will introduce you to a variety of professional opportunities and offer another voice of reason, as you embark on this new undergraduate journey.

There is a large amount of flexibility in your workload, and you will work with your faculty mentor to find a schedule that works for you. You will connect with your faculty mentor at the Ignite orientation dinner typically held during the first month of fall semester.

CAHNRS faculty and staff will assist you as you adjust to college life and will be with you every step of the way as you map out your Ignite journey.

You will also be invited to a larger community of support consisting of other freshmen currently in the program alongside previous Ignite scholars who will serve as peer mentors.

The closing selection deadline for this program is August 1, 2023. Once you receive an offer letter you will need to contact Judy Hopkins, your college internship and career development coordinator at or by phone at 509-335-0049 to confirm your involvement and secure a spot.