Meeting New People

WSU graduate Mason Ruark.
New WSU graduate Mason Ruark marches during fall 2022 commencement, Dec. 10, at Beasley Coliseum, WSU Pullman.

This week started in a fog. If I did not have to wonder if there was ice underfoot, I would have thought I was in California, near the Delta or San Francisco. Weather aside, it was the start of another week with much to look forward to, including some sun along the way.

Mason Ruark, our student employee in the Student Success and Academic Programs office, has graduated! We will miss Mason and wish him and all of his fellow graduates immense success in their careers. Mason is heading over to the Portland, Ore. area to put his skills to work with a construction management firm. The energy at the coliseum was high during commencement, despite the less-than-ideal winter conditions. It was so much fun to see the excitement of the families and students! I cannot wait for updates on their success!

Junior Gomez was in town last week. Junior has been busy with recruiting events in the Tri-Cities area. I anticipate this new position translating into greater awareness of WSU and CAHNRS alike, with hopefully increased enrollment in our programs. It was great to meet him. He and the recruitment team spent time touring facilities and getting to “see” our programs. I recognize how useful it is to visualize programs and facilities.

The associate deans and I met with Sarah Schaub and Brandon Schrand to talk about the new CAHNRS website and migration of the current 240-plus sites into the new platform. This is a long process, but useful for removing old or redundant content. The University of California division of Agriculture and Natural Resources  was undergoing this task over the last year. Some WSU departments have moved to the new platform or are near completion, with many programs to follow. I look forward to seeing a proposed calendar of completion dates and learning how we can ensure success.

Last week, a number of us met with a student design team who provided an artist’s rendering of a remodel for the Ensminger Pavilion that included student space while retaining a catering kitchen and providing an improved outdoor entertaining area. The student team, consisting of juniors in interior design, architecture, and landscape architecture, did a wonderful job of creating concepts of what could be. The next step is finding funding to bring the vision to reality.

Speaking of the Ensminger Pavilion, I look forward to seeing and meeting more of the CAHNRS family at the winter gathering there this Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.!