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News

Fri 1/19/18 7:49 AM

If the best way to learn something is to teach it, then one would be wise to look towards Dr. Amy Hoover for flying advice.

As a long-time professor and twice elected chair (2007-2015) of the Aviation Department at Central Washington University, Hoover’s 30-year career in aviation includes more than 6,000 hours of logged flight time, 3,800 hours of instruction, and an astounding 8,000 hours of classroom teaching.

Guiding university students during the school year through structured curriculum and into professional careers as pilots and industry managers, Hoover spends her summers in neighboring Idaho, teaching backcountry and mountain flying.

Read more of this story in General Aviation News.

Thu 1/18/18 2:18 PM

Gina McCarthyGina McCarthy, former administrator for the United States Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama and one of the leading national experts on environmental and public health, will speak on February 6 at Central Washington University.

McCarthy will speak at two events as part of the Social Justice and Human Rights Dialogues year-long theme on sustainability.

All students are invited to attend a reception and discussion on environmental/public policy and career advice with McCarthy at 4 p.m. in room 103 of Science II. A public talk, titled “Sustainability & Justice: The Environmental Truth,” followed by Q&A will be held in the SURC Ballroom at 6 p.m. Both events are free.

“To have a world-renown leader who can speak to her experiences as a scientist, public health practitioner, and administrator—we are poised to potentially change the conversation and engage people into why they should care about these issues now, before it’s too late,” said Pamela McMullin-Messier, associate professor of sociology and director of the Environmental Studies Program.

McCarthy is a professor of the practice of public health at Harvard University. She also serves as director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, leading the development of Harvard’s strategy in climate science, health, and sustainability.

Her 30-year career includes being appointed by President Obama in 2009 as assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Air and Radiation, later to be appointed head of EPA in 2013. As a staunch advocate for protecting public health and the environment, she led EPA initiatives to cut air pollution, protect water resources, reduce greenhouse gases, and strengthen chemical safety to protect Americans—especially the vulnerable.

McCarthy, who serves as an operating advisor for Pegasus Capital Advisors, holds a MS in environmental health engineering and planning and policy from Tufts University and a BA in social anthropology from UMASS Boston.

Her visit is sponsored by the CWU Environmental Club, Cultural and Environmental Resource Management Association, Environmental Studies Program, and the Office of the Provost.

Media Contact: Dawn Alford, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484, Dawn.Alford@cwu.edu.

Thu 1/18/18 7:45 AM

There is a lot to celebrate: a shiny new fleet of Piper Archers, an independent flight school, and enduring industry support. At 10:00 a.m. on January 25, Central Washington University’s Department of Aviation will host a celebration to commemorate a new era of independence, and a sustained program of growth and innovation. The event will take place at 1101 Bowers Road, and is free and open to the public.

Key to the aviation department’s new vigor is the Federal Aviation Administration Part 141 certification for training pilots. For the first time in its history, CWU Aviation can run its own flight school, under its own license.

"This is what we needed in order to have full control of our flight program," said Paul Ballard, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies. "We now have a stable foundation for preparing private and commercial pilots, and can offer our students even more confidence in our program."

Prior to the certification, CWU had to contract flight training to commercial schools. A private aviation firm, IASCO, which holds the contract through June 2018, has committed to training the 48 students who entered the program under its auspices. However, no new students have been allowed to seek flight training with IASCO personnel or equipment.

"All of our current first-year students have started with our new in-house flight school," Ballard commented.

In addition to the Part 141 certification, CWU began building an aircraft fleet, as IASCO planes can only be used by students registered under the IASCO training program. On September 1, CWU Aviation took possession of six leased aircraft from Midstate Aviation: five Piper Warriors and one Piper Arrow. CWU Aviation is also acquiring brand new aircraft to help build its own fleet: new Piper Archers arrived in mid-December, and additional aircraft orders are underway.


Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518, valeriec@cwu.edu


Wed 1/17/18 3:21 PM

The celebration of Central Washington University’s 125th anniversary has drawn to a close, and the successes of 2017 are already preparing the foundation for the next Quasquicentennial.

Throughout the past 12 months, we’ve been named as a top institution by numerous agencies, and our programs, faculty, students, and staff have been recognized as the best in the nation. We are vigorously committed to social justice, and encourage forums, demonstrations, and presentations to inspire and motivate our campus community. In addition, we’ve increased our outreach by providing programming to public television, opening a new center in Sammamish, and inaugurating an ambitious business-to-community program to enhance our town-gown relationship in Ellensburg.

Below is just a small sampling of the high points of a remarkable year.


Winter January—March
A CWU-Cascade Public Media partnership brought Northwest geology to public television. Nick on the Rocks, hosted by Nick Zentner, a geological sciences lecturer at CWU, will air weekly on KYVE/KCTS Public Television. http://www.cwu.edu/node/5000/view

CWU social services students created special duffle bags, called Sweet Cases, for local foster children. When children are removed from their home, their few belongings are packed hastily in, most often, a trash bag. Students hope that the new, individually-designed duffle bags can help ease the pain and anxiety that accompanies a child’s upheaval. Up to 40 children each year are placed in foster homes in Kittitas County. http://www.cwu.edu/cwu-makes-hard-transition-little-easier-local-foster-kids

In February, a year-long series of moves, dubbed “Movezilla,” began on the Ellensburg campus as a result of CWU’s progress on record state construction funding. "Movezilla" involved newly renovated Bouillon and Lind Halls. Additional moves to and from Barge, Mitchell, and Hebeler Halls created space needed in Bouillon Hall for a one-stop student services center. http://www.cwu.edu/node/5035/view

CWU received a $2.19 million grant to develop and implement an innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) teacher preparation program. http://www.cwu.edu/node/5476/view

The student radio station, KCWU-FM, earned three national honors at the 77th Annual Intercollegiate Broadcasting System International Conference in New York City. http://www.cwu.edu/node/5505/view

Central became the first university in Washington state with a student chapter of YouthMappers, a global network of universities working on humanitarian mapping projects. The CWU Geography Club joined the effort in March. http://www.cwu.edu/node/5504/view

Mathematics professor Aaron Montgomery received the Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics Award. The honor is conferred by the Pacific Northwest section of the Mathematical Association of America. http://www.cwu.edu/math/cwu-math-professor-awarded-prestigious-maa-prize-exceptional-teaching


Spring April—June
Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman paid a visit to CWU. The Compton, California native and Stanford graduate came to speak with college students from across Washington state, as part of the Students of Color Summit. http://www.cwu.edu/node/8823/view

The most powerful computing capability anywhere in central Washington is operational at CWU. The $380,000 system, called Turing, is used for research, including student research, providing specialized, collaborative computing capabilities primarily for the university’s College of The Sciences. https://www.cwu.edu/computer-science/area’s-most-powerful-supercomputing-cluster-now-operational-cwu

Gavin Schag, a McNair Scholar, received an honorable mention at the 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Student Poster Competition held in Boston for his poster, “UAV Photogrammetry: Structure from Motion Data Evaluation for DEM Applications.” http://www.cwu.edu/node/14055/view

Sathyanarayanan (Sathy) Rajendran, professor of engineering technologies, safety, and construction, received the American Society of Safety Engineers Dr. William E. Tarrants Outstanding Safety Educator Award. The national honor recognizes exemplary achievements in occupational safety and health education. rhttps://www.cwu.edu/cwu-professor-named-nation’s-top-safety-educato

CWU alumna Rachel Harry received the 2017 Excellence in Theatre Education Tony Award. Presented in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, the award recognizes a K-12 theatre educator in the US who has made an impact on their students. Harry received a master's degree in theatre production from CWU. http://www.cwu.edu/node/18994/view

The Seventh Annual Raza Graduation Celebration honored 350 Latino/a/x graduates, the largest number in the university’s history. http://www.cwu.edu/node/14377/view

More than 3,100 Wildcats graduated at the June 10 and 11 commencement ceremonies, capping a year of 125th anniversary commemorations. From the first class of only 51 graduates in 1892, CWU has grown from a small "Normal" school (the common name for teaching colleges) to one of the top-ranked universities in the region. http://www.cwu.edu/node/18039/view

Summer July—September
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) honored CWU’s Robert Holtfreter, College of Business distinguished professor of accounting and research, with its 2017 Hubbard Award for best feature article in the association’s journal, Fraud. http://www.cwu.edu/node/23553/view

Astrophysicist and students participated in a crowd-sourced NASA eclipse experiment. CWU students launched a high-altitude balloon to capture and livestream video of the solar eclipse. Central’s physics professor Darci Snowden led the student team that collected other data from the balloon, which carried an array of scientific instruments. http://www.cwu.edu/node/28033/view

Andrea Eklund, professor of apparel, textiles, and merchandising, won Best in Show for her original design at the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) conference. The competition was a double-blind, peer-reviewed competition with more than 30 design submissions. http://www.cwu.edu/node/26051/view

Barto Hall, CWU's newest residence hall, received a coveted LEED Platinum certification—the highest level awarded by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for green building certification programs worldwide. Barto is one of only four LEED Platinum-certified buildings on college campuses in Washington State. http://www.cwu.edu/node/30166/view

In September, President James L. Gaudino joined the presidents of Washington’s five other public universities in protesting President Donald Trump’s decision to repeal the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in six months. http://www.cwu.edu/node/31333/view

For the third time in four years, CWU received the prestigious Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The university is the only four-year institution in the state of Washington to earn the award, which recognizes higher education institutions that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. http://www.cwu.edu/node/32839/view


Fall October—December
CWU reported a 12 percent increase in its freshmen class—the third straight year the school has seen double-digit enrollment increases in its freshman students. Central has 2,131 freshmen taking classes full- or part-time in Ellensburg, at a University Center, or online. That number topped last year’s mark of 1,908 and followed 15 and 21 percent increases of the previous two entering classes. http://www.cwu.edu/node/37165/view

Colonel Jon Tussing, the commander of the US Army Cadet Command’s 8th Brigade, administered the Oath of Enlistment to 15 United States Army Reserve Officers Training Corps students. The dramatic sunrise ceremony occurred atop Manastash Ridge, after a predawn hike by the enlistees. The rigorous two-mile hike, according to cadet Justin Lester, is “really just an embodiment of our battalion’s spirit—it’s part of our identity.” http://www.cwu.edu/node/36164/view

In October, CWU and the City of Sammamish launched CWU-Sammamish, the first learning facility to offer higher education opportunities in the Sammamish region. CWU-Sammamish offers Running Start and other general education programming as well as continuing education and lifelong learning classes, professional development programs, and English as a Second Language. http://www.cwu.edu/node/37166/view

CWU’s magnificent marching band is 220 players strong this year—a historical high for the ensemble. A Wildcat tradition for more than 90 years, the ensemble performs at every home game. http://www.cwu.edu/node/36330/view

The student-run media outlets, PULSE magazine and the Observer newspaper, returned from the National College Media Convention with three second-place national awards. https://www.cwu.edu/cwu-student-media-reporters-photographers-and-designers-win-national-awards

A new and powerful coalition that includes the Ellensburg Downtown Association, CWU, the City of Ellensburg, and the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce was founded to reward and promote customer service. The Business to Community Stars Program (B2C Stars), which encourages residents to shop locally, is based on best practices identified by the National Customer Service Association. http://www.cwu.edu/node/44983/view

The Wildcats won the 2017 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Football Championship, defeating Humboldt State 42-28. It’s the school's first gridiron championship since 2012. http://wildcatsports.com/news/2017/11/11/gnac-champs-football-captures-title-with-42-28-win-over-lumberjacks.aspx?path=football

CWU Board of Trustee






Wed 1/17/18 3:12 PM

This year’s CWU Alumni Association Legacy Award honoree, Ruth Harrington, with the help of all of the scholarship brunch, lunch, and dinner groups, has reached the $1 million mark.
Let’s just let that sink in for a moment. $1 million.

In 1973, Harrington began organizing members from the community to raise money for CWU student scholarships that would benefit high school seniors and single parents. Harrington saw her love of cooking as a way to bring CWU and the community of Ellensburg together. “I just thought ‘we need to all work together and benefit students,” Harrington says.

She added, “I’m just happy that we’ve been able to raise this much money over the years and benefit students with help from so many people. We’ve had silent auctions, cookbooks, and so many things that helped raise this money over the years–it was not just me. I want to thank all the people that have been involved and contributed.” 

Ruth HarringtonThis scholarship program began as a coffee hour at Harrington’s house with 22 women paying $1.50 each. By the end of the first year, participants grew to 22 separate groups, each with 12 members. 44 years later, Harrington has officially raised $1 million. She has become a staple in the lives of CWU students and the Central Washington University community.

“The Ruth Harrington Scholarship luncheons are a great example of the impact one person can have on the lives of many.” Says Catherine Scarlett, luncheon participant and CWU donor. “Ruth tracks each group’s members, calls to remind folks to attend and along the way collects thousands of dollars each year for these scholarships.”

She does this without email, social media, or any assistance. Scarlett said, “In the era of email and reminders from our devices, I still get a personal phone call from Ruth telling me about my lunch group.  Once you have personally told Ruth that you will be there, you’re less likely to miss it.”

Scott Wade, Vice President of University Advancement and Executive Director of the CWU Foundation, expressed his sincere gratitude by saying, “We appreciate the decades of investment that Ruth has made to CWU and the lives of our students.  She has devoted her life to this amazing scholarship program, and her legacy will have transformational impact for generations.”

The Legacy Award honors individuals whose contributions and achievements in the community embody CWU’s mission of fostering citizenship, being responsible stewards of the earth, and leading enlightened and productive lives.

The Ellensburg Downtown Association honored Harrington with the 2013 Town and Gown Award for her contributions in supporting a strong and collaborative partnership between CWU and the Ellensburg community.

We would be remiss, if we didn’t add that if you’re interested in taking part, there are brunches, lunches (12:00 and 1:00) and dinner groups. You can contact Ruth directly via the donors page.