2019 Outstanding Seniors

Meet Our Global Campus Outstanding Seniors!

In recognition of outstanding academic performance and service to the university and/or their community, WSU Global Campus has recognized six outstanding seniors for the 2018-19 academic year. Below they share their stories in their own words, explaining what their Global Campus Experience was like and how it has changed their lives.

Alexis Warner

Photo: Alexis Warner

Humanities Outstanding Senior

“In reflecting on my recent experiences as a student at Washington State University, I find that my current and future plans have all been fundamentally impacted by my decision to pursue a Humanities degree through WSU Global. When I enrolled in WSU’s distance learning program in 2016, I was struggling to define my purpose in life, to discover my own role within the community. Nevertheless, over the subsequent semesters, my courses and my instructors at the Global Campus provided me with the assistance and the inspiration necessary to orient myself towards the future and to follow my goals with courage and fortitude.

“Through my studies of diverse peoples, cultures, and identities, I have gained the knowledge and skills necessary to demonstrate compassion and respect for individuals of all colors, creeds, and capabilities—a critical component of my labor as a customer service associate serving members of my community. While I have often battled to balance my academic endeavors against the demands of my work and my family, I will never regret my journey here at WSU. It has ultimately allowed me to broaden my personal horizons and achieve the level of self-actualization so crucial to success within the modern world.”

More about humanities degree—online

Joanna Aceret

Photo: Joanna Aceret

Human Development Outstanding Senior

“As a human development major studying abroad through WSU Global, I have experienced many bumps and bruises while getting my degree. I have found that being on my own, getting my degree, and working full-time is not an easy task. As I’ve taken classes though, I’ve been able to cope and maneuver my way through the adversities that hit life as you get older. Thanks to Washington State University, I was able to get an education in something I love, while going through life.

“When I first changed my major to human development, I had no clue what doors it would open for me. Over time though, I learned that opportunity awaits at every corner. As I grow in my professional walk, I have learned that my degree can be utilized everywhere – counseling, pregnancy center, schools, and social work. Looking into my future career, I have found myself stuck between wanting to work for the school, wanting to pursue my masters in order to counsel people with a license, or just taking any type of social work that I can apply my degree with. I learned that in human development, life experience is more vital than getting a master’s immediately. Knowingly, I am even more grateful to have gotten my bachelor’s in human development, because Hawaii still does things “old school” by allowing you to train while accruing experience.

“Lastly, through human development, I have been able to work with low-income moms through the internship I completed in Spring 2019. Working with the Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui has given me almost five months of hands-on training, professional experience, and client-based work. I cannot wait to see what else my degree has in store for me!”

More about human development degree—online

Nathan Kruse

Photo: Nathan Kruse

Social Sciences Outstanding Senior

“The impact that my Bachelor’s in Social Sciences has had on my career path is considerable. After having learned about the various challenges that human societies have persevered through or failed in for generations, I feel more optimistic about my contribution towards society. I want to be an agent of change, however long and daunting that road may be. To specify my point, I have an ambition to work for and get paid by advocacy groups that fight for the interests of needy communities. Already I have volunteered for a food and clothing bank that serves such persons in Issaquah, Washington.

“In addition, during my temporary career as a Deputy Field Organizer for Washington State Democrats, I helped recruit volunteers to canvass for incumbent Democrats’ re-election in the 2018 midterms. I even got to meet quite a few of them: namely, Senator Maria Cantwell, Rep. Susan DelBene, State Sen. Manka Dhingra, and State Sen. Patty Kuderer. Nevertheless, I am committed to continue doing paid advocacy work for my full time career, even after I graduate from WSU this summer.”

More about social sciences degree—online

Nichole Guerpo

Photo: Nichole Guerpo, left, and history professor Jenny Thigpen
Nichole Guerpo, left, and history professor Jenny Thigpen

History Outstanding Senior

“Education had been a focus throughout my life. From when I was a child reading Elie Wiesel’s Night, to the day I applied for admission to Washington State University, I have maintained not only an interest in but also a commitment to expanding my knowledge. Since embarking upon my academic journey, I have experienced numerous obstacles. From putting my formal education on hold to serve in the United States Marine Corps to raising a family, from giving up a career in Counseling and moving across the nation, to pulling through my husband’s absences at the behest of the military; I have always maintained a commitment to the goal of continuing my academic career.

“While my life adventure has been complicated by homelessness, a military lifestyle fraught with instability and frequent moves, all while raising five children, WSU has provided me with the chance to realize my lifelong dream. Without the global program and exceptional scholastic quality that WSU offers, I would not have been able to return to school while maintaining my obligations to my family.

“I have experienced numerous educational programs, both seated and virtual, so I feel that I can speak with authority when I say that WSU’s global program is first rate and sacrifices nothing in quality in its virtual nature. While my goal of continuing my education will not end here, the opportunity, support and tutelage provided by this institution, and the talented and committed staff that work so diligently within it, has been the pivotal point in my journey to achieving my goal. My experience at WSU has provided me with the means, motivation and ability to continue to higher levels of achievement. As I continue on with the goal to obtain my Masters and perhaps one day my Doctorate, I will forever be indebted to the opportunities WSU’s Global program as provided me with, both now and looking into the future. There are no words that will truly encompass my level of appreciation and respect so I will simply say ‘thank you.'”

More about history degree—online

Stacey Ahuja

Photo: Stacy Ahuja

Psychology Outstanding Senior

“It is such an honor to be the first recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award in psychology for Global Campus students.  When I first began my courses at WSU, it had been 20 years since I was in college, I had just stepped away from a corporate career, and my son was just two years old.  As such, I was extremely nervous about the enormous life change and also worried about how I would balance life as a parent and as a student (I’m sure a lot of GC students can relate). 

“As I settled into a rhythm with the nuances of being an online student, my nerves calmed and I saw opportunities to be very involved in the program.  Students within our program are very fortunate to have opportunities to serve as teaching assistants and research assistants, and to be involved in research. 

“The highlights of my past two years as a Global Campus student were being able to present my research at SURCA and working with Dr. Daffin to install the first-ever honor society (Psi Chi Global Campus) for online students at WSU.  With respect to Psi Chi, I wanted to create a way for like-minded students to connect with one another and this endeavor has been highly successful – the Global Campus chapter of Psi Chi is now 32-members strong!

“I have plans to pursue a PhD in cognitive psychology, and I have no doubt that the experiences I have gained in this program, as well as this award, will be invaluable as I head toward that next chapter in my academic career.  As for the balance between parent-life and student-life, it was definitely difficult at times.  There were plenty of missed outings to the park, the beach, or practices.  But perhaps that is what makes this award so special to me – I have something to show my son for my hard work, and he gets to see that his mom’s time away was for a good reason.  In that way, this award is for him as well.  Thank you, WSU!  And GO COUGS!”

More about psychology degree—online

Stacie Seeley

Photo: Stacie Seeley and son
Stacie Seeley, right, and her son Lexington

Criminal Justice Outstanding Senior

“For me, the impact of my degree is more of a stepping stone.  As you may be aware, law enforcement jobs have an entry age limit, which I exceed at 38 years old. I am, however, now in the position to find and apply to a good Master’s degree program which I am searching the most compatible programs for Foreign Service Officer (Diplomat) as this position is international, which I desire, and the age limit for entrance into the service is 60 years.  I plan to obtain both a Master’s and a J.D. which the WSU degree makes me eligible to apply for.  

“I wish I could say that the degree has opened doors for my immediate future, but those doors will be opened soon because I now have the credentials needed for the next steps.  I am also looking at how to use this degree to obtain a position with a Private Investigation firm, and am also taking the criminal justice training commission classes required for P.I. certification.  This degree does put me ahead of other applicants who are also inexperienced in private investigation, and a criminal justice degree is a perfect fit for giving me an edge over similarly positioned applicants.  

“I am proud to have completed this step in my education, and better able to show my children the value of finishing what you begin.  My biggest regret is allowing life to get in the way, and I never should have put off finishing my degree.  My now ex-husband had requested that I table my education for a number of reasons.  If I could go back, I would have dug my heels in the sand and finished years ago!  

“My advice to anyone considering pursuing their education is ‘there is no time like the present!’  Apply, go for it, and push through to the end!  

“I am excited to be eligible for the next step in my own education and WSU’s global campus made graduating possible for me.  Thank-you for the opportunity to better my life!”

More about criminal justice degree—online