PULLMAN, Wash.–Higher education is a wise investment for students of color, says Washington State University administrator Steve Nakata.
“Earning a college degree is an investment of time, effort and money. WSU is committed to being accessible to all who desire a quality education. The university assists students of color in applying for admission, financial aid and scholarships,” said Nakata, interim director of WSU Multicultural Student Services.
WSU’s commitment is “not only to attract good students, but to help students of color thrive, earn their degrees and be successful in their chosen professions,” said Nakata, himself a WSU graduate.
The Student Mentor Program and student centers for African American, Asian Pacific American, Chicano/Latino and Native American students are indicators of WSU’s commitment.
Among WSU students is Cathy Domaoan, an Asian Pacific American, from Seattle. The daughter of Dimitri and Angela Damaoan, Seattle, she is a business major and a 1996 graduate of Seattle’s Blanchet High School. “Through my student group — the Filipino American Student Association — I can find the motivation and encouragement to succeed academically and socially at WSU,” she said.
Another WSU student is Ericka Garza, a Chicano/Latino, from Connell. She is a communications major, the daughter of Luis Rei and Sylvia Garza,
Connell, and a 1995 graduate of Connell High School. She said, “At WSU, you get to know your professors and even the administrators. This leads to a lot of opportunities.”
Russell McCloud, a member of the Yakama Indian Nation, is a WSU forestry management major from Toppenish. A 1996 graduate of Wapato High School, he is the son of Kenny and Mary McCloud of Toppenish. Said McCloud, “My goal was to attend a major university, and WSU has what I was looking for.”
Luke Ye, who is African American/Asian Pacific American, is a WSU criminal justice major from Tacoma and a 1993 graduate of Tacoma’s Lincoln High School. “I have leadership inside me, and WSU has gotten it to come out,” said Ye, formerly known as Raymond Womack Jr. He is the son of Raymond and Mincha Womack.
Using the phrase “WSU … taking you anywhere you want to go!,” the university is speaking of the strength of a WSU education, said Nakata. “The fact that a recent survey of our graduates showed 93.2 percent of them would attend WSU again speaks well of the student experience as well as the success of students once they graduate and go into a variety of professions across the state, throughout the nation and around the world.”
In the past academic year, 1996-1997, WSU awarded $95 million in financial aid. The university offers students of color Multicultural Scholarships ranging from $1,750 to $3,500. Feb. 1 is the priority deadline to apply for these and other scholarships at WSU.
Students of color interested in learning more about WSU Multicultural Scholarships may contact WSU Admissions, toll free, at 1-888-Go-To-WSU (888-468-6978) or by e-mail at . WSU Multicultural Student Services can be contacted at 509/335-7852 or by e-mail at . The WSU web site is and through it the sites for Admissions and Multicultural Student Services can be found.

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