A talented and dedicated group of more than 60 Washington State University students, faculty, and staff, have received the Presidential Leadership (LEAD) Award.

Award winners include 44 undergraduates and 10 graduate and professional students who possess an impressive array of leadership experiences. Their majors range from bioengineering and agriculture to wildlife ecology and viticulture.

They were recognized along with three student organizations and a community organization during a virtual celebration on Tuesday, April 21, during which WSU President Kirk Schulz and First Lady Noel provided congratulatory remarks.

“I feel so honored to win this award and that my work is being acknowledged on a level that goes beyond the Tri-Cities,” said senior Evan Foraker. “It is bringing light into these dark times.”

Among his many activities on the Tri-Cities campus, Foraker has served as a student mentor, a performance programmer and outreach specialist with the Student Entertainment Board, and graphic design and marketing assistant for the Office of Student Life.

“I’ve learned that the top dogs on campus aren’t the only ones with a voice,” Foraker said. “By being myself and sticking to my values, my personality and leadership development has skyrocketed into a place of true service and happiness.”

Closeup of Haley Donovan
Haley Donovan

WSU Spokane nursing student Haley Donovan speaks similarly about the opportunities she has had to make a positive difference at the health sciences satellite campus in Yakima. There she serves as the campus director of Yakima relations, managed the food pantry, and helped create a gym subsidy for students at the YMCA.

“This year has been influential in shaping my career goals and I’d like to pursue leadership roles in my profession after I graduate in May,” said Donovan, who aspires to be a nurse in the intensive care unit.

WSU faculty and staff receiving LEAD Awards included Ting Chi, professor and graduate coordinator in Apparel Merchandising and Digital Technology; Janessa Graves, associate professor and director of the Office of Information Management and associate dean of undergraduate and community research; Debra Hansen, professor and director of Stevens County Extension; Jamie Holden, plant growth faculty manager in the Department of Horticulture; Davi Kallman, access advisor in the Access Center; and Jane Lanigan, professor in Human Development.

Registered student organizations that received recognition included the Shark Conservation Club, Crimson Group, and Society of Women Engineers. The Colfax Food Pantry is the winner in the community organization category.

During the virtual celebration, Student Involvement Director Brian Shuffield said the LEAD Award recipients were divided into six video chat rooms, each welcomed by a WSU chancellor or vice chancellor. The rooms provided space for the winners to be recognized and discuss their award-winning contributions to their communities.

Closeup of Morgan Atwood
Morgan Atwood

Morgan Atwood, a Global Campus senior, considers herself lucky to be among this class of amazing student leaders. She currently serves as the ASWSU Global Campus president and chairs the Student Government Council. While serving on the Strategic Planning and Effectiveness Council, she represented all WSU students in helping to draft the university’s strategic plan.

“These experiences have helped me see how resilient and amazing the WSU community is,” said Atwood. “I truly believe that we can work together to support one another and improve the student experience. WSU has shaped me into someone that values consensus, harmony and collaboration.”