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WSU Vancouver honors 33 during Women’s History Month

By Brenda Alling, WSU Vancouver marketing and communications

women-of-distinction-150VANCOUVER, Wash. – Fifteen students and eight others with ties to Washington State University Vancouver are among 33 women who will be honored at the annual Women of Distinction event at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in Firstenburg Student Commons.

Allen Gabriel, co-founder of the Pink Lemonade Project for breast cancer patient empowerment, will be the keynote speaker. There will be a collection bin for donations of new or used business clothes to the Dress-A-Coug Clothing Drive.

The event is free to registered guests. Register and get a parking permit at

All nominees will be recognized for inspiring, mentoring and empowering others. The three Distinguished Woman awards to be announced at the event—high school student, WSU Vancouver student and community member—are selected by community and WSU Vancouver representatives.

The WSU Vancouver student nominees are:

Elizabeth Brodie, station manager at KOUG Radio who will graduate in May with degrees in anthropology and public affairs.

Kia Calderon, who hopes to teach social studies when she completes her degree.

Sarah deVincenzi, director of communications for the Associated Students of WSU Vancouver who will graduate in May in creative media and digital culture.

Kelsey Gingerich, community service coordinator for ASWSUV and intern at the National Coalition of Violence Against Women who will graduate in May with a degree in public affairs and a minor in business.

Christi Hamilton, ASWSUV senator who will graduate in May with a degree in social science, focusing on personnel psychology/human resource management, with minors in psychology and human development.

Christie Isenhart, director of corporate relations with the student Human Resource Society and chair of the Student Media Board who will graduate in May with a degree in human resources.

Stephanie Leeper, programming intern for the Office of Student Involvement and monthly event coordinator for the Student Activities Board who is studying personnel psychology/human resource management with a minor in psychology.

Carly Lowder, chair of the Student Activities Board who will graduate in May with a major in personnel psychology/human resource management and minors in psychology and business management.

Chloe Moesch, director of leadership development at ASWSUV who will graduate in August in personnel psychology/human resource management.

Sami Reel, senator and secretary with ASWSUV and a junior majoring in psychology and English who wants to become a school counselor.

Kirsten Reynolds, student ambassador and staff member at the Office of Student Involvement and chair of the Campus Affairs Committee with the ASWSUV who is a junior in biology.

Ashlyn Salzman, director of legislative affairs for WSU Vancouver who will graduate in May in public affairs.

Cambri Shanahan, outdoor recreation intern for the Office of Student Involvement and editor-in-chief of the Salmon Creek Journal who is studying human development and fine art.

Natasha Sharer, director of student enrichment for ASWSUV who works at the front desk of the Office of Student Involvement and will graduate in accounting in May.

Amalia Vacca, a recent graduate in digital technology and culture.

The community member nominees with ties to WSU are:

Melissa Boles, WSU Vancouver alumna and academic advisor at Clark College.

Laura Ellsworth, WSU Vancouver alumna and volunteer manager for organ donation awareness, allocation policy and reproductive health.

Jennifer McDaniel, mentor for the Business Growth MAP program at WSU Vancouver, Washougal city councilwoman and parish administrator for her church.

Erica Nicewonger, WSU Vancouver alumna who works in gang intervention and outreach with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington.

Merlinda Sain, a human resource generalist for WSU Vancouver and alumna.

Debra Sanders, professor of accounting at WSU for 30 years who moved from the Pullman campus to develop a master’s program at WSU Vancouver.

Margarita Topal, WSU Vancouver alumna and operations manager at Home Guard Roofing NW.

Erica Zutz, WSU Vancouver alumna who volunteers with Americorps VISTA in Billings, Mont., to help active military families.


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