WSU Tri-Cities director of student life earns national award

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

Danielle-Kleist-webWASHINGTON, D.C. – Danielle Kleist, director of student life at Washington State University Tri-Cities, has earned a national award for promoting student learning and personal development.

The 2016 Doris Michiko Ching Award for Excellence as a Student Affairs Professional from NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education was renamed to honor NASPA’s first minority female board of directors chairwoman.

At WSU Tri-Cities, Kleist started Living Learning Communities, club sports, a recreation and outdoor program, new student orientation programs, a parents program and graduate assistant positions.

“Upon her arrival, she worked diligently to bring in some of our first out-of-state students,” said Chris Meiers, vice chancellor for enrollment management and student services. “She brought students together in terms of academics and interests, and she is creating a sense of belonging for these students.”

Before working at WSU Tri-Cities, Kleist was assistant director and director of orientation and commuter student involvement at the University of Miami, where she was also an active participant in NASPA. She has mentored NASPA undergraduate fellows and serves as the 2016 western regional conference registration chair, the region V membership coordinator and a student program knowledge community co-chair.

NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs profession; it has 15,000 members in 50 states, 25 countries and eight U.S. territories.


Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations specialist, 509-372-7333,
Kristal Griffith, NASPA director of communications and marketing, 202-265-7500 ext. 1177,



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