Skip to main content Skip to navigation

CAHNRS Talk Tuesday: Deena Migliazzo

Each week, we showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Deena Migliazzo, senior from Atwater, Calif.Graphic of student's interests with a formal portrait photo.

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Economic Sciences, in the Financial Markets option.

Favorite Show/Movie:

A Walk to Remember

Favorite Cougar Tradition:

My favorite Cougar tradition is the energy, pride, and support at each football game. WSU has some of the most loyal and proud alumni of any university. I remember my first home football game as a freshman, and how everyone was cheering in unison for one single purpose: Cougar football. It’s more than a game; it is a tradition passed on from one generation to the next. There is nothing like sitting in the stands at Martin Stadium, rain, shine, or snow, surrounded by generations of Cougars cheering on their favorite team. Cougs always find their way back home.

Favorite CAHNRS Commodity:

My favorite commodity that CAHNRS produces is Cougar Gold Cheese. I grew up on a family dairy in California and  we always had some type of dairy product at every meal. While it was hard to say goodbye to my own family’s cheese, CAHNRS white cheddar cheese makes up for it.

Why be a CAHNRS Coug?

Coming from an agricultural background, I knew I wanted to attend a school that valued the agriculture industry and had a strong economics program. I looked at schools all over the United States, but after visiting WSU, I knew I was meant to be a Cougar. The WSU School of Economic Sciences had everything I was looking for in a college and the opportunity to be part of CAHNRS made the decision to transfer simple. Transferring schools was not an easy process though. Thankfully, CAHNRS made it so much better. Coming to WSU, I didn’t know a single person, but being part of CAHNRS helped me to find a family away from home.

Best Student Experience:

My best student experience has been the internship opportunities that WSU and CAHNRS have given me. Many people know that getting an internship can be a stressful experience. CAHNRS helped to alleviate that stress through great opportunities that have helped me grow both as a student and as a person. Last summer, I worked for an incredible company in Bellevue, WA, as a Transfer Pricing Intern. Through this internship, I was able to apply the knowledge and skills I learned in the classroom to my work. I learned so much from this internship and am very grateful for all the opportunities WSU has given me.

CAHNRS Taught Me:

No matter where you go, WSU alumni are all over the world. Not only are they all over the world, they are all willing to help the current and future generations of CAHNRS Cougs. The networking through WSU has taught me incredible skills and provided me with both internship and career opportunities. Being a senior can be really intimidating, but I have been extremely fortunate to have the support of amazing alumni that have provided these opportunities to network with industry leaders for both career options and educational advice.

 

Summer legislative internship in DC brings student’s goals into focus

By Sarah Appel, CAHNRS Academic Programs

While other people may shy away from terms like “agricultural politics,” Megan Gould gets excited. After spending this past summer in Washington D.C. as a legislative intern with S-3 Public Affairs, Megan has found her passion and confidence in politics.

Gould poses with the U.S. Capitol Building in the background.
WSU student Megan Gould poses in front of the U.S. Capitol building, where she worked as a legislative intern this summer.

“I was drawn to the importance of advocating while I served as a state officer for the Washington FFA Association,” Megan said. “After seeing the importance of using your voice to be an influence, I was drawn to the political process.”

With the help of two dedicated mentors, Megan’s main task was to follow the Farm Bill and Agricultural Appropriations Bill through the Senate and House Floor. This also included working with public relations to create graphics, attending committee hearing to keep notes to send to lobbyists, creating a media consumption survey for college students across the country, and more.

Out of all this, Megan enjoyed the committee meetings the most. She attended these meetings at least once a week and took notes as legislators asked farmers about their opinions on pieces of legislation to see how that regulation or policy would affect people at the farming level.

“I loved seeing the system at work,” she said. “Seeing an average day farmer or industry person sitting down and talking to legislators was incredible.”

As a sophomore majoring in Agriculture and Food Security with a minor in Political Science, Megan hopes to use her education and internship opportunities to set herself apart for future employment in Washington D.C. The field is extremely competitive, and Megan hopes to ensure her success in the field by gaining more experiences through internships.

“I think a large opportunity that goes unnoticed by students is internships,” Megan said. “They can really help you realize what you want to do after graduation and pave the way for job opportunity upon graduation.”

While internships within agricultural policy aren’t for everyone, Megan encourages all students to apply for as many internships as possible. You never know what opportunities you will experience or lessons you will learn if you never try.

“I was more than just an intern,” Megan said, “I could make a difference with my time in D.C.”

CAHNRS Talk Tuesday: Caroline Sirr

Each week, we showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Caroline Sirr, a sophomore from Bellevue, Wash.

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Animal Science, in the pre-veterinary medicine/science option.

Favorite Show/Movie:

The 10th Kingdom

Favorite Cougar Tradition:

My favorite Cougar tradition is the overwhelming school spirit shown at every home football game. As an avid supporter of football, it is always an incredible experience to be surrounded by the energy and excitement that a Cougar Football Saturday brings. These games have inspired my Cougar Spirit, as well as helped create amazing friendships as other Cougs and I share in the excitement of the game. It is easy to make lasting friendships with my fellow fans in the stands as we shout “Go Cougs” together!

Favorite CAHNRS Commodity:

Every year there are large plant sales put on by CAHNRS and the Horticulture club. These sales include everything from Cougar red tomatoes, fuchsia baskets, deck plants, and more. It’s always so bright and colorful; I can’t resist stopping by the sale to pick up a few plants for my home. Growing these plants each year in my home has not only brightened up my place but has also helped hone my skills in plant growing. Who knew I had such a green thumb thanks to the plant sale!

Why be a CAHNRS Coug?

Being a CAHNRS Coug is an amplified version of being a Coug! There is unity throughout CAHNRS students that is unlike any other college. I have gained several valuable relationships with fellow students who are often in the same classes as me. Aside from my friends and classmates, being a CAHNRS Coug has also provided me with great faculty connections. My education has been able to flourish through these connections as I learn from my peers and am supported by the faculty. I see the same affect with all CAHNRS Cougs; friendships are being made daily and faculty are constantly supporting students and their ambitions. There is nothing that can bring people together more than a shared love of CAHNRS and all it provides!

Best Student Experience:

I found my Cougar family while in the Residence Hall during my freshman year here at WSU. We would always have dinner together and spend time laughing, gossiping, playing games and, of course, eating. After a great first year, we all split up into various apartments and it became more difficult to spend that valued time together. We worked through the distance and kept our family strong by having family dinners once a week as well as organizing birthdays, going to football games together, and just trying to spend quality time together. Though the physical distance between us grew, our family ties are now stronger than ever.

CAHNRS Taught Me:

CAHNRS has given me countless opportunities for hands on experience; opportunities that will be crucial to my future as a veterinarian. While in CAHNRS, I have been able to work in a lab researching the reproductive tract of mice. This not only taught me information about a very specific topic, but also provided me with valuable experience in the lab where I learned how to be an efficient researcher. Other than research, CAHNRS has also provided me with opportunities to milk cows, flip sheep, and many other opportunities that no other college provides. All these opportunities have given me an immeasurable amount knowledge and experience that I will carry with me far into my future years as a veterinarian.

Lifetime Achievement Award honors economics emeritus Ken Casavant

Group photo showing the four presenting and receiving an award certificate.
Ken Casavant, emeritus professor of economic sciences, receives his Lifetime Achievement Award from PacTrans director Yinhai Wang and assistant director Cole Kopca, Oct. 12. Casavant is joined by Eric Jessup, director of the WSU Freight Policy Transportation Institute, left.

 

Honored for five decades of work helping address regional, national and international transportation challenges, Kenneth Casavant, Emeritus Professor in the School of Economic Sciences, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium, or PacTrans.

A Washington State University alumnus and 2015 recipient of the WSU President’s Distinguished Lifetime Service Award, Casavant received the PacTrans honor Oct. 12 at the Region 10 Transportation Conference at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

“Washington is the most trade dependent state in the United States, and when you can’t reach your customer, there is no trade,” Casavant said. “Transportation is the lifeline of our economy. Improving it is critical to people and products, and I have relished seeing our work at WSU providing those benefits.”

Receiving his doctorate in agricultural economics here in 1971, Casavant has studied and worked at WSU for 50 years. An agricultural economist and longtime Faculty Athletics representative, Casavant was co-developer and director of the WSU Freight Policy Transportation Institute with Associate Professor Eric Jessup, and a member of the Northwest Power Planning Council. He retired in 2018.

Mentoring many students and faculty members, Casavant’s research explores how policy affects people and the movement of goods that power our economy. His work has helped develop more intelligent, effective transportation systems of roads, rail and ports for producers and customers.

“Being recognized for what I have always enjoyed doing is a pleasure,” Casavant said. “All young people should want to work in an area that is so essential, rewarding and fun.”

Supporting research to solve transportation challenges in the Pacific Northwest, PacTrans is a consortium of transportation professionals and educators at Oregon State University, Washington State University, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Idaho, University of Washington, Boise State and Gonzaga University.

  • Learn more about PacTrans here.
  • Learn more about the WSU Freight Policy Transportation Institute here.

WSU Research award honors breeders’ tech advances in Cosmic Crisp®

Two WSU researchers visiting a row of apple trees, holding apples.
WSU fruit breeders, Bruce Barritt, now retired, and Kate Evans, visit a WA 38 stand at Sunrise Research Orchard in Wenatchee. Barritt and Evans were honored for advances in breeding the new apple.

Congratulations to Kate Evans, professor of horticulture and pome fruit breeder with the WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, and Bruce Barritt, retired WSU apple breeder, who were honored this fall by the university’s Office of Research for their efforts advancing the technologies behind the new WA 38 apple variety, branded as Cosmic Crisp®.

Leading the 20-year effort to release WA 38—a new, high-quality apple bred for Washington growers—Evans and Barritt received the Technology with Impactful Contribution to Society Award, which recognizes researchers for creating technologies that lead to societal impact and high licensing revenue for WSU.

They were among eight faculty members presented with awards during Research Week, Oct. 15-19.

Learn more about the Research Week awards here.

New from Extension Publishing: Guides to better camp safety, cider, vegetable trends, and colorful hydrangeas

Composite image of a white and pink hydrangea; people examining vegetables in a hoophouse; and a box of cider apples.
The latest publications from WSU Extension include guides to hydrangeas, organic vegetable production, and measuring tannin in cider.

Washington State University Extension educators work alongside Washington farmers, artisans, communities and families, creating knowledge that helps improve our crops, foods and beverages, develop young leaders, and power our economy.

Every month, Extension faculty share the results of their work through peer reviewed online publications. This month’s publications include:

• A guide to conservation tillage in winter wheat with farmer Ron Jirava, by Georgine Yorgey, Associate Director of the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, with collaborators Kristy Borelli, Kathleen Painter and Hilary Davis (PNW706).

• A safety guide for leaders of the WSU Extension 4-H Challenge Course at Camp Long, by Scott VanderWey, Kevin Wright, Yohann Hanley and Matt Kostle, in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation (EM114E).

• A floral bulletin, “How Are Hydrangea Flower Colors Determined?,” by Extension Horticulturist Linda Chalker-Scott (FS309E).

• A guide to condensed tannin measurements in Eastern Washington juices and hard cider, by WSU Horticulture associate in research D. Scott Mattinson (TB52E).

• A guide to understand trends in Washington state organic diversified vegetable production, by CAHNRS researchers David Granatstein, Michael Brady, Elizabeth Kirby and Marcia Ostrom (FS310E).

You can find the latest publications at the WSU Extension Online Bookstore. Find the newest monthly listings here.

Ag Future of America: Students get inspired to achieve at Leaders Conference

Group photo of WSU students, holding a crimson WSU flag, at the AFA conference.
WSU students unfurl the crimson Cougar flag at the annual AFA Leaders Conference, where they build confidence and networking skills. Attendees of the 2017 conference from WSU include, from left, front row, Alex Johnson, Nicole Buell, Macy Hagler, Kayla Beechinor, Maddie Kramme, Jacklyn Bennett, Lacey Desserault; top row, Max Mielke, Colm Allan, Emma Winker, Brent Rosman, Gracie Dickerson, Eliana Bolt, Lukas Meader, Vanessa Giramata, Joe Rosman, Brennan Hyden, Megan Whited, Randall Chipman, Maya Wahl.

 

This fall, 21 students from Washington State University will travel to Kansas City, Mo., representing WSU among 800 students from across the nation at the annual Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Leaders Conference.

Founded in 1996, the AFA helps young leaders foster engagement and innovation in food and agriculture. The Leaders Conference, to be held Nov. 1-4, 2018, gives college students the opportunity to grow as young agricultural professionals, while increasing their excitement about the future of agriculture.

“Before my involvement with AFA, while I was continually seeking out new opportunities to enhance my college experience, there was something missing: direction,” said Colm Allan, a current WSU senior majoring in Agriculture Technology and Production Management.

“Now, after being involved for over a year and serving as a student leader, I have gained direction and confidence to enter the agricultural industry, thanks to knowledge learned from my classes and the professionalism that I gained through AFA,” he said.

While his first agricultural internship was beneficial and taught him a great deal about the agricultural industry, Allan quickly realized there is much more to the industry. That was when his first AFA event, the Crop Science Institute in Raleigh, North Carolina, came into the picture.

“After my initial experience in North Carolina, my entire mindset, as well as career trajectory, had drastically changed. I was able to see all of the opportunities that were available across the country,” Allan reflected.

Macy Hagler, a senior studying Agriculture and Food Security, was inspired by her older sister to get involved with AFA as a freshman. She will represent WSU at the AFA Leaders Conference for the fourth time.

“AFA answered questions that school did not,” Hagler said. “It covered every aspect of professional development with engaging speakers and workshops.

“After my experiences, I can confidently say that I am not just ready to find a job, I’m ready to make a career in agriculture,” she added. “I’m so much more excited about my future, because I can see how my career can give me a platform to impact the industry in the best way possible.”

While this may be Hagler’s last time going to the event, she is excited to experience it one last time.

“You’ll never know how much potential you have until you push yourself,” she said. “This conference is a wonderful way to test your boundaries and help you become aware of what you’re capable of.”

Sarah Appel, a current WSU junior, is excited to be going to this conference for the first time.

As a Public Relations major, she is working hard to find a balance between her major and minors in Agricultural Systems and Agribusiness Economics, to one day represent the industry as an agricultural public relations specialist.

“This conference provides me with an opportunity to grow both as an individual and as a future professional in the agricultural industry,” Appel said. “Experiences like this help to open doors within the industry that I want to represent.”

Allan, Hagler and Appel are looking forward to this trip, and the opportunity to represent WSU.

“Regardless of where someone is at, the chance to get out of the comfort zone of campus and network alongside so many other individuals who are invested in the future of agriculture is something that can’t be replaced,” Appel said. “Take the risk, talk to industry partners, and take charge of the future.”

• Learn more about Agriculture Future of America here.

 

National association recognizes Extension teams for outstanding community support

Photo of Ord, right, standing, with presenter, left, holding certificate between them.
Accepting her NEAFCS award this fall, Gina Ord, right, director of Yakima County Extension, was honored for work helping families of children with special needs.

WSU Extension faculty members were honored this fall for their efforts supporting Northwest communities, at the annual session of the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences.

Margaret Viebrock, WSU Extension Director in Chelan & Douglas Counties, Janet Schmidt, WSU Extension Director in Whitman County, and Debra Hansen, WSU Extension County Director in Stevens County, with other team members, received the second place Western Region Marketing Package Award at the conference, held Sept. 24 in San Antonio, Texas.

This award recognizes “Women, Farms & Food,” a 5-state project that helps women farmers reduce business risk and improve profitability. The Marketing Package Award recognizes association members for outstanding marketing efforts addressing concerns and needs of children, families or communities.

Helping families with special needs

Gina Ord, WSU Extension Director and Health & Nutrition Extension Educator in Yakima County, was awarded the second place Western Region Florence Hall Award for “Caring for Yourself,” an interactive program for parents of children with special healthcare needs. Ord’s program offers targeted workshops and serves as a gateway to connect special-needs families with Extension programs.

Gateway to service for Latino communities

AnaMaria Diaz Martinez, Family Specialist with Franklin and Benton Counties; Drew Betz, Whatcom County Director; Rebecca Sero, Extension Evaluation Specialist; and Ord received the second place Western Regional Award for Program Excellence through Research Award. Martinez was recognized for her work in amplifying the voices of Latino immigrants and the need for collaboration in Extension research, evaluation and programs supporting families.

Farm fresh nutrition

Diane Smith, WSU Food Access and Health Promotion Specialist in Skagit and Whatcom Counties, and her team received the second place Western Region Multi State Collaboration Award for outstanding work in the implementation of the Farm Fresh Food Box (F3B) project. In this pilot project, farmers and rural retailers partner to offer boxes of fresh local produce to local consumers, promoting new markets and increasing access to nutrition.

  • Learn more about WSU Extension here.

    A photo showing a square of nine different award certificates.
    Nine WSU Extension teams earned awards at this fall’s NEAFCS conference.

CAHNRS Talk Tuesday: Alec Solemslie

Each week, we showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Alec Solemslie, a senior from Big Lake, Wash.

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Forestry.

Favorite Show/Movie:

The Crown

Favorite Cougar Tradition:

“Once a Coug, always a Coug.” It is as simple as that. The alumni and community WSU creates every year will last a lifetime. Alumni are always giving back to this community through scholarships, job opportunities, and sharing their wisdom. Meeting a fellow Coug on the street and both of us proudly saying “Go Cougs!” makes any day tenfold better. Never underestimate the legacy of WSU.

Favorite CAHNRS Commodity:

The plants from plant sales are the best. My family (myself included) cannot limit ourselves when it comes to the Horticulture Club plant sales throughout the year (especially Mom’s Weekend!). There’s just something about those incredibly grown plants that we can’t avoid, no matter how hard we try. As an added bonus, these sales help provide student scholarships for club members! The plants bring us joy, our homes color, and provide us with an opportunity to give back to the CAHNRS community!

Why be a CAHNRS Coug?

Instead of me choosing CAHNRS, CAHNRS chose me. I came to CAHNRS for my major, but as I began to experience everything that the college has to offer, I realized something: the community—the faculty and students—is irreplaceable. Everyone within this college is so passionate and devoted to the success of others and the community that this ‘CAHNRS Family’ concept is not something to take lightly. It has changed not only my life, but those of everyone around me as we share in the community that CAHNRS has created within each and every one of us. CAHNRS is not merely a college but rather an experience—an unforgettable one.

Best Student Experience:

It is extremely difficult to chose just one great experience. I would have to say all the student organizations that I have been involved with in CAHNRS and WSU have provided me with the best student experiences. The friends and opportunities from these clubs have been out of this world! Especially now in my last year as I work with upcoming student leaders on campus, there is an indescribable joy and pride watching and helping fellow students discover their potential. I hope to guide these future leaders just as someone led me four years ago.

CAHNRS Taught Me:

The possibilities that CAHNRS provides for all our students has really resonated with me. As I end my undergraduate career, CAHNRS has taught me to expand my horizons, seize the moment, and constantly search for opportunities. The forestry degree I wanted when I entered my freshman year is very different than the forestry degree I have now. The best part is that I wouldn’t have it any other way. While it has been a difficult path, the lessons I have learned from being challenged and seeking out possibilities have made me the person I am today. In short, the experiences I have had in CAHNRS have really taught me to never stop learning and never stop exploring.

 

Research working for WSU student

Hands-on experience. In almost any career, having that line on a resume is a huge benefit. When that career is wildlife ecology, just what you get your hands on can be pretty interesting.

Two people kneel on the ground. The woman is holding a bear paw that is sticking out of a portable cage.
Taylor Schaeffer and Tony Carnahan  work with the bears at the WSU Bear Center.

Take Taylor Schaeffer, a senior at WSU who majoring in wildlife ecology and a volunteer at the WSU Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Center.

“This summer, I did a lot of behavioral scoring, initializing collars, learning how to balance a centrifuge,” Schaeffer said. “On top of working with the bears to set up enrichment items and clean up.”

Those were all part of a research project that took up most of this summer at the Bear Center. Schaeffer worked with graduate student Tony Carnahan, who is studying how bears use energy.

So she watched a lot of video of the bears to mark down what behaviors they exhibited, like when they ate or how often they walked around. And since the bears in the study have energy-monitoring collars, she had to make sure they were collecting data correctly.

“It was so much fun, and I learned a lot,” said the Missoula, Montana native. “I want to go to graduate school and do research, so this was fantastic training for that.”

She was also involved on research projects that studied bears sense of smell, and last year’s work on the treadmill.

“Wildlife ecology is really competitive,” Schaeffer said. “But WSU has so many opportunities for students to be involved in research. I think that will really help me as I look around for graduate programs.”

She said she’s also proud of the efforts taken by staff and other volunteers at the center to take care of the bears.

“They’re so well taken care of,” Shaeffer said. “And the research that we’ve done, and the things we’ve learned from these bears, is something that wouldn’t have been possible without this center. They really are helping all the bears in the wild.”