Dear CAHNRS Coug,
On behalf of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, I want to welcome you as you begin this academic year. Regardless of whether you’re a young freshman or a seasoned graduate student, you’re taking an important step by being here. Few things have the potential to change your life as powerfully, and as positively, as your education.
As the new Dean of one of the largest and most complex colleges within WSU, I can say I still feel like it is my first day back at school in many respects. Let me share with you what I know after 20 years in government research and academia.
First, work hard. Like many CAHNRS students, I was born in a rural community—near a tiny fishing village in northeast Canada. Growing up, we didn’t have running water. I was the first in my family to go to college, and back then, I didn’t know what a dean was. I went to school set on playing professional football. But my mother insisted that education, not football, was my ticket to a better life, and after my second knee surgery, I had to admit she was right. When I began to fully focus on my studies, the doors of opportunities that once seemed far out of reach were unlocked. I promise you that when you put in the work, the course of your life will be changed forever.
Second, be curious. Your coursework will provide you with a foundation of knowledge, but the greatest tool you have at your disposal is your own curiosity. There is so much to discover, and with technological advances being made every day, there has never been a more exciting time to be a student. CAHNRS professors and students are doing world class research, research that touches lives far beyond our campus. Seek out opportunities to join them. Thirst for knowledge in whatever your field and contribute to academic dialogue. Let your voice be heard.
Third, take advantage of the many experiences the University has to offer. Get involved in clubs and organizations. Get to know your classmates. Find a cause you love and volunteer. Universities are gathering places of diversity—diverse ideas, cultures, people. Take advantage of this opportunity to get to know more about the world we live in. One of the most profound powers education affords you is the power to make the world a better place. This begins when you step outside of the world you have always known. The study abroad program is an incredible way to do this, and it’s a resource you now have at your fingertips.
As a CAHNRS Coug, you are part of a family that you will be part of forever. You bring unique talents and experiences that make us stronger. I invite you to follow CAHNRS on Twitter: @wsucahnrs and Facebook: WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. You can also keep up with the latest events and CAHNRS news by visiting our CAHNRS homepage.
I am grateful that we will be traveling on this next phase of your educational journey together, and I look forward to meeting you and learning with you.
André Wright, Dean
College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences
Washington State University