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WSU CAHNRS Honors Alumna Sue Christianson with Leadership Award

PULLMAN, WASH. – Alumna Sue Christianson is the latest recipient of the Women’s Leadership Recognition Award from the Washington State University College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

“Sue epitomizes the leadership and commitment that this award is designed to honor,” said CAHNRS Dean Dan Bernardo. “Her efforts on behalf of WSU and northwestern Washington have improved the quality of life in her community and beyond.”

Christianson was instrumental in demonstrating the need, developing the plans, and raising the funds for building the agricultural research and technology facilities at WSU’s Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center. In 2005, she and her husband, Ken, were honored by the WSU Foundation and received Outstanding Service Awards for their efforts on that project.

Currently, a business owner and resident of Burlington, Wash., Christianson commenced a pattern of leadership and service in 1972 when she began her education at WSU. As a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta fraternity, she held numerous administrative positions.

“I volunteer because I thoroughly enjoy the people I meet and work with,” Christianson said.

Passionate for the horticulture industry, Christianson was a founding member of the Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland organization in 1989. Her love of agriculture grew to encompass her professional life, blossoming into a business that specializes in trees. As a current co-owner for Chrishaven Trees, Christianson ensures clients are well educated on the various tree species.

“I spend time in the field, as needed, to find just the right tree for a client,” she said. “One tree or 100 trees, our clients all receive personal attention.”

Linda Chalich, WSU’s assistant director of Athletic Media Relations who nominated Christianson for the leadership award, said Christianson has worked hard for Skagit County farmlands and growers.

“Born a city girl, Sue has embraced the agricultural lifestyle,” Chalich said. “She has never missed an opportunity to promote Washington State University everywhere she travels.”

While serving as a community leader and volunteer, Sue Christianson raised four children who have also become WSU alumni.

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NOTE: Intern Nathan Tims was the major contributor to this article.