The kick-off of the new academic year has been spurred by two signature events which serve to demonstrate two important strategic initiatives of the college.
On August 30, CAHNRS and WSU Extension hosted “A Taste of Washington” at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall to showcase its community partnerships and the tremendous impacts the college and WSU Extension have on the health and vitality of our state and its citizens. Scattered throughout the Benaroya Hall lobby were tables staffed by a dozen chefs whose dishes used local ingredients (salmon, elk, lamb, cheeses, shellfish, vegetables). Surrounding them were over 40 displays of research and extension projects, from endangered species recovery to methane digesters, which have a direct impact on Washington State and its citizens. Great appreciation is extended to the more than 50 faculty who gave of their time to participate in this event and our sensational staff who flawlessly handled the complex planning and logistics required to pull off this event.
In writing about the event, Seattle wine and food writer Ronald Holden could not have said it any better: “Beyond the (Cascade) mountains lie the fields and vineyards whose bounty feeds us, but, even more important, the real strength of this land: Wazzu, Washington State University, whose scientists and researchers bridge the gap between agricultural theories, laboratory tests, and farmland practices.”
While basic research is a critical component of the college’s activities, ultimately research and extension in CAHNRS is about impact and economic development. The Benaroya Hall event vividly demonstrates the college’s commitment to its land-grant mission, not only in food and agriculture, but also in design, natural resources, and the human sciences.
On September 9th, CAHNRS welcomed back its students with its traditional Fall Festival held on the Spillman Plaza. An event that had become rather stagnant over the last several years was rejuvenated through the leadership of new Associate Dean of Academic Programs, Kim Kidwell, with the help of her staff (Jeanne Dahman and Linda Bentley) and the CAHNRS Student Senate. An estimated 700 faculty, students, and staff attended the event (more than three times as many people as recent years!). Over 600 meals were served by Longhorn’s BBQ, and the CAHNRS Alumni and Friends Office served 39 gallons of Ferdinand’s ice cream with a lot of help from department chairs and staff.
CAHNRS students, as well as undeclared majors who were invited to learn more about the college, spent their time learning about the college’s academic programs, visiting booths sponsored by the numerous club and organizations, and visiting with faculty, administrators, and their fellow students. New Provost Dr. Steven Hoch made his way over from the French Administration building and was genuinely impressed. This event symbolizes the college’s renewed commitment to a high-quality educational experience for its undergraduate students.