WSU Vancouver to honor more than 950 graduates on May 7

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Washington State University Vancouver will honor more than 950 graduating students this year. The honorees include graduates from the fall 2021 and spring and summer 2022 terms. WSU Vancouver’s 2022 Commencement Ceremony is the first in-person commencement since 2019.

Commencement begins at 1 p.m. at RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel Rd., Ridgefield, Wash. No tickets are required, and parking is free. Parking opens at 11 a.m. The seating area opens at 11:30 a.m. Concessions will be available for purchase using credit, debit or mobile pay. The ceremony will also be available live on WSU Vancouver’s YouTube channel at

Guests of the amphitheater will walk through a metal detector at entry. Guns, pocketknives (including Leatherman-style tools) and other weapons are not allowed. Carry-in belongings will be searched. To reduce staff contact, only clear plastic, vinyl or PVC tote bags no larger than 12 x 6 x 12 inches and/or small clutch bags no larger than 4.5 x 6.5 inches are allowed. No outside food or beverages are allowed except for one factory-sealed or empty water bottle up to one-gallon size.


The 2022 graduates include 45 doctoral candidates in the areas of educational leadership; English; environmental and natural resource science; history; language, literacy, and technology; mathematics and science education; molecular biosciences; nursing practice; psychology; sociology; and teaching and learning.

The 64 master’s candidates will receive degrees in anthropology, biology, business administration, computer science, education, electrical engineering, environmental science, mechanical engineering, nursing, statistics, strategic communication and teaching—elementary and secondary.

The bachelor’s candidates will receive degrees in anthropology, biology, business administration, computer science, criminal justice and criminology, data analytics, digital technology and culture, earth and environmental science, education, electrical engineering, English, history, hospitality business management, human development, humanities, mathematics, mechanical engineering, neuroscience, nursing, political science, psychology, public affairs, social sciences, sociology, strategic communication, and viticulture and enology.


Five awards will be presented: Chancellor’s Awards for service, equity, research and student achievement; and the Students’ Award for Teaching Excellence.

Lynn Valenter will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Service to WSU Vancouver. Formerly vice chancellor of finance and operations at WSU Vancouver, she is now vice president of finance and treasurer at Reed College in Portland. In more than 20 years at WSU Vancouver, she helped the university accomplish its highest priorities and oversaw campus growth plans. She is active in several community organizations and continues to support WSU Vancouver.

The Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Equity will honor Cynthia Cooper, associate professor of molecular biosciences. Cooper has led work to strengthen the diversity of the sciences program and build an equitable environment that fosters success for all students. She is both a role model and source of encouragement for young people interested in the sciences.

The Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence will be given to Edward Hagen, professor of anthropology. He is a leader in introducing mental health research into biological anthropology and directs WSU Vancouver’s Bioanthropology Lab. He focuses on topics that have been largely neglected by other biological anthropologists, including the use of tobacco, cannabis and other drugs; depression and suicide.

Zoe Minden will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Student Achievement, which recognizes academic excellence, love of learning and leadership potential. Minden will receive her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at the ceremony and has completed the requirements for Certification in Renewable Energy. In the fall she will begin the master’s program in electrical engineering at WSU Vancouver.

This year’s recipient of the Students’ Award for Teaching Excellence is Carol Siegel, professor of English and women’s, gender and sexuality studies. The award for teaching excellence is given on the basis of student nominations. The recipient is honored for committing time outside of the classroom to keep students from falling through the cracks and for instilling enthusiasm for the subject matter in students. One student wrote that Siegel makes students think “both inside and outside class material.”


WSU Vancouver is in the homeland of Chinookan and Taidnapam peoples and the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. As one of six campuses of the Washington State University system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. The university provides affordable, high-quality baccalaureate- and graduate-level education to benefit the people and communities it serves. As the only four-year research university in Southwest Washington, WSU Vancouver helps drive economic growth through relationships with local businesses and industries, schools and nonprofit organizations. 

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Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communications, 360-546-9601,


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