CWUAlumni NewsAlumni News Forward, 04 Jan 2017 12:49:17<p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 175px; height: 234px; margin: 5px; float: left;">With 2016 in the books, we begin to lean forward as we enter 2017 and celebrate the culmination of 125 years as an institution committed to student success. In looking forward to the New Year, there is a high level of anticipation and excitement for what we will achieve as an institution on the rise.<br><br>This fall, Central reported a 15 percent increase in first-year enrollment, setting a <a href="" target="_blank">new enrollment record.</a> We also dedicated the new $64 million Science II building which includes a planetarium, electron microscope, observatory tower, ice core lab, and anechoic chamber.<br><br>Although we have had some great achievements over the past 125 years, we will need the full support and engagement of our greater alumni community. With your participation and involvement, we can blaze a new trail and create even more opportunities for our students, both today and in the future.<br><br>There has never been a better time to reconnect and invest in the lives of our students. As proud alumnus, we look forward to supporting your engagement to help us move the institution forward through the next 125 years. Our ability to help connect students with alumni is only as great as your involvement. In 2017, we invite you to engage with us in some very practical ways–whether you sign up to <a href="" target="_blank">become a mentor</a>; connect with us on<a href="" target="_blank"> social media</a> to share your story; come back to the classroom and <a href="" target="_blank">share your knowledge</a>; or<a href="" target="_blank"> give back</a> to support access to higher education. Your involvement in the life of the students will be a major contribution toward their success.<br><br>We know that one of the greatest resources of this great institution is the success and accomplishments of our alumni. Alumni like you and fellow successful Wildcats, including Washington State Teacher of the Year, Camille Jones; Retired Marine <a href="" target="_blank">General James N. Mattis</a>, who has recently been nominated to serve as the new US Secretary of Defense; Humanitarian and January’s featured alum Chris Clark who has created a global relief organization focused on the most underserved regions of the world; Ray Conner, Vice chairman of The Boeing Company and a member of the Boeing Executive Council; Dr. David L. Altheide, Regents’ Professor at Arizona State University who specializes in Justice and Social Inquiry; and Dr. Mimi Healy, President and CEO of Lasergen, a start-up biotechnology company focused on developing chemistries for next-generation sequencing and cutting-edge medical diagnostics.<br><br>Through the involvement of more than 1,800 new alumni members over the past 18 months, we have been able to engage alumni across the country while also investing in programs, including a new <a href="" target="_blank">1891 Traditions program</a> that is helping to pass along the tradition and spirit of what it means to be a Wildcat to our current students. In the last year, we have supported more than 120 different programs–just imagine what we could do if we doubled our membership participation in the coming year.<br><br>We hope you join us in making difference in the lives of our students while reconnecting with your classmates and friends.&nbsp;</p><p><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 55px; margin: 5px; float: left;"></p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>Creating a Worldwide Family, 04 Jan 2017 12:11:38<p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; margin: 5px;">Central Washington University alumni, Chris Clark, has made it his life mission to serve and care for orphaned children in their home nations. Chris and his wife Debbie are the founders of Children of the Nations, an organization supporting orphaned children around the world.<br><br>Clark was a student at Central, working towards a degree in Law and Justice. Upon his graduation in 1984, Clark thought he may take a career as a probation officer or working with juvenile delinquents. His time at CWU was well spent, eventually giving him a better understanding of what it was like working with troubled or displaced children. Although he discovered this was not his true calling, Clark credits Central for steering him in the right direction.&nbsp;<br><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 280px; height: 236px; margin: 5px; float: left;">Clark and his wife Debbie decided to embark on a trip to Africa in 1995, where they encountered orphans and refugee children in dire need of assistance and care. With true dedication to helping these children, he returned to the United States, researching an organization that would help these children. To his and his wife’s dismay an organization to help orphaned children around the world did not exist.<br><br>It was at this time the Clark’s decided they had to do something about this issue thus the Children of the Nations was born.<br><br>“Seeing the need orphans had in Sierra Leone, and researching non-governmental organizations or non-profits and coming up short, I felt compelled to do something” Clark said. “My wife had been trained to work with children and we thought that we could not make an excuse to bypass the tremendous needs of orphans around the world.”<br><br>To start this organization, they did not receive any grants or private funds, instead using their own funds to spread the word. They started by creating a child sponsorship program so anyone who wanted to help in some way could, through sponsorship opportunities.&nbsp; It eventually took on a life of its own, as everyone was invited to join in.<br><br>With the first few years under their belt, the funding primarily came from child sponsorships and individual donations. The money they raised enabled them to operate homes, schools, farms, skill centers, clinics, and village feeding centers in an effort to provide quality care for the children. Each country has a Children of the Nations home-base, with an individual mission style, nonprofit organization that is recognized among Christian charities.<br><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 280px; height: 350px; margin: 5px; float: right;">Traveling to every Children of the Nations location isn’t easy, but the Clark’s make it a priority to see the more than 4,300 children that are part of the network. Chris goes at least twice a year, while his wife goes once a year. There is an emotional connection to the children and the desire for them to succeed which is important to the Clark’s work. This is evident as the children that are part of the organization affectionately refer to the Clark’s as “mom and dad.”&nbsp;<br><br>Having three adopted children of their own, as well as five grandchildren, the Clarks naturally have become very torn between being home and traveling. Now that their children are adults it is easier to pick up and travel as needed. In order to balance the demands of travel they have dedicated January through June as their season abroad spending time in Africa and the Caribbean. June through September is usually at the office in Silverdale, Washington, and September through December is usually, on the road, here in the USA.<br><br>The Children of the Nations has been successful in achieving major milestones, such as: The Village Partnership program that is developed to address the unique needs of a community; The Children’s Homes, that provide full-time family-style care for orphaned children; and The University/Vocational program which helps students in Sierra Leone, Malawi, Uganda, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the United States, to get a high-quality education. There are graduates of the University/Vocational program have already become doctors, teachers, and other professionals.<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 280px; height: 187px; margin: 5px; float: left;">“Our hope is to build out our model so that we have structures and programs in place for children to enter at pre-school and go all the way through to university level, or be trained in a skill.” Chris said. “Beyond this, our hope is that our children become involved in every aspect of their societies and communities creating tipping points that will end the cycles of abuse, poverty, and ignorance.”<br><br>Children of the Nations has made huge strides, from the initial desire in 1995 to help children in need overseas, to today with the child sponsorship program. Children of the Nations was started with a vision, and a monthly budget of $300; today it operates with an annual budget of more than $7 million.<br><br>Children of the Nations has become a worldwide movement of people, all working towards one common goal of giving foreign children the chance at an education and the opportunity to build a better life for themselves.<br><br>To learn more or to get involved please visit: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>A Self-Made Wildcat, 04 Jan 2017 12:08:54<p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 282px; margin: 5px;">Due to his hard work at Central Washington University, CWU alumni James Atterberry is now the CEO at Radius Educational Services. Atterberry graduated in 1994 as a student athlete with a Bachelor of Science in sports medicine. Atterberry’s father and brother also graduated from Central, making the Atterberry’s a legacy family.<br>&nbsp;<br>Coach Mike Dunbar sold Atterberry on Central’s football program which ultimately led to Atterberry making Central his home for four years. Atterberry was a member of CWU's All-Century Football Team and was later inducted into CWU Hall of Fame, Class of 2012. He acknowledges that his overall experience of playing football at CWU is a huge part of his current work ethic and how he is as a business leader, father, and coach.<img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 188px; margin: 5px; float: left;"><br><br>“I think the resources that have helped me most, not only with business but personally, would be all the great people I was surrounded by at CWU. From coaches to professors, the lessons they taught me included to work for everything, give 110%, and never give up.”<br><br>After graduating, Atterberry knew he wanted to be around athletics, whether that meant working with a professional team, the athletes, or coaching. He was soon offered a position with the Tacoma Rainiers Baseball Team working with athletes and running the events for their foundations. His position soon began to morph into advertising work and by 2002, he was working with an agency.<br><br>Atterberry then started his own agency in 2011 with two other partners, stepping into the managing partner/CEO role. He has served as the CEO of The ROI Firm for 17 years and counting.<br><br>Atterberry faced the challenge that anyone who starts their own business hopes to have: fast growth. With such fast growth, they had to hire a lot of people, and fast. They also had to put the right systems into place to sustain effectiveness for their clients and their rapid growth.<br><br>Atterberry feels that his greatest accomplishments have come while supporting a successful business, attracting great people as clients, winning their businesses, and receiving positive word of mouth referrals. He runs his company by making sure he is doing right by his employees and clients, and works hard to maintain positive relationships.<br><br>“My dad told me to never burn a bridge because you never know if you will meet or need the person down the road. I have run the company like I play football, 110% every play, every day. Also we did it with integrity, values, and morals, always working hard and doing right for all our employees, as well as our clients.<br>The key to success, according to Atterberry, is being a leader not a boss. To be a successful leader you need what he calls the Five D’s: drive, determination, discipline, dedication and desire. It’s not about the scoreboard or bank account, it’s about being the best you can be.&nbsp;<br><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 270px; height: 203px; margin: 5px; float: right;">“As I started my agency, got married, had kids, and began coaching youth sports my definition [of success] has dramatically changed. I call it the “Pillow Test”. If you can put your head on your pillow and sleep like a baby every night, that means you are successful and living your life the right way”.<br><br>Atterberry’s achievements include the business relationships he has formed, big accounts he has won with Fortune 500 companies, and being able to say he is still doing his own thing since 1996. His greatest personal accomplishments are being married to his wife, Rebecca, for 18 years and raising his two boys, Dylan and Ryan.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>Your Membership Matters, 04 Jan 2017 12:02:55<p>As 2016 comes to a close, we are giving thanks to all of our current and former CWU Alumni Association members for their support. The association has grown exponentially over the last year and half bringing on 1,800 new members. In early January, we will launch our annual membership campaign, so you may receive a mailing along with coordinating emails. This annual membership drive has proven to be a very successful way to inform Wildcats about the CWU Alumni Association, and its mission and benefits. Make sure to update your communication preferences and contact information, which may help with receiving these materials,<a href="" target="_blank"> here.</a></p><p>With enrollment at Central at an all-time high, your membership helps support the experience of the nearly 11,000 students who attend Central. It’s your support of the association that has helped Central continue to be recognized as one of the best value educations in the state of Washington. Current CWU students will receive help through your membership, ensuring that more students are able to reimage the world and benefit from a personalized education.</p><p>Along with aiding the student experience through programs and scholarships your membership to the Alumni Association comes with an impressive host of benefits including:</p><p>• Entrance to the hospitality areas at select athletic events<br>•<a href="" target="_blank"> Invitations to special events and programs</a><br>• <a href="" target="_blank">Discounts in the Wildcat Shop (10% off!)</a><br>• <a href="" target="_blank">Access to job searches on the Wildcat Career Network</a><br>• <a href="" target="_blank">Access to the recreation center and outdoor equipment rentals</a><br>• <a href="" target="_blank">Discounts for CWU Continuing Education Courses</a><br>• <a href="" target="_blank">Central Connections magazine delivered to your door</a><br>•&nbsp; Alumni Association monthly e-Newsletter<br>• <a href="" target="_blank">Liberty Mutual discounts</a><br>• <a href="" target="_blank">Alumni Access Discounts App</a><br>• <a href="" target="_blank">Alumni Insurance Program</a><br>• <a href="" target="_blank">Alumni Travel Program</a><br>• <a href="" target="_blank">Exclusive CWU Alumni License Plate access</a><br>&nbsp;<br>The CWU Alumni Association invites you to many social and athletic events each year, giving you access to select hospitality areas and the option to purchase discounted tickets. When you renew your membership, or join for the first time, you will play a pivotal role in preserving the CWU you know and love. Scholarships are among the ways your membership can help, providing financial support to better equip students for their studies ahead. Mentorship programs supported by the Alumni Association also assist Central students in finding a career that they are passionate about, by learning from CWU alumni in their field.</p><p><br>Do you know a current student attending Central? If you do, take a second to learn about the new program we have launched for current CWU students, that gives them access to a unique Alumni Association membership. The Central Washington University Student Alumni Association (SAA) was founded to bridge the gap between today’s Wildcats and CWU’s dedicated alumni. SAA encourages students to become more involved in programs around the university that celebrate the spirit and tradition of Central. Members get an exclusive t-shirt and can enjoy access to many of the same benefits as current alumni, including the Alumni Access Discount App, the Alumni Insurance program, the Alumni Travel program, Wildcat Shop discounts, and more. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here to learn more about SAA.</a></p><p>If you are ready to <a href="" target="_blank">join</a> for the first time, or want to <a href="" target="_blank">renew your membershi</a>p, now is the perfect time. You will aid in the legacy of Central Washington student experience and receive all the benefits listed above.</p><p>Please contact us with any questions memberships at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> or by calling 509-963-2160.</p><p><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 244px; margin: 5px;"></p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></a href="" target="_blank"></br>CWU Alumni Association December Season Greetings, 08 Dec 2016 08:35:44<p style="text-align: center;">Happy Holidays to you and yours from all of us at the CWU Alumni Association. We are so thankful for all you do to keep Central's vision alive. Your <a href="" target="_blank">engagement</a> means a lot to our whole campus, with many funds going towards student scholarships and support. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.</p><p style="text-align: center;">We hope you enjoy this special performance by the CWU Men’s Choir. Conducted by CWU Alumus and Alumni Association member, Dr. Scott Peterson especially for you during this holiday season on December 2, 2016.</p><p><iframe class="youtube-player" frameborder="0" height="390" scrolling="no" src="//" title="YouTube video player" type="text/html" width="480"></iframe></p></p style="text-align: center;"></p style="text-align: center;">A Letter From The Director: Giving Thanks, 10 Nov 2016 09:04:11<p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 150px; float: left; margin-right: 10px; margin-left: 10px; height: 200px;">November provides us an occasion to reflect on opportunities in our lives to give thanks. It is also a great time for recognizing the sense of family within our communities. I am constantly amazed by the reach and passion of our Wildcat family. Just over a week ago our new Provost, Katherine Frank, traveled to Washington D.C. where she was greeted with alumni volunteer’s eager to connect with her and share their excitement and passion for Central. Based on the Provost’s response following her time in D.C. it is clear that regardless of how far from Ellensburg life may take us, the bonds our alumni create through their shared experiences as students is truly unique.</p><p>As we look towards preparing for Thanksgiving, I encourage you to reflect on the things you are most thankful for in your life and consider paying it forward. This might mean practicing a random act of kindness, making a donation to those in need at the F.I.S.H. Food bank, or sponsoring a child’s holiday wishes by picking up a gift tag in the Student Union Building from the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement’s 19th Annual Giving Tree. I would also encourage you to consider <a href="" target="_blank">giving back</a> in support of our students at CWU. If you are looking for some inspiration I would encourage you to check out our feature on the phenomenal work Ruth Harrington is doing. I am certain Ruth’s story will inspire you and hopefully prompt you to think about ways you can give back.</p><p>One opportunity we are really excited about is the continued growth and development of our mentoring program that is directed by our Alumni Coordinator,<a href=""> Laura Sanchez</a>. The work Laura is doing to help pair our current students with alumni mentors is incredibly powerful. If you would like to learn about how you can serve in this capacity, please reach out to Laura and she can help connect you with our <a href="" target="_blank">Professional Network</a>. Much like our feature on Sean Cook this month, we are delivering on the promise to provide our students with the best educational experience possible and constantly looking to improve on that service.</p><p>Another example of how our alumni are contributing to the success of our current students is through site visits and opportunities for students to meet alumni working in their field of interest. Last week we had the pleasure of taking 28 students on a site visit of the Boeing facilities in Everett. These students received a VIP tour and had Wildcat alumni showing our students the assembly line of Boeing’s commercial airplanes. If you would like to set up a similar tour with your company please contact our Director of Program Development, <a href="">Ashley Gillum</a>.</p><p>On the eve of Veterans Day, I am reminded of the words echoed by President John F. Kennedy “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” One of the things that is perhaps most inspiring about our Wildcat community has been the demonstrated support and gratitude shown to our Veterans. I encourage each of us to continue to express our support and appreciation through our everyday actions, not just on Veterans Day but throughout the year as our service men and women have made the greatest sacrifice in order to provide us with the liberties we enjoy today.</p><p>In closing I would be remised if I didn’t say thank you to everyone that made it back to campus to celebrate our 125th anniversary during homecoming week. We had a remarkable time recognizing our <a href="" target="_blank">Distinguished Alumni and the class of 1966</a> as they celebrated their 50th anniversary. If you missed the opportunity to come back don’t worry, there are still plenty of occasions for you to engage as we continue the celebration of our great university.</p><p>On November 15th join us for an <a href="" target="_blank">alumni pregame at Kimo’s Sports</a> bar in tri-cities to cheer on our CWU Men’s basketball team as they take on the WSU Cougars at the Toyota Center. We will also be in Hawaii on November 16th and November 18th celebrating our 125th pride with our CWU Women’s basketball team as they take on Chaminade &amp; BYU-Hawaii. We will host a meet and greet dinner with the team and coaches in addition to alumni and prospective students following the CWU vs Chaminade game. Dinner will be from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at Side Street Inn, On Da Strip. Be sure to <a href="" target="_blank">RSVP today</a>.</p><p>As you can see, we have plenty left to celebrate in our 125th year of Central Pride and we have plenty to be thankful for. I implore you to seek new ways to engage with one another, be kind towards one another, and be thankful for what we have. I look forward to seeing you at our <a href="" target="_blank">upcoming events</a> and, in the event our paths do not cross, I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 55px; float: left;"><br>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 150px; height: 243px;"></p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p></a href=""></a href=""></br></p style="text-align: center;"></br></p style="text-align: center;">Closing the Curtain on Homecoming 2016, 09 Nov 2016 10:32:10<p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 375px; float: left;"></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>This fall has been a great start to the 125th celebration of Central Washington University. We are constantly aiming to reach new heights with engagement opportunities with our alumni.</p><p>We would like to give thanks to everyone who made it out to CWU Homecoming 2016. The weekend was packed with events and programs that were a true celebration and achievement of our Wildcat family.</p><p>We kicked the weekend off with the Science II Grand Opening. The Dean of the College of Sciences celebrated this event by the ceremonial ribbon cutting followed by cake, and tours of the facility. This project was designed and formulated 15 years ago, and join the Dean, President, and the Provost in thanking everyone who made the building of this <a href="" target="_blank">wonderful facility</a> possible.</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 300px; height: 225px; margin: 5px; float: right;">After an exciting Thursday night we welcomed back the class of 1966 at our 50-year reunion luncheon held at the Pasta Company. Then we moved on to Friday evening where we awarded the distinguished alumni of our great university with a celebratory dinner. Our special celebration highlighted the achievements of these Wildcats through their philanthropic ventures, generous donations towards the advancement of our university, and professional success since they walked across the stage to receive their degrees. Congratulations to all of the recipients. You can check out <a href="" target="_blank">their stories</a> and more <a href=";album_id=1224991484189643" target="_blank">photos online</a>. We invited the Ellensburg community and our alumni to enjoy hosted appetizers and drinks at the newly renovated Elks Lodge in downtown Ellensburg. We were proud to partner with a variety of different groups and organizations that represented Wildcat Pride and the CWU community. Washington’s favorite glass blowing company, glassybaby was on hand selling Wildcat themed products, CWU Continuing Education was there selling custom pint glasses, 88.1 the ‘Burg was playing music, and we were able to showcase our custom CWU AlumnIPA growlers courtesy of Iron Horse Brewery. We also were able to premiere our specialty Wildcat Reserve red wine from Hamilton Wine Cellars with all proceeds going directly to scholarships. We still have a few bottles for sale if you are interested in purchasing a bottle please contact us at <a href=""></a> for more information (bottle will be available for pick-up ONLY. <a href="">Contact us</a> for more information). You can see photos from this event on our <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook page</a>.</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 200px; margin: 5px 10px; float: left; height: 267px;"></p><p>We started out Saturday morning by having breakfast with the CWU football team which lead into a pep-rally to celebrate the days activites. All current Alumni Association Members had access to the special hospitality tent during halftime of the football game and the opportunity to connect with fellow alumni and friends. Despite the weather the Wildcats were able to come away with a win!</p><p>CWU Alumni Association wants to extend our thanks to all of the alumni, students, staff, faculty, and members of the Ellensburg community, for making the 2016 Homecoming a fun-filled weekend that embodied the Wildcat spirit.</p></a href=""></a href="">Making a Difference; the Ruth Harrington Way, 09 Nov 2016 10:19:27<p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; float: left; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px;"></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>In 1973, Ruth Harrington saw her love of cooking as a way to bring together the staff of Central Washington University and Ellensburg community and used it as the catalyst for organizing scholarship luncheons. This scholarship program began as a coffee hour at Harrington’s house with 22 women paying $1.50 each. By the end of the first year, participants grew to 22 separate groups, each with 12 members.</p><p>Harrington wanted to improve upon and grow the relationships between the townspeople and university, so she saw her affinity for cooking as a way to assist in bringing everybody together. This was the motivation she used to begin doing these scholarship luncheons. After working with many community members and the university, she was able to create a community working on a worthy cause.</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 265px; margin: 5px; float: right;">The scholarship program first started in 1973 as a coffee hour at Harrington’s house. 22 women paid $1.50 each. By the end of the first year, participants grew to 22 separate groups, each with 12 members.</p><p>What started as a simple coffee hour has now turned into 60 groups of people, including several in Yakima, Cle Elum and Ellensburg. The cost of brunch, lunch, and dinner gatherings is $5 or to be a member for the year, a $50 charge is required. To accommodate those that are unable to meet during lunch hour, or work out of town, Ruth holds brunches on Saturdays. Most groups include participants from the college university and local community. The groups meet monthly throughout the school year and all the money generated, is given directly to the scholarships.</p><p>“What we make each year we give away in June and start fundraising again in September.”</p><p>“I am very old fashioned,” Harrington said, as she keeps track of everything and everyone by handwritten notes. In an effort to remind members of the place and time of the next meeting or to invite new-comers to the events, Harrington will contact everyone personally. A personal connection with all of the groups’ members is important to her, and her effort is paying off.</p><p>When asked what her motives are, she simply said,</p><p>“I love people and I love cooking. This project has been a lot of fun.”</p><p>Harrington plans her days around these events and she personally tries to attend one or two a day.</p><p>Known as a welcoming soul, she makes sure that new comers feel comfortable. When new people move to town, they can expect a call from Harrington, as she is sure to find a home for everybody.</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 302px; height: 201px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;">With all of her hard work she is funding the “Ruth Harrington Scholarship”. This scholarship is meant for households with a single parent or local high school seniors that will be attending Central the following school year. Aiming to help those in need, Ruth has set a goal for herself and for those that attend her luncheons,</p><p><br>“I’m close to reaching $1 million, I hope to reach that before I retire” she said.</p><p>Harrington’s dedication is immeasurable and thoroughly recognized. With the scholarship luncheons, she brings people together and raises money for a worthy cause. She has become a staple in the lives of CWU students and the Central Washington community.</p><p>If you are interested in becoming a part of the scholarship luncheons or have any questions, please email the <a href="">Alumni Office</a> for more information.</p></br></a href="">Meet Business Leader, Sean Cook, 09 Nov 2016 10:04:11<p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 342px; float: left; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px;"></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Central’s small classroom sizes and 19-1 student to teacher ratio has paid off for Sean Cook, a 2008 graduate of the Communications Department who says his time at CWU was worth every penny.</p><p>“CWU felt right to me, and [it] embodies a lot in who I have been my entire life with the underdog type persona. Eventually, I chose Central because I liked the idea of a smaller, more intimate learning experience. It was important to me to connect with my teachers and get to know my classmates.”</p><p>Cook was very involved at Central, taking part in athletics like men’s rugby. The team generally won versus Division I and Ivy League colleges around the region and on the national level.</p><p>“CWU Rugby helped me have an outlet outside of the educational space” Cook said.</p><p>Although rugby was his main passion, the classroom quickly became a close second. The relationships he built with his various professors were an important part of his time at Central, helping him to succeed in his public speaking. With a new honed skill, he was able to become a part of the Emerging Leader’s Class. This class gave him an active role in the Ellensburg community, and he eventually became a delegate for Kittitas County. After being a delegate, Cook was then contacted about an internship with Students for Obama in 2008.</p><p>Cook has spent countless hours climbing the corporate ladder, and spending countless hours in non-profit and community outreach has helped him become a successful business man. He has grown into a business leader with nothing but motivation to continue to work hard for himself and his family.</p><p>“My degree opened me up to all the various styles of how people communicate/listen, both verbal and non-verbal. Specifically, my degree has helped hone in my natural ability to connect with people and become an effective communicator.”</p><p>His experience at Central shaped him into the man he is today and gave him a great college experience that he is able to apply to his daily work life. He also credits his time as a Wildcat, to how successful he is in his line of work.<img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 239px; height: 196px; float: right; margin: 5px;"></p><p>“Central, in my mind, is the perfect experience for college students who are just trying to find their place in the world. This was a huge help in the transitioning from a young man to adult. Upon graduating I felt more confident than ever in my abilities and was prepared to take on the business world by storm.”</p><p>His first job opportunity arose because of his past relationships and network. After building successful long term business relationships and 11+ years of diversified sales, Cook emphasizes the importance of keeping relationships strong. It’s important to represent your company with pride and a continuous drive to learn new things.</p><p>“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Networking is the key to the fast track to success in life after college, and this has proved to be true for me in getting started off on the right foot.”</p><p>Cook currently works for a company called MicroStrategy, a very well respected high-tech firm that has been around for several decades. He manages fortune 500 clients in the Pacific Northwest and helps them solve some of their most pressing needs in today’s business world. His primary focus is helping his clients become more productive and fundamentally sound with their business intelligence platforms.</p><p>Over coming challenges is something Cook continues to face every day. He acknowledges that with a good attitude, hard work and persistence, you can overcome anything.</p><p>“Realistically, I learned that to be successful I had to have ultimate confidence in myself to talk the talk and walk the walk. With the right mixture of being consistently positive and upbeat, being smart and working hard, you can overcome anything.”</p><p>Cook was just selected by Central professors, the department chair and the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities to represent the Communications Department as the Alumni of the year for 2016. Cook received this award for being a leader in business and nonprofit work.</p><p>He is knowledgeable and capable of providing solutions to fit business needs. He takes the time to understand what his client is looking for, then delivers the best possible solution.</p><p>Success isn’t always about winning, it’s about learning. Cook says, he feels that if you can ask yourself every day, “what did I learn?” and have a thoughtful answer, then you are living a successful life.</p><p>“It isn’t always about the outcome, it’s about the process and journey. The key is that we are continually improving and getting better. I use to think it was how hard you work but realized I could work until midnight and still fail. It is all about working smarter.”</p><p>Throughout his continued success, having the support from his family and friends keeps him motivated to continue working hard. He wants to be a good dad, husband, and continuous support system for his friends and family. In fact, when he’s not working he’s either spending time with his wife Kelsey, who is also a CWU grad, or extended family and friends.</p>Central Washington University Alumni Association Honors Distinguished Alumni of the University, 10 Oct 2016 14:52:47<p style="text-align: center;"><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 168px; margin: 5px;"></p><p><strong>ELLENSBURG, Wash</strong>. – The Central Washington University Alumni Association will recognize ten outstanding Wildcat alumni for their professional achievements and their ongoing support and commitment to the university.</p><p>The Distinguished Alumni Awards recognize CWU graduates who have made a name in their fields, earned respect among colleagues and in the general community, and who have had an impact on a regional, national and/or international level.</p><p>The awards will be presented during the alumni association’s annual Distinguished Alumni Award dinner, which will be held on Friday, October 14, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Sue Lombard Hall on the CWU campus.</p><p>“This event honors those alumni who have gone above and beyond in their careers and through their personal and professional achievements,” noted Scott Wade, vice president, university advancement. “These outstanding individuals truly embody what being a Wildcat is all about.”</p><p><u>This year’s outstanding alumni will include:</u></p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 274px; margin: 5px; float: left;">• Don and Verna Duncan, winners of the 2016 Legacy Award, which is the association’s highest award. The Duncans are being honored for their lifelong commitment to education and continued learning. While at Central, Don earned a bachelor’s degree in recreation administration and master’s degree in school psychology and counseling while Verna double-majored in psychology and music. Verna worked as an elementary teacher for 23 years, primarily in the Central School District, while Don held a number of positions in higher education, including serving as Dean of Men and Students at Central. In the 1980s, they established the Don and Verna Duncan Community Service Scholarship at CWU.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 280px; margin: 5px; float: right;"></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>• Jean Adams, the 2016 Distinguished Alum of the Year, who is being recognized for her outstanding achievements in the banking and investment industry. Adams is a 1988 finance graduate from Central. She currently serves as Senior Vice President - Investments, Senior Financial Advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. Adams served on Central Washington University’s Foundation Board from 2007 to 2013.</p><p><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 45px; margin: 5px;"></p><p>• Jeff McShane, the 2016 Distinguished Alumni/College of the Sciences, who is co-founder and former president of Northwest Aerospace Technologies and currently serves as executive vice president of Zodiac Aerospace. McShane is a 1985 law and justice graduate.</p><p>• Fred Kohout, the 2016 Distinguished Alumni/College of Arts and Humanities, who is chief marketing officer and senior vice president of Cray Inc. Kohout has been in senior roles in both privately and publicly-held technology companies over the last 25 years. Kohout is a 1981 broadcast journalism graduate and currently serves as chair of the College of Arts and Humanities Advisory Board.</p><p>• John Ladner, 2016 Distinguished Alumni/College of Education and Professional Studies award winner, who is managing director of fleets, standards, and operational control for Alaska Airlines. In that role, Ladner is responsible for overall flight operations for his company. He is a 1989 flight technology graduate.</p><p>• Mandi Kime, winner of the 2016 4 Under 40 Leadership Award/College of Education and Professional Studies, who serves as director of safety for the Associated General Contractors of Washington. In her position, Kime assists members of her organization with safety compliance efforts and enhances the safety culture within the AGC’s members. Kime is a 2001 Safety &amp; Health Management and Spanish graduate.</p><p>• Crystal McDonald, winner of the 2016 4 Under 40 Leadership Award/College of Arts and Humanities award, is a trial lawyer who focuses on personal injury cases. Early in her career, she often represented children and young adults neglected by the Department of Social and Health Services. She is a 2005 political science and communication graduate.</p><p>• Taylor Steele, winner of the 2016 4 Under 40 Leadership Award/College of the Sciences, is a project manager for OneEnergy Renewables. Steele is responsible for site selection, acquisition, permitting, and interconnection for OneEnergy’s Pacific Northwest solar photovoltaic projects. She is a 2013 International Studies graduate.</p><p>• Lucas Westcoat, winner of the 2016 4 Under 40 Leadership Award/College of Arts and Humanities award, serves as senior communication manager for Microsoft’s Windows and Devices group. In that role, he explores the intersection of technology and creativity and helps advance the company’s goal to make technology more personal. He is a 2005 interdisciplinary studies/business communications graduate.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><br>For more information on the CWU Alumni Association go to:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><br>###</p><hr><p style="text-align: center;"><br>About the CWU Alumni Association: The Office of Alumni Relations is dedicated to providing alumni new and exciting ways to connect with their alma mater and with other alumni. The more than 84,000 Wildcat alumni worldwide are a powerful professional,&nbsp;educational, and philanthropic network positioned to help each other, current and future students, and the university community.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 150px; height: 203px; margin: 5px;"></p></p style="text-align: center;"></br></br></p style="text-align: center;"></br></p style="text-align: center;"></br></hr></p style="text-align: center;"></br></p style="text-align: center;"></br>