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Student Transitions and Academic Resources

Carolyn B. Thurston, Director

STAR Director: Carolyn B. ThurstonIn my own words: Originally from Olalla, Washington, on the west side of the Cascades, I have lived in Ellensburg, WA., for almost 30 years. As a non-traditional student, I earned both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English here at CWU. I began my professional career at CWU as the English Specialist in the Academic Skills Program. Following my English teaching career, I became an academic advisor for Student Support Services (TRiO).

Five years later, in 2007, with the direction and support of former CWU Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Dr. Charlotte Tullos, I had the privilege of creating Student Transitions & Academic Resources (STAR), an intensive academic support program modeled after TRiO, specifically-designed for at-risk college students.

As the Director of STAR, I continue to love what I get to do—work with college students to help them transition into college, succeed academically, and ultimately graduate with the degree of their choosing. I also have a passion for Alternative Conflict Resolution, teaching Mediation for the Law & Justice department, and helping train mediators for the Dispute Resolution Center of Yakima and Kittitas Counties. My daughter, Cassie, a graduate of Reed College, lives in Portland, OR., and frequently I travel to the City of Roses to play and hang out with her.