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University Convocation 2020

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University Convocation 2020

Welcome, new Cougs! Convocation is a special event—the official beginning of your academic journey here at WSU Pullman.

At University Convocation, presented by BECU, faculty and staff will welcome you to the Cougar Family, introduce you to academic and community leaders, and help you get off to a good start in your first semester.

2020 Keynote speakers

At the 2020 University Convocation, molecular biosciences professor Erika Offerdahl and sophomore student Emma Nankervis will give their inside tips and advice on how to get a great start at WSU and make the most of your college experience.

Erika Gudrun Offerdahl

Associate Professor
School of Molecular Biosciences

Erika Offerdahl is passionate about getting more students enrolled in—and excited about—courses in the molecular life sciences. She teams up with fellow faculty members to revamp both introductory biology courses and upper-division courses. The result is a complete undergraduate experience that is meaningful, memorable, and that gives Cougs a cutting edge after graduation.

Offerdahl is such an outstanding instructor that students routinely give her perfect scores on course evaluations.

Scholars nationwide have sought and honored Offerdahl’s expertise:

  • She is a fellow for the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Science Education, a national organization that helps educators adopt best practices in undergraduate teaching.
  • The American Chemical Society Examinations Institute and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology both tapped her to write items for their national biochemistry exams.
  • Offerdahl is frequently invited to give faculty pedagogical workshops (workshops about teaching methods) around the U.S.
  • Several national awards have saluted Offerdahl as an educator.

In addition, Washington State University has given her top honors:

  • In 2020 WSU selected Offerdahl to receive the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Instruction, recognizing her among the best of the best at the University.
  • She was named a WSU Distinguished Teaching Fellow for making WSU’s introductory biology coursework engaging and worthwhile.

As you might expect, Offerdahl’s research focuses on making undergraduate science exciting and inclusive of all. It has been supported by federal grants totaling more than $5 million.

Emma Nankervis

Major: Kinesiology

My name is Emma Nankervis and I am from Melbourne, Australia. Whilst attending Washington State University I am studying Kinesiology: Sports Science. I chose WSU because I was offered a position on the women’s basketball team and I loved the people, campus, and family-like environment.

Friday, August 21, 2020
10 a.m.

Livestreamed here!