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Sophomore Welcome

Convocation 2024 will feature a sophomore student speaker who will bestow words of wisdom and share advice of their first year at WSU to the newest members of the Cougar Family. The speech should be a reflection of the speaker’s first-year experience and share lessons learned while providing inspiration and direction for first-year students.


Interested students who are on path to be sophomores in good academic standing during the Fall 2024 semester may submit a video of the best advice they have for the incoming class of new Cougs. Submitted videos will be evaluated and finalists will be identified and contacted about next steps. Once selected, the Sophomore Speaker will be required to meet with the Convocation committee throughout the summer to finalize plans.

Sophomore Welcome Timeline

  • April 16: Application opens
  • April 26: Application closes at 5:00 PM
  • Week of May 6: Finalists meet with Committee
  • Week of May 13: Chosen Sophomore Welcome speaker is notified
  • July to August: Chosen speaker meets with and works with Convocation staff and Event Coordinator
  • Early August: Speaker practices with Convocation staff and Event Coordinator
  • August 16: Convocation begins at 10 a.m.

Applicant Information

  • Applicant must be on track to achieve sophomore standing (30 to 59.5 semester hours) by Fall 2024 (first year students who may have a higher academic standing due to Running Start or AP/IB tests are welcome to apply)
  • Applicant must be in good academic standing
  • Your application will require you to film a video of yourself giving your best advice to the incoming class of students. The video should not be longer than 1 minute. You will have the opportunity to upload a video file or add a link to the video in your application. The more energized, engaging, and dynamic the video, the better!
  • Submit your application here

Questions may be directed to Michelle Lewis at

Previous Sophomore Speaker Excerpts

Alex Madsen, 2023:

I am sure you have many emotions thinking about the future you will have here in Pullman! I encourage you to take any nervous feelings and turn them into excitement about the unknown you are about to conquer. WSU offers so many opportunities in and beyond the classroom for you to truly find yourself and embrace who you are. I implore you to take big leaps at WSU and get involved in all the ways you can whether you find a club, campus internship, intramural sports or support others in extracurriculars by going to athletics, productions, or other campus events. Put your pride aside and don’t be afraid to ask for help, you never know what you’ll learn. Your time as a Coug is what you make it and WSU offers the most supportive environment to try new things and be confident about it! Go Cougs!

Roma Samala, 2022:

“As you anticipate your first steps here at WSU, step forward with courage and an open mind. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, embrace discomfort, challenge yourself and have fun! Every nook and corner here is filled with opportunities waiting to be seized. Find ways to get involved, talk to your professors, pick up a weird hobby, join a club, volunteer, just don’t stop pushing. Explore your identity, pursue new interests, and take advantage of the exciting and unexpected experiences that come your way. Most importantly remember that you’re a part of the Coug family, a community that will root for you, support you and help you throughout your journey here.”

Emma Nankervis, 2020:

“If you give while you’re at WSU, and open your mind to new possibilities, wonderful things will arise from this opportunity. But only you can dictate what your get out of your journey. No one will make you do anything while you are here. The desire to grow and to become the best version of yourself must come from within.”

Nicole Craze, 2019:

“To fully enjoy your experience here at WSU, I encourage you to be proactive and take opportunities that are presented to you: join clubs, hall government, Greek life, get involved in research, and make connections with your professors.  The most important thing you can do, however, is to act with courage and vulnerability as you befriend the people you meet, as these friends will be the ones to make the transition and your college years worth any discomfort you may experience.”

Alexander Kaprosy, 2017:

“Humans have this tendency to live for the future, to get lost in the day to day tasks, and to close their eyes until the weekend comes. Please don’t be this way. To give you an idea of how my year has gone so far: I became the president of my hall, joined a fraternity that I can be proud of, and spent the last semester as an RA. I’ve definitely kept myself busy, but more importantly I’ve loved every second of it. Now I am not telling you all that you have to be in hall government, ResLife, or be Greek to enjoy your time here but I do have one expectation: Go beyond your job description as a student. Do more than just getting a degree and leaving. The world can cram a decade’s worth of beauty into a single second, but you’ll miss those moments if you’re more concerned with where you are in five years than where you’re at now.”

Garrett Snedeker, 2016:

“I still have a lot to learn at WSU. I’ve felt the discomfort, and the attempts to avoid it by staying well within my comfort zone. I hope you will tackle discomfort this year, and are not afraid of the outcome. You have the opportunity to immerse yourself in new things this year by making friends with people unlike yourself and allowing a new self to emerge. I hope you have a fantastic year of discomfort and change. By next year, I hope you’ll be a newer version of you that you hadn’t even imagined.”