WSU Spokane offers students a nationally ranked university located in a vibrant, urban setting. On this modern campus, you’ll find a diverse blend of nearly 1,700 upper-division undergraduate, professional, and graduate students, most of whom are pursuing degrees in health science disciplines.
CONNECT WITH A COUG
My name is Alisha Nguyen, and I am a second-year medical student at WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. I grew up in the Tri-Cities but moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington. After obtaining my undergraduate degree in Biology and minor in Diversity Studies, I took two gap years to explore additional academic interests (General Biology TA and Bioengineering Research).
However, I always knew that I wanted to become a doctor. It has been fascinating and fun to watch how my motivations for pursuing medicine are refined as I gain more experiences. I am passionate about advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion both within our healthcare system and in healthcare delivery. So far, specialties that I have really enjoyed engaging in and learning from are surgery, pediatrics, and gastroenterology.
What I love most about being a WSU Coug is the commitment to building community and serving those in need. Our program strives to identify the challenging healthcare problems that Washington faces and is focused on educating doctors in the community for the community.
Throughout high school, undergrad, and now grad school, being involved on campus and mentoring other students has always been what got me excited about my day. As a first-generation college student and young woman with intersecting identities, I struggled with navigating higher education alone. Being a Cougar Connector allows me to use those experiences to inform, educate, and assist other students on their respective journeys.
Hi y’all, my name is Hannah Sylvester, and I am a second-year medical student at WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. I am from Spokane, and after I graduated from North Central High School, I attended Carroll College in Montana. I was so excited to be accepted to medical school here, and it has been a blast to be back in my hometown!
I have been interested in medicine since I was in high school, and I studied Biology and Health Sciences in college while on the Pre-Med track. While in college, one of my favorite experiences was working as a tour guide, and I really enjoy getting to share the campuses that I love with students who visit.
After college, I worked as an Admission Counselor and as a Mental Health Technician at a psychiatric hospital for children before beginning medical school. I am currently interested in psychiatry and internal medicine, and I am involved in our Student Council, Pasco Mentor Program, and several other clubs and committees.
I love being a student here because we are a family, and our program is focused on being collaborative with each other instead of competitive. I have really appreciated the chance to get to know people from other academic programs through interprofessional education! My favorite places on campus are the Native American Healing Garden and the library inside of SAC.
I come from a family of Cougs – my mom works on this campus and my dad went to WSU, so it has been a joy to get to experience life as a Coug myself now. I look forward to getting to show you all that WSU Health Sciences has to offer, especially as someone from Spokane, so please let me know if you want recommendations! Please feel free to reach out anytime you have questions!
Hi there! My name is Jenn Westfall, and I am a senior in the Nutrition and Exercise Physiology program. I grew up in Southern California and moved to Washington to pursue a degree in nutrition. I transferred to WSU Spokane after earning my AS in Pre-Nursing at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia Washington. I chose to come to WSU Spokane for many reasons. One of them is that my program is only one of four in the nation that has dual focus on both Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. Now that I have a year under my belt, I can see how the two go hand in hand when it comes to an individual’s overall health. Besides the practical tools and skills which will be needed when I look for employment after graduation, students in the NEP (Nutrition and Exercise Physiology) program get lots of hands-on experience running the NEP Clinic our senior year. In the clinic we get to work one on with members of the greater Spokane community providing nutrition counseling and exercise training.
Spokane is a big city (2nd largest in the state!) so we have access to lots of facilities and services here, but it still feels like a small town to me. Folks are friendly, we have lots of parades throughout the year and there are many opportunities to be involved. I feel the same being on campus. Even though we have 3 different colleges here on campus, students still have opportunities to come together, many clubs and organizations to be a part of and I can always find a friendly face while on campus. Being a California transplant, one of my other favorite things about living in Spokane has been being able to experience all 4 seasons – spring is magical here!
Besides learning how to build a proper snowman, you can find me eating at Boots Bakery or riding my bike along the Centennial trail that follows along the Spokane River which goes through our city. It also runs right along campus making it an easy way to commute and if you take the trail far enough East, you can even get to Couer d’Alene!
I love talking to folks so please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or want to know more!
Hey! My name is Madeline Schmidt, I am a second-year graduate student in the Speech and Hearing Science Program. I grew up in Spokane and love being able to go to school in my hometown! I am a Coug through and through. I did two and half years of school in Pullman before moving back up to finish my bachelors in Speech and Hearing Sciences at WSU Spokane. I was ecstatic that I was accepted into the master’s program and continue to be a Coug!
I always knew I wanted to help people with my career. I started my freshman year in Pullman as a zoology major, but I was never sure what I wanted to do after I graduated. My sophomore year, after a lot of research into healthcare careers I found speech language pathology. The neurology that goes into being a SLP was fascinating to me and being able to help people across the lifespan was exactly what I was looking for. Currently, I am interested in working with patients post brain injury.
The opportunities I have had to work in my own community while at school here have given me a new perspective of the needs in my own community. Through my practicum and clinicals I have been able to screen preschoolers for early speech and language delays, work with patients in in-patient rehabilitation at St. Luke’s, and work with students in the Central Valley School District.
If I am not in class, at work at Student Affairs, or at clinicals you can find me in the nursing lounge on the second floor of the Nursing Building or in the Native American Healing Garden! After class, I love walking the Centennial Trail to Kendall Yards with my classmates. On the weekends I try to get outside as much as possible; hiking in different wildlife reserves around the town, paddleboarding in any of the lakes, and in the winter skiing and snowshoeing at the ski mountains!
I am so excited that you are considering WSU Spokane and I can’t wait to show you around campus!
Hello! My name is Norma, I am currently a senior in the Nutrition and Exercise Physiology program. I was born and raised in Wenatchee, WA and I am a first-generation student. I chose my degree program because I love food and I enjoy exercising! I want to help encourage, motivate, and help people with their diet and physical activity to reach their optimal health goals. I plan to become a dietitian and move back to Wenatchee to serve my community as a diabetes educator.
My favorite places to study are the study rooms on the second floor of the library which we have access to 24/7. Something cool that the library has to offer is a desk with a treadmill to get your steps in while you study! I also enjoy going to the Diversity Center where I have met lots of great students from other programs. Something I love about this campus is how welcoming everyone is and all the amazing resources that are offered. The writing center, in particular, has been so helpful for me. Apart from being a Cougar Connector I also work at the Campus Pantry and at U-FIT, our campus fitness center. I love that there are so many ways to get involved on this campus.
Apart from being involved on campus I enjoy spending time with friends, modifying new recipes, as well as exploring all the outdoor activities that Spokane has to offer such as biking and hiking trails.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I would love to help!
My name is Sandra Duong and I am a third-year pharmacy student in WSU’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. I am originally from Vancouver. Some of my favorite things to do include curling up with a book and a cup of tea while listening to the rain outside. I love spending time with my family and cooking new recipes.
After I graduated high school, I began shadowing to find out what I wanted to do in life. After seeing the diversity that healthcare has to offer, I fell in love with the pharmacy environment. I love the unique connection with the patients that pharmacy has to offer.
I graduated from WSU Vancouver with my Bachelor of Biology and continued as a Coug. The pharmacy program really drew me in with its dedication to the underserved and underrepresented communities here in Washington. WSU has been great at supporting students who have the passion to give their time and skills to those who need it. This campus has really helped to foster that spirit in me and allowed me to dedicate my time and energy into the community. Some of my favorite moments have happened while vaccinating the homeless community here in Spokane as a member of a Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA).
On the WSU Spokane campus, there are several places that I love to study. One of my favorite places must be in PBS on the third floor. That space is close to the faculty offices and has some of the best views of Spokane I have seen. Whenever I feel stressed and overwhelmed, I can go there, relax, get some work done, and connect with my fellow students.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions. I would love to help guide you on your journey to becoming a Coug.