Our Honors Alumni

Honors Alumni

We are incredibly proud of our students. Not only do they excel in their undergrad courses and are involved in numerous extracurriculars, they consistently win highly competitive and selective scholarships and fellowships.

Presidential Scholars

The Presidential Scholar award is Western Washington University’s highest graduation honor for undergraduates. Students are selected by deans of their respective colleges for their exceptional scholarship, success in furthering multicultural programs and activities, and high levels of service to their communities. Each Presidential Scholar receives a medallion to commemorate the award.

Petra Ellerby

2023 College of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Ray Garcia

Ray Garcia
2019-2020 College of Social Science and Humanities

Aidyn Stevens

Aidyn Stevens
2021-2022 College of Fine and Performing Arts

Melody Gao

College of Science and Engineering Presidential Scholar Melody Gao wears her medal outdoors on Western's campus.
2020-2021 College of Science and Engineering

Brahm VanWoerden

Brahm VanWoerden poses with his medal for being a Presidential Scholar
2020-2021 College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Commencement Speakers

Jagmeet Sahota

Jagmeet poses by Old Main on a sunny day
June 2023

Serafima Healy

Serafima wearing an embroidered top sitting in soft natural light at a table with a coffee cup and a peach
June 2021

Madison Gard

Maddie poses on the Old Main lawn
June 2023

Shelby Powers

Shelby Powers poses on the Old Main lawn
June 2023

Outstanding Graduates

Faculty members from dozens of academic departments and programs select one graduate to honor as the Outstanding Graduate of the year. Selection is a high honor based on grades, research and writing, service to the campus and community, and promise for the future.


Petra McDonnell-Ingoglia

Headshot of Petra outside with a forest in the background
Honors College

Caitlin Bannister

Behavioral Neuroscience

Lily Berver

Latin American Studies

Noah Crow

Industrial Design

Bryndis Danke


Nick Satnik

English-Creative Writing Emphasis

Elliott Windrope


Rosie Una


Alessandro Tomasi


Petra Ellerby


Lily Jo Berver


Madison Gard

Department of Environmental Sciences

Tesla Kawakami

Art and Art History

Olivia Palmer


Olivia Dong



Isaac Heiman

Portrait of Isaac in a suit, smiling with a forest background
Honors College

Elliott Khilfeh

Elliott Khilfeh smiles for the camera, rows of tulips behind him
Physics and Astronomy

Catherine Baxter

Catherine Baxter smiles for the camera with a tree filled with spring blooms in the background
Communication Sciences and Disorders

Antonia Parrish

Antonia Parrish uses stakes to climb a tree trunk
Environmental Sciences

Kai Broach

Kai Broach
English - Creative Writing

Sylvia Cohen

Sylvia Cohen smiles outdoors in front of an artistic metal wall.


Zoe Evans-Agnew

Honors College

Kevin Harris


Brahm VanWoerden


Jessica Oravetz


Melody Gao


Skylar Tibbetts

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Camille Fogel


Kess Nelson

Public Health

Brianne McCaslin

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Charlotta Abernathy

Political Science

Veronica Anne Villanueva Francisco

English - Creative Writing Emphasis


Emily Jackson

Emily Jackson
Honors College

Ray Garcia

Ray Garcia

Nancy Brill

Nancy Brill

Emma Nordlund

Emma Nordlund
Environmental Science

Samia Saliba

Samia Saliba

Hokulani Rivera

Hokulani Rivera
Anthropology English - Creative Writing

English - Creative Writing


Jordan King

Jordan King

Ina LaGrandeur

Ina LaGrandeur

Authors, Editors, and Publications

Our students regularly appear in undergraduate journals including, but not limited to: Scribendi, UReCA, and the Palouse Review. Many also explore publication

Kai Broach

Kai Broach

Western Regional Honors Council Award for Short Fiction for their piece "My Apologies"

Scribendi Publications

Scribendi is a nonprofit, annual print publication that publishes creative work from undergraduate Honors students from more than 200 institutions in the Western Regional Honors Council (WRHC). Scribendi is primarily produced by Honors students at the University of New Mexico (UNM) Honors College.

The publication solicits work in a number of different categories such as poetry, creative nonfiction, short fiction, foreign language, visual art, photography, and open media. Below you can view past editions where WWU Honors students' submissions were selected for publication.

2023, Vol. 37

  • Zay Hassan
  • Tegan Keyes
  • Briana Lubinski
  • Fiona Martinez (x2)

2022, Vol. 36

  • Kai Broach (x2)
  • Fiona Martinez (x2)
  • Caylee Caldwell

2021, Vol. 35

  • Fiona Martinez
  • Luke Griffin

2020, Vol. 34

  • Jenika Staben (x3)
  • Tessa Vroom
  • Jordan Carey
  • Petra Ellerby
  • Skylar Tibbetts

World Records

Devin Crowley

Honors alumni, Devin Crowley, stands outside next to the bipedal robot Cassie, built by Agility Robotics.

WWU Honors alumni Devin Crowley with the Dynamic Robotics Laboratory at Oregon State University set a new world record with their bipedal robot, Cassie, in a 100m race. Currently a PhD student at Oregon State University, Crowley is studying AI and Robotics.

IRIS Undergraduate Internship

In gloved hands, Ula holds a small crab next to her face at the beach.

Ula Jones

Geophysics, Environmental Science (BS)
Astronomy, Mathematics, & Honors Minors

Ula is a senior in the environmental science major and a junior in the geophysics major with minors in math, astronomy, and honors interdisciplinary studies. She was recently accepted to the IRIS undergraduate internship program as a research assistant at Brown University in summer 2022. The project is regarding the propagation of Rayleigh waves from various earthquakes through Alaska and is expected to shed light on some of the unusual aspects of the Alaskan subduction zone. After graduating in Spring 2023, Ula hopes to broaden her understanding of geophysics and other interdisciplinary sciences and go on to study planetary science or another application of geophysics.

Goldwater Scholarship

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is a highly competitive, merit-based award for college juniors and seniors preparing for a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.

Portrait of Darby smiling in a Western sweatshirt

Darby Finnegan

Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program, Duke University, 2017

Goldwater Scholarship, 2019

BS, Marine Biology, 2020

While at Western, Darby's love for the Pacific Northwest's coastal ecosystems evolved into a persistent curiosity about the strange phenomena of the marine environment. Her special interest in fish and their movements ultimately lead to her selection for the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) at the Patek Laboratory of Duke University to study biomechanics. Darby then went on to earn the Goldwater Scholarship, the first recipient for WWU. Upon graduating from Western, Darby had her sights set on graduate school, where she would be able to continue her research.

Hudson Fellowship

The Hudson Fellowship offers outstanding undergraduates the opportunity to study political theory in a way that will broaden and deepen their understanding of public policy and American political principles. 

Petra Ellerby

Hudson Institute Summer Fellowship

BA, History, 2024

English, Honors Interdisciplinary Studies Minors


The English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Programs place Fulbrighters in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers. ETAs help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S.

Western Washington University produced five Fulbright winners in 2019 and was named a top national producer for Fulbright Scholarship winners in the 2018-2019 school year.

Iris Báijīng Hubbard

Portrait of Iris sitting in a field of red tulips
Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, Taiwan

BAEd, Environmental Studies, 2019

Certificate in Elementary Education

Nathan Drapela

Portrait of Nathan in a flannel with a bookcase, map, and cross on the wall behind him
Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, Austria

BA, Philosophy, 2014

English, German Minors

Colin Misich

Colin wearing a flannel and a backpack in the mountains
Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, Spain

BA, Communication Sciences & Disorders, Spanish, 2017

Emily Brodie

Emily stands outside in a yellow tank top and a sun hat, holding sunglasses in her hand
Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, Spain

BA, Spanish, Biology, 2013

Tobias Osterhaug

Tobias in a pirate hat poses with a classroom of children in Taiwan
Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, Taiwan

BA, History, 2014

International Studies Minor

Samuel Bliss

Fulbright Research Award, Spain

Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship

The Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship was established in 2005 after Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings of South Carolina retired. Hollings was an advocate for ocean policy and conservation and the scholarship was created to bolster undergraduate training in NOAA mission sciences, as well as increase environmental literacy.

Portrait of Thomas wearing a Bears sweatshirt in front of College Hall.

Thomas Morrissey

Hollings, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, New Jersey, 2016

BS, Chemistry, 2018

Materials Science Minor

Thomas, a student in the Honors Program at Western Washington University, received a NOAA Hollings scholarship to help fund two years of college tuition and an internship at a NOAA facility. During the summer of 2016, he participated in sample-collection and computer modeling at a national laboratory in Highlands, NJ. Under the instruction of NOAA scientists, Thomas contributed to studies on the efficacy of alternative, low-toxicity methods for measuring ocean acidification. This research will help increase the safety and environmental compatibility of future studies which monitor changes in ocean chemistry due to climate change. Following graduation, Thomas hopes to begin a research career in chemistry or materials science.