Washington State University Tri-Cities has received a $150,000 donation from Bechtel National, Inc., for its tutoring center and Learning Assistants Program, and another $10,000 in scholarships to assist students pursuing a technical degree.
Sandra Haynes, chancellor of WSU Tri-Cities, said, “We are grateful for this generous gift from Bechtel to support our tutoring center. These funds are a vital part of our work to ensure success for all of our students. Bechtel’s gift allows us to continue to be innovative in our approach to removing barriers and preparing our students to be leaders in their chosen careers.”
Bechtel’s pledged support will be used to continue and grow the Learning Assistants Program – an initiative first piloted by the WSU system in Fall 2021. This innovative approach includes hiring students to act as embedded learning assistants who attend the class, hold office hours for peer tutoring, and take a concurrent leadership course that provides the teaching skills to ensure their success in the role.
“We’re honored to partner with WSU Tri-Cities in support of students and helping them build a strong foundation for their future,” said Brian Hartman, Bechtel senior vice president and project director of the Hanford Vit Plant. “Partnerships between industry and academia are critical as we look to build a next-generation workforce of critical thinkers, problem solvers, and innovators. We are especially invested in ensuring there is a strong pipeline to support our mission at Hanford for the Department of Energy.”
Nearly 150 WSU alumni work for Bechtel at WTP, with another 120 working for Bechtel in other locations worldwide.
The donation secures naming rights for the tutoring center for five years, which is located at its Richland campus in the Consolidated Information Center.
Bechtel has been a longtime supporter of the WSU system’s engineering programs with donations totaling more than $300,000 since 1994. In 2011 and 2012, Bechtel made donations toward the university’s electrical engineering laboratory. The university purchased new lab equipment and supplies, which enhanced lab instruction and student experiences. Purchases included electronic components, test equipment, computers, software, and compensation for a part-time electrical engineering student to maintain the lab infrastructure.
The formal announcement took place on October 23 at 11:30 a.m. in the WSU Tri-Cities Learning Commons.
As part of the Washington State University (WSU) Tri-Cities programming club Coding Cougs, four students won first place with their project at DubHacks, a collegiate hackathon event at the University of Washington campus. The team competed against 741 individuals and 177 projects over two days.
According to the DubHacks website, ‘Hackers’ have 28 hours to brainstorm and build a project of their choosing through computer coding and programming. At the event, there were four tracks that teams could compete under: disruption, synergy, vitality, and T-Mobile.
The winning team from WSU Tri-Cities, named “RealmDialer” developed a project in the T-Mobile track that creates an in-game item for Minecraft, that allows players to make phone calls from within the game using T-Mobile’s “Your Number Anywhere”. The team consisted of computer science students Christian Penick, James Thomas Brittain, Dietrich Zacher, and Danyil Kovalchuk, who all participated in the project’s creation and were required to learn new software for its development. The creators hope to take the project further by developing the ability to accept calls, create a currency to fund calls, and connect the virtual and real worlds through video calls within the game.
“We want to express our sincere gratitude for the support in making our journey to DubHacks 2023 possible. The event enabled students from diverse majors, including Computer Science, Digital Technology and Culture, Biology, and Business, to gain valuable resume-building experiences. We are eager to continue this tradition and encourage more students to participate,” said Reem Osman, president of Coding Cougs.
Coding Cougs is a student-led club on the WSU Tri-Cities campus that has a focus on career development and extracurricular coding events. Students from any academic program or major that have an interest in computer science can participate.
In addition to team “RealmDialer”, five other teams from Coding Cougs competed at the DubHacks event, totaling 29 students from WSU Tri-Cities. Read more about the projects below.
A celebration for Día de Muertos will take place on the Washington State University (WSU) Tri-Cities campus to honor and celebrate those who have passed. The event is Thursday, Nov. 2 from 5 – 7 p.m. in the Student Union Building on the WSU Tri-Cities campus.
The event is hosted by WSU Tri-Cities MOSAIC Center for Student Inclusion, Dreamers Club, Foodies Club, and the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. A variety of activities will be open for all ages, including arts and crafts, live entertainment, music, and food trucks. A community altar will also be provided for individuals to honor loved ones through photos and cherished items.
“My understanding of Día de Muertos is that it is a time for family, friends, and community to come together and honor those that we have loved,” said Kauser Gwaduri, coordinator for the MOSAIC Center for Student Inclusion. “We can celebrate their lives, their impact in our world and in our hearts, and make sure that those who are currently living take time to celebrate each other and where we are now. By honoring and celebrating our deceased, they continue to live on in our memories and in our hearts.”
Día de Muertos is a primarily Hispanic tradition and is typically celebrated in the beginning of November to remember the deceased. Traditionally, altars, or ofrendas, are built to display memorabilia and photos of loved ones, along with favorite foods and beverages, to encourage the importance of family and memories.
Raul Contreras, assistant director of the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, appreciates the opportunity to celebrate on the WSU Tri-Cities campus each year. “My favorite moment was being able to place a photograph of my paternal grandparents on the altar. This is where I truly got to experience the true meaning of Día de Muertos. They passed away before I got to celebrate my graduation from WSU with them. For a moment in time, I felt their presence with me. I knew I could finally give them a tour of the campus I spent so much time in. Their love was with me one more day. I’m glad I’m able to come back and partner with WSU Tri-Cities to help give students the chance to honor and remember their loved ones,” he said.
For more information on the Día de Muertos celebration, visit https://tricities.wsu.edu/event/dia-de-muertos/.
A local nonprofit that empowers individuals facing developmental challenges and disabilities is being uplifted this week in honor of International Credit Union Day. Volunteers from five local credit unions are inviting the Tri-Cities community to donate hygiene supplies to Kennewick’s Columbia Industries Empowerment Place.
In 2023, Columbia Industries has helped nearly 200 individuals through its Empowerment Program. The nonprofit connects clients in need of hygiene items, food, housing, job placements and more.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Thursday, Oct. 19 at 900 S. Dayton Street, credit union volunteers will be collecting donations and assembling hygiene and winter preparedness kits.
"These resources elevate our clients’ level of comfort so they can focus on the empowering and enriching opportunities that exist through our employment services and vocational training,” said Michael Novakovich, Columbia Industries president and CEO. “Thanks to the generosity of these credit unions, our clients will have many of their most basic human needs met as we head into the colder months."
For three years, local credit unions have worked side by side on community projects for International Credit Union Day, united in a desire to show up and give back.
“Credit unions follow a philosophy of people helping people, that’s what we do!” said Doug Wadsworth, Tri-CU CEO and International Credit Union Day committee member. “We are excited to bring together credit union volunteers that share a passion for serving the community.”
This year’s participating credit unions include: Gesa Credit Union, HAPO Community Credit Union, Numerica Credit Union, STCU and Tri-CU.
We welcome all qualified nonprofits to participate in 3 Rivers Community Foundation, “Holiday Giving Catalog,” an online crowdfunding platform that supports direct giving to qualified area nonprofit organizations. We are currently accepting applications to participate with the deadline being Friday, November 17, 2023, at 5:00 PM.
It’s easy to apply and we welcome qualified nonprofit organizations in Benton and Franklin counties to participate. The maximum ”ask” amount will be capped at $2,500.
The “Catalog” platform allows donations in any amount and is supported by robust software that lets donors make as many choices as possible with one easy check out on your desktop or phone. Plus, donors automatically receive a tax receipt once the transaction is complete.
The Holiday Giving Catalog will be open for donations Friday, November 24th, 2023, through Wednesday, January 31st, 2024. Donations will be tabulated in February 2024 and funds will be released to organizations later in the month.
To qualify for the program, you must be a nonprofit organization in Benton or Franklin counties that can:
*Pass a GuideStar inspection linked to your 501c3 (tax ID) number
*Provide your most recent 990 or 990-N tax form filed (can be a postcard)
*Provide a written explanation as to where the funding will be applied (i.e., project/initiative/equipment/education) and a simple budget for the request
*Provide a contact person that will be responsible for communication, administration, and promotion.
We also ask that participating organizations help 3RCF with promotion of the program by distributing information (in-person, website, social media). Distribution materials and imagery will be provided by 3RCF.
Applications are available at: https://www.3rcf.org/giving-catalog/
Applications open: Friday, October 13, 2023
Applications close: Friday, November 17, 2023
Prosser Memorial Health will host their annual Veterans Day Breakfast on Saturday, November 11th, from 7:00am to 10:00am. PMH is excited to again welcome their guests and will be hosting this event at the Prosser Senior and Community Center at 1231 Dudley Ave. Veterans and their families are invited to come by and enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast, coffee, and pastries. An appreciation gift will be provided to Veterans.
The Veterans Day Breakfast has become an annual tradition for Prosser Memorial Health with plans to continue each year as a thank you to those having served. The Annual Veterans Day Procession led by the Prosser Chamber of Commerce will follow, in Historic Downtown Prosser.
Prosser Memorial Health opened its doors as a 19-bed facility in 1947 and was dedicated to the community’s veterans of World War II. More than seventy-five years later, Prosser Memorial Health has grown into a progressive healthcare organization providing compassionate care, the latest in medical technology, and a mission to improve the health of the community. Prosser Memorial Health looks forward to opening a new hospital in early 2025. For more information, please call Shannon Hitchcock with Community Relations at 509.786.6601.
Gesa, a community-focused credit union, today announced the sweeping impact of its second annual “Day of Service,” an employee initiative that mobilized over 480 Gesa team members to give back to local communities. On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, celebrated October 9, Gesa closed its 28 branches to allow its team members to spend the day volunteering. This decision enabled them to give back and make a significant difference in their communities. In total, 31 organizations across Washington benefitted from Gesa’s extensive volunteer work.
A whopping 2,400+ hours were dedicated by Gesa team members across the state, who volunteered for a variety of organizations and nonprofits including senior centers, food banks, parks and recreation centers, community enrichment programs, education institutions, animal shelters, and more. Team members also wrote and delivered letters expressing their gratitude and appreciation for the dedicated efforts of our local heroes, including Law Enforcement, Firefighters, Veterans, Educators and Healthcare Workers.
“At Gesa, we are committed to empowering the communities we serve. We are honored to have partnered with these local organizations for our second annual Day of Service, as their invaluable contributions create a lasting positive impact across our state,” said Don Miller, President and CEO of Gesa Credit Union. “Our annual Day of Service project has easily become one of my favorite initiatives that we do here at Gesa. In the process of coming together to maximize our collective community impact, we’re also enabling and empowering our team members to support organizations and causes that they are personally passionate about.”
A few of the organizations helped were Kennewick Demonstration Garden, Spokane’s Habitat for Humanity, Rod’s House in Yakima and Bella’s Voice in Lynnwood. At the Demonstration Garden, Gesa team members assisted with pulling weeds, pruning roses, planting herbs and preparing the garden for next spring. Volunteers who participated at the Spokane Habitat for Humanity, a donation-based home improvement and goods store, helped with tasks such as unpacking, pricing items and arranging them on the floor for Christmas merchandising. Those who volunteered at Rod’s House in Yakima engaged in shopping and donating items as well as helping with facility cleanup. The team also took part in a Q&A session to learn more about how this nonprofit organization supports and empowers young individuals. At Bella’s Voice in Lynnwood, Gesa helped the nonprofit both in-person and online, with team members assisting at the register and with merchandising, repackaging pet food, and helping with the organization’s social media.
Gesa team members volunteered at the following organizations:
For more information about Gesa Credit Union’s involvement in the community, visit https://www.gesa.com/community.
The Hanford Advisory Board (HAB) is seeking new members to advise federal and state agencies on the ongoing cleanup of the Hanford Site in southeast Washington.
The Tri-Party Agreement agencies — the U.S. Department of Energy (Energy), Washington State Department of Ecology, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — are accepting applications from Sept. 5 – Oct. 31 for several vacant seats on the board. The vacant seats are for members that represent the public-at-large, and organizations from communities near the Hanford Site and the region.
“We’re looking for new board members who are interested in or have a stake in the nuclear cleanup at Hanford,” said Susan Coleman, chair of the HAB. “A diversity of voices and perspectives will help shape advice and recommendations on Hanford cleanup that we provide to the Tri-Party Agreement agencies.”
The HAB is a nonpartisan representative body that strives to have board members that represent a broad and balanced mix of diverse interests affected by Hanford cleanup issues. As set forth in its charter, the primary mission of the board is to provide informed recommendations and advice to the Tri-Party Agreement agencies on selected major policy issues related to Hanford Site cleanup.
Members are expected to attend quarterly full board meetings and have the option to join topic-specific committees that also meet on a quarterly basis. HAB members are not paid, but do receive reimbursement for travel expenses while attending meetings.
The Hanford Site produced more than 70 tons of plutonium from World War II through the Cold War. When plutonium production ceased in 1989, the site’s mission shifted to cleaning up the chemical and radioactive waste left behind.
Energy is the federal agency responsible for Hanford and its cleanup. Ecology and the EPA are the regulators overseeing Energy’s cleanup under the Tri-Party Agreement, a judicial Consent Decree, and various permits.
Since 1994, the HAB has passed 314 pieces of advice to the Tri-Party Agencies.
Applications for membership and more information about the HAB can be found on Energy's website. Apply by Oct. 31, 2023. Application instructions are on the application form.
If you or an organization you're a part of are interested in serving on the HAB and have further questions, please reach out to any of the contacts below.
U.S. Department of Energy
Hanford Office of Communications
Geoffrey.Tyree@rl.doe.gov / 509-308-4287
Washington Department of Ecology
Ryan.Miller@ecy.wa.gov / 509-537-2228
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Remedial Project Manager
Armijo.Roberto@epa.gov / 509-376-3749
Washington State University (WSU) Tri-Cities is hosting a panel discussion on clean energy as part of the university’s research week activities that run Oct. 16 - 20.
The panel discussion, “Clean Energy and the Environment” will be held Oct. 18 at 3 p.m. in Collaboration Hall on the WSU Tri-Cities campus and is also available to watch via Zoom by registering on the WSU research week website https://researchweek.wsu.edu/.
The panel features Noel Schulz, director of the Institute for Northwest Energy Futures (INEF), Yonas Demissie, assistant director of INEF, Josh Heyne, director of the Bioproducts Sciences and Engineering Laboratory (BSEL) and Sarah Roley, associate professor in the School of the Environment. The public is invited to attend.
Other WSU Tri-Cities research week events primarily for students and faculty include an informational session about how to find undergraduate research and internship opportunities and a meet and greet with the WSU Tri-Cities grant support team.
Research week is held on WSU campuses throughout the state and is dedicated to celebrating achievements, building partnerships, and pursuing new opportunities for research, scholarship, and creative activity at WSU. It also allows faculty and graduate students an opportunity to compete for funding that will enable them to continue their research.
In addition to the events happening on the WSU Tri-Cities campus, many of the research week events from around the WSU system are available to attend via Zoom. Visit the research week website at https://researchweek.wsu.edu/ to view a calendar of events.
Elijah Family Homes will host "This is our Story: A Community Breakfast" on October 27 at 7 a.m. at the Pasco Red Lion.
Elijah Family Homes fosters hope, dignity and self-sufficiency through stable housing and supportive services to families seeking addiction recovery in Benton and Franklin County.
It will be a morning of connection, featuring a complimentary breakfast, and the story of Elijah Family Homes.
You can reserve your spot, sign up to be a table captain, or become a sponsor using this link.
Please call with questions at 509-943-6610 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email your press release and a photo to Austin Regimbal, Marketing & Communications Director. Press releases are posted in their entirety. This is a free benefit for members of the Tri-City Regional Chamber.