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Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement Distinguished Scholarships Program

Daphne Weber is WSU’s First Fulbright-Hays Recipient

Daphne Weber in all white robes at Thai monastery.

Washington State University Ph.D. candidate Daphne Weber in anthropology has received the institution’s first Fulbright-Hays award and will live for a year in Thailand with female bhikkuni Buddist monks to learn about their healing effects of their ordination. Her experience there will be her third, following two previous related to her work toward her WSU master’s degree.

Daphne Weber in all-white robes at Thai monastery.
PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University anthropology doctoral candidate Daphne Weber is the institution’s first recipient of a Fulbright-Hays. a prestigious, nationally competitive award, said April Seehafer, director of the Distinguished Scholarships Program.

Part of the renowned Fulbright suite of awards, the Fulbright-Hays is uniquely funded by a Congressional appropriation to the U.S. Dept. of Education. The award supports research and training efforts overseas that focus on non-western foreign languages and area studies. Weber’s award is in the category of Fulbright-Hays: Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad.

With it, Weber will spend a year living with and interviewing Thai female monks, formally known as bhikkhuni. She will conduct extensive research for her Ph.D. dissertation on the healing effects of ordination. While female monks are recognized in East Asia, where people mostly practice Mahayana Buddhism, bhikkhuni are not officially recognized within the predominately Theravada tradition of Southeast Asia.

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WSU Senior Vanessa Giramata Recognized as First Schwarzman Distinguished Scholarship Finalist

Schwarzman finalist Vanessa Giramata

Media: April Seehafer, Distinguished Scholarships Program director, Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement, 509-335-8239,

PULLMAN, Wash.-Washington State University economic sciences and French major Vanessa Giramata, from Rwanda, is the university’s first finalist for the nationally competitive Schwarzman Scholar award, said April Seehafer, director of WSU’s Distinguished Scholarships Program.

Schwarzman finalist Vanessa Giramata

The Schwarzman, first presented to U.S. students in 2016, was created to prepare young leaders to respond to the geopolitical landscape of this century, according to its website. Recipients of the award are tapped to pursue a one-year master’s degree in global affairs, taught in English at Tsinghua University in Beijing China. Scholars can focus on public policy, economics and business, or international studies. The Schwarzman is aimed at deepening the understanding of China’s role in global trends.

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Goldwater awards go to STEM students Goto, Gubsch, and Klappenbach

June 17, 2019

Media: April Seehafer, Distinguished Scholarships director, WSU Undergraduate Education, 509-335-8239,

PULLMAN, Wash.—Two engineering and one science student at Washington State University have received prestigious, nationally competitive awards from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program.

The students are seniors Courtney Klappenbach, a genetics and cellular biology and microbiology double major, and Kristian Gubsch, a chemical engineering major; and, junior Daniel Goto, the only student at WSU with a double major in electrical engineering and materials science engineering.

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Junior Zachary Howard Receives Goldwater Scholarship for 2018-19

Goldwater 2018 winner Zachary Howard.

MEDIA: April Seehafer, WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program director, 509-335-8239,

Goldwater 2018 winner Zachary HowardPULLMAN, Wash.— Sammamish, Wash., native and Washington State University genetics and cell biology major Zachary Howard has received from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation a $7,500 distinguished scholarship for the 2018-19 academic year.

Goldwater scholarships are among the most prestigious, nationally competitive awards given to students nominated by their universities. Winners are from science, technology, and engineering (STEM) fields, are academically high achieving, and have experience in, and aspire to, a career in research. Since 1989, the program has provided to U.S. students more than 8,100 scholarships totaling $65 million dollars.

“This is a huge honor for me and WSU, but also a compliment that recognizes my hard work,” said Howard. “Especially since I know the competition was tough.”

Howard brings to 38 the total number of Goldwater awards received by WSU students.

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