Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University

Top Ten Senior Awards

Class of 2022

For more than 80 years, Washington State University has recognized ten of the top seniors in each graduating class. The WSU Alumni Association selects these women and men who represent the highest standards in specific aspects of the college experience, including academics, athletics, campus involvement, community service, and visual and performing arts.

Cristina Navarro

Cristina Navarro

Visual/Performing Arts

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Fine Arts
  • WSU Pullman
  • Los Angeles, California

Involvement

Fine Arts Outstanding Senior 2022; recipient of the Frances Drank Fine Arts Endowed Scholarship for Undergraduates; recipient of the John Martin Memorial Scholarship; Art Club secretary; recipient of the High Five Award in 2018 and 2019; participant in the 2021 Mapping Time Pop-up Exhibition; participant in the 2020 Life/Death/Sketch Show; KZUU radio host of The Golden Hour; guest lecturer for Fine Arts 101;
undergraduate learning assistant for Fine Arts 101 Intro to Fine Arts, Fine Arts 201 and Fine Arts 202 World Art History

Favorite WSU experience

The best times I’ve had in Pullman have been at the end of the school year. In the art department, there are usually gallery exhibitions and shows to commemorate all the hard work everyone has put into in the past semester. I love getting to see the MFA graduate student shows, BFA shows, and all of the galleries set up in between. My favorite part is watching friends and non-art look at the work that’s set up. The times I’ve participated in these shows have been the highlight of school for me. I’m so honored to be a part of it. The community and environment in Pullman and in the art department are things I’m really going to miss.

Future plans

I’m headed back to Los Angeles, where all of my family is. I’m hoping to get into art museum and gallery work and possibly teaching art someday.

Jocelyn Granados Mejia

Jocelyn Granados Mejia

Campus Involvement

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Political Science, Psychology, Spanish
  • WSU Pullman
  • Prescott, Washington

Involvement

Student mentor in the Chicanx/Latinx Student Center; Immigrant Youth Fellow with the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network; external chair, uncertified senator and all-campus senator in the Associated Students of Washington State University; facilitator with the 21st Century Camp Vista; staff and mentor with the Vista Hermosa Youth Group in Prescott, Washington; team leader, workshops director, and co-chair with Children of Aztlan Sharing Higher Education (CASHE); co-chair of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán (MECHA) and co-chair of Empowerment and Self-Determination committee; volunteer, team Leader, and team leader director of Visionaries Inspiring Black Empowered (V.I.B.E.S); vice president and standards officer of Kappa Delta Chi sorority; Emergency Relief Grant task force lead of Centro Latino; MECHA representative, rapid response coordinator, and co-chair of Crimson Group; Crimson Group representative to Home Is Here Campaign; representative at MECHA Nationals Conference; member of the Active Advocacy Coalition Conference

Favorite WSU experience

My ultimate favorite memory was the CASHE conference run by MECHA with 120 to 150 students. I came first when I was a senior in high school, then I was co-chair in charge of the conference during the COVID year. So coming from being the student, then being a volunteer, director, and then the main person in charge of it, I saw the full circle. One of my students at the conference is now a first-year WSU student and one of my mentees, with the same major as me. This conference really changed my trajectory at WSU and let me give back to my community in the sense of helping others through leadership roles.

That was my biggest fear coming into college: I’m not going know anyone, I’m not going to fit in. Meeting the students there, we’re less than 10 percent of the population but it didn’t feel like that because we all have a community and we all have each other’s backs.

Future plans

I am undocumented so I don’t have access to federal loans and things like that. I’m studying political science and psychology because I see a lack of diverse immigration lawyers. There’s been a lot of exploitation and lack of good information. By going into law, I can use that knowledge to better help my community. There are a few pathways to citizenship, but people don’t know those pathways. So I’m leaning toward law school. I’ll take a gap year to fundraise and focus on the LSAT so I can get scholarships.

Michaela Bayerlova

Michaela Bayerlova

Athletics

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Data Analytics
  • WSU Pullman
  • Czech Republic

Involvement

2022 Pac-12 women’s tennis scholar-athlete of the year; NCAA Division I Tennis Championships; currently ranked No. 43 in the US, WSU’s only ranked player; currently ranked Number 513 in the world (as of Mach 21, 2022); currently is the third-highest woman playing NCAA Division I tennis in the world rankings; holder of five Pac-12 Player of the Week awards; holder of two Northwest Region ITA Player to Watch awards; two-time All-Pac-12 Conference selection, 2018/2019 (only player in school history to be named to First Team); second-team All-Pac-12 Selection in 2021; captured five professional singles titles while at WSU; Student-Athlete of the Month for academic achievements; WSU All-Academic Team and Pac-12 All-Academic team; volunteer at Circles of Caring, WSU Tennis clinics, Butch’s Bash Holiday Carnival, and Coug Pals

Favorite WSU experience

For sure, it’s been really cool watching other sports. Football is not a sport back home so even going to WSU’s big stadium was huge. I have special memories of our tennis team winning big over UW on Senior Day this spring. We went crazy afterwards!

Future plans

I will be competing in the NCAA Division One Tennis Championships this May. Then, I want to play professional tennis for a year or two. My base is back home in Germany, and I plan to travel to tournaments in Europe and all over the world. A big part of that will be looking for sponsors.

Depending how my tennis career goes, I may also consider a career in data analytics. It’s a really broad field, so there might be a lot of opportunities.

Chloe Larson

Chloe Larson

Athletics

  • College of Education
  • Kinesiology
  • WSU Pullman
  • Rapid City, South Dakota

Involvement

Team captain for 2020-2022 and four-year scholarship athlete with the WSU Varsity Swim team; first Coug to return to back-to-back NCAA Championships in swimming; first Coug swimmer to win a Pac-12 Championship; four-time WSU school record holder (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, and part of the 200 freestyle relay record and the 400 freestyle relay record); led the WSU Swimming team to highest points ever scored in school history at the 2020 Pac-12 Championships; semifinalist in the 2021 US Olympic Trials with one of the highest finishes in school history; Gibb Pool record holder (former record holder was a two-time Olympian); participant in Bruya-Wood Undergraduate Research Conference; women’s swimming team representative to the WSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee; peer academic counselor for student-athletes; Pac-12 All Academic Honor Roll from 2020-2022; College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America Scholar; WSU President’s Honor Roll all four years; volunteer swim coach with Cougar Aquatics, working with younger swimmers; volunteer with Butch’s Bash and food drive

Favorite WSU experience

Winning the Pac-12 championship was a highlight of my WSU career. It was something I never thought I would achieve. The love and support that I got from my teammates and my coaches, and the university, was amazing. I got to go down to the field at a football game and wave at the crowd.

Future plans

I am applying to an accelerated nursing program. Hopefully I graduate after the one-year program, I will become an ICU nurse. My dad is a CRNA, a nurse anesthetist, and I hope to follow in his footsteps and that’s the first part of my future.

Aydan Garland-Miner

Aydan Garland-Miner

Community Service

  • College of Arts and Sciences, Murrow College of Communication
  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Journalism and Media Production
  • WSU Pullman
  • Bow, Washington

Involvement

President and founder of PERIOD at WSU; Northwest regional lead for PERIOD in Portland, Oregon; social justice peer educator for the WSU Office of Outreach and Education; co-founder of Washington State for Menstrual Equity Coalition; Washington State Free the Period campaign lead; lead rally organizer for National Period Day 2019; Coalition of Women Students; Gender Inclusion and Trans Support work group; media team member at YMCA Orcas Island; graphic designer for the League of Women Voters in Bellingham, Washington; the Daily Evergreen

Favorite WSU experience

My favorite part of my experience at WSU has to be the relationships I’ve cultivated, whether it be with my professors or my peers. Many a time have I spent the afternoon talking to my closest mentors about music, books, our greatest joys, challenges, and so on. I’ve also made lifelong friendships here, and for that, I am forever grateful. My time at WSU wouldn’t be the same without the people I’ve been lucky enough to have by my side.

Future plans

I am planning on spending the next year with my family, continuing to study the piano, and working for PERIOD. I am also currently applying for a job in the AmeriCorps so I’m looking forward to potentially doing that as well.

Nolan Thomaswick

Nolan Thomaswick

Campus Involvement

  • Carson College of Business
  • Accounting
  • WSU Global
  • Toledo, Ohio

Involvement

President of the Associated Students of WSU Global; chair of the ASWSU Global Resource Allocation and Accountability Committee; student ambassador for WSU Global Connections; artist educator at CATCO theatre company in Columbus, Ohio; member of Beta Alpha Psi

Favorite WSU experience

My favorite memories are interacting with my fellow ASWSU Global members and advisers, the people who are taking an active part in this community. It’s been a blast to get to partake in student government with a team where we actually formed friendships with each other, and I got to kind of cross the screen. It can be hard to get students involved sometimes but, when they are, it’s a lot of fun. Those are the people I’m going to remember, the experiences I’m going to remember. It really enhanced my experience at the Global Campus. And our plans for the Global Campus commencement are shaping up to be really cool. It’ll be in-person in Seattle at a lodge, and it’ll also be available for people to attend virtually. We’re also going to a Seattle Mariners game afterwards. I’m proud of the part I played in organizing it. We had a really good team.

Future plans

I have an upcoming internship with KPMG International Limited, one of the Big Four accounting organizations. Eventually I’d like to be a commander of my own time. It would be nice if I could become involved in animal sanctuary work since I’m really passionate about that, too.

Lindsey Gass

Lindsey Gass

Community Service

  • College of Education
  • Kinesiology
  • WSU Pullman
  • Costa Mesa, California

Involvement

Research assistant at the Exercise Physiology and Performance Lab; dean’s list; Sigma Kappa sorority; project leader at the Center for Civic Engagement and organized chalk-art Sundays and virtual tours of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History tours during the pandemic for local senior citizens; visited with local seniors and played games with memory-care patients; managed Pen Friends, coordinating letter pick-up and drop-off between 11 classrooms at five local elementary schools, with more than 170 elementary school students matched with WSU students; one of two project leaders to work directly with the nonprofit Inland Oasis, which supports the local LGBTQ+ community and its West Side Food Pantry; helped coordinate the organization’s new community center and food pantry; volunteer at the Palouse Discovery Science Center and Regional Theatre of the Palouse; logged over 120 community service hours on the volunteer platform GivePulse

Favorite WSU experience

One would be the virtual tours. That was one of the best and most rewarding experiences for me, especially through the pandemic. It helped not only the seniors but me as well. It was really nice to be able to connect with the seniors because I hadn’t been able to see them for a while. Being able to see them again and let them know we still care about them even though we couldn’t be there in person was important to me, and I learned so much from it. I just really loved that experience. Another would be just the amazing friend group I have at WSU. I can’t wait to stay in touch with them for the rest of my life.

Future plans

I’m going to move back home to California, study for the GRE, take the GRE, and apply for physical therapy programs. I eventually want to work as a physical therapist in marginalized communities and senior facilities.

Forrest Fearington

Forrest Fearington

Academics

  • College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Neuroscience
  • WSU Vancouver
  • Vancouver, Washington

Involvement

Research technician in the Coffin Lab at WSU Vancouver; employee at Portland Eye Clinic; volunteer at the Free Clinic of SW Washington; vice president of the WSU Vancouver Pre-Health Club; piano teacher; volunteer with the Vancouver Salvation Army Food Pantry; employee at ReWire Neuroscience

Favorite WSU experience

If I could relive one day at WSU, it would be skiing with friends at Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon. I went with my wife, Ashley, and a lot of our friends, and it was all WSU people there. I had a blast. We also went to a football game in Pullman and had a great time. Before COVID-19, we used to have a lot of fun events arranged by the Student Activities Board. I’d say my best memories were going out and doing stuff with friends, not so much being in the classroom!

Future plans

I’m going to Rochester, Minnesota, for medical school at the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine. My long-term goal is to be a physician, and Mayo Clinic has massive amounts of research funding. They also have a really small class, only 50 students at the Minnesota campus. The small class size experience I’d get there would be the same as I got here, which I really enjoyed. There are so many different options and so many different things you can do in the medical field. I think I’d like to conduct research on the side while seeing patients. I think clinical trials are really where the rubber meets the road in biomedical research. You can actually see the patients trying a new drug and see them getting better. I think that’s something I’d like to get involved with.

Annie Lu

Annie Lu

Academics

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics
  • WSU Pullman
  • Aurora, Colorado

Involvement

Recipient of Fulbright Research award for Budapest Semesters in Mathematics; research intern at Technical University Berlin; National Science Foundation-funded research assistant at WSU; Knebelman Outstanding Senior Award from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics; College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Senior in Mathematics; recipient of the WSU National Merit full-tuition scholarship; WSU Carson Undergraduate Research Fellowship recipient; grader for Math 464 Linear Optimization and Math 315 Differential Equations; teaching assistant for Calculus I; WSU Flute Choir and Wind Symphony

Favorite WSU experience

I don’t know if I can pick just one memory. All the friends I’ve made, they’ve really made everything worth it. I’ve been working on a research project with Dr. Nikos Voulgarakis at WSU on stochastic processes for two years, and we’re about to publish a paper. I also have a paper coming out from an internship I did over the summer. The internship was supposed to be in Berlin, but because of COVID-19, everything got pushed virtually. But those projects are what I’ve poured everything into these last few years.

Future plans

I’ve always really liked math, and I was trying to decide between art and math. Once I got involved in research, I ended up liking it a lot. I just accepted an offer to enter a PhD program in applied mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles. I want to go into academia. I really like teaching. I’m also interested in finance, specifically quantitative data modeling.

Cameron Barton

Cameron Barton

Visual/Performing Arts

  • College of Arts and Sciences, Honors College
  • Music (Keyboard Performance)
  • WSU Pullman
  • Genesee, Idaho

Involvement

President of the WSU chapter of the Music Teachers National Association; president of Allegro, the Student Association for Arts Advocacy; president of the Honors Student Advisory Council; member of the WSU Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Big Band II; mentor and chair with the Honors College Mentor Program; radio host and music librarian for Northwest Public Broadcasting; administrative intern with the College Music Society; camp counselor for WSU Summer Keyboard Explorations; events technicians for University of Idaho Campus Events Services; private piano instructor for WSU Piano Pedagogy Lab School; group piano substitute instructor for the WSU School of Music; teaching assistant for WSU Honors 198

Favorite WSU experience

One of the really wonderful experiences I’ve had while being at WSU is being exposed to peers and making friends with people who are involved in so many different disciplines. In this last year, I’ve seen probably the greatest degree of change in myself in my life, coming back into in-person instruction. I went to the National Collegiate Honors Council conference in Orlando, and I met and presented with other Honors students from WSU who I had some proximity to but never officially met. However, in a short amount of time, we became very close friends and have still spent time together regularly throughout the rest of our senior year. We all agreed that we met at just the right point in our lives, making that connection a very fitting and poetic one, but we’ll miss each other when we each move beyond our undergraduate careers.

Future plans

I’ve been accepted to a master’s program for piano performance at the University of Arizona that will start in August. I’ll also be teaching piano to undergraduates as one responsibility of a graduate teaching assistant position I was awarded through the Fred Fox School of Music.