Student Ambassador bios

Adriana Toth


Human Development

Hello! I’m Adriana Toth. I’m a senior, and besides my human development degree, I will receive a certificate in early childhood education. WSU Vancouver attracted me because it’s close to my home in White Salmon, Wash., and the scenery is just as beautiful. I transferred as a sophomore after earning my associate’s degree at a community college. I didn’t get involved at my previous institution, but here, the events put on by various clubs and organizations are so inviting that I started attending and met some amazing people who have become a great support system. Then I got involved myself. If an event needs volunteers and I have time, I’ll be there. WSU Vancouver is a great place to get an education, because of advantages such as small class sizes, resources such as the library, and professors who go out of their way to make themselves available outside of lectures. Overall, my experience here has exceeded my expectations. I can’t wait to meet new students and make sure they feel part of the WSU Vancouver family.

Alex Shi



Hi everybody, my name’s Alex Shi and I’m a senior at WSU Vancouver majoring in biology. I started as a freshman at WSU Vancouver and had a great academic year. I love the peaceful and supportive environment that WSU Vancouver provides for me to study in. Everything I need in order to be successful and enjoy my college experience is all accessible right on campus, such as diversity events and recreational activities. I came to WSU Vancouver because I wanted to be able to take care of my family as well as obtain a good quality college education. I am involved in music compositions and thoroughly enjoy all aspects of art. I would say music, for me, is an important aspect of living as it can help me push through hard times and enhance the good times. Being able to compose and play your own music is definitely a very rewarding experience.

Andrea Grande


Public Affairs

Hi there! My name is Andrea Grande and I am a sophomore majoring in public affairs with a minor in Spanish and global studies. I came to WSU Vancouver right after graduating from high school in Vancouver. I knew the university was the right place for me because of the great school spirit and VanCougar pride that goes hand-in-hand with becoming a student here, GO COUGS! I love WSU Vancouver not only because of the topnotch education that is provided but also the welcoming atmosphere and the natural beauty that engulfs our lovely campus in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest. I enjoy meeting new people, so please do not hesitate to say hi when you see me around campus.

Ian Muck


Public Affairs

Hi, y'all! My name is Ian Muck, and I am a senior majoring in public affairs with a minor in history. I came to WSU Vancouver last year as a transfer student from the American University of Paris, and I’ve found it to be an incredible institution. I was drawn to WSU Vancouver because of the small campus and, of course, its gorgeous location. I grew up in Vancouver, and have always heard encouraging things about the university, and I’m so happy to report they were all correct. I decided to get involved right away by joining clubs and participating in student government, and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences I've had. This is an amazing school, with an amazing student body and staff, and I’m so excited to serve as one of your ambassadors this year.

Jonathan (J.D.) Abbott


Electrical Engineering

Hello! My name is Jonathan (J.D.) Abbott. To me, WSU Vancouver was a no-brainer when selecting a school to attend. Honestly, what isn’t there to like about WSU Vancouver? The open, modern and beautiful campus hooked me into “staying close, yet going far.” Living so close has allowed me to save thousands on housing costs as well. Also, at the time I applied, the Engineering and Computer Science Building had just turned 2 years old. Having such new equipment and dedicated staff working in the labs really solidified my choice. One reason I continue to enjoy this school is the very low student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. That really lets the instructors get to know you personally and help you any way they can. But the main reason I enjoy campus so much is the clubs and the students associated with them. When you get involved in the school, your whole experience changes. So do it!

Madeline Shoup



Hi, everyone! My name is Madeline Shoup, and I am a senior majoring in biology, along with minors in psychology and Spanish. I came to WSU Vancouver right out of high school and was thankful to find such a beautiful, thriving institution that not only transferred so many of my Advanced Placement credits but also offered everything I needed to chase after my dream of serving in the medical field. Little did I know then how many practical opportunities this campus would provide to help me follow that dream—right here in our beautiful little corner of the great Pacific Northwest. I have come to love this campus—its exceptional faculty, top-tier research and abundance of opportunities for involvement—and I sincerely hope that you will, as well.

College tip

"One of the best pieces of advice I received is this: College is not a passive experience. You can’t just sit back and wait for greatness to fall into your lap. Be proactive, seek out opportunities to push yourself and get involved. Never let your possibilities be limited by underestimating your potential."

Maggie Handran



Hello, hello, hello! My name is Maggie Handran and I am a senior in psychology with a minor in art. I grew up in Vancouver, got my associate’s degree and then looked for a school to complete my bachelor’s degree. Though I like to travel, I decided to nestle here at WSU Vancouver. The university offered all I needed to achieve my degree on a more personal, nature-filled campus that matched my financial and social needs. At first I struggled because I shied away from asking questions and doing activities, but now I am flying around everywhere trying to do it all. We all started out new and nervous, but if you reach out, we can show you how fun college life can be. You can always find this short redhead trying something new, hunting down free food from club activities, talking to new people, trying to make friends with the wildlife on campus or covered in paint. Please do not hesitate to say hello or ask questions. I want to see you grow in the VanCoug community.

Navaraj (Raj) Lamichhane


Business Administration

Namaste (I bow to the reflection of the divine in you). My name is Navaraj (Raj) Lamichhane, and I am from Nepal. I am an international student and a senior in the business administration program. I am excited to graduate in 2018. I flew all the way from Nepal to WSU Vancouver because it is a small campus backed with big school resources, a first-tier research university and an environmentally friendly campus. WSU Vancouver also has small class sizes, scholarship opportunities, nationally recognized faculty and many opportunities for student involvement and research. My dream is to become a social entrepreneur to help the disadvantaged people of my country. My biggest wish is to attend graduate school, and eventually work for a clean energy company and even start my own someday.

College tip

"Be open about meeting new people, helping others, advocating for students, asking for help, and taking advantage of every opportunity both on and off campus. Strengthening your leadership skills through campus experiences in the decision-making process may help you to prepare and think critically in every future challenge."

Paige Jernigan


Environmental Science

Hello! My name is Paige Jernigan, and I am a senior majoring in environmental science and minoring in biology. I transferred from Sheridan College in Wyoming after earning my Associate of Science degree, and have found my second home here at WSU Vancouver. I selected this school because of its beautiful location, small class sizes and exceptional, research-orientated instructors. But I have come to love the sense of community and opportunity to be involved with the multitude of clubs and organizations active on campus. I enjoy the supportive and friendly atmosphere here. The experiences I have gained at WSU Vancouver both in the classroom and out of it will allow me to reach my goals, and they will help you reach yours too.

Sterling Fletcher



Hello! My name is Sterling Fletcher, and I am a junior majoring in entrepreneurship. I came here straight out of high school because it was local and affordable. I was going to college to get an education, nothing more. My freshman year I was a PCP (parking lot, class, parking lot) student, on campus only to take notes and turn in assignments. After a year, I transferred to a different school in search of the “college experience” I had heard so much about. But the thing I was looking for wasn’t something I could just stumble upon elsewhere. WSU Vancouver had everything I was looking for… I just needed to adjust my perspective. When I came back, I started seeing that professors aren’t just teachers; they are mentors who care about your education and are willing to help if you only ask. My fellow classmates are my peers; they are willing to collaborate and share their knowledge. The clubs and organizations are the heart and soul of student life and can enrich your college experience as much as, if not more than, your classes. And the value of the bonds and friendships you’ll make is boundless.

College tip

"The most important thing you can do here at WSU Vancouver is to GET INVOLVED! Get involved with clubs and student organizations, participate in class discussions and talk with your professors. It might take more time commitments and effort than you are used to, but you will benefit greatly from it."

Temika Johnson



My name is Temika Johnson, and I am an anthropology major. I fell in love with this campus the first day I stepped foot on its grounds. I absolutely love that you can arrange one-on-one meetings with professors and that your class sizes are smaller than on the average college campus. I have joined a fair number of clubs on campus, and they have allowed me to meet many different people with similar interests. I enjoy being a VanCoug, and I encourage others to get involved on campus. My favorite part of being in Washington state is the relative closeness to nature.

Vince Chavez



Hello! I’m Vince Chavez. I’m a senior majoring in biology, but have a major interest in chemistry. I was born and raised in Vancouver. I attended and graduated from Clark College during high school while working at Taco Bell. Last year was my first year on campus, and I decided to quit my job because I had become financially secure through scholarships. So I was able to dedicate my time into becoming involved. I participated in the college access program, was a member of the elections board, and was an impact volunteer. The most exciting aspect of last year was doing research in Dr. Portfors’s neuroscience lab under Dr. Felix and taking part in the research showcase in April. What I love about WSU Vancouver is that it is only 15 minutes away from home and I get to enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. If you see me on campus, don’t be afraid to stop me—I enjoy meeting fellow Cougs!