First-generation scholar & immigrant shines in academics, research & service; bears college’s gonfalon
Hilary Zuniga dreams of someday working for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, earning her doctoral degree in international development studies, and enjoying a fulfilling career with the United Nations. In December, the determined 22-year-old took one giant step closer to her goals by graduating from WSU with two bachelor’s degrees and a record of outstanding academic and research achievement, student leadership, and community service.
For her accomplishments as an undergraduate, the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) honored Zuniga as its gonfalon bearer in the fall 2019 commencement ceremony at WSU Pullman. Gonfalons are the shield-shaped banners that represent each of WSU’s 11 colleges at graduation events.
“I was truly honored and appreciate the opportunity and recognition,” she said. “I’m the first in my family to get a college degree and I’m immigrant—not a U.S. citizen—so it was very meaningful…
Zuniga also honored as CAS Outstanding Senior in Earth & Environmental Sciences
In the College of Arts and Sciences, an Outstanding Senior is defined as one who has excelled in academic performance and in service to their department or school and to the University community. SoE named Hilary Zuniga 2020 Outstanding Senior in Earth and Environmental Sciences.
“Being a Coug has changed my life for the better. Never did I imagine that this school and its amazing faculty would build upon who I am fundamentally and who I could see myself to be. Because of faculty that believed in me, like Dr. Kara Whitman, Dr. Michael Goldsby, Arlene Parkay, Dr. Raymond Herrera, and those from Multicultural Student Services, as well as the close relationships I have made here, I am honored to be a strong student that can accept this accomplishment and a Latina that will continue her studies to graduate school and make a difference in the world and in the field of international development.” –Hilary Zuniga
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