WSUV will give out record number of degrees May 12

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Washington State University Vancouver will graduate a record 979 students at its 2012 commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. May 12 at the Sleep Country Amphitheater.

Washington State Supreme Court Justice Steven C. González will give the keynote address and the university will present five special awards during the ceremony.

The class of 2012 includes nine doctoral candidates and 121 master’s candidates.

The remaining 849 bachelor’s candidates will receive degrees in a number of fields in liberal arts, business and science. And for the first time at WSUV, 11 of the bachelor degrees are awarded for electrical engineering.

Special awards this year include:

Dora Hernandez will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Student Achievement. Hernandez is the founder and president of the Latin@ Student Association, a student organization that has provided leadership opportunities for Latina/Latino students on campus. She also worked to increase student awareness of financial aid and scholarship opportunities by helping plan the FAFSA Feed and Scholarship Fair and by co-leading the College Goal Sunday Washington event.

Christine Portfors, associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences, will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence. Portfors works with mice and bats to understand how complex sounds are processed by the hearing system and to better understand age-related hearing loss.

Leslie Wykoff and the Clark County Community High Technology Council each will receive the Chancellor’s Awards for Service to WSUV. Wykoff served more than 16 years at WSUV before retiring as library director in 2011. The council encouraged state legislators and the business community to send stimulus funds to build the Engineering and Computer Science building at WSUV. Their leadership and support was recognized by Gov. Chris Gregoire, who chose the building to receive capital money. The building opened for classes in January.

Wei Xue will receive the Students’ Award for Teaching Excellence. Wei was chosen for his ability to inspire students and his dedication to research at WSUV.

The Sleep Country Amphitheater is at 17200 N.E. Delfel Road in Ridgefield. Parking and gates open at 11 a.m. on commencement day. The seating area opens at 11:30 a.m. Concessions will be available. Commencement is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

The Sleep Country Amphitheater is a covered outdoor venue. Please be aware that umbrellas are not allowed in the venue.

For more information, go to WSUV commencement.