WSU is advancing Washington industries …
WSU teams with aviation to develop sustainable aviation biofuels …
WSU partners to develop bioproducts that reduce dependence on petroleum imports …
WSU works with state commodity commissions to conduct needed agricultural research …
WSU developed the technology used for wood-plastic composites used for buildings …
WSU researchers work to improve dairy productivity and reduce disease …
WSU research has made Washington one of the world’s most productive wheat-growing regions …

Cougar Chat, My WSU Impact

My WSU Impact – Alyson Rotter: mom, professional, passionate advocate

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Welcome to the second entry in our new series: My WSU Impact.  Last week, we introduced you to WSUAA and WSU Impact member, Mike Bomar, ’04. This week, we are honored to highlight Alyson Rotter, ’97 & 03, a WSUAA and WSU Impact member, who graduated with her BA from WSU Pullman and her MPA from WSU Vancouver.  She is a deeply committed professional and advocate for public higher education along with being a wife and mom to two young future Cougs (we hope). We are so pleased to highlight Alyson as one of our first and most active members – please read her story.

Ann Goos, ’88 & Alyson Rotter, 07 & ’03 – WSU Pullman & Vancouver alumna, WSUAA member, WSU Impact registered advocate

When you first meet Alyson Rotter, ’97 & ’03, her energy and passion for education are immediately evident. With three degrees behind her name, she is a busy professional and young mother who is one of our first and most active members of WSU Impact.

“I was a first generation college student and did Running Start to achieve my AA degree when I graduated high school”, says Alyson. “Despite that head start, I have ‘lived’ the challenges of trying to make ends meet. I still have student loans I’m paying off”, she explains.

Alyson was drawn to join WSU Impact because she is an active WSU Alumni Association member, and she intimately understands that public higher education needs citizens to actively support our universities and colleges in Olympia. Alyson also understands it is essential that citizens work together with the legislature to ensure a quality education experience while keeping tuition affordable for all families, regardless of income.

Rotter Family

Alyson first logged on to the WSU Impact website in the fall of 2012. She found that the resources and tools provided by WSU Impact provide another avenue to give back to WSU and support affordable, accessible higher education. She liked the fact that the WSU Impact website gave her pertinent information and the easy access to share her concerns with her three legislators while calling for adequate funding of public higher education.

“Given my own experiences and that of countless students and families who face the same challenges, fears, and anxiety attempting to navigate the funding puzzle,” says Alyson, “I feel a duty to do what I can to advocate for greater access and affordability of higher education.  Alyson also says she likes that other Cougs are sending messages at the same time. “Our voices together can make for a powerful, positive show of support for WSU and higher education in Olympia”, she says, with her wide smile.

Alyson walks her talk. Her career to date includes providing outreach for the WashBoard.org, a web-based resource linking college scholarship seekers with scholarship opportunities. She has worked as a financial aid and scholarship counselor  and coordinated recruitment and outreach for the College Bounds Scholarship program for students on the Olympic Peninsula. She was an Assistant Director in Student Affairs at WSU Vancouver, and a Running Start Advisor in the counseling office at Peninsula College. As a mother of two young children, she knows that maintaining the quality of higher education while keeping access affordable takes on a personal urgency.

With her background, it is no wonder WSU Impact welcomed Alyson when she registered as a member. Her knowledge and experience with helping students and families succeed in the college experience and her willingness to actively share her concerns and values with elected officials makes for a great addition to our WSU Impact family.

“I am so excited that Alyson joined,” says Ann Goos, WSU Impact director. “Like many of our registered advocates, Alyson and I started emailing back and forth and started a relationship. When I was lucky enough to meet her in person, I was awed by how much Alyson has done to help hundreds of students succeed in college. Her career experiences, educational background, and dedicated volunteerism in her community makes her a great WSU Impact member,” says Goos.  “I now count Alyson not only as a fellow citizen advocate for higher education, but a real leader and friend”.

“I hope every WSU graduate considers joining WSU Impact,” says Alyson, leaning forward. “Cougs are an amazing force for good when we all work together – ‘waving the flag’ can now also mean lending our voices where it matters most: in Olympia. I am dedicated to public education – I am so glad that WSU Impact exists,” she says, her brown eyes shining brightly.

And, with immense pride in acknowledging our members, WSU Impact is equally glad that Alyson Rotter is on the team.

As we were working on this article, Alyson announced that she is running for the Bremerton School Board, a non-partisan position. This is Alyson’s first foray into elective office. We wish her and all candidates good luck and please be safe on the campaign trail!

 

 

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