Help Problem-Solving Students Become Innovators

November 17, 2020 By Leilah Langley
Ashleigh Sanford portrait
Ashleigh Sanford, EWU senior

The students in Eastern’s Mechanical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Technology programs are known for their problem-solving skills. But for some, the problem of paying for tuition and books, on top of rent and food, can be nearly impossible to solve. That’s why a group of EWU faculty and alumni started the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Technology (ME/MET) Alumni Endowment. They understand that sometimes it only takes a little extra support to ensure more students complete their degrees and become innovators and diverse, talented employees.

Sam Williams ’15

Sam Williams ‘15 was among the first graduates of the program at Eastern. “I work with University of Washington, Washington State, Western and Central alumni. Telling them I’m an Eagle always makes me feel good,” he says.

Sam credits his experience at Eastern for helping him start his career as a manufacturing engineer.

“I learned a lot about being a great engineer from working in Jeff Donnerberg’s class to build engines,” he adds. “I want more students to have that experience.”

Ashleigh Sanford is an EWU senior majoring in mechanical engineering. To help make ends meet, she lives with her mom and works for a local fabrication company in Liberty Lake, all while maintaining a 3.75 GPA. She knew her hard work and dedication had paid off when she earned a scholarship—funding which will keep her Eagle Strong as she finishes her degree amid a pandemic.

“I am so thankful for this scholarship,” Ashleigh says. “It really does help for my senior year. Every year it gets harder to afford tuition, fees and books.”

Once the ME/MET Alumni Endowment is fully funded, it can start helping deserving students like Ashleigh. The account is about $3,500 away from reaching endowment. With a gift from you, we can ensure that this scholarship fund reaches endowment before the end of the year, and starts awarding the next generation of problem solvers.

“A scholarship means so much because it shows they recognize my integrity and the 110 percent I put into school,” Ashleigh says. “It makes it that much more worth doing all of the hard work.

After graduation, Ashleigh aspires to work programming cooperative robots, the type that work alongside manufacturers and medical professionals who perform precise surgeries.

Our Goal on GivingTuesday:
Help students by finishing up scholarship endowments

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement that unleashes the power of people and organizations, like EWU, to transform their communities and the world. Many EWU students are facing new financial challenges due to the pandemic. Scholarship support is critical at a time like this.

We identified several scholarship funds that are very close to being endowed. Once our donors help them reach endowment, more students will benefit from scholarship support—and more students will stay Eagle Strong!