Students win tuition awards at Tri-Cities academic challenge

By Jeffrey Dennison, WSU Tri-Cities

crimson-challengeRICHLAND, Wash. – Seven area high school students won as much as $6,000 toward tuition for placing first in practical exams during the recent Crimson Academic Challenge at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

Other students won academic awards of $500 and $100 for placing second and third in each of seven discipline areas.

During the challenge, students interacted with faculty and staff while becoming familiar with the campus.

“As a professor, this event gave me a glimpse of the quality of incoming students, their energy, creativity and willingness to learn,” said Donna Paul, WSU Tri-Cities professor of business. “The experience of interacting with faculty and staff at the Crimson Academic Challenge will provide momentum for their success as WSU students.”

The exams were developed by faculty members to challenge the students and incorporate what they have learned in high school and what they can expect at WSU Tri-Cities. Students used their talents in writing, mathematics, research and presentation skills to earn the awards.

The first place winners in each discipline received a $1,500 renewable academic award, totaling $6,000 for four years. The first place winners were:

Maria Yepez, Business, Chiawana High School
Vanessa Romero, Education, Chiawana High School
Kaitlynn Schwarz, Engineering, Richland High School
Benjamin Fincher, Humanities, His Way Home School
Megan Johnston, Nursing, Home School
Mariah Brush, Psychology, Hanford High School
Ricardo Herrera, Sciences, Pasco High School

Learn more about WSU Tri-Cities and its commitment to dynamic student engagement, dynamic research experiences and dynamic community engagement at


Jeffrey Dennison, WSU Tri-Cities marketing and communications,, 509-372-7319,