LEADing on


Jared Powell and LaKecia Farmer, ASWSU president and vice-president for 2014-2015, are sworn into office during an inauguration in the CUB Senior Ballroom, Thursday, April 24.

ASWSU President Jared Powell and Vice President LaKecia Farmer were inaugurated last night, one of many honors praised during the LEAD 2014 award ceremony in the CUB Senior Ballroom.

 The 2014 Leadership and Engagement Awards of Distinction event celebrated the leadership of approximately 50 WSU students who demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities. From post-graduates to undergraduates to Global Campus students, Powell said the awardees define what it means to be a Coug.

“WSU has great leaders all over campus,” Powell said. “It’s what really keeps WSU such a great institution in my opinion.”

Powell said getting involved is what has prepared him for serving as WSU Pullman’s next student body president.

“I feel like most of the people in this room can say the same and they’ve given back greatly to the WSU community, which is awesome,” he said.

The long list of award recipients also included community organizations such as the local Community Action Center and Storehouse. Five faculty and staff received awards along with various student organizations.

Interim Provost Dan Bernardo spoke on behalf of WSU President Elson S. Floyd who passed on his regrets for being unable to attend Thursday’s service.

Bernardo addressed themes of leadership and engagement.

Bernardo said it is difficult to define leadership. To him, leaders possess is the ability to motivate other people in diverse situations. Virtues of courage and ambition echoed throughout Bernardo’s speech.

“For me, a leader is someone who has the ability to inspire people around a common goal and conviction to push that common goal through,” Bernardo said. “Leaders are willing to take personal risks and achieve for the common good.”

Bernardo said leadership is not learned from a book. It can be learned through experience, he said.

“It’s so important to take advantage of the opportunities around you,” Bernardo said. “Ceasing these opportunities really is a formula for what I call lifetime development, both personal and professionally.”

Farmer received one of the leadership awards. She said WSU is the place to be if community engagement is what people are striving to gain experience in.

“Next year, I’m really looking forward with people, especially those who are returning when it comes to leading on campus,” Farmer said. 

Farmer looks forward to translating her own leadership skills to her role as ASWSU vice president alongside Powell in the coming months. Powell and Farmer have already started their roles, although they are not official until the end of spring semester.

Farmer mentioned a document titled Cougar Commitment.

“It’s a checklist of things to accomplish before the first day of fall semester,” she said. “We already have three checked off.”