Advocating for student support, increased access in higher ed

Coug Day at the CapitolShannon Kozlovich, a graduate student in pharmaceutical sciences, in her role as director of legislative affairs for the Associated Students of Washington State University Spokane led a team of five students to represent the WSU Health Sciences campus at the Coug Day at the Capitol event in Olympia, Washington, on January 22, 2018.

The event connected students with 103 legislators from around the state to discuss student-related issues and lobby for bills that seek to make college more affordable and accessible for students all over our state. The Spokane team joined 90 other students from other WSU campuses (Pullman, Vancouver, Tri-Cities, Everett, and Global) for the event.

“In addition to meeting with legislators, Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib spoke to our collective group of students and student government representatives from all six of the WSU campuses met with Governor Jay Inslee. The three main issues discussed were increasing funding for suicide prevention and mental health services on our campuses including adding support for our student veterans, the rising cost of text books that can be solved with the implementation of a grant program professors can apply to in order to develop their own in class resources so they don’t have to assign a text book, and finding a way to ensure that all of our students who are raising children have access to safe, close, and affordable child care while they are in school,” Kozlovich said.

“Now that we have laid the ground work, we will spend the rest of the legislative session working to get beneficial legislation passed by remaining in contact with the legislators from the districts our students are from,” she said.

Coug Day at the CapitolKozlovich works in the research lab of Dr. Philip Lazarus in Spokane. She is working on her Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences studying the impact of genotype and tobacco flavoring agents on the detoxification pathway of tobacco carcinogens, and has been involved in student government at WSU Spokane since May 2017.

Providing opportunities for students to coordinate and participate in events like Coug Day at the Capitol is an example of how the College of Pharmacy is dedicated to providing a transformative student experience in collaborative research, scholarship and advocacy, and its commitment to developing outstanding health care professionals and scientists.

[Lori J. Maricle] 2/27/18