Wa-Hi alumna adds doctorate to list of accomplishments

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Gabe and Margaret Joseph of Walla Walla were at the Key Arena in Seattle for their daughter AnnRené Joseph’s June 9 graduation.

She received a doctoral hood from her adviser at the ceremony for earning a degree in educational leadership from Seattle Pacific University.

The 1973 Walla Walla High School alumna’s dissertation addresses “The Effects of Creative Dramatics on Vocabulary Achievement of Fourth-grade Students in a Language Arts Classroom: An Empirical Study.”

She plans to publish, share, implement, replicate and present her research nationally and internationally, she said via email.

“It provides empirical evidence that the use of creative dramatics improves the vocabulary achievement of fourth-grade students in a language arts classroom, addressing a gap in the research literature.”

Not the type to be idle, she’s preparing her dissertation for binding and publication and writing draft articles for publication, including the preparation of a draft for a collaborative article with her doctoral adviser about her research findings.

AnnRené is a motivational speaker, professional musician, certified FEBI life coach and retired OSPI arts program supervisor from 2001-2011.

Among her passions, she is also a vocalist and has performed at multiple community and church events and for wedding and memorial services in the area, region, state and nation.


The Walla Walla Columbia Retired School Employees Association has scheduled her to give highlights of her research findings in an interactive presentation at its Sept. 9 meeting at 11:30 a.m. at the Walla Walla School District Office Building.

AnnRené will also present her research findings at state and national conferences. She was honored in 2006 as a Wa-Hi Graduate of Distinction by Walla Walla Public Schools. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a principal’s credential at Eastern Washington University and a superintendent’s credential at SPU.

AnnRené grew up in and maintains her membership at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where she wed husband Lee. They plan to travel nationally and internationally with her parents for enjoyment, and she wants to share her research and minister with music and with more arts.

AnnRené and Lee, a nurse administrator, have three grown children, Kendra, Karly and Adam, and seven grandchildren. They have lived in Woodinville, Wash., since 1996.

After a vacation and rest for a few weeks, she is looking forward to what the future will bring.

A number of Washington State University students from within the Union-Bulletin circulation area earned bachelor’s degrees during spring 2013 semester.

Those students with cumulative GPAs of 3.9 or higher earned summa cum laude honors; magna cum laude honors are awarded for a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.70 but less than 3.90 and cum laude for a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50 but less than 3.70.

Graduates are listed by last name first.

College Place: Brueggeman, Nikki Rochelle, in history, cum laude; Flabetich, Allison Ettja, in education; Kuznetsov, Ruvim Vyacheslavovich, business administration, summa cum laude; McShane, Nicholas Daniel, business administration, magna cum laude; Ortega, Wendy Joy, in social sciences; Rondeau, Aimée Catherine, in psychology.

Dayton: Abel, Tylor Kent, in electrical engineering; Gritman, Courtney Lynn, in nursing, summa cum laude; Truitt, Heather Elaine, in social sciences; Warner, Robert Nathan, in digital technology and culture; Warren, Kelsey Kay, in business administration, summa cum laude.

Pomeroy: Braun, Taelor Danielle, in business administration; Fischer, Jake Robert, in food science, cum laude; Knebel, Tye Frederick, in agricultural and food systems; Williams, Leslie Eve, in speech and hearing sciences, magna cum laude.

Touchet: Short, Taryn Janelle, in nursing, cum laude.

Waitsburg: Carpenter, Nicholas Thomas, in history, cum laude; Hamann, Valerie Kay, in human development; Ingle, Donna Jo, in social sciences, cum laude; Ingle, Shawny Jo, in hospitality business management; Leid, Matt Richard, in business administration, cum laude.

Walla Walla: Aichele, Whitney Elise, in social sciences; Anderson, Peter Leslie, in education, magna cum laude; Arellano, Pierre, in digital technology and culture and a second bachelor’s in English; Baffney, Kevin Thomas, in humanities; Barlow, Allison Lee, in business administration; Chong, Stacey Anne, communication; DeBroeck, Daniel Alan, in computer science, magna cum laude; Klicker, Natalie Lorraine, in nursing, summa cum laude; Ladderud, Jeffrey Andreas, in geology, summa cum laude; Linklater, Grayson Clark, in mechanical engineering; Marin, Marina, in business administration; Merfeld, David William, in horticulture, magna cum laude; Moeller, Elizabeth Marie Huckabay, in business administration; Neace, Adam John, in social sciences; Neace, Adam John, in construction management; Nerdin, Keith E., in social sciences; Notturno, Elizabeth Ann, in digital technology and culture, magna cum laude; Smith, Kay Lynn Pauline, in nursing, magna cum laude; Todorovich, Rachel Lynn, in communication; Tucker, Katherine Allison, in political science; Zheng, Vincent Yong, in business administration.


Walla Walla High School alumnus Jonah Hoe of Walla Walla is set to study English education and play football for the NCAA Division II Marauders of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference at the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D.

He’s among hundreds of new students set to start at UM this fall semester.

“We are pleased and grateful to welcome these new freshmen to our growing University of Mary family, and are proud to have them participate in the innovative, values-based learning experience that distinguishes a Mary education,” said President Monsignor James Shea.

At Wa-Hi Jonah was active in leadership, wrestling, basketball, track and was a record-setting football running back. He’s the son of Keala and Heather Hoe of Walla Walla.

The Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery in Bismarck founded UM in 1959. North Dakota’s only Catholic university, it offers programs at 19 sites in seven states through the University of Mary Worldwide, as well as a new campus in Rome.


Former area resident Brenda Jackson Whitehead received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology on May 18 from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.

Her field of study has been the emotional and psychological effects of aging. She titled her dissertation “Affect-biased health perceptions: How global and daily affect influence the correspondence between objective and subjective health in older adults.”

She has accepted a tenure-track professorial position with the University of Michigan, Dearborn, where she will teach gerontological psychology. In the process of completing her degree, she was awarded the “Outstanding Research Award” by the Notre Dame Graduate School.

Home-schooled through high school, Brenda attended selected classes and participated in sports and band at Walla Walla High School and graduated in 2004. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northwest Nazarene University in 2008, and her master’s degree in developmental psychology from Notre Dame in 2010.

Her parents are Ben and Elaine Jackson of Dixie. She and husband Bruce Whitehead live in Dearborn.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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