College of Science & Engineering


Distinguished Alumni

College of Science & Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award 2017

Dr. Jeffrey Stuart Wiggins - Industrial Technology 1988

Director of the School of Polymers & Associate Professor, University of Southern Mississippi

Jeff received his BS at WWU and then went on to get his MBA.  Soon after, he was General Manager for Nike at a time of significant environmental regulations, which he helped the company emerge with a completely new product line.  He later went back to school to receive his PhD in Polymer Science and Engineering from the U of So Mississippi.  He is currently a faculty member at USM in Polymer Science and Engineering.  He directs a multi-million-dollar research group with multiple industrial partners while also helping create a pipeline for WWU undergrads to consider research as a career (through NSF’s REU program and by recruiting WWU graduates to USM’s grad programs which he does by visiting campus once a year). He has published 23 papers since 2010 relative to his current work at U of So Mississippi.


WWU Outstanding Graduates 2018

Faculty members from dozens of academic departments and programs select one graduate to honor as the Outstanding Graduate of the year. Selection is a high honor based on grades, research and writing, service to the campus and community, and promise for the future.

Chris Croshaw, Plastics & Composites Engineering

Chris Croshaw of Yakima graduated in June with a Bachelor of Science degree as the Outstanding Graduate in Plastics and Composites Engineering. A highly capable, intellectually curious student, Croshaw served as a teaching assistant and spent summer 2017 at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he studied polymers through the prestigious National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates program. He also wrote and presented a poster at a technical conference and completed an industry-supported senior capstone project on a novel material for aerospace applications that has improved toughness, recyclability, and processability over traditional materials.  He was an officer for Western’s student chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Materials and Process Engineering and was often found in the plastics and composites labs mentoring other students in the program. After graduation he’ll return to the University of Southern Mississippi to pursue a Ph.D. in polymer science and engineering, working with WWU alumnus Jeffrey Wiggins, a faculty member in the School of Polymers, on a project developing next-generation composite materials for aerospace applications.

Erica Eggeman, Manufacturing Engineering

Erica Eggeman of Lakewood, Colorado, graduated in June with a Bachelor of Science degree and as the Outstanding Graduate in Manufacturing Engineering. She majored in manufacturing engineering and minored in mathematics. At Western, she was a research assistant exploring honeycomb tool wear in the aerospace industry. She was also a mechanical engineering intern at Alcoa Intalco Works in Ferndale. In addition, she spent time looking into ergonomics in student computer labs and worked on getting funding for sit-stand desks. Outside of class, she founded Western’s Tap Dancing Club and taught tap dancing to kids and adults at ABCDance in Bellingham.

Scott Patton, Industrial Design

Scotty Paton of Sammamish graduated cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Science degree and as the Outstanding Graduate in Industrial Design. He also minored in user experience design. Paton was an Industrial Designers Society of America Northwest Student Merit Award winner and a western region finalist in 2018. He was also the recipient of the Boeing Engineering and Design Scholarship. During his junior year, he completed a one-year internship in industrial design and user experience design with GE Appliances in Louisville, Kentucky. Now, he plans to “live, learn and travel while making a living by implementing creativity and design in a meaningful way.”

Ryan Peabody, Industrial Technology - Vehicle Design

Ryan Peabody of Redmond graduated in June with a Bachelor of Science degree and as the Outstanding Graduate in Industrial Technology Vehicle Design. At Western, Peabody participated in the 2016 Baja SAE competition in Goreman, California. He also spent three summers as a manufacturing engineering intern at Astronics AES in Kirkland, working on aircraft power system products and improving the manufacturing process of them. “Eric Leonhardt's contagious passion for automobiles deserves much of the credit for my success,” Peabody says. “He made each lecture fascinating and really allowed us all to grow as engineers by providing exciting hands on projects in tandem with the regular coursework.” Outside of school, Peabody also enjoyed designing and making furniture, clocks, jewelry, toys and other items. His hobby became a “profitable side gig,” he says, which may eventually turn into a business. But for now, he’s moving to New York City to find work.

Kyle DeWitte, Electrical Engineering

Previous Outstanding Graduates

Outstanding Seniors are nominated and selected by faculty in each major in the Engineering & Design Department.  In addition to academic achievement, students are selected for their leadership roles, involvement in student clubs and/or research, and contributions to the department, the university and beyond.



Kyle DeWitte, Electrical Engineering 2018
Erica Eggeman, Manufacturing Engineering 2018
Chris Croshaw, Plastics & Composites Engineering 2018
Scott Patton, Industrial Design 2018
Ryan Peabody, Industrial Technology - Vehicle Design 2018
Chris Carpenter, Plastics & Composites Engineering 2017
Myann Refai, Manufacturing Engineering 2017
Cole Rogers, Electrical Engineering 2017
Justin Janczakowski, Industrial Design 2017
Aidan Kane, Industrial Technology - Vehicle Design 2017
Jolee Nebert, Industrial Design 2016
Victor Perez, Electrical Engineering 2016
Kyle White, Manufacturing Engineering 2016
Jacob Blagg, Industrial Technology - Vehicle Design 2016
Andrew Hollcraft, Plastics & Composites Engineering 2016
Mauricio Romano, Industrial Design 2015
Isaiah Ryan, Electrical Engineering 2015