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 2017

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.


Myann Refai of Redmond graduated in June with a Bachelor of Science degree in manufacturing engineering. She is also the Outstanding Graduate in Manufacturing Engineering. At Western she served as a teaching assistant in several engineering classes and as a research assistant for faculty members. She was president of Western’s chapter of Society of Women Engineers and was involved in several outreach activities, including Compass2Campus, and the GEMS program for girls. She received the department’s Richard F. and Patricia Vogel Endowment and the Tempress Scholarship. She also completed two internships at Alcoa Intalco Works in Ferndale, and two internships with The Boeing Co.  Next, she’ll move to Detroit to work for General Motors as a process engineer. Refai is the daughter of Nancy Abdelwahab and Wail Refai and a graduate of Juanita High School. 


Cole Rogers of Ferndale graduated magna cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in electrical engineering and as the Outstanding Graduate in Electrical Engineering. At Western he was a member of the Nova Solar research team that developed a solar window, a project that won the $15,000 grand prize at the Environmental Innovation Challenge. He was also the lead conservation educator for Project RENT, a pilot program to encourage WWU students who live off campus to conserve energy and reduce their environmental impact at home. He was president of Western’s chapter of the electrical engineering honors society, a student member of the Institute for Energy Studies’ curriculum committee, and the recipient of the Kaiser-Borsari scholarship for electrical engineering. He interned with the Embedded Engineering group at the PACCAR Technical Center. Rogers is the son of Simone Rogers and a graduate of Windward High School and Whatcom Community College. 


Justin Janczakowski of Mukilteo graduated cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in industrial design and a minor in user experience design. He is also the Outstanding Graduate in Industrial Design. Janczakowski received the 2017 IDSA student merit award and presented his work at the IDSA Western Conference. He also completed an industrial design internship at the Ariens Co. in Brillion, Wisconsin, and worked as a studio assistant for the Sheila Klein Art Studio in Bow. He was also a member of the WWU Cycling Team. He is now an industrial designer at LOUD Technologies in Woodinville. Janczakowski is a graduate of Kamiak High School and the son of Mark and Tamiko Janczakowski. 

Christopher Carpenter of Sammamish graduated cum laude in June with a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in plastics and composites engineering and a minor in materials science. He is also the Outstanding Graduate in Plastics and Composites Engineering. He is known for his strong work ethic and is innate curiosity. Carpenter was an undergraduate research assistant with Zodiac Aerospace in Bellingham, where he worked on developing new materials for the aerospace industry, and presented his work at two professional conferences, including the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo. After graduation, he will become a process engineer for Intel in Portland, Oregon. Carpenter is the son of Jim and Carolee Carpenter and a graduate of Eastlake High School in Sammamish. 


Outstanding Seniors

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.



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