Buckley’s Birklid honored as one of top Western grads

Buckley’s Jessica Birklid was among the honored students when Western Washington University named its Outstanding Graduates for the 2011-12 academic year during spring commencement on June 9.

Faculty members from each academic department 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.

Birklid was chosen as the Outstanding Graduate in Political Science. She earned a bachelor of arts degree with a double major in political science and social studies, as well as a minor in women’s studies. At Western, she served as a teacher’s assistant in the department. She spent three quarters developing her honors thesis focusing on how U.S. Supreme Court decisions influence public opinion. She also was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society. Off campus, she volunteered with a domestic violence support organization in Bellingham.

In the fall, she will attend the University of Washington’s Master of Public Administration program where she wants to focus on nonprofit management and policy analysis with hopes of working to end intimate partner violence and other forms of violence in communities.

The daughter of Janice and Lonny Birklid of Buckley, she is a graduate of White River High School.

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