Shawna Beese PhD RN, a nursing student at Washington State University (WSU), has been awarded the Harriett B. Rigas Award for Outstanding Woman in Doctoral Studies. This award is given to exceptional doctoral and professional students, both full- and part-time.
Dr. Harriett B. Rigas, an accomplished electrical engineer and professor, was an advocate for women in her field and at WSU, where she chaired the Commission on the Status of Women and the Association for Faculty Women.
Shawna Beese’s interdisciplinary approach to graduate studies led her to work with researchers in the College of Nursing, the Elson S. Floyd Medical School, and the UW School of Public Health. She has also participated in the Environmental Health Research Institute (EHRI) for Nurse & Clinician Scientists and became Co-Co-Principal Investigator in a grant from the American Academy of Colleges of Nursing and National Institutes of Health. This research focused on identifying antecedents to geographic disparities in mental health care access, and a recent publication assessed online grocery delivery access for Washington State SNAP participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shawna’s academic success led her to a faculty position in rural health promotion at WSU Extension while still a graduate student. She is also involved in community policy, having completed a summer fellowship with WSU’s Thomas Foley Institute and serving on her local city council.