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Meet the Grads!

After more than a year of obstacles, virtual classes, and cancelled events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, eleven V&E students join fall 2020 graduates in entering the next chapter of their lives.

The 16 undergraduate and two graduate students from the class of 2021 have had many obstacles to overcome. “The class of 2021 has much to be proud of, their accomplishments are a testament to their tenacity and determination.” said Thomas Henick-Kling, director of the WSU Viticulture & Enology Program.

Graduates were able celebrate their accomplishments with peers, family and friends during the WSU System Virtual Commencement Ceremony held May 8. Graduates from on the WSU Tri-Cities campus were also able to experience a drive-through celebration. Dressed in regalia, students loaded into cars with family and friends. Cars paraded through the WSU Tri-Cities parking lot, each stopping so students could walk across the stage and pose for a photo. “While it might not have been the graduation ceremony the students had envisioned, the drive-through ceremony was nice celebration for students and their families, said Henick-Kling.”



Remington Jorgensengirl on ski lift with goggles on her head

HOMETOWN: Southlake, TX

FAVORITE V&E CLASS: VE 435 Chemistry and Biochemistry of Fruit and Wine (Edwards)

FAVORITE V&E MEMORY/EXPERIENCE: Getting to know all of the V&E students

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: I am planning on working full time with Sandhi and Domaine De La Cote in Santa Barbara, CA


Madelyn Calderon

HOMETOWN: Black River Falls, WIgirl holding wine bottle in one hand and wine glass in the other

TRANSFERRED FROM: University of Minnesota

FAVORITE V&E CLASS: Blended Learning Student Winemaking Course (Henick-Kling/Collins)

FAVORITE V&E MEMORY/EXPERIENCE: Being able to be a part of the research that is happening at the Wine Science Center. Either from analyzing the wine to participating in sensory panels. It’s an experience that builds your capacity to question the things you do.

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: I have accepted an enologist position at Purple Star Winery in Benton City, WA. I hope to grow, keep learning and find ways to make better wine!


Andrew Gerowman with glasses standing in front of a tree

HOMETOWN: Grand Rapids, MI

FAVORITE V&E CLASS: VE 435 Chemistry and Biochemistry of Fruit and Wine (Edwards)

FAVORITE V&E MEMORY/EXPERIENCE: In Blended Learning, watching everyones facial expressions as they try heavily-tainted wines.

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: After graduation I hope to work at a medium-sized winery employing regenerative and sustainable farming and winemaking practices.


Fairist Taylor

HOMETOWN: Orange County, CAwoman with glasses and red shirt

TRANSFERRED FROM: Saddleback Valley Community College

FAVORITE V&E CLASS: VE 440 Winery Operations and Equipment (Collins)

FAVORITE V&E MEMORY/EXPERIENCE: Member of the VE Club and multiple field trips/tours of different vineyards/wineries within WA state.

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: Complete internship and explore the world of V&E more!

LAST WORDS/WORDS OF WISDOM: This program can be very challenging but it has helped me learn so much about the wine industry within Washington state and help grow my knowledge and networking skills.


Chad Silacci

HOMETOWN: Salinas, CAman wearing light blue beanie hat.

TRANSFERRED FROM: Monterey Peninsula Community College

FAVORITE V&E CLASS: VE435 Chemistry & Biochemistry of Fruit & Wine (Edwards)

FAVORITE V&E MEMORY/EXPERIENCE: Throughout my time in the V&E program at WSU Tri-Cities, I have had many great experiences with faculty and internships. My favorite experiences though, have come from sharing this endeavor and building relationships with my colleagues in and outside of the major who will remain life long friends.

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: After graduation I plan to return home and begin developing the family ranch into a well recognized vineyard and winery with my father and sister.



Jared FunkMan holding grapes in hand over a freshly harvest bin on grapes

HOMETOWN: Walla Walla, WA

TRANSFERRED FROM: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

FAVORITE V&E CLASS: HORT 413 Advanced Viticulture (Bondada)

FAVORITE V&E MEMORY/EXPERIENCE: Field trips visiting vineyard sites in Walla Walla and Red Mountain

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: Viticulturist for SeVein Vineyards in Walla Walla

LAST WORDS/WORDS OF WISDOM: Thank you to the professors and my friends at WSU for making it the best experience possible!


Kristian Langeman wearing black shirt standing in a vineyard

HOMETOWN: East Wenatchee, WA

FAVORITE V&E CLASS: VE 435 Chemistry and Biochemistry of Fruit and Wine (Edwards)

FAVORITE V&E MEMORY/EXPERIENCE: Going down to California for a field trip with Dr. Collins Winery Operations class

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: Plan to travel around the world for a few years to experience new growing and winemaking practices.


MEET THE GRADS-Spring 2021!

Matthew Doutney

HOMETOWN: Long Island, NY


FAVORITE V&E MEMORY/EXPERIENCE: “Did anyone bring loppers?”

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: Operate Non-Vintage Wines: the coolest wine shop around!


Nicholas Blanchfield-Felice


TRANSFERRED FROM: Christopher Newport University



POST-GRADUATION PLANS: Assistant Winemaker, Red Band Cellars

LAST WORDS/WORDS OF WISDOM: “I would like to thank my mom and dad!’


Paige Schoppe

HOMETOWN: Palm Desert, CA


FAVORITE V&E MEMORY/EXPERIENCE: Being able to interact with people from all over who have the common interest of wine. and gaining all the knowledge from my professors over the years.

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: Tasting Room Lead at Chamisal Vineyards, San Luis Obispo, CA!


Keith Pagett

HOMETOWN: Seal Beach, CA

TRANSFERRED FROM: California State University of Long Beach

FAVORITE V&E CLASS: Advanced Viticulture

FAVORITE V&E MEMORY/EXPERIENCE: Making amazing friends that I’ll stay in touch with for the rest of my life.

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: Internship at Patz & Hall in Sonoma, CA


Gabriel Crowell

HOMETOWN: Limassol, Cyprus

TRANSFERRED FROM: Christopher Newport University

FAVORITE V&E CLASS: Wine Chemistry

FAVORITE V&E MEMORY/EXPERIENCE: Picking Riesling with Dr. Henick-Kling or field trips with Dr. Bondada

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: Winemaking at Four Feathers Wine Estates and helping out at Non-Vintage Wines


Isabel Obie


TRANSFERRED FROM: Christopher Newport University

FAVORITE V&E CLASS: VE 422 – Sensory Evaluation

FAVORITE V&E MEMORY/EXPERIENCE: The field trips for sure. I found it super beneficial to see the things we talking about in class in action at different wineries and vineyards. Getting to meet vineyard managers and winemakers and hear their stories and advise was always valuable and interesting. Being on the Pullman campus it was especially exciting when we got to meet up with our classmates at the Tri-Cities campus.

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: “I will be moving to California to start a harvest internship with Talley Vineyards!”


Bayli Picker


TRANSFERRED FROM: Columbia Basin College, Pasco, WA


FAVORITE V&E MEMORY/EXPERIENCE: Visiting pepper bridge winery

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: “I will be working on a research project across the U.S. focusing on row crops.”


Yaritza Gomez

HOMETOWN: Benton City, WA

TRANSFERRED FROM: Christopher Newport University



POST-GRADUATION PLANS: “Work at Four Feathers and continue to gain experience in the Washington Wine Industry. And I would also like to travel!”


Dalia Montero

HOMETOWN: Sunnyside, WA

TRANSFERRED FROM: Columbia Basin College, Pasco, WA

FAVORITE V&E CLASS: Blended learning

FAVORITE V&E MEMORY/EXPERIENCE: “My favorite memory in V&E was taking a class field trip to multiple wineries in the Benton City area. We learned so much and had a blast tasting wine and gaining so much knowledge.”

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: “After graduation I plan on utilizing my knowledge gained at WSU, as well as through my internships/ job opportunities, towards this upcoming harvest season. I’m excited to see all the amazing opportunities that are in my future in the industry.”

LAST WORDS/WORDS OF WISDOM: “Thank you to all the amazing professors I had the privilege of working with through this program & a very special thank you to my family & loved ones, I couldn’t have done it without all your love & support throughout the years! Cheers & GO COUGS!!”


Margaret McCoy, PhD Horticultural Sciences


DEGREES: BS Soil Science and Agronomy, Wilmington College
MS Soil Sciences, Washington State University

GRADUATE RESEARCH: Evaluation of Coverage, Drift, and Their Impact on Pest Management Options in Washington Vineyards

FAVORITE V&E CLASS: Field Plant Pathology and Mycology

FAVORITE V&E MEMORY/EXPERIENCE: Being able to attend GiESCO (Group of International Experts for Cooperation on Vitivinicultural Systems Conference) in Greece and share my research while learning about work being conducted around the world.

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: R&D Agronomist, True Organics, Pacific Northwest


Lindsey Kornowske, MS Food Science


UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE: BS Chemistry, University or Washington

GRADUATE RESEARCH: Studying the effects of pH on winemaking

FAVORITE V&E CLASS: I loved TA-ing for VE 113!

FAVORITE V&E MEMORY/EXPERIENCE: Working, wine tasting, and adventuring with the other graduate students!

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: “To continue to pursue career opportunities I’m passionate about, and then spend all other moments in the day somewhere outside, away from Zoom.”

LAST WORDS/WORDS OF WISDOM: Congrats Class of 2021!!