Student success spotlight: Aisha Waite

Aisha Waite in front of a pair of windows

This week’s Student Success and Persistence highlight comes from Aisha Waite, department chair for the Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences in the College of Health Professions.

  • What role do you think faculty and staff play in a student’s success and persistence?
    “Faculty and staff are a big part of the support system that helps students succeed. We need to notice the progress made by each student, even if it is a little bit, and be excited for them. It’s about cheering for them in those moments when you know they have given their all and reassuring them that you believed in them from the get-go. I have found students want to work harder when they know you believe in them and know that you are willing to work just as hard for them. It is our responsibility to teach and guide students who will become our future. If we don’t show the excitement and passion for our fields, no one will.”
  • What is one small thing any faculty or staff member can do to make a student’s day or let them know they’re cared for?
    Listen: I truly believe that students end up answering their own questions if they feel they can talk to someone who is sincerely listening to them. As a listener, you have a responsibility to respect the conversation that is occurring, which makes the student trust you and feel like there is genuine care for them. A sense of ‘I am where I need to be at’ builds support and confidence.
    Make them laugh or smile: Throughout the semester, I feel it is essential to make students laugh or smile, which makes them see you as a human. It makes your class memorable and fun, and when you have fun, you want to learn more.”

Do you know of a faculty or staff member who promotes student success, or a student who has been helped by a faculty or staff member, that should be highlighted in WSU Today? Email your ideas to Caelin Bragg, newsletter editor with the Office of Strategic Communications, at