Andrew J. Strauss ‘96
Oustanding Professional Achievement
At the age of 12, the 2008 Distinguished Alumnus for Outstanding Professional Achievement had a lawn mowing business with 23 customers -- early-on demonstrating the work ethic, drive, and integrity that have taken him far in life.
Although an excellent math and science student, during the eighth grade he was diagnosed with a reading comprehension disability and when our winner went to talk to his eighth grade guidance counselor about attending the early enrollment program at Washington State, he was told a college education was not for him and that he should look forward to a menial job.
Determined to succeed in college, he enrolled at Washington State Community College after high school, earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Automotive & Diesel Truck Systems Technology, and graduated in 1996 with a 3.1 grade point average.
He began work at Forma Scientific, now Thermo Fisher Scientific, as a fork truck driver and today is a Production Leader responsible for 11 employees and all functions of the finished goods warehouse. He has used his experience and education to improve productivity, increase efficiencies, and enhance morale at this multi-million dollar international corporation.
His commitment to his dream of attending college could not be deterred because his inner voice always reminded him, "Yes I can!" And, he points out strongly, "The instructors need to know that they inspired me to reach goals that would not have been possible without their help."