Rep. Melanie Stambaugh named ‘2015 Legislator of the Year’ by the Washington Student Association

Rep. Melanie Stambaugh, R-Puyallup, has been named the Washington Student Association’s ‘2015 Legislator of the Year’ for her efforts to make higher education institutions safer, more affordable, and more accessible for students.

“The Washington Student Association is proud to honor Representative Melanie Stambaugh with the Legislator of the Year Award for her dedication and support of higher education. During her first term in the legislature, Representative Stambaugh strongly supported legislation making higher education in the state more accessible. She has provided a voice for students across the state in Olympia through her advocacy and work on a variety of bills; from reducing the cost of textbooks, to preventing sexual assault on college campuses. The Washington Student Association looks forward to partnering and working with Representative Stambaugh in the future!”

During the 2015 legislative session, Stambaugh was heavily involved with the development of the Campus Sexual Violence Taskforce, which was created to develop best practices for prevention, intervention, and recovery programs pertaining to sexual violence on college campuses. She also introduced House Bill 1973, which would have created an open education pilot program at Eastern Washington University with the aim of reducing students’ costs.

“It is such an honor to be recognized as the Washington Student Association’s 2015 Legislator of the Year,” said Stambaugh. “Since I was sworn into office last year, I have been intently focused on finding ways to make sure our young people can attend our higher education institutions and succeed in the classroom.”

Stambaugh’s efforts have continued in the 2016 legislative session. She introduced House Bill 2451, which would bring together a statewide coalition of public and private higher education institutions to develop a statewide program to map, track and improve partnerships between identified higher ed and K-12 schools. She also introduced House Bill 2680, which would help reduce the burden of high college textbook costs by establishing the Washington open education pilot grant program at state universities, regional universities, and The Evergreen State College.

“The Legislature made historic reductions in tuition last year to ease the financial burden on our college students, but we must continue to do more,” said Stambaugh. “I am committed to doing everything I can as a legislator to make college more accessible and affordable for everyone in our state.”

The Washington Student Association is the only student-led organization in the state that represents, serves and protects the collective interests of students attending public post-secondary education. The WSA is the leader in pursuing affordable, accessible, and quality higher education for students in Washington state.

Below are additional quotes provided by the WSA from students who have worked with Rep. Stambaugh the past two legislative sessions:

“We really appreciate Representative Stambaugh’s ability to reach across the aisle to help lower the cost of higher education for students.” – Jeff Beaulac, The Evergreen State College

“Rep. Stambaugh has been a champion for students across the state since she joined the legislature. She has fought to lower the holistic costs of attending an institution of higher education through her sponsorship of open education resources and support of lower tuition. She truly understands the strain the cost of attendance has on students and also understands how vital it is that everyone has the ability to improve their lives through education. She is very deserving of the Legislator of the Year Award from the Washington Student Association and we look forward to continued work with Rep. Stambaugh.” – Emily Strode, Washington State University

“On a number of occasions I have visited Representative Stambaugh’s office, and other times I have pulled her from the floor while she was in a committee. She always managed to make time for us as students and her commitment is clear. Representative Stambaugh is someone I can count on, despite not being a constituent in her district, because she cares about all Washington students across the state, and for that I am sincerely grateful. Thank you for your dedication towards making textbooks and higher education more affordable!” – Anna Schilter, Eastern Washington University

“Representative Stambaugh has proven herself to be a champion for higher education through her efforts toward open education resources. She has continued to exceed our expectations by going above and beyond with her advocacy for students across the state. Stambaugh has always been eager to give support and advice, regardless of constituency. She radiates positivity and for these reasons, I cannot thank her enough.” – Abner Pagunuran, Bellevue College

“Representative Stambaugh is a super hero for higher education. She has a heart for students and has been there to listen to concerns and take action. She truly cares for students and understands the challenges they face.” – Anna Nepomuceno, University of Washington Tacoma


Washington State House Republican Communications