Not One Dream, But Two

Stephanie Carranza looks to her sister, Pamela Carranza, for inspiration. 

“She was able to pass all of her classes, pass all of her exams and take her dental hygiene boards while on chemotherapy,” Stephanie said. “That’s hard to do when you’re 100 percent complete.”

Pamela fell ill during the summer of 2010, before her senior year in WSU’s dental hygiene program. The Carranza family soon discovered it was angiosarcoma, a rare cancer of the blood vessels. Along with chemotherapy, Pamela received oxygen treatments, and underwent surgeries and experimental treatments.

After she returned to school later in 2010, her cancer cleared up, but then it came back.

Pamela died in the spring of 2011, shortly after the dental hygiene department arranged an impromptu graduation ceremony in her hospital room. “She was one of the hardest working people you could ever meet,” said Stephanie, who assisted Pamela in her classes while she was undergoing treatment.

Stephanie joined the dental hygiene program herself in 2014 and received both the Stephanie Bossenberger Dental Hygiene Scholarship and a scholarship from the Department of Dental Hygiene. She knows firsthand how helpful financial assistance can be for students trying to achieve their dreams.

That’s why Stephanie’s proud that, during the Dream 125 fundraising campaign, an anonymous donor created the Pamela M. Carranza Memorial Scholarship to support WSU students earning bachelor’s degrees in dental hygiene. To date, three students have received the scholarship.

Stephanie graduated in 2016 with her degree in dental hygiene. She decorated her cap with the letter P, for Pamela. “She was with me,” she said.


The amount of money from private scholarships awarded to WSU students in 2015-16