Washington State University created the Alumni Achievement Award in 1969 to honor alumni who have provided significant service and contribution to their profession, community, and/or WSU. In recent months, three individuals have been recognized.
Richard H. Pehl
While completing his doctorate in 1963 at the University of California, Berkeley, Richard H. Pehl was the last graduate student to use the famous 60-inch Cyclotron. His research group was undertaking the initial effort to develop radiation detectors fabricated from semiconductors. He was the graduate student responsible for that effort. This work established a base for his career.
Pehl (’58 Chem. Engr., ’59 Nuclear Engr.) was honored by WSU August 2, 2003 during the Raymond (Wash.) All School Reunion. He maintains residences there and in Berkeley.
Beginning in 1965, he was in charge of most of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory Semiconductor Detector applications work. This involved applications for gamma and X-ray detectors that have wide use in basic and applied science, as well as in the commercial world. Although the program was founded for nuclear physics research, it soon became involved in such disciplines as nuclear medicine, astrophysics, planetary science, environmental science, and high-energy physics.
Pehl continues to consult on a variety of projects in nuclear medicine, nuclear physics, and space science since taking early retirement from LBL in 1994, where he remains a guest scientist. He also is senior partner of PHDs, a research and development company in Raymond. He and a couple of associates are developing a germanium detector-based gamma camera for medical imaging that could lead to significant advances in cancer and cardiology studies. They have developed and patented a technique to increase the efficiency of the camera by more than 40 percent.
During his career, he worked with eight Nobel Prize winners, and has more than 330 scientific publications.
Dennis B. Cearlock
In a professional career spanning nearly 40 years with Battelle, Dennis B. Cearlock has distinguished himself as a civil engineer and research scientist. He is founder of two specialty pharmaceutical companies based in Columbus, Ohio. He is president and CEO of Zivena, Inc., a Battelle subsidiary founded in 2002 that develops and markets oncology drugs. From 1999 to 2002, he was president and CEO of BattellaPharma, Inc., a firm that develops and markets inhaled drug products.
Cearlock (’64 Civil Engr., ’65 M.S. Civil Engr.) joined Battelle as a research scientist in water resources in 1965. Later he directed Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s government and industrial programs at Richland (1975-83), before becoming director of research. In the early 1990s, he was promoted to corporate senior vice president and general manager at the Battelle Memorial Institute’s world headquarters in Columbus, where he led the company’s global health and pharmaceutical business.
From 1984 to 1998, he served on WSU’s College of Engineering and Architecture Advisory Board. He helped the college start the Center for Design of Analog-Digital Integrated Circuits as an industry/university cooperative research effort. He also played a key role in helping WSU gain Battelle support for scholarships totaling more than $550,000.
When a February 2000 fire forced the closure of Sigma Nu fraternity at WSU, he was instrumental in a successful fund raising campaign to renovate the chapter house. He received the Alumni Achievement Award September 20, 2003 at the fraternity. He and his wife, Merrily Crook Cearlock (’82 M. Ed.), live in Dublin, Ohio.
John E. Halver
John E. Halver, Seattle, one of the world’s leading authorities on fish nutrition, received the Alumni Achievement Award October 3, 2003 on the Pullman campus. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, 1944, and a master’s degree in organic chemistry, 1948.
For nearly five decades, the University of Washington professor emeritus conducted research on the nutritional requirements of fish for vitamins, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and sources of carbohydrates.
In nominating Halver for the award, R. James Cook, a USDA scientist stationed at WSU, wrote, “His research revealed the 10 indispensable amino acids for fish, identified 12 classes of chemical compounds with potential as carcinogens in fish, and demonstrated that aflatoxin B1 present in some sources of feed is a primary carcinogen for trout hepatoma.”
Halver was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1978. He spent most of his professional career in the Pacific Northwest with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Seattle. He joined the USFWS in 1950 as a researcher in the Western Fish Nutrition Laboratory. While in this assignment, he completed a doctorate in medical biochemistry at the UW, 1953, and worked with the Salmon Nutrition Laboratory at Cook, Washington, before becoming director of nutrition at the WSNL. In 1978, he became a full-time UW professor of nutrition.
He has traveled to some 40 countries and helped establish international fisheries research and development programs. He is founder of the Halver Corp., an ecosystems management consulting firm on development and management of polycultures that integrate fish with ducks and other animal and plant life.