Washington State University created the Alumni Achievement Award in 1969 to honor alumni who have provided significant service and contributions to their profession, community, and/or WSU. In recent months, four individuals have been recognized.
Richard C. Gustafson, Jr.
Richard C. Gustafson, Jr. wants to spend up to two months a year in a third-world country providing health care for children. The WSU (’93 Psych.) and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine graduate (’98), completed a residency in pediatrics at The Denver Children’s Hospital, where he works in urgent-care medicine.
Between his third and fourth year of medical school, Gustafson spent five two-month medical rotations abroad-one each in Sweden, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and The People’s Republic of China-studying community, family, and pediatric medicine, infectious diseases, and tropical, Tibetan, and traditional Chinese and Vietnamese medicine.
In developing countries, he says, small interventions such as an improved latrine or water well can make drastic impacts on the lives of entire communities.
He spent 10 weeks in Costa Rica, observing health care and working in an infectious disease lab. He worked a month in a rural Mexico clinic, and two months in Peru, where he attended up to 35 patients each half-day in a mountain village.
On a 2002-03 trip to China, he provided medical exams and advice on infants and young orphans up for adoption. He also supervised residents on international medicine electives in Guatemala (2002), and Spain (2003). Last year, he year earned a diploma from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and spent a month in China, Laos, and Cambodia providing medical care.
Michael F. Chapin
Longtime Bellevue music educator Michael F. Chapin (’70 Music, ’74 M.A. Music) was recognized at WSU’s 2003 homecoming football game, where he directed the Cougar Alumni Band. He spent his entire 30-year career in the Bellevue School District as band director in elementary schools, 1970-91, and at Tillicum Middle School, 1991-2000, where he founded the marching band.
“Whatever it took, Mike would provide the opportunity for students to succeed, and he made a big difference in their lives,” says Jerry Schaefer, former Tillicum principal.
His commitment to students and their music development was recognized many times by the school district. He has directed the Cougar Alumni Band for five years and played with the band since 1994. In the mid-1970s, he was a co-founder of the Bellevue All-City Band for fifth- and sixth-graders.
Leon D. Luck, Pullman, devoted 36 years to teaching, research, and administration at WSU. He chaired the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 1972-76, before retiring in 1983.
“He took a deep personal interest in his students, who where were greatly influenced by his professional and academic standards, ethics, and integrity,” said David McLean, current department chair.
Luck (’43 Civil Engr.) came to WSU from Spokane, and joined the faculty in 1947 after three years in the Navy. For six years, he managed Camp Welch, WSU’s civil engineering survey camp at White Pass, and spent 13 summers on the faculty there.
Luck initiated a videotaped graduate program for working professionals. He taught two of those courses that counted toward master’s degrees for engineers in 10 public and investor-owned utilities, and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. He served as national director of the American Society of Civil Engineers and president of the Washington Society of Professional Engineers.
Roy F. Pellerin
For 38 years. Roy F. Pellerin’s WSU research was designed to enhance the engineering uses of wood and wood materials. He began working in the College of Engineering’s Wood Technology Section the same year earned his degree (’59 Mech. and Materials Engr.) He retired in 1996 as professor of civil engineering and director of WSU’s Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory.
Pellerin was honored November 29, 2003, at a reception in Ocean Park, Washington, where he lives with his wife, Pat. He holds 20 U.S. and/or foreign patients for various nondestructive testing and evaluation technologies and equipment.
Nondestructive testing of wood research was cited as one of the outstanding research efforts of the College of Engineering and School of Architecture over WSU’s first 100 years.