William Julius Wilson

We were thrilled to read the article “Race, Class, and William Julius Wilson’s World of Opportunity” in the Fall 2012 issue of Washington State Magazine. Many may not realize that Dr. Wilson got his start at Washington State University and to hear him describe his choice to attend WSU as “the greatest decision he ever made” is an inspiration.

Unfortunately, the article did not mention that the university has named a national award after Dr. Wilson. The William Julius Wilson Award for the Advancement for Social Justice is bestowed upon those who follow in Dr. Wilson’s footsteps by making innovative contributions to promote social policy and raising the public’s awareness of systemic social inequality, poverty, and the complex relationship between individual choice and social surrounding. Dr. Wilson was the first recipient in 2009 and the 2011 recipient was David Simon, co-creator of the HBO series The Wire, the program mentioned in the article.

Members of the university’s Wilson award committee:

Dr. Gregory Hooks, Dr. Julie A. Kmec, Dr. Lisa J. McIntyre, Dr. Jim F. Short, Department of Sociology, Dr. Rebecca M. Craft, Department of Psychology, Dr. Mary Sánchez Lanier, Assistant Vice Provost and Associate Dean, University College, Dr. Alexis S. Tan, Communication and Faculty Diversity Fellow, Office of the Provost

For more information on the award, contact committee chair, Julie Kmec (jkmec@wsu.edu) or go to the award website: wjwsymposium.wsu.edu. Please watch for an announcement of the next nominee for the award.


According to Washington State University’s International Programs, more than 700 WSU students travel abroad every year to attend classes, engage in service learning, or participate in internships. As our summer intern Kaitlin Gillespie discovered, that experience can be profound and transformative.

The first time I stepped foot in North Africa, I was on the verge of crying.

As excited as I was to start my study abroad adventure, the previous 36 hours had featured the following: A flight cancellation due to snow, an emotional six-hour layover in Frankfurt International, and finally, the prospect of getting in a car with someone I didn’t know in a country I’d never been to for a long drive to Marrakech. I was a wreck.

Kaitlin Gillespie
Kaitlin Gillespie was an intern for Washington State Magazine for the 2012 summer semester and now is editor of the Daily Evergreen for 2012–13.

It did not occur to me that maybe everything would be OK. Maybe, just maybe, I was not the only one who struggled when she first left the country. I mean, it’s not like I was one of more than 600 WSU students who studied abroad last year. Surely all of them had arrived in their respective countries, perfectly coiffed after hours on a plane, foreign languages tumbling out of them effortlessly, no hiccups or delays in the plan at all. Nope. Clearly I was the only WSU student who had ever encountered a single problem studying abroad.

The second time I stepped foot in North Africa, I was on the verge of crying.

I was home.

I was home in my beautiful, beloved Morocco after ten days traveling around France by myself, which despite its Western comforts, seemed much more foreign to me than Morocco. The smells were off. The streets were too clean. The French was too pristine, untouched by Arabic influences. No, Morocco and its quirks had absolutely become my home.

The WSU Education Abroad office was my gateway to the world. Studying abroad is considered the “gold standard” toward meeting WSU’s goal to graduate all students with a set of global competencies, says Global Learning Director Christine Oakley.

I was far from the only one to find out, and more people are finding out than ever. During the 2010 to 2011 school year, 722 students traveled across the planet, 29 percent more than three years previously. And with hundreds of programs in 70 countries around the world, my options were dizzying. I could have gone anywhere in the world; and without a doubt, after hours of flipping through study abroad catalogues, I made the right choice.

I found myself drinking tea with people I’d just met, talking about world travel and the differences between Morocco and America. I tickled children in shops, speaking to them in the handful of Arabic words I knew and watching them cry when my friends and I had to leave. I’d woken to the call to prayer at sunrise on more than one occasion, listening to the hauntingly beautiful sounds ringing out from mosques across the city. I wandered through souks and markets, tasting olives and tiptoeing through the water and animal blood that flowed freely through the winding corridors. I ate camel in a back alley, then experienced it again once or nine times coming back up. I’d later accidentally kick a camel in the teeth in the Sahara Desert. I didn’t feel guilty for long.

These were the things that made me feel like I was not just a tourist, like I somehow belonged there. Maybe, just maybe, I was a Moroccan. Pullman is home. It always will be. But so will Meknes, and until I can return, there will always be a little part of me homesick for Morocco. Everything can change in three and a half months. If studying abroad has taught me anything, it’s that a patient eye and an open mind can find home anywhere.

Kaitlin Gillespie ’13

Heart Mountain, Later

My father worked for the Bonneville Power Administration and in 1949 we lived in the Heart Mountain Internment camp. BPA used a portion of the camp to house personnel working on the power lines being constructed from Canada. It was one of the coldest winters of the 20th century. We were bussed to school in Powell 20 miles to the north and missed many days when snow drifts blocked the roads. I have photos of my brother and me outside our apartment in one of the converted barracks. It was an interesting year. I remember many of the BPA families living there raised vegetables in the farm plots previously used by the Japanese internees. Most of the camp was in disrepair. I had to be taken to the hospital in Powell after stepping on a rusty nail while playing in one of the many piles of debris.

John Williams

Getting our Swallowtails Straight

I love the cover of the Fall 2012 Washington State Magazine and the article “Life Histories: The Butterflies of Cascadia.” However, I wondered if I would get a free book (Life Histories of Cascadia Butterflies) if I spotted the error? The cover butterfly is misidentified. I believe that it is an Anise Swallowtail, not a Western Tiger Swallowtail. The Western Tiger Swallowtail is the butterfly on the first page of the article (page 39). I have had the great good fortune to see both of these butterflies this summer in western Oregon with the North American Butterfly Association’s Eugene/Springfield chapter. David James gave a presentation to our group about the book in April 2010 and we eagerly awaited its publication.

Alison Dunlap Center ’88 MS

The cover photo of the Fall 2012 WSM indicates that the butterflies are Western Tiger Swallowtail. They are actually Papilio zelicaon, the Anise Swallowtail. Both of the upper and lower sides of the wings are black. Papilio rutulus, the Western Tiger Swallowtail, actually is yellow with black stripes on the upper wing. I have made the same mistake in the past. I posted pictures of an Anise on Project Noah and called it a Western Tiger, which received a quick correction.

Alayna Huter ’01 DVM


Travels with Garrison—The gig of a lifetime: WSU music instructor and player of fiddle, mandolin, and guitar Richard Kriehn travels with Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion radio roadshow as a musician. Watch a video of his experiences and how he applies what he learns to his teaching at WSU.

WSU Discovery

 Seattle, #WSU researchers, push back against #Stanford #organicsstudy bit.ly/Olz1vW via @crosscut

Dogs and treadmills. Yep, it happens. bit.ly/MAGfHj via @seattletimes

#WSU’s Bose: Power demand in India outstrips local supply “and building new infrastructure is a huge issue.” bit.ly/OBR9NR

Follow @WSUDiscovery on Twitter

What’s new?

WSU Nursing Building
The WSU College of Nursing moved into its new 87,500-square-foot building on the Spokane Riverpoint Campus three years ago. The site has allowed the college to expand its programs, among them the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), which welcomed its first students in August. Ed LaCasse/LaCasse Photography, courtesy LMN