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Ken Schmauder (’54 Ag., ’70 EdD), retired superintendent of the Evergreen School District, was designated as the early learning champion by Educational Opportunities for Children and Families (EOCF) of Washington, for his work with southwest Washington public schools.

Ornithologist, artist, and emeritus professor at the University of Nebraska Paul Johnsgard (’55 MS Wildlife Bio.) received the WSU Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of writing and teaching that has expanded public understanding of natural history, conservation, and pressing environmental issues.


The American Veterinary Medical Association granted its 2016 Meritorious Service Award to Roger McClellan (’60 DVM), for his distinguished career in inhalation toxicology, science, and public policy. He started the inhalation toxicology lab at the Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1966. McClellan was the WSU Regent’s Distinguished Alumnus in 2008.


PeopleAdmin awarded the Inspired2Educate award to James Robertson (’72 MA History) at the annual PeopleConnect conference last June in Austin, Texas. The award honors an essay detailing the person who most inspired the educator. Robertson is an adjunct professor of history at Montgomery County Community College and at Esperanza College in the Philadelphia area.

Dean A. Radford (’73 Comm.) retired June 30 after a nearly 45-year career in journalism. His most recent post was editor of the Tukwila Reporter for the last five years. Radford was editor of The Daily Evergreen for a year at WSU, before moving west to Port Angeles and then to south King County for the Reporter newspapers.

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute elected Chuck Prussack (’76 Civ. Eng.) as chair for the technical institute for the U.S. precast concrete structures industry. Prussack, the manager of sales, engineering, and quality control for Oldcastle Precast in Spokane Valley, has been in the business for 40 years.

Sue Stover (’76 DVM) was selected for induction into the University of Kentucky Equine Research Hall of Fame. The professor of veterinary anatomy at University of California, Davis has advanced the field with work on musculoskeletal injury in performance horses. She was the ninth recipient and first female surgeon to be recognized by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons Founders Award for Career Achievement.

The Washington State Auto Dealers Association gave Gary Gilchrist (’77 Gen. St.), Tacoma’s Gilchrist Auto Center, the “Robert P. Mallon Dealer of the Year” award. Gilchrist is a third-generation auto dealer and Tacoma-area native. He and his wife Gwen are also involved with children’s health charities.


WSU track phenom Henry Rono (’81 Gen. St., ’83 Psych.) was selected in May as the Pac-12 Men’s Track & Field Athlete of the Century. Rono’s steeplechase and 5,000m times are still the best in collegiate records through the 2016 season. He won four Pac-10 titles, six NCAA titles, and won numerous awards in the late 1970s. A member of Kenya’s 1980 Olympic team, he did not compete due to a political boycott.

Wood products company Boise Cascade chose Erin Nuxoll (’83 Forest & Range Mgt.) as vice president of human resources. Erin previously served as Boise Cascade’s vice president of human resources from 2003 to 2005 before leaving to join the J. R. Simplot Company.

Richard Bauscher (’84 EdD) was selected as one of the three 2016 Idaho High School Hall of Fame inductees. He retired as the Middleton School District superintendent in June after 15 years. In August, he became a professor of school leadership for the University of Idaho Boise. He was also chosen as Idaho’s superintendent of the year in 2010.

Greg Copeland (’84 Acc.) announced his resignation as Linfield College’s men’s golf coach after 15 seasons. He guided the Oregon college’s team to four Northwest Conference men’s golf championships. He will continue in his position as Linfield’s director of budget and financial analysis.

Vonage Holdings Corp. elected Gary Steele (’84 Comp. Sci.) to serve as a member of its board of directors. Steele was the founding CEO for computer security-as-service company Proofpoint. He has more than 30 years experience in software and business technology.

Daniel J. Bernardo (’85 PhD Ag. Econ.) was honored with the WSU Alumni Association’s highest award—the Alumni Achievement Award—in recognition of his leadership as interim president, provost, and dean.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Bence (’86 Elec. Eng., ’93 MEM) took command of the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center in August. The Expeditionary Center, located at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, is the Air Force’s center of excellence for advanced mobility and combat support training and education.

Orexigen Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on obesity treatments, promoted Thomas Cannell (’86 DVM) to executive vice president, chief operating officer, and president of global commercial products. He’ll be accountable for global revenue and key marketing activities.

Ivan Cook (’89 Phys. Ed.) joined Bibby Transportation Finance as a business development officer. He’ll provide customers with asset-based lending solutions for transportation and freight. Cook was previously with Amerisource and Comdata Financial Services.


Scott Bleeker (’91 Ag. Econ.) joined Spokane Teachers Credit Union as commercial lending manager. Bleeker began working in financial institutions in 1991, most recently as senior vice president at Bank of America.

The Olympia Police Department has a new deputy chief, Aaron Jelcick (’91, ’92 MA Crim. Jus.) He joined the Olympia Police Department in 1992, serving as walking patrol officer, training officer, Thurston County Narcotics Task Force detective, Olympia Police Department detective, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, and most recently, special operations lieutenant.

Mark Johnson (’91 Ag. Eng.) has been named executive assistant to the CEO and COO of Bechtel, a global construction and engineering firm based in San Francisco. Johnson has worked at Bechtel since 1998 and held engineering positions of increasing responsibility at the Yucca Mountain project in Nevada, a chemical weapons demilitarization project in Kentucky, and the waste treatment and immobilization plant in Richland.

Cardiac Science, Los Angeles-based manufacturer of automated external defibrillators, appointed Devdatt (Dev) Kurdikar (’91 MS Chem. Eng.) as chief executive officer. Prior to joining Cardiac Science, Kurdikar was general manager of the Boston Scientific men’s health business.

The Walla Walla Community College board of trustees chose Derek Brandes (’92, ’94 MA Comm., ’13 EdD), to succeed longtime President Steven Van Ausdle (’66, ’68 MA Ag. Econ.) at the college. Brandes, previously vice president of instruction at Green River College in Auburn, started his tenure as college president on July 1. He grew up in the Tri-Cities and served as a dean at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, and in various positions at WSU Tri-Cities in Richland.

The Oregon Super Lawyers magazine noted Victoria Blachly (’93 Biol.) among the outstanding attorneys for 2016. She works for Portland’s Samuels Yoelin Kantor law firm in estate and trust litigation.

Kyla Sawyer (’93, ’95 MA Comm.) stepped in as head of the Mini-Cassia Chamber of Commerce in southern Idaho. She will be the spokeswoman for two counties, 12 cities, and thousands of businesses. Sawyer previously worked as a radio and television broadcaster, as well as a marketing entrepreneur.

Retirement community developer Touchmark promoted Ken Alexander (’94 Anthro.) as executive director of their Spokane retirement facility on South Hill. Alexander has more than 14 years of experience in skilled nursing, rehabilitation services and retirement-community living.

Mike Folkers (’94 MBA) left his position as finance director for the city of Hoquiam to take the same position with the city of Aberdeen.

Randy Frisch (’94 MBA), a former executive with the San Diego Union-Tribune and San Diego Business Journal, has been named president of City University of Seattle.

The Bellevue College Board of Trustees voted to appoint Gita Bangera (’96 PhD Microbio.), interim vice president of instruction, and Aaron Hilliard, vice president of Human Resources, as acting copresidents.

Noah Jarrett (’96 English) was named transportation, ports, and maritime group leader at Portland, Oregon law firm Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt.

Anthony Paton (’98 PhD Pharm.) joined the Okorocha criminal defense law firm as an expert witness and consultant on forensic toxicology. Patton has 15 years of experience in toxicology and pharmacy as a clinical pharmacist, college instructor, and researcher in many fields.

Bates Technical College President Ron Langrell announced the appointment of Josh Clearman (’99 Math.) as campus dean of the Advanced Technology Center at their Central/Mohler campus. Before Bates, Clearman was the dean of trades and technology at Green River College, where he led workforce development, and supervised and provided leadership to 65 employees for two academic divisions and two programs.

The Bainbridge Island School District hired Erin Murphy (’99 Ag. Ed., ’02 MS Ag.) as its new assistant superintendent of administrative services. Murphy was the principal of Alderwood Middle School in the Edmonds School District. After graduating, she worked for her first eight years in education as a science and leadership teacher at Poulsbo Junior High School. She then spent four years as assistant principal at Mountlake Terrace High School.


Lawyer and veteran of 1991 Operation Desert Storm Viola Alepuyo (’01 Women’s Studies) was the grand marshal of the Northern Marianas Island’s 71st Liberation Day celebration on July 4. She is currently the senior vice president for legal affairs of Imperial Pacific International/Best Sunshine International. Alepuyo was the deputy attorney general from November 2012 to April 2013 and later served as acting attorney general.

Veteran distance runner Bernard Lagat (’01 MIS) competed in the 5,000 meter race at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. The 41-year-old took fifth place. Lagat is a thirteen-time medalist in world championships and Olympics, including five gold medals.

Jessica Hagan (’03 Comm.) was promoted to director of sales for Seattle NBC affiliate KING-TV, after working several years in sales and marketing roles for Tegna, the station’s parent company.

The Aberdeen School District selected Aaron Roiko (’04 Ed.) as athletic director. He was a sixth-grade teacher at the Cosmopolis School District since 2004, and a coach for basketball and golf.

Alpine Bank in Rockford, Illinois, hired Emily Keilback (’05 Comm.) as its new vice president of education and development. She has over 12 years of experience in change management, adult learning, nonprofit fundraising, and strategic planning.

Amber Peabody (’05 Comm.) took the helm as editor of the Cody Enterprise in Wyoming. Peabody joined the Enterprise in 2005 as a reporter. She later served as the special sections editor and then as news editor.

Zachary Purvis (’06 Math.) had his first book, Theology and the University in Nineteenth-Century Germany, published by Oxford University Press this year. He credits his WSU Honors College, Fulbright, and German exchange experience with his success at the University of Oxford that led to the book. He now teaches at Scotland’s University of Edinburgh.

Investment advisory firm Golden State Wealth Management welcomed its newest wealth manager, Justin Vestman (’06 Sport Mgmt.) of Santa Monica, California. He specializes in providing financial planning, retirement planning, and asset preservation to small business owners, individuals, and families.

The Downtown Pasco Development Authority has a new executive director: Luke Hallowell (’07 Int. Bus.), a Kennewick man with experience working in the nonprofit sector and the Latino community.


Ed Anegon (’10 MA Poli. Sci.) was honored as Teacher of the Year at Jenkins High School in Chewelah. He’s in his second year at Jenkins, where he teaches U.S. history, world history, civics, and current world affairs.

Julia Culp (’10 Land. Arch.), ASLA, joined Bernardo|Wills Architects as a landscape architect. The Spokane architecture firm has given Culp projects that include the City of Spokane’s combined sewer overflow tank and plaza, the master plan for Edwidge Woldson Park in Spokane, and work in Idaho and Nevada.

Kirkland resident Nate Schoot (’10 Busi.) has been promoted to director of business services at life insurance company Altig in Redmond.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association chose Casey Johnson (’11 Comm.) as their new sports and activities information director. He will be primary media contact and manage production of WIAA publications.

JLT Specialty USA, a subsidiary of one of the world’s leading providers of insurance, reinsurance and employee benefits-related advice, brokerage, and associated services, appointed Jason McCarrick (’11 Hist.) as a property broker, specializing in real estate, retail, and hospitality.

Gregory Allen Kearby (’12 Biol.) of Yakima received his doctor of osteopathic medicine from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine at the college’s 125th commencement in June. He will continue his medical training in surgery at Travis Air Force Base-University of California, Davis in Sacramento.

The Fox affiliate in Little Rock, Arkansas, hired Ben Creighton (’14 Comm.) as their new sports reporter and weekend anchor. He went from the ABC affiliate in Eugene, Oregon, where he covered the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers.

Sara Spangler (’16 DVM) returned to Pocatello, Idaho, as a veterinary doctor at Alta Animal Hospital after receiving her veterinary degree at WSU. She was recognized for excellence in the areas of radiology and soft tissue surgery during her clinical rotations.