Carol Lemon Allen (’61 English) and her husband Jim have both received Writers of the Year Award from the Arizona Game and Fish Department for their print and online publications Arizona Boating & Watersports/Western Outdoor Times.

Retired hotel developer and manager Larry Culver (’64 HBM) was honored with the WSU Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of his career as an innovative leader in the hospitality industry and his service to WSU. After managing hotels and restaurants throughout the United States, he helped found Innco, a developer and manager of hotels in the Midwest. He later founded InnVentures, a hotel development and management company with Marriott and Hilton properties in the western United States, and with his wife established the Larry and Vickie Culver Hospitality Fund to help support a position at WSU that is a liaison between the school and the hospitality industry.


Northwest Horticultural Council president Chris Schlect (’73 Poli. Sci.) retired after more than 36 years serving the tree fruit industry with the group. Schlect, an attorney, has worked with the council on national and international policy issues affecting tree fruit growers and shippers in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Sid Gustafson (’79 DVM) was the writer in residence for the Mining City Writing Project in Butte, Montana in January. He is a veterinarian and has authored numerous short stories and poems, as well as three novels. Gustafson read from his third novel, Swift Dam.


Steve Barnett (’80 Acc.) joined global real estate company QuadReal’s board of directors as the chief operating officer. The company is based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Last October, Eric Dieterle (’80 History) published a memoir called Where the Wind Dreams of Staying (Oregon State University Press). Dieterle is an assistant professor of management at Northern Arizona University.

Mark Vuono (’80 MS Eng.) was promoted to divisional president of Great American Insurance Group in December, where he has worked since 2007. Vuono has over 35 years of experience in the environmental insurance industry.

The Tsuut’ina Nation near Calgary, Alberta has sworn in Lee Crowchild (’82 Phys. Ed.) as their new chief. Crowchild was elected along with 12 other council members in December. He and the other council members plan to focus on and improve social issues such as domestic violence, disability health, education, and job growth. Crowchild is the descendent of two former chiefs.

Don Ott (’82 Comm.) was named the first full-time commissioner of the California Pacific Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Ott worked four years as a student assistant in the WSU athletics department, including an internship with the Pac-10 Conference. He worked for 16 years with the West Coast Conference before transitioning to the ministry as a pastor in California. He oversees 12 colleges and universities in three western states with the Cal Pac.

William Ausmus (’84 English, ’91 PhD Comm.) retired as a professor of communication, most recently at California Polytechnic State University. Throughout his 30 years of teaching, Ausmus worked at three different universities. Now he is a full-time novelist, having already published his first novel, The Adamantine Heart, written under the pen name William Russell Sheridan.

After over 20 years working with teams around the country, Brian Flajole (x’84 Comm.) has returned to Washington as the new director of the Boeing Classic, the PGA Tour Champions event at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge.

Kraig R. Naasz (’84 Hist.) is the president and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council, the trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold throughout the country. A new exchange-traded fund for whiskey and spirits has been created for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). In late December, as the stock market rose, Naasz toasted the new fund and joined in ringing the closing bell at the NYSE.

The City of Temecula, California appointed Patrick Thomas (’84 Civ. Eng.) as their interim public works director. Thomas is a licensed civil engineer and has worked with cities throughout California.

Simmons Hanly Conroy, one of the nation’s largest mass torts firms, announced that the firm has grown its shareholder ranks with the elevation of 14 attorneys, which includes Brent Zadorozny (’84 English). Zadorozny has 25 years of experience as a trial lawyer handling asbestos and mesothelioma matters, as well as arbitration of various matters in non-U.S. jurisdictions.

Chris Casey (’86 Fin.) is the new senior vice president and relationship manager at Puget Sound Bank in Bellevue.

With over 25 years of experience in revenue cycle and health care, Karen Dinkins (’86 Ag. Econ.) has become the new revenue cycle manager at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center in Libby, Montana.

The Chehalis Foundation has announced its newest board member as John Rothlin (’86 Comm.). Rothlin worked for nearly 18 years in the Washington State House of Representatives. While working there, he was the chief of staff for the House Republican Caucus for over five years.

Ben Harp (’87, ’96 MS Mech. Eng.) has been named the new deputy manager of the Department of Energy’s Hanford Office of River Protection. He joined the DOE in 1991 as a lead project engineer and began working with the senior executive service of the Office of River Protection in 2010.

The Bureau of Land Management announced Kristin Bail (’88 Geol.) as acting director for the agency. Bail has worked in public land management for more than 30 years in several states. She was assistant director for the BLM’s Resources and Planning Directorate as well as the agency’s assistant director for National Conservation Lands and Community Partnerships.

Nick Pavelich (’88 Acc.) is the new managing director at the Seattle offices of Andersen Tax. He has over 28 years of experience, including 18 years practicing tax and 10 years with a family office. Previously Pavelich was the CFO and president of real estate at Laird Norton Company, partner at Clark Nuber, and a director at KPMG and Arthur Andersen.

Paul Szerszen (’88 MS Elec. Eng.) is the new vice president for the Department of Homeland Security business development account  at Advanced Concepts and Technologies International, LLC.


Celeste Mastin (’90 Chem. Eng.) has been appointed as one of three new directors to the Granite Construction Incorporated board of directors in California. She has served as CEO of Distribution International, Inc. since 2013 and has held various other managerial positions related to chemical and building products industries.

Victoria Blachly (’93 Biol.), a partner with the Portland-based law firms of Samuels Yoelin Kantor LLP, has been appointed to the Commission on Uniform State Laws. Blachly was appointed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown for a four-year term. She will be one of Oregon’s three commissioners, all of whom are attorneys who volunteer their time as a public service.

Kevin Naught (’93 Comm.) has been appointed to the Yakima County Superior Court bench by the Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee. Naught has been a commissioner since 2014 and previously worked for the firm of Finney, Falk, Naught, and Remey. Additionally, he served as an attorney in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps in Germany and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Naught received the Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award in 2003.

Aaron Price (’94 Ed.) has been named the new head football coach at Hanks High School in El Paso, Texas.

Former state Rep. Chris Reykdal (’94 Soc. St.) was elected as Washington’s new state superintendent of public instruction last November. He served in the legislature since 2011 and had worked for the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges since 2002.

Andrew Walker (’95 English) was named department head of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences at Utah State University in late 2016.

Charity Huff (’97 Comm.) is the new chief executive officer of Okanjo Partners Inc., a firm that offers e-commerce tools. Huff has cofounded several other businesses within the media industry.

George Camacho (’98 Poli. Sci.) is the new head of the Criminal Justice Planning Agency on the island of Saipan. He was a legislative assistant at the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands legislature’s Legislative Bureau before being elected a member of their House of Representatives.


Jeff Martineau (’00 Crim Jus.) joined the Gig Harbor Police Department in January, after 13 years policing with the Orting Police Department.

Bob Peckenpaugh (’03 HBM) has been appointed general manager at The Edgewater Hotel in Seattle. Peckenpaugh has more than 20 years of executive level experience and has worked in many hotels and resorts including one in Texas and two in California.

Former NFL and Seahawks player Marcus Trufant (x’03 Busi.) has cohosted a podcast called “The Barbershop” since 2014. In 2012 he launched a mobile car-detailing business that is often used by the Seahawks players. Recently, he acquired and developed a self-storage unit.

Ave Maria University in Florida has named John Lamanna (’04 Kinesio.) the new director of athletics. Lamanna is currently, and will remain, the head coach of the men’s basketball team.

Nick Gonzales (’06 Const. Mgmt.) was promoted to vice president at Bouten Construction in the Tri-Cities. He joined the company in 2005 as an intern and worked as an engineer and project manager on a number of projects, including on the WSU Tri-Cities Bioproducts Sciences and Engineering Laboratory.

Autumn Hewitt (’06 BS Arch.) has joined Bernardo | Wills Architects as a BIM/CAD technician. She has five years experience as a BIM/CAD technician and has worked on several projects involving new credit union branches in eastern Washington.

Erinn Quinn (’06, ’11 MN Nursing) was appointed to serve on the Klickitat County Board of Health. Quinn has worked as a nurse-practitioner, a public health nurse, and as nursing director at the Klickitat Health Department.

Cole White (’06 MHPA) is the new CEO of the Community Health Centers of Central Wyoming. White has more than a decade of experience in health care leadership. He has worked in both Montana and Colorado, overseeing hospitals and clinics in the Rocky Mountain region.

Matt Zaremba (’06 MIS) is an entrepreneur and the owner of Zulu’s Board Game Café in Bothell. His café, which was designed to imitate a pub from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, combines tabletop gaming with a restaurant.


Leen Kawas (’11 PhD Pharm.), CEO of M3 Biotechnology, was named an Entrepreneurial Winning Woman by EY. M3 Biotechnology is a pharmaceutical company focused on altering the course of Alzheimer’s disease progression and neuro-deterioration. Kawas was one of 13 selected for the EY program that seeks out female entrepreneurs whose businesses show great potential.

Derek Nelson (’11 Dig. Tech. & Culture) was named partner at Focal Point Marketing, a marketing and advertising agency in Kennewick. He is currently the director of digital media and will continue with this position while also taking on partner tasks.

Attorney Kenneth Lowe (’13 Public Affairs) has recently joined William Mattar Law Offices in Williamsville, New York.

Lauren Neuhaus (’14 DVM) and Diana Thomé (’04 DVM) were recognized at the Pacific Northwest Veterinary Conference last October, hosted by the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association. Neuhaus was awarded the Recent Grad Award for her work as a practitioner and her advocacy for animal health. Thome was elected to the position of alternate delegate to the American Veterinary Medical Association House of Delegates by the WSVMA Board of Directors.

Former WSU football player Jeremiah Allison (’16 Crim. Jus.) has been signed by the Milano Rhinos to play in the European Football League.

Fanglin Che (’16 PhD) received an Excellent Self-financed Student Abroad Scholarship of $6,000 from the Chinese government. Che has published seven articles in peer-reviewed journals and is currently participating in a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto.

Anne McCaslin (’16 Music, Psych.) was hired as the new concert band and elementary music teacher at Saipan Community School, located on Saipan Island, north of Guam. She has a background in both instrumental and choral music and has had ensembles showcased at such venues as Downtown Disney in Disney World, and various venues in Seoul, Sokcho, and Gyeongju, South Korea.

Veterinarian Audrey Raby (’16 DVM) joined Core Animal Clinic in Minot, North Dakota, at the beginning of 2017.

Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, Inc. has named Paul Sandefur (’16 PhD Hort.) as manager of the company’s U.S. breeding program. The program is intended for breeding mid- and high-chill blueberries in Oregon.