Al (’66 Civ. Eng.) and Sandee Kirkwood (’65 Speech & Hearing Sci.) received a Philanthropists of the Year award for their services to Clark County. The Kirkwoods met at WSU their freshman year and married when they were juniors. The couple has worked with several organizations in Clark County including the Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Washington and Clark County Food Bank.

Gordon Davis (’68 Ag., ’69 Ag. Ed.) received the Ruby C. McSwain Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the National Agricultural Alumni Development Association. A longtime agricultural educator at the high school and university level, Davis coached intercollegiate meats judging teams, including two national champion teams in 1973 and 1989.


Arthur Bogan (’72 Anthro.) of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to Portugal in invertebrate zoology. He will study invasive mollusks during his time at the University of Porto.

Steve Larson (’72 Socio.) of Alsco Inc. received the TRSA Operator Lifetime Achievement Award. Alsco is the largest family-owned laundry operator in the United States. The award is the highest honor for a professional in the linen, uniform, and facility services industry. Larson has worked for Alsco since he was in high school in Tacoma.

Rebecca McBee-Wilson (’75 Psych.) was named codirector for Lincoln County, Oregon, Health and Human Services, after serving the previous seven years as director of the Lincoln County Federally Qualified Health Center. Before starting with the county, she spent 33 years with the Portland Veterans Administration, working in chemical dependency and mental health.

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates CEO Ted Baseler (’76 Comm.) retired after 34 years with the Woodinville winery. During his time with the company, including the last 17 years as CEO and president, Baseler saw tremendous growth. He is also a WSU Regent and helped raise $23 million to build the Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities in 2015.

D. Michael Jackson (’76 MS, ’78 PhD Entom.), a research entomologist with USDA-ARS for the past 40 years and recently retired, was awarded the J. H. Cochran Award for Excellence in Entomology, the highest award given by the South Carolina Entomological Society. He was also honored for serving as editor of the Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology from 2010–2017.

William H. McElroy (’76 Comm.) was selected as the new Rotary District 5030 governor for 2019–2020. McElroy has had 41 years of experience in the financial industry and is the founder and CEO of Guardian Plus Inc., an investment advisory firm.

Denny Wallace (’76 Ag. Ed., ’81 Human Dev.), Washington state FFA advisor, was chosen to serve on the FFA Board of Directors as the National Association of State Supervisors of Agricultural Education representative.

Homebuilding company TRI Pointe Group appointed to its board of directors Vicki D. McWilliams (’79 Apparel Merch., Design, and Textiles), executive vice president of stores for Williams-Sonoma, Inc. McWilliams is responsible for leading 20,000 associates in 620 stores. Prior to joining Williams-Sonoma in 2008, McWilliams spent 29 years at Nordstrom, most recently serving as executive vice president.


Janet Kusler (’80 Pharm.) was inducted into the Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame. Kusler is one of four female athletes who were inducted. She was a four-year starter for the WSU women’s basketball team, and later joined the AAU SeaBaskets and helped lead them to an AAU national championship.

The Ecosa Institute welcomed landscape architect Charles Anderson (’81 Landscape Arch.) as a new faculty member. Anderson will facilitate a semester-long immersion program that focuses on ecological design as a problem-solving tool. Anderson has been a professor and lecturer at universities across the Northwest and Southwest and has been featured in several design and architecture magazines.

The Daily Herald in Everett promoted Eric Stevick (’81 Comm.) and Rikki King (’10 Poli. Sci.) to local editor and assistant local editor respectively. Stevick has been a part of The Herald’s staff for 28 years and King for 8.

Shari Halldorson Freidenrich (’82 Busi.) received a 2018 Trailblazer Award for the California Society of CPAs. CalCPA also awarded her the 2018 Women to Watch Award for Experienced Leaders.

Lora Knowlton (’82 Forest Mgmt.) is owner of Current Events LLC in Littleton, Colorado. She also serves as one of the founding board members of the Columbine Memorial Foundation.

Norbert Chirase (’83 MS Ani. Sci.) received a U.S. presidential award for his work on expanding exports. Chirase, originally from Ghana, has recently been at the forefront of research on fulvic and humic mineral complexes.

Kelly Susewind (’84 Geol. Eng.) was chosen to be the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission chief. Susewind was previously in the Department of Ecology and worked to prevent water contamination.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown appointed Shannon Casey Carefoot (’86 Nursing) to the Nursing Staffing Advisory Board for the state of Oregon. The term will last two years.

T.E.N., a technology and information security executive networking and relationship-marketing firm, presented Chuck Markarian (’86 Math., Ed.), chief information security officer for PACCAR, with the Information Security Executive of the Year Award for the region.

Key Technology appointed Bret Larreau (’87 Ag. Eng.) as director of Latin America and Asia sales. Larreau not only manages sales in these regions, but also maintains Key Technology’s relationship with PepsiCo’s global business as their major account manager.

The Auburn Police Department hired William Pierson (’89 Socio.) as their new police chief. Pierson’s career has spanned 28 years.


Lisa Riggs (’90 English, Ed.) will serve as the new assistant superintendent for the Gersham-Barlow School District. In addition to her experience in several administrative roles, Riggs was also a language arts and writing teacher.

Ward Fleischmann (’92 Marketing) is the new general manager at the Chevrolet of Everett. Fleischmann has more than 25 years of experience in the car business and was previously the general sales manager at the dealership.

Terri Trick (’93 MEd) was appointed to the Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors.

Rachel Drake (’94 Comm.) is now the human resources director for Weyerhaeuser Wood Products Division.

Ben Ferney (’97 Ed., Biol.) became superintendent of the Valley School District in northeastern Washington after spending the previous five years as the principal of Freeman Middle School. His 32 years in education was honored with an Award of Merit by the NE Washington Association of School Administrators. Ferney previously taught and coached at Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, and served in the Cheney School District administration.

Today’s Dental Center doctors Judd (’97 Zool.) and Sarah Sherman (’97 Pre-med.) have hired Nate Steim (’14 Med. Sci.) as a new associate. The Shermans have been practicing at Today’s Dental Center for 16 years while Steim, who is also their nephew, recently graduated from dentistry school.

Alpha Phi Foundation announced Rebecca Andrew Zanatta (’97 Comm.) and three others to their board of directors. Zanatta, from the Beta Rho chapter of Alpha Phi sorority at WSU, was appointed to a 2018–2020 term on the board.

Kara Kaelber (’98 Hum.) joined the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Foundation as a program manager. Kaelber is a 2016 alumnus of the foundation’s AgForestry Leadership program.

PETRA, Inc. promoted Brett Myron (’98 Civ. Eng.) to president. Myron has managed both private and public sector multimillion dollar projects for the construction company since joining as a project manager in 2005.

PrimeLending, a top ten national lender, has taken on Jeremy Bordner (’99 Comm.) as the area manager for the Pacific Northwest. Bordner has more than 17 years of mortgage industry experience and has been a part of the PrimeLending team since 2015.

Mikki Rogers (’99 Arch.) is back at JRJ Architects in Beaverton, Oregon, as senior project manager. Rogers has been in the design and project management field for 19 years.


Jenny Risner (’01 MEd) took the reins as superintendent of Ames Community School District in Iowa. She worked most recently as Ocean Beach School District superintendent in Long Beach.

Marguerita (Rita) Catching (’03 MN Nursing) recently published her first novel, a mystery set in Eastern Oregon titled A State of Grace. First of a series, the book was shortlisted for the 2016 Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award and its protagonist is a nurse.

Brynan Shipley (’04 Human Dev.) is the new athletic director for the Ridgefield School District. Shipley was formerly at the Kalama School District where she was a coach and athletic director. During her time there, Kalama High School won three team state championships for volleyball, football, and boys track and field. In 2018 Shipley was named the District Central 2B Athletic Director of the Year.

Ines Hanrahan (’05 PhD Hort.) was selected as executive director for the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission. Formerly an active member of the WSU tree fruit Extension team, Hanrahan grew up and studied in Germany. She takes over for Mike Willett (’81 MS, ’95 PhD Hort.), who will continue with some projects and transition after almost 40 years in the tree fruit industry.

Enrico Castelda (’06 Comm.) joined RBC Wealth Management as a senior practice management consultant.

Plant pathologist Jaime Cummings (’07 MS Plant Path.) joined the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program at Cornell University as its new field crops and livestock coordinator. A native New Yorker, she previously led Monsanto’s soybean pathology team, and has authored over 40 crop-related publications.

Whitworth University named David Fern (’07 Sport Mgmt.), a PGA teaching professional at Downriver Golf Course since 2013, as their new women’s head golf coach. Fern was the 2004 Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur champion and played on the Gateway Tour and the Southwestern USA mini tour from 2009–10.

Nicole Schmitz Abeyta (’08 Crim. Jus.) was recently promoted by the United States Army to the rank of major. Major Abeyta participated in the Washington State University ROTC program while studying at WSU and was commissioned as a second lieutenant at that time. She now lives in North Carolina with her husband and children.

Molly Smith (’08 Comm.) launched a public relations company based in Seattle, the Good PR Company, focused on elevating female founders in the Seattle area and entrepreneurs who have unique visions. A third-generation Coug, she previously worked in corporate public relations in Manhattan.

Roxanne M. Rich (’09 Neurosci.) is now a part of the International Association of HealthCare Professionals due to her work as an established pediatrician and her upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. Rich specializes in general pediatric care and childhood diseases.

PCS Structural Solutions in Tacoma announced the promotion of three of their employees. Dan Tappel (’09, ’10 MS Civ. Eng.) was promoted from project manager to an associate, and Evan Olszko (’12 Civ. Eng.) and Tanner Reijm (’15, ’16 MS Civ. Eng.) from design engineer to project engineer.


Rikki King (’10 Poli. Sci.) see Stevick ’81

Outten & Golden LLP, added six new associates to its employee rights law firm including Mikael Rojas (’11 English, Poli. Sci.). Rojas graduated from Stanford Law School and has worked as a law clerk and a civil rights litigation fellow.

Klay Thompson (x’11) received his third NBA championship in June. Thompson is one of two former Cougs to win a professional title in 2018.

Evan Olszko (’12 Civ. Eng.) see Tappel ’09

Nate Steim (’14 Med. Sci.) see Sherman ’97

Calley Hair (’15 Comm.) and Nathan Howard (’15 Comm.) have joined The Columbian as a reporter and photojournalist, respectively. Both reporters come to the Vancouver paper from Newport, Oregon.

Tanner Reijm (’15, ’16 MS Civ. Eng.) see Tappel ’09

St. Andrews University selected Adam Bokmeyer (’16 MBA Fin.) to be the head coach of the recently reinstated men’s lacrosse program. Bokmeyer was previously the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at the University of Texas at Austin.

Chef Pauline Garza (’16 Hosp. Busi. Mgmt.) was hired as the lead chef at Drumheller’s Wine & Food and Vine, a new restaurant and wine bar in Richland. Garza started cooking at a young age and has studied in Italy and New York.

Madison Moore (’16 Econ.) of Prosser, Washington, was selected as one of the five finalists for the 2018 #RootedinAg Contest from agricultural company Syngenta. The competition invited ag professionals to describe the person who helped inspire their agricultural roots. Syngenta will give $500 to the winner, donate $1,000 to the winner’s chosen charity, and feature the winning story in an upcoming issue of its Thrive magazine.

Toni Lynn Adams (’17 Comm.) was named the Washington Apple Commission’s new communications outreach coordinator. Adams has experience with the apple industry as her family has an apple orchard in the Yakima Valley.

David Chis (’17 Elec. Eng.) has joined Elcon Associates Inc. as an electrical designer. Chis previously was a student designer at PacifiCorp, focusing on power systems protection and control with low-, medium-, and high-voltage projects.

Swiss volleyball club Nuc Neuchatel has signed Kyra Holt (x’17) to its roster. Holt transferred from the Spanish club Dimurol and is in her second professional season. Holt is a 6’1” left handed outside hitter.

Donor Network West, an organ procurement and tissue recovery organization in Nevada, named John Lilley (’17 MBA) as their new regional director. Lilley has worked in organ and tissue donation for over 16 years and has worked with Donor Network West before.

Andrew Halfman (’18 MA Comm.) was promoted to senior digital strategist for Vladimir Jones, a Colorado Springs advertising, marketing, and public relations agency. Halfman has been with the agency for three years and was previously a digital strategist. The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin welcomed Forrest Holt (’18 Comm.) as a reporter on the public safety beat in Walla Walla and Milton-Freewater, as well as the surrounding cities. As a student, Holt had internships with The News Tribune in Tacoma and The Inlander in Spokane, Washington. Holt also received an award from the Society of Professional Journalists for his reporting on the WSU budget cuts.

Alyssa Norris (’18 Civ. Eng.) joined the LONG Building Technologies team as an account executive in the Fairbanks, Alaska, office. LONG provides HVAC mechanical solutions, building automation systems, security solutions, and equipment for commercial properties in Alaska. Norris was also a student WSU Regent in 2017–18.