Kim Herman (’67 Poli. Sci.) is interim president and CEO of the nonprofit National Peace Corps Association. Herman was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic from 1967-1969 and has more than 35 years of legislative experience.


Linda Carlson (’73 Comm.) and Celeste Kardonsky Dybeck (’74 Nursing) were featured at the summer 2022 Fiber & Beyond exhibit at the Latimer Textile & Quilt Center in Tillamook, Oregon. Carlson, of Sequim, used scans of 1940s Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s issues to design fabric that was sewn into a shirt. Dybeck, a Jamestown S’Klallam elder of Port Townsend, created her Kardonsky Family Tree Button Blanket to honor her late parents and their family.

Ross Harrison (’74 Wildlife Biol.) received a Lifetime Service Award from the Community Bankers Association of Georgia for more than 39 years of dedicated service to the community banking industry. Harrison is senior vice president and chief credit officer at Flint Community Bank in Albany, Georgia.


Jeffrey Cawlfield (’81 Civ. Eng.) chairs the Department of Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Jennifer Sehlin (’81 Poli. Sci.) joined the real estate and land use group of Seattle-based law firm Helsell Fetterman.

Amy Ruff (’82 Nursing) received the first Distinguished Service Award from Walla Walla Public Schools for her efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The award is the highest honor the district can give an employee. Ruff has served as director of Walla Walla Public Schools Health Services since 2017. She also served in the Air Force Nurse Corps for 22 years, achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Mark Warman (’84 Crim. Jus.) has joined the Tulsa, Oklahoma, law firm of Levinson, Smith and Huffman.

Mike Walker (’85 Phys. Ed., ’97 MEd Higher Ed. Admin.) is a 2021 Canadian Football Hall of Fame inductee. Walker was a defensive lineman who led the Cougs in sacks in 1981 and played in the Holiday Bowl that same season, which ended a 50-year streak of no bowl games. He played in the Canadian Football League for 10 years, appearing in four Grey Cups and leading the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to the 1986 championship with 21 sacks. Walker is number 14 on the CFL all-time leaderboard with 95.5 sacks. Walker was also a WSU defensive line coach from 1997-2007.

Verne Windham (’85 MA Music) retired from Spokane Public Radio after 38 years. Windham is a musician, conductor, radio announcer, and teacher. He is known for his lectures on music and has served as a visiting lecturer at WSU, Whitworth University, and Spokane Falls Community College.

Rena Carlson (’86 DVM) is the 2022-23 American Veterinary Medical Association president-elect.

Jim Meehan (x’86) is the National Sports Media Association’s Sportswriter of the Year for the state of Washington. He won the same distinction five times for the state of Idaho while working for the Spokane Spokesman-Review’s North Idaho office. Meehan joined the S-R’s staff in 1990 after working as sports editor for the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, and has covered Gonzaga basketball since 2007.

Mike Benoit (’87 Ed.) is principal of Peninsula High School in Gig Harbor.

Tariq Akmal (’88 English, ’96 MA Ed., ’97 PhD Ed.) is WSU’s 2022 Outstanding Department Chair. Akmal is an associate professor of curriculum and instruction in the College of Education and has been the chair of the Teaching and Learning Department since 2016.

Brian Hatfield (’89 Poli. Sci.) is legislative director for Secretary of State Steve Hobbs. A former state representative (1994-2004) and state senator (2006-2015), Hatfield served as the governor’s Forest Products Sector lead at the Department of Commerce for the past six years before accepting his new post at the Capitol.


Roger Nyhus (’90 Comm.) sold Nyhus Communications to the strategic communications and marketing firm DH. The agency now has offices in Spokane and Seattle with more than 50 employees.

Rachel Drake (’94 Comm.) is vice president of human resources in Washington for Comcast.

Jacquelyn High-Edward (’96 MA Crim. Jus.) is a Spokane County Superior Court judge.

Algerian Hart (’97 MA Rec. & Leisure Stu., ’04 PhD Higher Ed. Admin.) is interim chief diversity officer and assistant to the president at Missouri State University.


Elizabeth Quesnell Kohtz (’04 DVM) is a graduate of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Partners in Advocacy Leadership program, and owner and operator of a milk-quality laboratory. She provides veterinary services for an Idaho dairy farm with 20,000 cows in six locations and three heifer ranches.


Carly Clement (’10 Hosp. Busi. Mgmt.) is general manager at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort.

Liz Walker (’10 Psych., ’12 Couns.) joined the Samaritan Healthcare behavioral health team.

Kirsten Dyck (’12 PhD Amer. Stu.) received an English language fellowship from the US Department of State for the 2022-2023 academic year. Dyck will train teachers and teach English for 10 months in the Philippines. Previously, Dyck taught English through the Peace Corps in Ukraine.

Lori Hunt (’13 MEd, ’19 PhD Ed.) is the provost for Community Colleges of Spokane.

Felicia Olmeta-Schult (’18 PhD Env. Sci. & Nat. Res. Sci.) is the new coastal hazards specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon State University Extension Service. Previously, she was an Oregon Sea Grant–funded Resilience Fellow. Olmeta-Schult hosts Rising Sea Voices, a podcast on the American Shoreline Podcast Network. She is a member of the Association for Women in Science, Women’s Aquatic Network, and Women in Environment.


Aryan Deshwal (’20 MS Comp. Sci.) and Emma Hein (’22 Civ. Eng.) were recognized as outstanding research assistants by the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.

Jack Divelbiss (’21 Const. Eng.) is an engineer with Ahtna Global, a construction company based in Anchorage, Alaska.

The Seattle Seahawks selected Abraham Lucas (’21 History) in the third round of the NFL draft. Lucas, from Everett, was the starting right tackle for the Cougs during his redshirt season in 2017 and remained in that position for five seasons before entering the 2022 draft. He was named second team All-Pac-12 Conference three years in a row.

India Dykes (’22 Bio. Eng.) is a recipient of the Fulbright US Student award. She will join the Tri-Ankle Project at the Fraunhofer IGB Institution, a partnership with the University of Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Kansas City Chiefs selected Jaylen Watson (x’22) in the seventh round of the NFL draft. Watson, from Augusta, Georgia, transferred to WSU and was a starting cornerback for the Cougs in 2020. He received an All-Pac-12 Conference honorable mention for the 2020 season and again in his final season at WSU.