Cougar pride

My favorite WSU memory is an evening with Edward R. Murrow. In the spring of 1962, I was the president of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Murrow was coming to give the commencement address. I wrote a letter inviting him to dinner in the fraternity where he lived all four years at Washington State College. Much to our surprise, he responded with an enthusiastic yes. Not only did he have dinner, but he also stayed for a few hours regaling us with stories about Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, FDR, the London Blitz, and all. We Kappa Sigs were enthralled. It was an amazing, unforgettable evening.

Sam Reed ’63 Soc. Stu., ’68 MA Poli. Sci.

(Former Washington Secretary of State)



Greetings from Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado! I am a ’00 WSU grad and entered the Air Force that same year commensurate with my Air Force ROTC course. I am now a colonel stationed in Colorado Springs. Last summer, I was offered the opportunity to take temporary command of the most northern US Air Force base, Thule Air Base in Greenland, for three months. Among the many missions Thule Air Base supports is the annual resupply of Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Alert. Over the years, the missions from Thule to Alert became known as BOXTOP. CFS Alert is the world’s northernmost continuously inhabited place in the world at just 508 miles south of the North Pole. Jumping on a BOXTOP mission was a not-to-be-missed opportunity to show some Cougar pride. I took my Coug flag with me because it’s pretty unique to get up to that part of the world. The Arctic will never be the same.

Sarah Babbitt ’00 Crim. Jus.

Colonel, US Air Force


Looking back

I found the article “Looking early for autism” very interesting. Work in autism is a little out of my main interests, but the use of pupillometry in screening caught my attention.

WSU researchers in pupillometry may not be aware that there is a long history of work with the measurement devices in the psychology department. In 1959–1960, I was a research assistant for Francis (Frank) Young, a professor in the department. He was concerned with the utility of pupil sensitivity measurement and had me assemble an enclosed booth with a strobe light with variable brightness and duration, a 35mm surplus USAF camera, and a chin and forehead rest bar. Sensors were attached to the subject to monitor heart rate, respiration rate, galvanic skin response, and blood oxygen content.

The camera stepped one frame at a time, coordinated with the strobe. Afterwards, I developed the film which had sharp images of the pupil. Fortunately for me, that ended my part in collecting the data; another research assistant had the tedious job of projecting the images and, one image at a time, measuring the diameter with a caliper.

All very crude and time-consuming, compared to today’s computerized methods. Georgina Lynch would roll her eyes.

Don Batten ’59 MS, ’61 PhD Psych.

(Professor emeritus, Psychology, Lewis-Clark College)

Lake Oswego, Oregon


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