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Alicia Cooper
Fall 2017

Alicia Cooper

Many college students balance a full load of classes and activities, but it’s pretty rare to juggle all that plus the crown of Miss Washington 2016. Alicia Cooper, a senior at Washington State University Vancouver, works as a real estate broker as she studies personnel psychology and human resources—and she was third runner-up for Miss America in 2016 after winning the Miss Washington competition.

Cooper credits her grandmother with inspiring her. When she passed away after a 13-year battle with breast cancer, “I realized how significantly she impacted every person who knew her,” says Cooper. She took her grandmother’s lessons to heart, volunteering as … » More …

Jamie Callison and students
Fall 2017

Bounty of the Palouse

Each fall, the WSU Alumni Association’s wildly popular Feast of the Arts dinner series brings together some of the very best aspects of WSU for a can’t-miss evening. These special dinners feature wines from a different Coug winery expertly paired with exquisite food courses by Executive Chef Jamie Callison of the Carson College of Business School of Hospitality Business Management and his talented students.

“I work with my students to craft a menu inspired by WSU-focused fare—like fresh vegetables from the WSU Organic Farm and Wagyu beef from the Premium Beef Program,” Chef Jamie explains. The Feast also incorporates the WSU » More …

SafeShot device
Summer 2017

Healthy innovators

A safe and sterile needle seems to be a basic idea when preventing infections. But how that needle is sterilized, especially in places where reuse is a common practice, spurred a good idea for a pair of Washington State University student entrepreneurs.

Emily Willard and Katherine Brandenstein came up with the idea of SafeShot, a lid that sterilizes a needle each time it enters the vial of medicine, as part of an entrepreneurship class. The two students started a company, won a health business contest last spring, and headed to Tanzania early this year to research how their product could be used in a real … » More …

Disappointed football fan
Summer 2017

3 cheers for the losers

Cheering fans are as ubiquitous to competitive sports as coaches and clipboards.

And something about that had always puzzled Yong-chae Rhee, an assistant professor in Washington State University’s sports management program.

After all, far more teams fall short of the ultimate goal each season than achieve it. There’s just one Super Bowl champion, for example, and 31 franchises that end up promising a better season next year. Only one of the 30 Major League Baseball teams wins the World Series. Of the 351 NCAA Division I men’s basketball programs, just 68 advance to March Madness and only one claims the title.

“This was … » More …

Dinner with girl geeks - Kristin McKinney
Spring 2017

Dinner with girl geeks

Working for a Portland, Oregon, staffing firm in the late 1990s, Kristin McKinney ’95 helped recruit employees to the city’s burgeoning tech industry. The job unleashed her own geek.

“I found I had a bit of an inner nerd,” says McKinney, who got her degree in business. “I never really knew that.”

Her newfound enthusiasm was tempered by a sobering reality: Women then, like now, accounted for less than 30 percent of the computing and information technology workforce, according to the National Science Foundation.

McKinney, now a recruiter in Nashville, Tennessee, is working to reverse the trend. In 2013, she joined computer application engineer Rachel … » More …

WSU exhibit of early Issaquah businesswoman Lucy Stevenson's collection. Photo by Robert Hubner.
Fall 2013

Gallery: Businesswoman and tailor Lucy Stevenson’s collection

An exhibit at WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections exploring the story of Issaquah businesswoman and tailor Lucy Stevenson, fashion, and history at the turn of the last century. Lucy opened her own hat and dressmaking business in 1894. Her great-granddaughter Loralyn Young donated the collection to WSU. Courtesy WSU Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles. Read more in “A fitting business.”

Photos by Robert Hubner

Devon Meister. Photo Drew Tarter/Tarter Photographic Services
Winter 2016

Storming the clouds

Flying into a hurricane might be the stuff of nightmares for the average person, but for Devon Meister ’14 MBA, it’s just another day on the job.

A meteorologist and pilot in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, Meister routinely flies a WC-130J into the heart of some of nature’s biggest storms, where the best data can be collected and used to help save lives.

But nothing prepared her for the danger of her first hurricane mission.

Flying at night, Meister and the crew were headed toward Hurricane Rafael in 2012. But because meteorologists have limited ability to analyze satellite data during darkness, there was no … » More …

Winter 2016

Call it the Urban Extension

The massive Oso landslide killed 43 people, caused extensive flooding, and destroyed a key highway north of Everett in 2014, pushing the communities of Arlington and Darrington to their breaking point.

For months, grieving residents and community leaders remained so immersed in the search and recovery demands that nearly everything else had to be put on hold. That’s why, when they were invited to participate in a national competition that could funnel up to $3 million or more toward desperately needed economic revitalization efforts, Arlington Mayor Barb Tolbert was practically on the verge of tears, again.

“It was this rare opportunity but we had no … » More …

Pan roasted duck breast. Photo E.J. Armstrong
Winter 2015

Duck

Rediscovering a worldwide favorite

In a small northeast Washington field, a flock of 34 Ancona ducks—a white breed with distinct, mottled feathers—quack sociably as they waddle around Rebecca Cahill Kemmer’s farm. Sometimes they drop eggs while they follow their guardian geese and gobble up old apples and remnants of summer squash.

Cahill Kemmer and her husband Eric Kemmer started their Pend Oreille County farm, in Fertile Valley just north of Spokane County, in 2013, with education and assistance from WSU Extension’s small farms team. When they chose livestock, ducks were a natural choice.

“They’re very hardy,” says Cahill Kemmer. “Last winter, they liked to sit … » More …