Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Notable Alumni

Women in Kade & Vos clothes - Courtesy Kade & Vos
Winter 2018

Fit for every body

Inside an old yellow craftsman house, sewing machines whir, sketches adorn the walls, underwear and tank top prototypes hang from clothing racks, and a cat wanders through the living room.

Debbie Christel’s childhood home in north Tacoma has transformed into the headquarters of Kade and Vos, a start-up company helping women get the clothes they need.

“We ask women, what do you need to be comfortable?” says company cofounder Christel ’08. “Our design process doesn’t go through a weight-biased filter. We don’t take a small pattern and make it bigger. We know that doesn’t work.”

In the United States, 67 percent of women wear a … » More …

Sean Halsted (Photo Lintao Zhang/Getty)
Winter 2018

Gold mettle man

Poles planted and ready, Sean Halsted ’92 waits at the starting gate for the 15-kilometer cross-country skiing race. It’s March 2018 at the PyeongChang Winter Games and he’s wearing the signature red cap and striped jersey of the U.S. Paralympic team.

Behind sunglasses, Halsted glances at the grandstand filled with thousands of cheering fans, colorful flags, and jangling cowbells. Cameras point in every direction and he catches a glimpse of himself on the jumbotron. Though the Air Force veteran has competed all over the world, the enormity of the event is overwhelming. His eyes turn back to the countdown clock where seconds creep by until … » More …

Travis Keatley (Photo Roger Werth/The Daily News)
Winter 2018

On the straight, tall, and narrow

The straight, long rows of tall and thin loblolly pine grow very fast in the South’s flat lands, especially compared to the slow-growing Douglas fir on steep Pacific Northwest slopes.

It’s just one of many differences that Travis Keatley (’99 Forest Mgmt.) has witnessed as he manages more than seven million acres of timber across 11 states for Weyerhaeuser.

As vice president of southern timberlands for the timber, land, and forest products company, Keatley works out of Hot Springs, Arkansas, and travels from Florida to Virginia to Louisiana, and all states in between, as he oversees Weyerhaeuser’s … » More …

Carolina Parada (Photo Raymond Yuen/Nvidia Corporation)
Winter 2018

Making artificial intelligence smart

It’s not a simple thing to get a car to see what we see.

“The world is very complex. That’s what makes vision for self-driving cars a challenge. There are millions of scenarios and millions of contexts,” says Carolina Parada (’04, ’06 MS Elec. Eng.) from her home in Boulder, Colorado.

A senior manager for Nvidia, a company probably best known in the video gaming community for its top-shelf graphics cards but with a strong presence in the machine learning market, Parada and her team are working on machine perception, a key piece of getting self-driving cars safely on the
» More …

Dave "Merf" Merfeld (Photo Kevin Cruff)
Fall 2018

Cornfields to vineyards

“I quit working in 1996,” says master winemaker David “Merf” Merfeld ’13. That was the year he got a job at Bert Grant’s Brewery in Yakima—one of the early craft breweries in the region.

Merf’s passion for fermentation started in his kitchen a few years earlier. He’d driven west to Seattle from the family farm in Iowa. “Thirty, thirty-one hours straight through,” he says, with maybe an “hour stop for a rain storm in South Dakota.” He was in the ’79 Park Avenue his dad gave him: “a great ride, and everything I owned fit in that car.” The first thing he and the buddy … » More …

Caroline Heldman
Fall 2018

Ask Caroline Heldman ’93

 

A leading voice on sexual harassment, Caroline Heldman ’93 has had a busy year. She coauthored the 2018 book Sex and Gender in the 2016 Presidential Election, and the 2017 book Women, Power, and Politics: The Fight for Gender Equality in the United States. And the associate professor of politics—who specializes in the presidency, media, gender, and race at Occidental College in Los Angeles—frequently appears in documentaries and on news programs to speak about the #MeToo movement and harassment—partly because of her own experience.

Heldman, who had been a regular guest of host Bill O’Reilly on The O’Reilly Factor, alleged in 2017 that … » More …

Peony
Fall 2018

Peonies from heaven

Come late summer, Alaska’s farmland blooms with romance and colorful ruffles. It’s the season for peonies in the north country—an unlikely floral industry that, thanks to bridal demand, has given rise to a surprising horticultural gold rush.

The lure is especially tempting for those with small parcels of land. Wayne ’76 and Patti ’75 Floyd, for example, joined the stampede in 2011 with only two acres, and have since created a successful business claiming both national and international markets.

 

“We’d had this farm bug in our hearts from the beginning but we were never in a place that we could do that,” says Patti. … » More …

Fall 2018

Videos and more from Caroline Heldman

Caroline Heldman ’93 appears in several documentaries, writes, and presents on media and gender. She has emerged as a strong voice about the #MeToo movement and harassment, partly because of her own experience. Watch parts of documentaries and learn more about Heldman’s work below. You can also read about her in “Ask Caroline Heldman,” Fall 2018.

 

Miss Representation, a 2011 documentary

 

 

The Mask You Live In, 2015

 

Books

Sex and Gender in the 2016 Presidential Election, 2018

The New Campus Anti-Rape Movement: Internet Activism for Social Justice, 2018, … » More …

Fall 2018

Returns on education

Damien Pattenaude went back to his old school in Renton when there was a need. Now he wants to see even more kids return to Renton classrooms as teachers, just as he did.

It has become an even more urgent concern for Pattenaude (’99, ’05 MA, ’16 EdD) now that he is superintendent of the growing Renton School District. Like other school administrators across Washington and the country, he faces a teacher shortage, especially in special education, math, and sciences. Schools also need more diversity among teachers, to better represent the state’s changing population.

Although teacher shortages are not new, the problem is accelerating» More …

Gladys Cooper Jennings
Fall 2018

Being best

A 9-year-old slave girl fanned her young mistress to keep the flies off her while she learned her lessons. Because she picked up enough education to be able to read and write a little, she ended up teaching other slaves and ex-slaves.

Her daughter became a schoolteacher, married to a Presbyterian minister in segregated Columbus, Ohio. The couple passed on the family mantras to their children: “You must get an education to get ahead” and “you must be a credit to our race.”

Their children, the second generation born free, took the advice to heart, attending college and becoming teachers and professionals. One of them, … » More …