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Notable Alumni

red track shoe
Spring 2019

Chaplin’s athletes

Washington State University track and field coach John Chaplin ’63 led the most successful sports program in Cougar history.

The Cougars went undefeated in dual meets nine seasons en route to a 202-17 record during his 21-year tenure. WSU won four Pac-10 outdoor championships, was NCAA runner-up four times outdoors, and claimed the 1977 NCAA indoor championship. Chaplin’s athletes earned 105 All-America certificates and 61 conference titles. Below are just a few of the many athletes he mentored and coached over his years with the program.

Read more about Chaplin and his legacy in “Athlete, coach, winner.”

JEANNE EGGART: The most prolific scorer in … » More …

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 …