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Michelle Gordon riding horse Mac
Fall 2018

Back in the saddles

Winding through barren April wheat fields, my 4Runner rumbles down a gravel backroad heading toward the small farming town of Colton. Rounding the corner, I spot a sign for the Pat Weber ranch and follow their lane to the barn.

Near the corral, a young woman in a riding helmet turns and waves. Michelle Gordon, Washington State University junior and president of the recently revived WSU Equestrian Team, is here along with several other students for lessons with English riding coach Laura Bagby Moore ’08.

“I’ve known Laura most of my life,” says Gordon as she brushes a bay gelding named Mac. “We’re both … » More …

Breaking pumpkin thumb - Getty Images
Fall 2018

The physics of fall

With murmurs and pointing, the crowd watches as a face and then hands—holding a large object—appear in the twelfth-story window of WSU’s Webster Physical Sciences Building.

On the ground, Butch T. Cougar begins a countdown: five, four, three, two… At one, the hands release a 10-pound, half-frozen pumpkin that rockets to the courtyard, exploding in a confetti-bomb of cheers, screams, and a thousand gooey fragments.

Strains of Galileo Galileo from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” fill the plaza and down comes another pumpkin, then another and another. So begins that nerdy-fun Dad’s Weekend tradition—the Pumpkin Drop.

“Throwing out pumpkins is kind of a rush,” says … » 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 …

Cloyd and Audrey Artman
Fall 2018

Soaring history

Aviation lifted off the ground in the early twentieth century, but few had the guts to explore the uncharted territory of human flight. Two courageous souls willing to glide into the challenge were Washington siblings Cloyd and Audrey Artman.

Humans fantasized for thousands of years about transcending the realm of the birds. We emulated the techniques of flying animals and insects, strapped ourselves to oversized kites, or jumped off great heights while donning makeshift wings, yet gravity won over centuries of trial-and-error.

 

German aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal, though, soared with his successful heavier-than-air glider experiments in the late 1880s. He made over 2,000 glider … » More …

Summer 2018

Finding identity and expression at WSU

Bob Dlugosh says that he and his roommate, Al, “were always chumming around Pullman together.” Best friends, Bob figured Al for straight, but he liked the guy so much he didn’t let it bother him. Bob did wonder if Al knew he was gay. In 1968, “gay” felt like a brand new word. So it probably wasn’t the one used on the sign Al and Bob found tacked to their Stephenson Hall door: “Bob and Al are gay.”

But that’s what Robert Dlugosh ’71 recalls decades later. The noun was probably something from the much crueler vernacular of the day: They were being called faggots, … » More …

Iraqi students in Pullman
Spring 2018

No barriers to a better world

Eman Ibrahim started volunteering in Iraq’s first cancer support center in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil when she was 18, providing psychological support and reading to patients. It was satisfying work for the energetic young woman, if heart-wrenching at times.

Yet, when the 21-year-old Kurdish medical student from Hawler Medical University became head of the Erbil Hub center last year, she wanted to do even more to help—and that meant learning new ideas. Last July, she got her opportunity with the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program.

The highly competitive scholarship program brings 100 Iraqi college students to the United States for … » More …

Andrew Stephenson
Winter 2017

Andrew Stephenson

What started as a summer teaching job for Andrew Stephenson evolved into plans to build a kindergarten for underprivileged children in Saint-Louis, Senegal.

Stephenson, a senior studying civil engineering at Washington State University, says he fell in love with the area and its people after he taught English there in 2011 through a British volunteering organization called Projects Abroad.

 

“I’ve never seen people so excited to learn,” Stephenson says.

The kindergarten project, Foundations for Senegal, began when Stephenson reached out to Fina Senghor, a native of Senegal and a Projects Abroad deputy director, in 2016 to see how he could help Saint-Louis.

Senghor … » More …

Matcha Tea Cakes
Winter 2017

At our table

“After you set the table with your best efforts, let your real pleasure come from looking around the table before breaking bread together and appreciating the similarities in your guests rather than the differences.”

Maya Angelou, 2011

Breaking bread, banquets, or potlucks—however and wherever we enjoy the delightful experience of sharing a meal, we can tell our stories, cross cultural boundaries, and begin to learn each other’s histories.

The holidays especially give us the opportunity to gather for food and talk, so important when it feels like we live in a time rife with incivility and torn by divisiveness.

» More …

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 …