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Hannelore Sudermann

Winter 2008

What I’ve Learned Since College: An interview with Sonny Spearman

Sonny Spearman ’86 has traded technology for toys. As co-founder and chief marketing and operating officer of Matter Group, she leads a company focused on creating products to foster awareness of the environment.

Spearman started her career in technology and media, riding the wave of the Seattle-based tech boom in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She’d still be in the tech sector if she and company co-founder Amy Tucker hadn’t decided develop a business focused on sustainability.

Their first product, which was released in 2006, is Xeko, an award-winning eco-adventure game for children eight and older. With a force of “secret agents” intent on … » More …

Winter 2008

A Season for Seeds

STRANGE THINGS sprout in Skagit Valley’s fields: Monster plants with six-foot stalks covered with yellow flowers, delicate ferny-leaved things with round white heads holding hundreds of tiny blossoms, and unruly tangles of leaves, spears, and spikes.

John Roozen ’74, whose family’s name is synonymous with Skagit Valley tulips, keeps careful watch on these fields. He swings his pickup over to the side of the road and dives into a field, a curly, hairy mess of green. He plucks off the tip of a plant and hands it over. See that, he says, pointing at the dozens of small green nuggets clustered along the stem, those … » More …

Winter 2008

Murrow’s door

First came the doorknob.

The workers in the office of Washington State University’s school of communication didn’t know what to expect when the first of two shipments arrived from New York last spring. But they opened the box, took out the old doorknob and passed it around, wondering what sort of door it belonged to, wondering whose hands had touched it.

A few weeks earlier Darby Baldwin, an assistant in the dean’s office, had called two CBS retirees on the East Coast because the husband had written a thoughtful opinion piece about his time working with Edward R. Murrow. It turned out that Joe Wershba … » More …

Winter 2008

Everybody reads

When Mary Roach was researching her book on human cadavers, she attended a seminar where plastic surgeons practiced techniques on severed human heads. She also visited a body farm in Tennessee to see remains in various states of decay. And she stood at an operating table to witness an organ harvest from a brain-dead patient whose heart was still beating.

While doing all these things, Roach simply followed her curiosity as it led her into some extraordinary places.

The author came to Pullman this fall in conjunction with the selection of her bestseller Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers for Washington State University’s Common … » More …

Winter 2008

Who moved my cupola?

During a quiet weekend last July, a crew came to campus to steal away one of the University’s oldest landmarks–the Ferry Hall cupola. The quaint 12-foot by 12-foot Georgian-style structure had already survived more than a century and a major relocation. Now it was on the move again.

A lot of Washington State University’s history is tied up with the architectural element, starting with the original Ferry Hall, the University’s first dormitory, occupying the south end campus. Men and women lived on separate floors there until Stevens Hall, the residence dedicated for women, went up on the opposite end of campus.

While he liked the … » More …

Winter 2008

Living free from addiction

When an alumnus like Bus Hollingbery ’44, a former Cougar linebacker and son of football coaching legend “Babe” Hollingbery, comes to the university with a good idea, the university listens.

A few years ago, Hollingbery, a recovering alcoholic, was thinking about how difficult it can be to start recovery. His own grandson, Will, had just taken a leave of absence from WSU to sort out his life and get clean. For a kid like Will, returning to campus and falling back in with his old friends and routines could be a problem, he thought. So while here for a football game one weekend, Bus wondered … » More …

Winter 2008

On the waterfront

Tacoma's past may be a key to its future :: Twenty years ago, the City Club of Tacoma approached the city with a plan to unify the waterfront and build a walking path from the Tacoma Dome to Point Defiance. The painstakingly researched report urged that the entire waterfront be redesigned as a people place. Lara Hermann '95 was thrilled when a city hall worker handed her the document. "It was like a present just lands in your lap," she says. » More ...
Summer 2006

Foreign stories

Crista Ames and Junko Matsumura are both bright, friendly, and soft-spoken. They are just a few months apart in age. And both want to go out and see the world.

It was these common interests that brought the student from Kennewick and the student from Osaka together at McCroskey Hall last winter. They’re roommates in a program that pairs international students with American counterparts to foster greater understanding between cultures. The residence hall, a former women’s dormitory that was remodeled in 2001, is home to close to 70 students, half of whom hail from places like Japan, France, Wales, China, and Bahrain. In all, WSU … » More …

Spring 2008

What I've learned since college: An interview with Johnnetta B. Cole-anthropologist, author, activist

Johnnetta B. Cole launched her career as an educator and activist at Washington State University in 1964. While in Pullman, she taught anthropology, helped found the Black Studies Program, and served as the program’s first director. In 1970 she was named Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year. After leaving Pullman, she held a number of teaching and administrative positions at several East Coast schools. In 1987 she became the first African American woman to be president of Spelman College, the country’s oldest college for African American women. In 1992 Cole landed in the national spotlight as a cluster coordinator on President-Elect Bill Clinton’s transition team … » More …

Spring 2008

A taste of history

Methow Valley, best known for its miles of Nordic skiing and other outdoor recreation, has developed a new note, one that lands it in Seattle’s culinary scene. The rare heritage grains from Sam and Brooke Lucy’s Bluebird Grain farms have found their way onto the menus of some of the city’s eateries.

Two histories intertwine in this story—the history of farming in a secluded mountain valley, and that of a cereal that once fed both kings and common Roman soldiers.

The grain, called farro, or emmer, is a primitive wheat that retains its outer hull. One of the first cereals to be domesticated in the … » More …