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Kathie Meyer '92

Spring 2003

Is the sky still blue in Emerald City?

Now that the economy has stalled, are the Seattle unemployed here to stay, or are they packing the U-Haul?

When I moved to Washington’s west side, I pursued a different career and landscape. When I was laid off last year, I decided to stay put rather than move where the job market held more promise. I thought I was following my heart, but according to Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class (New York: Basic Books, 2002), I was following a trend.

Florida, a Carnegie-Mellon economics professor, theorizes that those in “creative” occupations “drive” the economy, i.e., corporate profits and economic growth … » More …

Winter 2001

Beginning again

…attaining any worthwhile goal is really a matter of taking one small step at a time.

GEOFF GAMBLE, former interim provost at Washington State University and now president of Montana State University, once told me studies show that most people will have three different careers in their lifetimes. During that conversation, he revealed that he was on career number two, since he’d worked in insurance before becoming an academic.

According to a variety of sources, people may change careers as many as seven times during their working life. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports 67 percent of American workers don’t like their jobs, and … » More …

Winter 2005

Brewing Up Business

The Small Business Development Center celebrates 25 years of success.

Mark Burr and his business partners, Nina Law and Skip Madsen, dreamed of owning their own beer brewing business. After a visit to Port Townsend a few years ago, the trio began to investigate buying the historic Town Tavern and turning it into the Water Street Brewing and Ale House. During the course of his research, Burr discovered the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), hosted by Washington State University, and made an appointment with Kathleen Purdy, business development specialist with the Olympic Peninsula Regional Center of the SBDC.

The SBDC is designed to help small … » More …

Winter 2006

American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett

What most baby boomers know about the legendary frontier figure David “Davy” Crockett has been gleaned from the Walt Disney movie and television series starring Fess Parker. In American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett, WSU English professor Buddy Levy presents a fuller profile of the man who made Tennessee famous in the early 1800s. It’s not just a master heroic outdoorsman who emerges; the consummate politician and ferocious fighter for underdog causes shines through as well. Born August 17, 1786, Davy Crockett found his independent spirit and developed his frontier skills on the open road at the age of 14, when he ran … » More …

Summer 2004

Competing Devotions: Career and Family Among Women Executives

To be or not to be a devoted mother, corporate executive—or both? These are the choices and challenges facing career women more than ever. In Competing Devotions: Career and Family Among Women Executives, former Washington State University sociology professor Mary Blair-Loy examines the lifestyles of two groups of women and the decisions they made regarding the delicate balance of raising children along with—or versus—the long hours they spend behind an executive’s desk.

The first group, made up of 56 predominantly white female finance executives, was called the career-committed group. The second group, the family-committed group, was made up of 25 white women who left full-time, … » More …

Winter 2005

Sacajawea's People: The Lemhi Shoshones and the Salmon River Country

In this year of 2005, the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, we are again reminded of the role Sacajawea played in that long journey westward. However, Sacajawea’s tribe of origin, the Lemhi, has gone largely ignored. Only recently have historians given any significance to what Native American history offers us past the late 19th century. It’s this oversight that John W.W. Mann (’01 Ph.D. Hist.) addresses regarding the Lemhi tribe’s heroic struggle to maintain its separate ancestry, cultural heritage, and identity during the 20th century in Sacajawea’s People: The Lemhi Shoshones and the Salmon River Country.

It is, frankly, an excruciating and confusing … » More …

Summer 2005

Dancing to the Concertina's Tune

Educating the incarcerated is not an undertaking for the faint of heart. In Dancing to the Concertina’s Tune: A Prison Teacher’s Memoir, Jan Walker ’60 explores her unusual career in correctional education and seeks to give the reader an understanding of prisons and inmates.

At bottom, the book is about how education can be used as a means toward transformation and, perhaps, redemption. Walker is steadfast in her argument for educating the imprisoned in parenting and family skills. She clearly lets both reader and inmates know she understands that, while poor family structure is likely to have contributed to the criminal’s path, it is no … » More …

Spring 2005

Company Towns of the Pacific Northwest

In Company Towns of the Pacific Northwest, Linda Carlson provides much insight into the rewards and trials of life in the small, isolated communities of a bygone Northwest.

A company town was generally a glorified camp established in the late 1800s by a logging or mining company. The company provided housing for its workers, and often mandated the school curriculum, owned the general store, and decided whether or not alcohol and gambling were allowed. A few paid their employees in scrip, the company’s own currency. There was no local government, as the company boss dictated just about anything he wanted. Nevertheless, Carlson ’73 defines these … » More …

Fall 2002

Paying it forward

Under the right conditions, mentoring will snowball.

One of the simplest pleasures I have is turning on the radio and hearing the voice of Frank Shiers (’77 Communications), a Seattle deejay working the mid-day shift on MIX 92.5. I’ve known Frank since high school, and his influence on me was so profound, it’s the main reason I went to Washington State University.

My family does not have a long history of higher education, and Frank was nearly the only role model I had for showing me the way through a bachelor’s degree. But since then, things have changed for new students at WSU. Recognizing the … » More …

Spring 2002

Finding what's right for you

OK, so you’re looking for work, and you’re getting good, bad, and ugly job offers. How do you determine which one to choose?

It’s no secret. The economy is drooping like a vase-full of two-week-old flowers. Here in the Pacific Northwest, The Seattle Times and Seattle-Post-Intelligencer recently reported a 56-percent decline in overall employment advertising, while ads for high-tech workers are down as much as 80 percent. Boeing is whittling away 30,000 jobs, while other manufacturing sectors are also downsizing. Economists predict things won’t swing upwards until well into this year.

If you find yourself dialing the unemployment claim line every week—or if you’re thinking … » More …