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Larry Clark ’94

First Words
Winter 2018

Patterns

Just the right combination of cold and moist conditions last winter blanketed the trees, buildings, and grounds of the WSU Pullman campus with a layer of hoarfrost. The tiny, icy spikes added a new and beautiful dimension, even drawing my eyes to a fresh look at the cougar statue outside the Lewis Alumni Centre. I walk past that leaping figure nearly every workday, and yet rarely look at it like I did that day.

Sometimes we need a new way to perceive the world around us, even those parts that are invisible. For example, cancerous tumors notoriously adapt and resist treatment as they invade our … » More …

Bison (Photo iStock)
Winter 2018

Bison

The day the bison herd swam across the river says it all.

About 80 of the legendary mammals, known for hardiness and stubbornness, decided to cross the half-mile wide Pend Oreille River in 1994—bulls, cows, and even calves—and all survived the crossing, recalls Ray Entz, natural resources director of the Kalispel Tribe of Indians in northeast Washington.

That same rugged strength of the wooly North American bovines—whether you call them bison or buffalo—helped the entire resilient species survive. Although bison are now the national mammal of the United States, they once balanced on the cliff of extinction … » 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 …

micrograph of a tissue matrix scaffold
Winter 2018

A new dimension to fighting cancer

Any good strategist knows that an accurate map can win a battle. If your enemy is cancer, a chaotic and elusive foe that changes its environment, finding a new dimension to examine a tumor can make all the difference when developing treatments.

Like all scientists and doctors looking for ways to defeat cancer, Weimin Li wants to better understand how cancerous tumors grow and adapt. His innovative technology using 3-D tissue culture “scaffolds” delivers a far more relevant environment to research the deadly disease.

It’s a fight that Li has fought on many fronts. He spent seven years practicing oncology in China and witnessed … » More …

First Words
Fall 2018

Influence

Abraham Lincoln, when nominated for president in 1860, apologized for his lack of formal education. No apology was necessary from the articulate orator and voracious reader whose desire to learn and improve himself continued into his adulthood. Even without school, Lincoln had teachers, people who influenced his education. He moved to New Salem, Illinois, in his early 20s and studied grammar and debate under the tutelage of his mentor, remarkably named Mentor Graham, who wrote about Lincoln: “No one ever surpassed him in rapidly, quickly and well acquiring the rudiments and rules of English grammar.”

Gladys Cooper Jennings ’48 similarly served as a mentor … » More …

Wine labels
Fall 2018

Designer labels

 

Every wine has a tale and deserves a wine label that can tell that story

 

That’s what motivates Jim Carey (‘78 Comm.) and Jim Craig from Doubleknot Creative in Seattle, a branding and design firm that has carved out a niche crafting the artwork that graces many Washington vintages.

The designers have seen wine labels in Washington evolve along with the varietals and the state’s wine industry as a whole. Washington wines continue to build reputation and credibility, and going against big hitters like California’s Napa Valley, “world-class wine deserves world-class packaging,” says Craig, the creative director of the firm.

Most of all, … » More …

Huckleberries
Fall 2018

The huckleberry

In the shadowy spaces and the sunny clearings of high Northwest forests, the huckleberry waits for an eager human or bear in the late summer. Imbued with an intense sweet-sour flavor, this coveted wild treat might peek out from its glossy leaves in a jealously-protected secret location, but it will be sought and often found.

Seekers of the huckleberry—whether they are Native Americans, more recent residents of the area, or the berry-loving grizzly and black bears—hunt incessantly for the deep purple to red fruit. Even if they aren’t pickers, any Northwesterner or visitor would still find it hard to miss the huckleberry jams, shakes, pies, … » 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 …

Pete's Dragon
Fall 2018

Architect of other worlds

A green furry dragon named Elliot living in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. A twisted and pathetic creature yearning for a ring in Middle Earth. A monstrous ape, an alien jungle, a future dystopian city.

If any of these cinematic creations will capture the imaginations of moviegoers, they need the magic of visual effects created by wizards like Eric Saindon ’96. Saindon’s own imagination was stirred by animated films as a kid, which led to over two decades designing effects and leading teams of visual effects artists on some of the largest blockbusters on screen.

Much of Saindon’s career has been with » More …

First Words
Summer 2018

Express yourself

Nature or nurture? It seemed so simple a debate when I was younger and first learning biology. DNA and genes determined some of our traits, and the rest came from family, society, and other external factors.

There was certainly debate about the extent of what we could learn versus what we inherit as hard-coded genetic information. Well, that discussion is a lot more complicated now, as recent empirical research and discoveries show offspring can inherit traits developed by parents’ environment and experiences. Basically, what’s passed on to kids is not just in the genetic code.

One way that happens is through epigenetics, where heritable … » More …