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Larry Clark ’94

Spring 2011

Canjo

You’ve enjoyed the cheese, but what do you do with a Cougar Gold can?

John Elwood ’01 builds fine stringed instruments—dulcimers, mandolins, banjos, harpsichords— so using the iconic tin Cougar Gold can to craft a banjo seemed a logical choice. The Palouse-area resident created a canjo, a fretless, tunable instrument for all ages.

“These are three-string, robust instruments, have the scale dimensions of a violin, and are inexplicably pleasant to the ear,” says Elwood. “I blame it on the excellence of the cheese.”

His affection for WSU’s signature cheddar developed early as he helped his father, Lewis Elwood ’65, clean Troy Hall, the former … » More …

Spring 2011

Digging the new EcoWell

Students and faculty develop a mighty thirst after working out at WSU’s Student Recreation Center, and now they have a new, healthy, and environmentally friendly option to quench it.

The EcoWell vending machine’s slick iPhone-like touchscreen lets users choose their water (purified, carbonated, or hot), add any percentage and mix of juices, and include energy supplements if desired. But thirsty patrons better have their own bottles. An EcoWell machine only dispenses drinks, not disposable containers.

EcoWell grew from the minds and efforts of Reid Schilperoort ’10, Brian Boler ’09, and Andy Whitaker ’09, now at MIT graduate school, when they were students in the … » More …

Spring 2011

Gary Brinson ’68—Investing in the world

As businesses became more international and markets around the world grew increasingly interconnected over the last three decades, a forward-thinking investor could succeed with a global portfolio. Gary Brinson was one of the earliest of those investors.

He recognized in the 1970s that the markets outside the United States were not, as conventional wisdom dictated, excessively risky. In the right balance, he reasoned, they could actually lead to greater diversification and solid returns.

Brinson ’68 received the University’s highest honor last fall, the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award, because of his achievements in institutional investing and his pioneering approach to global markets.

That investment acumen—worth … » More …

Spring 2011

Real investments return real experience

Stock symbols and percentages march across a long ticker screen, but it’s not a Wall Street brokerage firm. It’s the fourth floor of Todd Hall at WSU, and the eyes monitoring the stock market belong to undergraduates managing the Cougar Investment Fund.

The students invest $1 million of the university’s endowment—the Cougar Investment Fund—in a large capitalization equity portfolio. Under the supervision of Rick Sias, WSU finance professor and Gary P. Brinson Chair of Investment Management, the class has outperformed the S&P 500 since 2001.

Sias approached the WSU Foundation and suggested the program in 2000. “We wouldn’t charge any fee—unlike most managers. We … » More …

Spring 2011

A Marvelous Hundred Square Miles: Black Hills Tourism, 1880–1941

marv100-cover

Suzanne Barta Julin ’01 PhD
South Dakota State Historical Society Press, 2010

The faces of four presidents gaze down on the Black Hills of South Dakota, a fitting vigil for a tourist destination carved, like Mount Rushmore itself, by public policy, political machinations, and private investments.

Historian Suzanne Barta Julin has documented the rise of the Black Hills tourism industry, which grew from the efforts of state and federal politicians at the shift to automobile-driven … » More …

Winter 2010

Vol. XIII: "White Bed"

super-xx-man

White Bed
Super XX Man, 2010

Mining Neil Young’s “Harvest,” Eels’ “Electroshock Blues,” and a wealth of indie rockers, Super XX Man creates an alloy of fine instrumentation and catchy pop melodies to memorialize lead singer Scott Garred’s father on “White Bed.”

Garred ’95 sings lead vocals and plays several instruments, with drummer Adam Mack and bassist Daren Claymon, on deeply personal songs recounting Garred’s dad’s life and eventual battle with cancer. Reflecting on … » More …

Winter 2010

How to Implement Lean Manufacturing

lean-man

Lonnie Wilson ’69
McGraw -Hill Professional, 2009

The rise of Toyota in the 1980s showed manufacturers a fundamental change in methods, called “Lean Manufacturing.” After 20 years in management, Lonnie Wilson (’69, Chemical Engineering) now consults with companies on Lean Manufacturing methods.

Wilson’s How to Implement Lean Manufacturing offers manufacturers an engineer’s perspective on reducing waste and inefficiency through quantity control. He outlines the tools of Lean Manufacturing—particularly 100 percent efficiency and “Just In Time” … » More …

Winter 2010

An Election for the Ages: Rossi vs. Gregoire, 2004

election

Trova Heffernan
WSU Press, 2010

Every couple of years, we engage in the most basic of democratic activities: voting. Elections typically run smoothly and uneventfully. Sometimes they whip up a tornado of controversy, such as Washington’s whisker-thin gubernatorial election in 2004, following on the heels of Bush vs. Gore in 2000, with Florida’s hanging chads and legal wrangling.

Dino Rossi and Chris Gregoire faced off to be Washington’s next governor in 2004. After the ballot-counting … » More …

Fall 2010

Getting Even: The Truth About Workplace Revenge and How to Stop It

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Thomas A. Tripp and Robert J. Bies
Jossey-Bass, 2009

Most people who have worked in a group have probably faced a “getting even” situation. I remember a woman who asked colleagues in our shared office space not to wear perfume. A co-worker who felt personally affronted didn’t respond directly, but she soon began applying her fragrance at her desk.

For managers, or anyone working in an organization, the consequences of a workplace conflict can quickly … » More …