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Treva Lind

Winter 2003

Benzel helped set state education reform in motion

Brian Benzel embraces the challenge of helping every child master key educational skills. As superintendent of Spokane Area Schools, the second largest school district in Washington, he oversees a $264 million annual budget, more than 30,000 students, 3,500 employees, and 50 schools.

“I’m excited about what we’re trying to do with education in Spokane, in the state, and in America,” he said earlier this year from his downtown office.

“Clearly society has moved to a place where high school [education] alone is not sufficient today. It’s stated as a goal for the country that all children should be able to master those core skills—math, reading, … » More …

Winter 2003

Working to prevent another Chornobyl

“While it is devastating to see the impact of the Chornobyl accident—both economically and socially—international nuclear safety has advanced significantly because of this incident.” — Susan Senner

Teams of communications professionals at the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington, juggled shifts to respond to hoards of news media calls in April 1986 about a catastrophic accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. Susan McKenna Senner worked with this group, responding to questions about Hanford’s N-Reactor, which had some design similarities to the ill-fated Chornobyl plant. The Hanford crew manned phones and provided reassurance that multiple safety systems in place at N-Reactor would prevent such … » More …

Winter 2004

Cutting out the middle, building income

Craig Meredith wants to help Ethiopian coffee farmers become competitive in a world market. He’s using his knowledge as an agricultural engineering to assist growers in Yirgacheffe in Southern Ethiopia’s Rift Valley,  where some 445,000 farmers produce premium arabica coffee beans.

“Ethiopian coffee is 60 percent of the nation’s gross national product,” says Meredith, a resident of Post Falls, Idaho. “It is the second-most-traded commodity in the world behind oil.” However, Ethiopian farmers are some of the world’s poorest in a country where the per capita income is $100 per year, according to the office of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Meredith got involved … » More …

Spring 2003

Pailca oversees accountability within Seattle Police Department

A case involving Asian-American teenagers detained by a Seattle police officer for jaywalking sounds routine enough, but the July 2001 incident soon unfolded into highly publicized accusations of racial profiling. The issue landed in the lap of attorney Sandra “Sam” Pailca, the first director of the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) within the Seattle Police Department.

Pailca found that while the officer was rude to the group, his actions did not amount to inappropriate treatment because of race. The police chief agreed with Pailca’s call for minor discipline for the officer, a decision unpopular both in the Asian community and with many in uniform, leading … » More …

Winter 2002

Overseeing the Davenport Hotel with an appreciation for history

“It’s wonderful to be a part of an environment where all you have to do is make people happy and make them comfortable.” —Lynnelle Hull Caudill

Being part of something as elegant and historical as the Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane adds extra excitement to Lynnelle Hull Caudill’s workplace. She joined the Davenport in October 2001 during the landmark hotel’s $30 million, two-year renovation. In April she became director of operations.

While overseeing the daily workings of the hotel, she enjoys the stories she hears from so many people with strong attachments to the building. For decades the Davenport served as a favorite Northwest … » More …

Fall 2004

The art of communicating by signing

Fingers flew at a rapid pace for Nancy Kikendall during the 2002-03 academic year at Gallaudet University for the deaf and hard of hearing in Washington, D.C. She was among only a few hearing students accepted into the school’s graduate program. The experience, she says, greatly improved her American Sign Language (ASL) skills.

“Anyone in the deaf community knows Gallaudet is the top of the top. It was an honor,” said Kikendall, while relaxing at her Liberty Lake home near Spokane last November. About 98 percent of Gallaudet’s 2,000 students are deaf or hard of hearing.

“Most classes are taught in sign, so you have … » More …

Fall 2004

Spray-cooling

Military adopts ISR technology in aircraft, ground vehicles

For reliability, advanced electronics need to be maintained at a stable temperature. This isn’t always possible in extreme military conditions. Isothermal Systems Research (ISR) has found one solution that’s winning awards and military contracts: spray-cooling.

Mechanical engineer Don Tilton developed the technology for a self-enclosed spray-cooling chassis about the size of a small microwave oven. A chemical liquid inside is sprayed onto electronics, dissipating heat on circuit boards and processors through evaporation, keeping the electronics at a stable, uniform temperature. In June 2003, the Defense Department gave ISR a Value Engineering Achievement Award in Washington, D.C., for … » More …

Summer 2004

Toys, Games, and Unique Gifts: Entrepreneurial spirit drives Edmistons

Two niche markets-toys/games and a Web site for gifts-have taken husband-and-wife entrepreneurs into new territories.

Steve Edmiston is president of Seattle’s Front Porch Classics. The company creates retro-feel toys and games. Melody Wickline Edmiston has created a Web-based consumer retail site specializing in high-quality and hard-to-find gift ideas. The couple lives in Des Moines. Both are Washington State University alumni.

Before joining the game company, Steve had created a Dread Pirate game as a Christmas gift for their daughters, 12 and 8. The game eventually developed into one of Front Porch Classics’ leading products.

Melody (’84 Bus. Adm.) watched the marketing of that game, later … » More …