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John Yeager
Summer 2017

John Yeager ’06, ’08 MS, ’11 PhD

John Yeager wants to know what happens to materials all the way down to the nanoscale, even when they detonate. His curiosity led to three WSU materials science degrees, and a recent award.

Yeager ’06, ’08 MS, ’11 PhD, now works for the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s High Explosives Science and Technology group in New Mexico. He received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in January.

Established in 1996, the Presidential Early Career Award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers. Yeager is among … » More …

grape vine illustration
Summer 2017

Hanging a left at wine

The allure of winemaking has attracted a menagerie of professionals to the business. Washington State University’s Viticulture and Enology Program has lured aerospace engineers, Army medics, apparel designers, scientists, and many others to the field. Here, we bring you a few of the stories of those who have changed careers by hanging a left at wine.

After years of dissecting rat brains, Berenice Burdet had had enough.

The Argentinian neuroscientist was untangling stress’s web of physiological effects on the hippocampus. The stress we feel in a crammed subway train, Burdet says, affects our behavior by dampening affect. We become depressed, and activity levels decline. … » More …

Talk Back
Summer 2017

Talkback for Summer 2017


Waste not

I enjoyed reading “Waste Not” in the Spring ’17 issue of Washington State Magazine. I learned a lot and was especially intrigued by the part about microwave sterilization and preservation.

I thought I would clarify to readers that, while composting food waste still releases greenhouse gasses, if treated properly with balanced carbon-to-nitrogen ratios, aeration, and moisture, decaying food waste favors carbon dioxide and releases less methane than that same material would in a landfill, where moisture, aeration, and the rot recipe are far from optimal. Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Animal husbandry is the missing … » More …

Video: This is W.S.C. – 1952, featuring Edward R. Murrow

An introduction to Washington State College from 1952, narrated by Edward R. Murrow.

This film shows campus and student activities in 1952, from engineering students to football games to housing. Edward R. Murrow narrates the tour around WSC, which emphasizes research, practical training and extension mission as a land grant college.

Courtesy: WSU Libraries – Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections

Excerpt: 5 minutes, 32 seconds

Spring 2009

Gallery: Annotated pages from early English editions of Montaigne’s Essays

Selected pages from copies of Montaigne’s Essays, from Will Hamlin.

Return to article: Privacy and the Words of the Dead 


From Privacy and the Words of the Dead, by Will Hamlin

…It’s very unlikely that these long-forgotten readers expected anyone to scrutinize their thoughts–anyone, that is, beyond their own immediate audience, which was often an audience of one. Yes, it’s true that the social construction of privacy varies tremendously from one culture to another, and it may be the case that seventeenth-century English readers felt that they were improving Montaigne when they filled his book with … » More …

Talk Back
Spring 2017

TalkBack for Spring 2017


Where would the wood?… 

I enjoyed the article “Wood Takes Wing” in the Winter 16 edition of Washington State Magazine on the many possibilities for wood as a new source of carbon molecules for all of those polymers we take for granted. Technologies that allow us to reduce burning of fossil fuels for energy recognize its highest value. The potential for atmospheric carbon reduction is a plus.

But there was an unasked question hanging behind the article—where will the timber come from to fill the old mills? The same environmental groups who just say no to transporting or burning fossil fuels also eagerly block … » More …

Book - Briefly Noted
Spring 2017

Briefly noted


No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon

Erik Weihenmayer and Buddy Levy

Thomas Dunne Books: 2017 

After Weihenmayer became the first and only blind man to reach the top of Mount Everest, he decided his next adventure would be to traverse the treacherous Grand Canyon by kayak. He and Levy, a Washington State University instructor, chronicle the turbulent whitewater journey, and the insights gained by Weihenmayer and other trailblazers he has met.


Unusual Punishment: Inside the Walla Walla Prison, 1970–1985

Christopher Murray

WSU Press: 2016

Murray was an employee of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services … » More …

Class Notes
Spring 2017

Class notes


James Moll (’72 Comm.) was recognized as a local hero in Butte County, California, by the local newspaper. Moll, who has worked in radio and serves as emcee for community events, is known as “The Voice of Oroville.” He was recognized for his efforts to help restore the historic State Theatre in downtown Oroville. Moll served as president of the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and led a drive to build a new shelter for the surrounding community.

Pierce College Chancellor Michele Johnson (’74 Poli. Sci., ’75 MA Poli. Sci.) won the Chief Executive Officer award for the Pacific region, … » More …

In Memoriam
Spring 2017

In memoriam


Robert William Pirie (’40 Forest & Range Mgmt.), 99, October 17, 2016, Tacoma.

Dorothy M. Pirie (’41 Home Econ.), 96, April 27, 2016, Tacoma.

Blanche Adams King (’42, ’46 MA Home Econ.), 98, September 12, 2016, Pullman.

Charles E. Gardner (’43 Chem. Eng.), 93, October 17, 2016, Sonoma, California.

Frances Evelyn Hurd (’43 Home Econ.), 90, July 24, 2012, Spokane.

Warren Kelble Smith (’43 Busi.), 94, May 15, 2016, Shoreline.

Jean Gleason Witt (’43, ’48 MS Botany), 95, August 27, 2016, Des Moines.

James L. Frederickson (’44 DVM), 95, August 1, 2016, Bakersfield, California.

Verna Lou Hisey (’44 Phys. Ed.), 95, November 14, 2016, … » More …