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Alumni

Spring 2011

Video: Finding the right note

“The heartbeat is the basis of rhythm.”

For 40 years, Washington State University alumnus John Elwood has followed that beat to create music and instruments.

Making something from nothing, to share with others, is his delight, he said. He carves wood into a variety of instruments. He also makes “canjos” – a take-off of a banjo made from string, a solid wood neck and a can. The can from Cougar Gold – a cheese made at the WSU Pullman creamery – is a local favorite

To learn more about Elwood, his music and the canjo, watch the video.

Summer 2011

Hard Water

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Massy Ferguson
Spark & Shine Records, 2010

Insistently local, yet tapping into a national legacy of country and blues rock, Massy Ferguson’s second album Hard Water travels the back roads of Washington and treacherous paths of relationships with guitar, drum, and organ-driven songs.

Dave Goedde ’92, Adam Monda ’94, and Jason “J” Kardong ’94 team up with Ethan Anderson and Tony Mann to play the Seattle-based band’s country-tinged rock reminiscent of The Jayhawks, Bruce Springsteen, … » More …

Summer 2011

Murder at Foxbluff Lake

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Jesse E. Freels ’99
Gray Dog Press, 2010

Cougar fans of all ages will enjoy reading Jesse E. Freels’s first book, Murder at Foxbluff Lake, a Coug Hawkins mystery. The novel tells the story of Coug, the teenage son of a WSU football legend, who goes on a camping trip with two of his buddies only to find a body and wind up entangled in an illegal drug deal.

The book is set in north- central Washington … » More …

Summer 2011

A Home for Every Child

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Patricia Susan Hart ’91 MA, ’97 PhD
Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest with University of Washington, 2010

At the end of the 19th century, adoption became part of a broader movement to reform the orphanage and poor farm system in the United States. In her most recent book, Patricia Susan Hart, who teaches journalism and American studies at the University of Idaho, looks at the issue of child placement in Washington. The … » More …

Summer 2011

Fishes of the Columbia Basin: A guide to their natural history and identification

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Dennis Dauble ’78
Keokee Books, 2009

It’s really pretty remarkable how much Dennis Dauble has managed to squeeze into this book of a mere 210 pages. If you read Fishes of the Columbia Basin:

You will get a good briefing on fish in Columbia Basin Indian culture and history.
You will know about the history of the introduced shad and its movement up the Columbia following the inundation of Celilo Falls.
You … » More …

Spring 2011

Black Leapt In

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Chris Forhan ’82
Barrow Street Books, 2009

In Chris Forhan’s latest collection of poems, Black Leapt In, the writer draws upon his childhood in Seattle, using striking natural images and startling honesty and insight. He balances straightforward description of the environment he grew up in with an older, wiser voice that recollects, sometimes sarcastically, that time in his life. Forhan dedicated Black Leapt In to his father, who died in 1973, and many of the … » More …

Spring 2011

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

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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 …

Spring 2011

Friends of the Old Mill

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Cody Beebe and the Crooks
Friends of the Old Mill, 2010

This new roots-rock album has compelling lyrics, musical variety, and an overall upbeat feel. Cody Beebe and the Crooks (most of whom are WSU alumni) offer up twelve tracks with titles such as “Nine to Chain,” “Change of Pace,” and “Hurricane,” a pleasing assortment of rock/jazz/funk songs that contrast nicely in their use of instruments and varying tempos. Guitar is prevalent throughout, but … » More …

Winter 2010

Mommy, Are We French yet?

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Shawn Underwood ’79
Five-Star Misadventures, 2010

Don’t have enough money to travel to Europe? Sit down with this humorous memoir by Shawn Underwood and it’s easy to take an imaginary journey to France with Shawn and her family. Shawn and her husband Craig made the decision to live abroad in France for a year with their three children.  Shawn’s sister, Shannon, her husband Rick, and their three children also joined the Underwoods in their … » More …

Winter 2010

Mrs. Annathena Gilly Gully From Puddle Rumple Tilly Willy

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Chellis Swenson Jensen ’53
Fairwood Press, Inc., 2010

Chellis Swenson Jensen has created a quirky lady backed by her pet parrot, Maurice. Tired of the neighborhood children’s teasing, the lead character decides the solution is to change her name. Only when she recognizes that she, too, can laugh at her name and accept it does she decide to talk with the children.

The story is a collaboration amongst Chellis, her son, Paul Swenson (illustrator), … » More …