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Stone tools
Spring 2014

Sorting debitage from rubble

Up until fairly recently, archaeology of the western hemisphere stopped at about 13,000 years ago. Since the discovery of the beautiful and finely worked Clovis points in 1929, and subsequent discoveries of Clovis technology across the United States, archaeologists generally adopted the “Clovis First” belief, that whoever created these tools must have been the first humans to populate North America.

Over the last few decades, however, a series of dramatic discoveries have pushed the estimated arrival by humans in the Western Hemisphere further and further into the past. Dates that were once considered only on the fringes of academic archaeology are now being discussed seriously … » More …

Psychologist Craig Parks
Spring 2014

The calculus of caring and cooperation

Shortly after the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center, the American Red Cross had to wrestle with an odd sort of philanthropic success. So many people donated blood, there was far more than what was needed for the entire nation, let alone the attacks’ survivors. Many people donated money, more than $500 million. And, after covering its immediate costs, the charity diverted most of it to other Red Cross needs.

Feeling they were misled, donors and families of the 9/11 victims were not happy. The head of the Red Cross resigned, but not before being called to account to Congress.

And … » More …

Keri McCarthy
Spring 2014

Music to a closed country

Keri McCarthy, associate professor of music, traveled to Burma [the Republic of Myanmar] last summer on a project to bring reed instruments to a country that had been politically and economically isolated for many decades. The largest country in mainland Southeast Asia, Burma is a mix of large cities, lush river valleys, steep mountains in the north, spectacular landscapes throughout, and a wealth of distinct cultures.

Political changes in the past three years have caused the country to slowly open to visitors and western culture. With help from a grant from WSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, McCarthy not only took advantage of this to … » More …

artwork based on “Molecular” typeface by Mithila Shafiq
Spring 2014

Google ranking molecules

When Aurora Clark likened water molecules to webpages, and the hydrogen bonds that connect them to hyperlinks, she knew she was onto something. As she thought about it on a larger scale, billions of water molecules began resembling the World Wide Web. And where else could Clark, an associate professor of chemistry, turn to make sense of such a vast network?

Google, of course.

By adapting Google’s PageRank to determine how molecules are shaped and organized, Clark started her journey of importing concepts from computer science into her work in chemistry. First she used Google, but recently Clark has employed digital mapping principles and ideas … » More …

Spring 2014

Posts for Spring 2014

 

 

Saddened to learn

I was most saddened to learn of President Glenn Terrell’s death while reading the most recent edition of Washington State Magazine.

During the years I was a graduate student and Head Resident of Stevens Hall, President Terrell often would walk by our dorm as he went from his residence to his office. Whenever he saw me, he would smile, make eye contact, greet me by name, and often inquire about my studies. How he knew my name, I will never know. What I do know, firsthand, is the warm feeling of belonging that I felt on those many occasions … » More …

First Words
Spring 2014

First Words

This being my last “First Words,” I have struggled to conjure something profound and insightful, or at least clever, to leave you with. But I am coming up short. So I’ll just skip the philosophical and offer a few observations. Forgive me if I repeat myself. I’ll try not to get sentimental.

From Washington State Magazine’s inception, we have followed the simple principle that we would not produce anything we would not read ourselves. Add that to our tagline—“Connecting you to Washington State University, the State, the World”—and I believe we’ve created a pretty successful formula.

There are many things we deliberately decided not to … » More …

Ken Locati
Winter 2013

Catching up with WSUAA President Ken Locati ’85

Ken Locati ’85 rediscovered his Cougar side at a football viewing party. He had lost touch for a while after moving to California. But at McGregor’s Grill and Ale House in San Diego he recaptured the pleasure of watching a game with fellow WSU fans, made some new friends, and rekindled his feelings of connection to the campus in Pullman more than 1,200 miles away.

 

Before college, WSU had been a big part of his life. The Walla Walla boy was a Coach George Raveling fan and often went to Pullman for games and concerts. “It was just kind of a natural progression that … » More …

Don Cox ’46, Matt Cox ’05 D. Pharm., and David Cox ’71
Winter 2013

David Cox ’71—Generations Rx

David Cox’s life seems equally divided between his South Bend pharmacy and hunting. And family encompasses both.

Cox is the second generation of a three-generation dynasty of pharmacists in South Bend, the county seat of Pacific County, just upstream on the Willapa River from Willapa Bay.

Don Cox ’46 graduated from Washington State University twice, first in chemistry before joining the Army during World War II, then in pharmacy in 1946. He began his career in Long Beach, then started the South Bend Pharmacy in 1958. The business is difficult to miss. Just off of U.S. 101, it is painted a tasteful gray with … » More …

Helen Szablya - small
Winter 2013

Helen Szablya ’76—Living in interesting times

Only seven when World War II came to Budapest, Helen Szablya remembers that December night in 1944 when she woke to the sound of bombs. The Soviet air raid was just the beginning of a siege that lasted more than a year and led to a Soviet occupation that culminated in a bloody attempt at a revolution in 1956. 

At one point during the siege, all 22 members of Szablya’s household took shelter in a little room that was normally used for ironing. It was on a lower floor and the safest place in the house. The family and their workers stretched their supplies, eating … » More …