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Awards and honors

Spring 2011

HaiCoug

A haiku contest with a WSU theme

Winners of the 2011 contest!

CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of the first Washington State Magazine HaiCoug contest, featuring haiku poems with a WSU theme. After reviewing almost 100 entries, we chose first, second, and third place HaiCougs based on how they evoked the WSU experience, followed the haiku structure, and presented a clever or thought provoking twist.

First place goes to Susan Picatti ’74 from Seattle. She wins a gift package from the Bookie.

Two day old Evie
In Dad’s arms; Cougs beat Huskies
The perfect first game.

The second place winner, Susy (Roark) … » More …

Kim Reykdal thumb
Summer 2016

Kim Reykdal ’94

High school counselor Kim Reykdal ’94 doesn’t wait around for students to make appointments. She searches them out.

Whether it’s scholarship applications, information about opportunities with the U.S. military, or the latest on specialty or technical colleges, Reykdal is known to work the lunchroom, if necessary, to get students setting goals for life after high school.

That commitment to student achievement earned Reykdal a trip to Washington, D.C. in January as one of four 2016 national Counselor of the Year finalists, where first lady Michelle Obama praised her efforts in a White House ceremony. The recipients also met with lawmakers and attended a congressional … » More …

Spring 2010

Dwight Damon ’62—Straight smiles

Orthodontist and inventor Dwight Damon ’62 loves to see the beautiful smiles and straight teeth of his patients. Even better, he knows they’ll look and feel better thanks to his innovative approach to orthodontic care.

Damon recently received the 2009 Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award, the University’s highest honor. The Spokane-based orthodontist is best known for creating a new system of braces that reduce pain, length of treatment, and number of teeth that need to be extracted.

In his work, Damon observed that bone and tissue in patients responded in interesting ways to reduced force on the mouth, which led him to develop a new system … » More …

Spring 2010

Of honor and friendship

One of the most successful partnerships in WSU history began in failure.

It was the spring of 1975, Kansas State University. Guy Palmer was given a piece of ore in an analytical chemistry class and told to figure out how much nickel was in it. He got it wrong, earning an F.

This happened to be in the highly competitive environment of undergraduates vying for veterinary school. About one in ten applicants would gain admission, so it was not exactly in students’ interest to help each other out. But Terry McElwain saw Palmer struggling to redo the assignment while working on a second one. He … » More …

Fall 2003

WSU Alumni Association honors Seals, Sharratt

Rupert Grant Seals, one of WSU’s first Black Ph.D.s

Rupert Grant Seals was honored twice by Washington State University, where he gained distinction as the fifth African American to earn a doctorate (’60 Animal Science).

He received the Alumni Achievement Award “for exemplary academic leadership in agricultural education, and for his advocacy and action in creating a national awareness of the vital need for increased economic support and opportunities for African Americans at land-grant universities.”

He also was named “Distinguished Graduate: Science, Education and Technology” for 2003 by the Department of Animal Sciences. Both awards were given at the April 12 animal sciences recognition banquet.

» More …

Fall 2003

WSU Mom of the Year supports family, community

Chris Rettkowski learned firsthand the positive impact his mother has on other people’s lives, including his own. When his father died of a brain tumor four-and-a-half years ago, Chris and his sister, Lynne, were left looking for answers.

Their mother, Becky Rettkowski, became “the glue that held the family together,” he said in a letter nominating her for the 2003 Washington State University Mom of the Year award.

She and four other finalists for WSU Mom were recognized April 12 during the Mom’s Weekend Brunch on campus.

Nothing could replace the love his mother has provided, Chris said. Her constant support allowed him to focus … » More …

Summer 2003

Picha, Herrick, Murdock honored by WSU Alunmi Association

Washington State University created the Alumni Achievement Award in 1969 to honor alumni who have provided significant service and contributions to their profession, community, and/or WSU. In recent months, three individuals have been recognized.

Douglas T. Picha

Douglas T. Picha, founding executive director of the Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Children’s Hospital Guild Association, was honored at the November 23, 2002 Apple Cup rally on the Pullman campus.

Picha is responsible for planning, managing, and directing a comprehensive effort to attract volunteers and private financial support for Children’s Hospital in Seattle. Gifts in fiscal 2000-2001 totalled more than $36 million. The foundation has been listed … » More …

Summer 2003

Bose and Asay are named to National Academy of Engineering

Anjan Bose and James R. Asay have been named members of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the most prestigious honor in the engineering field. Bose is dean of the College of Engineering and Architecture at Washington State University and distinguished professor in power engineering. Asay is research professor and associate director of WSU’s  Institute for Shock Physics.

Election to the NAE comes from peers within the academy, based on nominees’ outstanding contributions to their field. Founded in 1964, the NAE serves with the National Academy of Sciences as an advisory board for the federal government through the National Research Council. Out of approximately 10 … » More …

Summer 2006

Alumni Achievement 2006

The Alumni Achievement Award was created in 1970 by the alumni association board of directors “to recognize and honor alumni who have given outstanding service,…and provide encouragement to alumni for perpetual service to Washington State University.” Criteria for nomination include “significant service to Washington State University and/or outstanding contributions to community and/or profession and/or nation.” Since 1970, more than 400 deserving alumni have been honored with this award. Unfortunately, we’re able to include here only a few of the many fine Cougars honored with Alumni Achievement Awards. Following is a list of awardees since 2002.

Manzoor Ahmad ’61, Lahore, Pakistan

Robert Alessandro ’57, Gig Harbor

» More …

Summer 2006

Journalism's grandest prize

On the morning of Tuesday, May 20, 1980, journalists arrived at The Daily News, turned on their computers, and were greeted with the daily message from managing editor Bob Gaston (’67 Journ.). That day’s message was far from typical.

This was two days after the devastating eruption of Mount St. Helens and less than 24 hours after the Longview newspaper staff published an astounding 45 of its own stories and numerous jaw-dropping photographs of the deadly blast.

Although his exact words are lost to time, the gist of Gaston’s message to the newsroom was this: After just one issue, there was a tremendous buzz in … » More …