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Communication

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 …

Fall 2003

Don't be afraid to stumble

In her May 10 commencement address, Kathi Goertzen (’90 Comm.) provided words of advice to new graduates of Washington State University’s College of Liberal Arts.

“As you go out into the world and pursue your careers or the next step in your lives, don’t worry when you stumble. Just remember that success is really nothing more than a succession of failures.”

The news anchor for Seattle’s KOMO-TV added, “Believe in something larger than yourself and get involved in some of the big issues of your time. . . . Give back. Serving the community is an honor. It’s a privilege.”

Some 2,250 students-2,000 undergraduates and … » More …

Winter 2006

The sportswriter

If Janie McCauley were telling this story, she wouldn’t bury the lead. She’d say right away that she is the Associated Press’s 2006 Sports Writer of the Year.

 Add a little color, some solid quotes like, “I was surprised to get the award. There are so many good writers doing good stories all around the country,” and a few action words like “dwell,” “delve,” and “dive,” and that’s where many writers would stop.

But Janie looks for the story beneath the story. She dwells on details, delves into players’ personal interests, dives into their lives outside of the stadiums and ball parks.

As far back … » More …

Winter 2006

An American in Albania

Adapted from a series of e-mail messages from the author to friends and associates.

Introduction

Since serving three terms as ASWSU president as an undergraduate, I have never lost my passion for the process of student representation. I’ve tried to be a help to as many student leaders as possible, and I have wound up speaking at a lot of conferences around the nation, and even helped found the American Student Government Association (the only professional association for student governments) in 2003.

Earlier this year, I was asked by the State Department to do a speaking/training tour in Albania to assist their effort to create … » More …

Fall 2006

Blogger's world

Amelia Veneziano, a junior at Washington State University, has a weakness when it comes time to do her homework. When she settles in to her Pullman apartment and turns on her computer, instead of researching a paper or e-mailing a professor, she keys into her personal reflections and posts them on her blog.

Veneziano, “a virgo and a journalism student at wonderful wazzu” according to her internet Web-log page, spends at least five minutes writing about her latest crush, her deeds for the day, the results of the “What are you looking for in a relationship?” quiz she got from a friend, and, of course, … » 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 …

Summer 2007

Fighting for a free press

Brian Schraum ditched school for several days in January. The 19-year-old Washington State University junior wasn’t playing hooky, though. He was testifying in Olympia on behalf of a free-press bill he inspired.

Schraum, a communication major, is trying to protect high school and college newspapers from censorship. House Bill 1307, which Schraum helped Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D-Des Moines) craft, would put the full weight of editorial decisions in the hands of the student editors. Even in high schools.

Last year, as editor of the Green River Community College newspaper, Schraum realized that while he had the freedom to print what he chose, that freedom wasn’t … » More …

Winter 2001

Life’s twists and turns lead WSU alumna to success

“At Washington State, I found … professors who encouraged us to formulate our own thoughts and opinions.” —Jodi Vevoda

At one time or another, we’ve all formulated plans for where we want to be five, 10, 20 years down the road. But life has a way of making its own plans for us. No one knows that better than Jodi Vevoda, vice president of advertising for USA TODAY.

After graduating in 1979 from Washington State University, where she focused on interior design, she interviewed at several design firms. She was surprised to receive the same advice from each of them: Gain experience in sales … » More …

Winter 2002

A common reader: Trouble in Dusty Gulch

I really should be more worried about this. It’s my living, after all. For 20 years I’ve been presenting a kind of music so wildly varied in time (seven centuries and more), in style (Morris dances, Joplin rags, Mahlerian stairways to heaven, Copland cowboy ballets), and in instrumentation (shawms and zithers along with the violins and cellos), that the term “classical” is as inadequate in describing it all as calling the United States of America, Dusty Gulch, Nevada, just to avoid the complexities. But we call the music Dusty Gulch anyway, and there’s trouble in Dusty Gulch. Always has been, to tell you the truth.

» 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 …