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Podcast

Eric McElroy plays piano in a studio
Fall 2023

A composer’s journey to poetry and music

Eric McElroy is an American pianist and composer who released his debut album, Tongues of Fire, in March 2023 on Somm Recordings. He wrote the songs to accompany poems from modern poets W.S. Merwin, Gregory Leadbetter, Grevel Lindop, Alice Oswald, and Robert Graves. The poems are sung by acclaimed English tenor James Gilchrist and McElroy performs on piano.

McElroy graduated from Washington State University and then continued his postgraduate education in Vienna and Oxford University.

In this episode, Washington State Magazine editor Larry Clark talks with McElroy about the new album, his creative process, poetry, walking, and his influences at WSU and beyond.

 

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Dean Janikowski wearing cowboy hat at high school football game with his mom Heather.
Fall 2023

More than a kick

Dean Janikowski is the kicker for Washington State University’s football team, a 2022 graduate and currently an MBA student at WSU. He also has a great time on Instagram and other social media with photos and videos playing football for the Cougs, riding dirt bikes, and kicking spicy Chicken McNuggets.

In this episode, Dean talks with Washington State Magazine writer Becky Kramer about raising money for the Heather Janikowski Foundation, a charity named for his mom, who died of cancer.

Dean also talks about how he started his sports career in soccer, NIL (name, image, and likeness), and his … » More …

Kellie Zimmerman. Courtesy Brightloom
Summer 2023

Kellie Zimmerman, Brightloom, and adventures in tech

Kellie Zimmerman (’01 Busi.) is no stranger to the Seattle tech scene. And she’s on a new adventure in the industry.

She spent over 15 years building and leading teams in companies such as Concur and Avalara.

Kellie Zimmerman. Courtesy Brightloom

Zimmerman is now CEO of Bellevue-based startup Brightloom, which leverages AI and data to help restaurants such as El Pollo Loco, Ruby Tuesday, and Jamba Juice accelerate their marketing and customer engagement.

In this episode of Viewscapes, she talks about the twists and … » More …

James Donaldson stands in a park in front of ocean
Spring 2022

James Donaldson’s gift of life

James Donaldson had a great college and professional basketball career, a physical therapy business, and many aspirations, even in retirement from sports.

But over the course of several years, illness, bankruptcy, divorce, and circumstances in life sent Donaldson into a dark mental spiral. He found his way back, writing a book about his struggles and starting a foundation to help others.

In this episode, Donaldson talks with magazine associate editor Adriana Janovich about his struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts, his recovery and memoir, and his desire to help other men, especially men of color, who face the same darkness.

Donaldson, a 1979 alum of … » More …

Tom Haig gives a surprised expression while rolling his wheelchair
Summer 2023

No obstacles for this global nomad

Tom Haig (’09 Comm.) loves adventure. From his high-flying diving days of youth to his recovery from a bicycling accident that left him paralyzed, Haig keeps on moving.

He chronicles his life, struggles, and triumphs in a new memoir from Basalt Books, Global Nomad: My Travels through Diving, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Haig writes with wit and candor about the ups and downs of adventure, culminating in his new career as a documentary filmmaker.

In this episode, Haig talks with Washington State Magazine editor Larry Clark about reinventing his life, writing his book, and where he’s going next.

 

Transcript

Robot hand typing
Spring 2023

Ethical dilemmas of AI-generated art and stories

ChatGPT, DALL-E, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion—names that most of us hadn’t heard more than a couple of years ago now represent a slew of creative programs powered by artificial intelligence.

Large language model AI programs can write stories and articles, make illustrations and artwork, and converse with users using prompts. But what does it mean for human artists and writers? Will AI steal jobs and creative works? How should people approach the thorny ethical thicket around AI-generated art?

Mark Fagiano, an assistant professor of philosophy at Washington State University, talks with Larry Clark, editor of Washington State Magazine, about how ethics in action and … » More …

Spring 2023

Helen Szablya in her own words

Helen Szablya’s recent memoir details her escape from Communism in her native Hungary, her time at Washington State University, and then her roles as an honorary consul to Hungary.

Szablya and her family fled their home country of Hungary and its Communist regime in a harrowing journey under the cover of night in 1956.

They traveled to Austria, Canada, and then to Pullman, Washington, where Helen received a degree, her husband John was an engineering professor, and they raised their family.

She tells the full story in the second volume of her memoir, From Refugee to Consul. Adriana Janovich, associate editor of Washington State Magazine, … » More …

Buddy Levy
Spring 2023

Empire of Ice and Stone: A chat with author Buddy Levy

The treacherous Arctic is the setting of a harrowing true story of shipwreck, disaster, and survival in the early twentieth century. Acclaimed adventure writer Buddy Levy, also a creative writing and English professor at Washington State University, talks with Washington State Magazine associate editor Adriana Janovich about his latest book, Empire of Ice and Stone: The Disastrous and Heroic Voyage of the Karluk.

The second of three nonfiction historical narratives by master storyteller Levy about survival and exploration in the Arctic wilderness, this book tracks the voyage of the Karluk to the Bering Sea and its destruction in the ice, leaving crew, Inuit guides, and … » More …