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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 …

Fall 2003

Richardson era ends with her best

“Someone like her only comes along once a career.” —Rick Sloan

Ellannee Richardson had just run the race of her life: a blistering 800-meter time of 2 minutes, 12.04 seconds, a personal record, in the final event of the heptathlon at June’s NCAA Track and Field Championships in Sacramento.

It should have been enough for Richardson, a redshirt senior at Washington State University, to win her first NCAA title.

But in the world of track and field, you can never fully control what anyone else does. And as Richardson caught her breath, just 13 seconds after she crossed the line, her dream ended.

Needing … » More …

Fall 2003

Dick Bennett's mantra: "Play hard, smart, and together"

In more than three decades of coaching, Dick Bennett has developed a simple philosophy about basketball. It’s a team game.

“Once players understand and embrace that concept, basketball becomes simple-at both ends of the floor,” he says.” Viewed strictly as an individual showcase, it becomes more difficult. There is room for individual play to shine within the team framework, but in Bennett’s scheme of things, “we” takes precedence over “me.”

Listening to Washington State University’s new basketball boss talk about the game, one learns about the sport and the man. He’s as much a student of the game as he is a teacher/coach. He … » More …

Fall 2003

Tasting Washington

The setting is elegant, the food divine, the wine fine and endless and magnificently diverse. On a Sunday evening in June, the Grand Pennington Ballroom at Spokane’s Davenport Hotel is filled with representatives of more than 60 Washington wineries and 20 area restaurants, caterers, and markets-and hundreds of Washington wine devotees.

Taste Washington has paired samplings of Washington food and wine, much to the gathering’s enjoyment. In the process, the celebrants are supporting Washington State University’s fledgling Viticulture and Enology Program and the School of Hospitality Business Management, as well as the Davenport District Arts Board.

A celebratory note also resonates among the participants who … » More …

Fall 2003

Designing for dementia

A common clothesline can make a difference in preserving the dignity and self identity of Alzheimer’s patients, says Keith Diaz Moore, Washington State University professor of architecture and landscape architecture.

At Sedgewood Commons in Falmouth, Maine, a backyard clothesline engages residents of the 96-bed care facility in daily household tasks. It also represents how designers now are considering cultural aspects in building new and remodeled assisted-living facilities, explains Diaz Moore. “An outdoor yard, including a clothesline, historically has been an important part of New England family culture. Here it helps promote resident autonomy, and the ritual of maintaining the landscape encourages awareness and orientation.”

Diaz … » More …

Fall 2003

The benefits of mustard

Remember your first encounter with classic Chinese mustard? Your seared sinuses? Your cheeks washed with involuntary tears?

What you tasted was the indelicate reaction of the mustard plant’s chemical compounds, probably enhanced by the wetness of your mouth.

That same volatile reaction is being applied by Columbia Basin farmers to control pests and weeds, improve the productivity of their soils, reduce the use of chemicals, and improve air quality for downwind communities.

Mustard is becoming the crop of choice as a green manure grown in the rotations of many potato producers. Research is showing that in addition to improving the physical and chemical characteristics of … » 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 …

Fall 2003

The first casualty

Vietnam was the last conflict in which reporters could speak and write with prudent freedom.

During one of the nation’s many wars, I wrote of a patrol that came under fire and killed an enemy soldier. Before continuing, the GIs cut off the dead man’s genitals, and forced them into his mouth, leaving also a playing card-Ace of Spades-on his body. The soldiers said that such were enemy superstitions, that they would not cross over a dead man so festooned, thus it was required to keep the other side effectively tethered if the patrol was to complete its mission.

It was a poor excuse for … » More …

Fall 2003

Wings to Fly

Mia Song Swartwood hovered over the Gladish Auditorium stage on pointe, adorned in vibrant plumage of gold, teal, and purple, arms stretched skyward, joyous in flight. Cast in the lead role of The Sparrow Queen, the May 10 inaugural production of Pullman’s Graham Academy of Contemporary Ballet, Swartwood embodied the free spirit that ultimately unites two estranged sisters in the ballet based on a Japanese fairy tale.

Swartwood’s own life is something of a fairy tale that began in South Korea. Left at a local Catholic Children’s Services Center in Inchon the day she was born, Swartwood was adopted a year later by Jim and … » More …

Fall 2003

Learning through collaborative research

In the world of research things aren’t always what they seem, or are supposed to be. Psychology students at Washington State University learned that last spring while working together, interpreting data, and writing up results. At an undergraduate research symposium in April, a dozen student presenters used large poster boards to explain their semester-long projects. Seven of the 12 received small research grants.

The purpose of the one-day symposium was to “encourage hands-on, face-to-face learning though collaborative research between psychology majors and faculty mentors,” says coordinator Samantha Swindell, who oversees undergraduate instruction in psychology at WSU.

The projects were varied. Some used animals in fundamental … » More …