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Washington State Magazine

Summer 2017

We’re number one

My name is Krystle Lyric Arnold and I am a first-generation college student.

To nearly 70 percent of the college population nationwide, those words mean little, but to those of us who are the first in our immediate families to pursue a college degree, the description carries weight, and for good reason.

Nearly 90 percent of first-gen students fail to obtain their college degrees. The majority of first-gen students are also low-income and the U.S. Department of Education says only 9 percent of students from the lowest income brackets graduate with a four-year degree, whether or not they are first-gen.

While everyone has their own … » More …

Disappointed football fan
Summer 2017

3 cheers for the losers

Cheering fans are as ubiquitous to competitive sports as coaches and clipboards.

And something about that had always puzzled Yong-chae Rhee, an assistant professor in Washington State University’s sports management program.

After all, far more teams fall short of the ultimate goal each season than achieve it. There’s just one Super Bowl champion, for example, and 31 franchises that end up promising a better season next year. Only one of the 30 Major League Baseball teams wins the World Series. Of the 351 NCAA Division I men’s basketball programs, just 68 advance to March Madness and only one claims the title.

“This was … » More …

Summer 2017

Old remedy

Veterinarians use an old remedy to eliminate the deadliest infectious disease known to humanity. Rabies.

It was the season for guavas. Their sweet musky fragrance drifted through the morning air and into the open window of seven-year-old Sharon Korir, beckoning her outside to play.

The year was 2003, the day after Christmas. As was customary, Sharon had traveled with her parents to their home village in rural Kenya for the holiday. When it came time to return to Nairobi, the doting grandparents asked Sharon to spend an extra day.

The rains had passed and that day arrived with welcome blue skies. Sharon and her friends … » More …

Summer 2017

Careers that really clicked

As she stepped up to the employee store counter to pay her bill, LEGO® specialty products manager Katie Regan’08 pulled out a credit card bearing Washington State University’s famous logo. Jordan Paxton ’04, behind her in line, let out a shout of recognition. “Bumping into Cougars on the East Coast is a big deal,” explains Paxton, a consumer service specialist at LEGO. “It rarely happens, so when you come across a Cougar, you’re instant friends.”

Regan and Paxton soon learned they had more than Cougar pride in common. The two attended WSU at the same time, then both accepted jobs with The Walt Disney … » More …

Class Notes
Summer 2017

Class notes

1960s

Carol Lemon Allen (’61 English) and her husband Jim have both received Writers of the Year Award from the Arizona Game and Fish Department for their print and online publications Arizona Boating & Watersports/Western Outdoor Times.

Retired hotel developer and manager Larry Culver (’64 HBM) was honored with the WSU Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of his career as an innovative leader in the hospitality industry and his service to WSU. After managing hotels and restaurants throughout the United States, he helped found Innco, a developer and manager of hotels in the Midwest. He later founded InnVentures, a hotel development and management company with … » More …

In Memoriam
Summer 2017

In memoriam

1930s

Louise Kahse Spinning (’31 Hum.), 102, November 12, 2011, Davenport.

Frank Platt (x’34 Busi.), 102, December 5, 2016, Shoreline.

Geraldine “Jeri” Kerr (’37 Pharm.), 100, November 28, 2016, Newport.

Nadene Denison Hunter (’39 Zool., Kappa Alpha Theta), 98, September 12, 2016, South Dansville, New York.

1940s

Charles O. Lutton (’40 Busi.), 101, October 23, 2016, Portland, Oregon.

Beulah “Betty” J. Wills (’40 Bacterio.), 98, December 27, 2016, Spokane.

Albert James Low Jr. (’41 Chem. Eng., Phi Delta Theta), 98, December 22, 2016, Richland.

Mary McFarland (’41 Music), 95, October 28, 2016, Sandpoint, Idaho.

Blanche A. King (’42, ’46 MA Home Econ.), 99, August 12, … » More …

Summer 2017

On the surface…

Cancer, that malignant force that maims and kills as it rampages through bodies and lives, may have met its match in the person of James Wells ’79 PhD. Wells speaks quietly but with urgency. You have to lean in to not miss anything.

Wells is explaining that cancer’s derangement of our lives actually begins at the surface of individual cells. The complex chemical ecology of the cell membrane surface deserves its own term of art, so Wells dubs it the “surfaceome.” “The cell membrane is the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth of a cell,” he says.

Cancer cells, in order to avoid detection by the … » More …

Summer 2017

Becky Cain-Kellogg ’91

What do the ABC’s have in common with a treble clef? How about a children’s theater production and creative problem-solving? These questions are not riddles, says Becky Cain-Kellogg ’91, owner of the Puyallup Children’s Theater and Music Academy.

Cain-Kellogg opened the theater in Puyallup seven years ago, although she has taught music and theater for nearly 30 years. During that time, Cain-Kellogg also worked as an arts integration specialist, combining music and the arts with subjects such as math and history in schools.

Research says that children who are involved with music and theater early on gain lifelong skills—in part because there are so … » More …

Stacy Slade ’00 and Tag
Summer 2017

Stacy Slade ’00

It may be dangerous to anthropomorphize, but the pleasure on Tag’s face is pretty hard to miss as he follows his master, Stacy Slade ’00, around the ring at the prestigious Westminster Dog Show. And the glow emanating from Slade is clear, too, as she leads her handsome and graceful Bernese mountain dog to a Best of Breed win in February this year.

“I’ve been showing dogs since I was 10 years old,” Slade says a few days after she and—to use his full name—Villairns Tag You’re It got back from the show in Manhattan. “I was in Snohomish County 4-H. That’s one … » More …

John Yeager
Summer 2017

John Yeager ’06, ’08 MS, ’11 PhD

John Yeager wants to know what happens to materials all the way down to the nanoscale, even when they detonate. His curiosity led to three WSU materials science degrees, and a recent award.

Yeager ’06, ’08 MS, ’11 PhD, now works for the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s High Explosives Science and Technology group in New Mexico. He received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in January.

Established in 1996, the Presidential Early Career Award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers. Yeager is among … » More …