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Washington State Magazine

Talk Back
Fall 2017

Talkback for Fall 2017

 

Even more Olympic connections

In “Cougs at the Olympics” in the Talkback section of our Fall ’16 issue, Don Brust asked the question regarding what other Cougs had the opportunity to go to the Olympic Games. Another response:

In 1978 the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) moved its headquarters from New York to Colorado Springs. At that time I was working there for CPAs Haskins & Sells. The USOC’s business manager/controller did not want to relocate, so I decided to apply and was lucky enough to be selected. The end result was that I was able to attend two Pan American Games (San Juan … » More …

Fall 2017

Plant for the future

Somewhere in the dryland wilds of eastern Washington, Michael Neff and his wife stop the car.

“I’ve always wanted to hike these dunes,” he says to her. “I could not believe the grasses that were stabilizing those dunes!” Neff says later. He refuses to identify where, exactly, the dunes in question are located. “It’s those little pockets of diversity that we need to identify and preserve,” he explains, almost—but not quite—apologetic.

Trained as a botanist and now a professor of molecular biology at Washington State University, Neff expands on why this is important: “If we’re going to be resilient in the face of climate … » More …

Jennifer Eskil
Fall 2017

Jennifer Eskil ’81

After 30 years of shepherding environmental and energy efficiency projects around the Northwest, Jennifer Eskil ’81 retired last spring with accolades.

Her employer, the Bonneville Power Administration, certainly recognized her achievements. BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer presented the Walla Walla resident with the agency’s highest honor, the BPA Meritorious Service Award.

Eskil received the distinction during the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 awards program in March. The award recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to BPA’s mission through excellence in their chosen field for 10 years or more. Eskil was the industrial and agriculture sector lead in energy efficiency.

“Eskil is regarded as … » More …

Alicia Cooper
Fall 2017

Alicia Cooper

Many college students balance a full load of classes and activities, but it’s pretty rare to juggle all that plus the crown of Miss Washington 2016. Alicia Cooper, a senior at Washington State University Vancouver, works as a real estate broker as she studies personnel psychology and human resources—and she was third runner-up for Miss America in 2016 after winning the Miss Washington competition.

Cooper credits her grandmother with inspiring her. When she passed away after a 13-year battle with breast cancer, “I realized how significantly she impacted every person who knew her,” says Cooper. She took her grandmother’s lessons to heart, volunteering as … » More …

Jamie Callison and students
Fall 2017

Bounty of the Palouse

Each fall, the WSU Alumni Association’s wildly popular Feast of the Arts dinner series brings together some of the very best aspects of WSU for a can’t-miss evening. These special dinners feature wines from a different Coug winery expertly paired with exquisite food courses by Executive Chef Jamie Callison of the Carson College of Business School of Hospitality Business Management and his talented students.

“I work with my students to craft a menu inspired by WSU-focused fare—like fresh vegetables from the WSU Organic Farm and Wagyu beef from the Premium Beef Program,” Chef Jamie explains. The Feast also incorporates the WSU » More …

Book - Briefly Noted
Fall 2017

Briefly noted for Fall 2017

The Positive Leader: Five Leadership Strategies for Attaining Extraordinary Results

Howard Gauthier ’81

Sports Leadership Publishing Company: 2016

Through a series of parables, this book gives leadership strategies designed to build successful teams in the workplace, on the playing field, or in the boardroom. Gauthier is a former college basketball coach and athletic director, and is currently an associate professor of sports science at Idaho State University-Meridian.

 

Midwives and Mothers: Medicalization of Childbirth on a Guatemalan Plantation

Sheila Cosminsky ’64 MA

University of Texas Press: 2016

In this exploration of birth, illness, death, and survival on a Guatemalan sugar and coffee plantation, Cosminsky looks … » More …

First Words
Summer 2017

Left turns

I recently learned that drivers for UPS make 90 percent of their turns to the right. Since 2004, the package delivery company has had a policy to avoid left turns. They save millions of gallons of fuel and dollars each year because there’s less idling.

While I applaud the UPS effort to save gas and reduce emissions, there’s still something adventurous about the left turn, the unexpected veer in a new direction. We often refer to a left turn as a complete shift in our lives. Some of us even change our entire careers, such as Washington State University alumni Berenice Burdet, Richard Larsen, and … » More …

rollable electronics
Summer 2017

Organic electronics on a roll

In the near future, your local hardware store could include a “green electronics” counter where friendly clerks unspool sheets of plastic film and print devices while you wait.

Need a few more solar panels? No problem.

How about a flexible LED lighting strip? This roll over here.

Computer? Loudspeaker? Or maybe transparent, energy-producing panels for your greenhouse? On sale today!

Though the scene is hypothetical, the emerging technology for organic, thin-film polymer plastics is up and running in laboratories around the world, including those of the Collins Research Group at Washington State University.

Led by assistant professor of physics Brian Collins, the enthusiastic … » More …