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Washington State Magazine

Ken Alexander
Spring 2014

An inquiring mind

“Kenneth was interested in everything,” says Alexander’s mother Marilyn. When her son was four or five, “He would climb on his [father’s] lap and I remember Jack reading radiochemistry out loud to him.”

Once, a small telescope triggered a fascination for the stars and “his dad spent some cold nights outside with him,” says his mother. He also loved music, played the trombone, and as a teen, made frequent trips out of town to play with the local orchestra.

Jack Alexander was the first radiologist hired at WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He was also head of medicine and surgery. Science, medicine, and the … » More …

Spring 2014

A true story fraught with peril

As disaster-obsessed scientists go, geologists must be near the top of the list. They deal with time scales spanning billions of years, so a set of catastrophes occurring 10 million years ago is like yesterday. Something in the last century comes close to being, well, now. 

And they see catastrophe all over the place.

Take the roadcut near the Old Moscow Road. It’s a modest pile of crumbling rock, but John Wolff and Rick Conrey can see in its surrounding rock a thick blanket of hot lava inundating southeast Washington.

“It covers an area that goes from here to Spokane to The Dalles, buried at … » More …

First Words
Spring 2014

First Words

This being my last “First Words,” I have struggled to conjure something profound and insightful, or at least clever, to leave you with. But I am coming up short. So I’ll just skip the philosophical and offer a few observations. Forgive me if I repeat myself. I’ll try not to get sentimental.

From Washington State Magazine’s inception, we have followed the simple principle that we would not produce anything we would not read ourselves. Add that to our tagline—“Connecting you to Washington State University, the State, the World”—and I believe we’ve created a pretty successful formula.

There are many things we deliberately decided not to … » More …

Northside Residence Hall, WSU
Winter 2013

Posts for Winter 2013

Water to the Promised Land

I thoroughly enjoyed the article on the Columbia Basin Irrigation project in the recent issue of WSM. It brought back so many memories. I farmed for a year (1953) with a partner, Vern Divers, a bit south of Quincy. Subsequently, while a research associate in the Agricultural Economics department, I did research on the economics of different systems of irrigation in the Basin.

Interesting to read of the research by Whittlesey and Butcher. I was a member of the Agricultural Economics faculty with them and always respected them, professionally and personally. I retired in 1986.

Ralph A. Loomis

Edmonds

WSU Vancouver building
Fall 2013

Posts for Fall 2013

The story behind the sign

Many signs display Cougar pride on the way to Pullman, but only one stands 27 feet high and 400 feet long. The “Go Cougs” shed 12 miles east of Othello on Highway 26 was created in 1998 by Coug brothers Orman and Gavin Johnson.

“We needed to build a potato storage,” Orman says.

It was that simple.

“We’d drive to football games and we’d see small signs,” he says. “We thought, ‘we should do that’.”

And so the process began. Orman and Gavin say they knew they wanted to use sheet metal so there wouldn’t be any upkeep, but they … » More …

Marcia Steele Hoover ’90 at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. Bill Wagner
Summer 2013

Marcia Steele Hoover ’90—Running with a mission

Nike World Headquarters is its own strange utopia. A visit to the well-groomed grounds just south of Portland starts in the parking area with sounds of children from the outdoor play yard of the child development center. A walk into the campus meanders between four-story office buildings named for great athletes and coaches, and then past geese on grass and a group of women doing jumping jacks and stretches on a plaza in front of Lake Nike before starting their run.

The plaza connects to a cafeteria, one of six eateries on the property, where Marcia Steele Hoover breezes in wearing running shoes and two … » More …

Sheryl Hagen-Zakarison and Eric Zakarison
Summer 2013

Eric Zakarison ’81 and Sheryl Hagen-Zakarison ’83, ’91—Thinking small

Somewhere along the Norwegian-Swedish border in the 1920s, Eric Zakarison’s grandfather and his family decided it was time to leave.

“They literally put on their packs, with everything they owned on their backs, skied down to the fjord, got on a boat, and came to Minnesota,” says Zakarison. After farming there for three or four years, they picked up and moved again, to the Havre/Chinook Hi-Line area of Montana.

Tired of northern Montana, Eric’s aunt ran away. She married a wealthy railroad man and they bought land north of Pullman. She invited the rest of the family to come further west, which they did, settling … » More …

Battleship game at WSU
Summer 2013

Games everyone can play

“You sunk my battleship!”

A familiar cry from the popular board game, but why is it ringing across Gibb Pool at Washington State University?

Because it is one of the latest offerings in WSU’s long-established and popular intramural sports program, joining perennial favorites flag football, basketball, soccer, and softball.

Battleship—the Gibb Pool version—has teams of four in canoes with buckets and shields. Their goal is simple: To fill their opponents’ canoes with water until they sink, while blocking water from filling their own canoe.

Matt Shaw ’06 MEd, assistant director of competitive programs and youth sports at University Recreation, says the battleship game started … » More …

Matthew Heatherly
Spring 2013

Matthew Heatherly ’12—Serving and learning

When he graduated from Stadium High School in Tacoma in 1990, Matthew Heatherly decided to delay his college education in order to enlist and serve his country. He spent twenty years in the U.S. Army and in 2010 retired as a first sergeant.

But an end to active duty didn’t mean an end to his Army life. He has since become an operations manager at the Western Regional Medical Command on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The Madigan Healthcare System based there serves 130,000 active duty service members. Heatherly’s job is to help plan medical care for active-duty troops in the western United States, as well as … » More …

John Bryant
Spring 2013

John Bryant ’88—Here for the beer

John Bryant’s first taste of the beer business was pouring pints for fellow Washington State University students at the Cougar Cottage. Since then, the 1988 communications graduate has helped build microbreweries in Oregon and Colorado into some of the most successful and respected in the country.

Now he is hoping to do the same in Spokane with the recently rebranded No-Li Brewhouse. Since he arrived, sales have soared and the brewery is winning awards and attention across the United States and overseas.

“The guy is moving 100 miles per hour all the time,” says Jeff Allen of the Odom Corporation, which distributes No-Li beers … » More …