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Washington State Magazine

Spring 2014

Two alumni recognized for their contributions to food and agriculture

In recent months, the Washington State University Alumni Association honored United Nations Food Safety Officer Masami Takeuchi and Louisiana State University Professor Gail L. Cramer with WSU Alumni Achievement Awards.

A native of Japan, Masami Takeuchi earned her first bachelor’s degree in 1994 from Kwassui University in Nagasaki, Japan. At WSU, she completed a bachelor’s degree in 1999, a master of science degree in 2001, and a doctorate in 2004, all in human nutrition.

Based in Rome, Takeuchi is one of a small group of food safety and quality officers working for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division.

From … » More …

Pavlo Rudenko
Spring 2014

Pavlo Rudenko ’09—As fast as he can go

Imagine particles that can self-assemble at the nano-scale, so that machinery can delay its need for repair. Or that your 20-year-old truck could suddenly become more fuel efficient than today’s model.

Two years ago physics graduate student Pavlo Rudenko ’09 MS started his company, TriboTEX LLC, to develop bio-based super lubricants. He found that nanoparticles of ceramic powders in lubricants can, at high temperatures, create a film on metal surfaces that reduces both friction and wear behaviors.

He bought used analytical equipment off eBay and is running the business on a shoestring out of his home in Colfax.

Last summer he won a highly competitive … » More …

Robert Franklin
Spring 2014

Robert Franklin ’75, ’76, ’79—A new leash on life

Over more than three decades, veterinarian Dr. Robert Franklin has advocated for animal welfare—even when those animals never set a paw into his specialty practice in Beaverton, Oregon.

Franklin ’75 BS, ’76 BS, ’79 DVM is on the frontlines of animal wellbeing and companionship issues in the Pacific Northwest, whether he’s working behind the scenes to save a stray or squarely in the spotlight ensuring that famed orca Keiko was getting appropriate medical care.

“The animal welfare movement is waiting for veterinarians to lead it like we should,” says Franklin, who recently received Washington State University’s Distinguished Veterinary Alumnus Award. “We’ve got to look at … » More …

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

» More …

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 … » 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 …