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Washington State Magazine

green tea cup & teapot
Summer 2017

Reading the benefits of tea leaves

Much of what is known, scientifically, about the arthritis-fighting benefits of green tea has in one way or another come from Salah-uddin Ahmed and his research group.

It was Ahmed who helped establish that a phytochemical found in green tea essentially halts the progression of rheumatoid arthritis in lab rats.

It also was Ahmed who helped pinpoint where in the disease’s progression that the phytochemical, known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate or simply EGCG for short, is able to combat further degradation without blocking other cellular functions.

Now, with scientific evidence supporting green tea’s health benefits continuing to pile up, Ahmed hopes the research he and his … » More …

SafeShot device
Summer 2017

Healthy innovators

A safe and sterile needle seems to be a basic idea when preventing infections. But how that needle is sterilized, especially in places where reuse is a common practice, spurred a good idea for a pair of Washington State University student entrepreneurs.

Emily Willard and Katherine Brandenstein came up with the idea of SafeShot, a lid that sterilizes a needle each time it enters the vial of medicine, as part of an entrepreneurship class. The two students started a company, won a health business contest last spring, and headed to Tanzania early this year to research how their product could be used in a real … » More …

WSU women's rugby team in England
Summer 2017

Play across the big pond

The Washington State University women’s rugby players returned from their historic March trip to London with some bumps and bruises, but it’s the memories of competing against some of the world’s best club teams, seeing famous landmarks, and building camaraderie that they’ll remember the most.

After months of planning, fundraising, and training, the team—ranked seventh nationally in the most recent Division I poll—became the first WSU sport club in over 30 years to compete internationally.

During spring break, WSU took on the Blackheath Football Club at Rectory Field in Charlton, South London. Founded in 1858, Blackheath is the oldest open (without restricted membership) rugby club … » More …

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 …