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WSU faculty

Hal Dengerink
Spring 2012

Hal Dengerink 1943-2011—Tribute to Hal

On September 14, 2011, the first chancellor of Washington State University Vancouver, Hal Dengerink, passed away at the age of 68.

I first met Hal Dengerink when he came to WSU Vancouver from WSU Pullman to oversee the programs that were offered at Bauer Hall on the Clark College campus. The process of selecting a site for the WSU Vancouver campus was underway when he joined the site recommendation task force that was appointed by WSU President Sam Smith. As members of the task force, we spent many months and endless weekends meeting regularly to complete our charge, which included visiting potential campus sites in … » More …

G. Roger Spencer DVM
Winter 2011

Outsmarting Dementia

We used to believe, says neuropsychologist Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, that if a person lived long enough, he or she would develop dementia.

Now we know better, she says. Whether caused by Alzheimer’s or other disease, dementia is not a normal aging process. Many people, such as G. Roger Spencer and colleagues pictured here, remain completely alert and engaged well into their 80s and 90s and older.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the chance of someone over 85 having the disease is nearly 50 percent. Other dementia-causing diseases raise that risk even higher. So what is it that enables someone to escape the dementia odds?

Besides age, … » More …

Summer 2011

Henry Grosshans—1921-2010

Henry Grosshans came to Washington State College in 1952, engaging in an active academic and intellectual life for three decades, after which he retired to Shoreline, Washington. Grosshans died last October, at the age of 89.

He was for many of those years editor of the University Press, raising its prestige and profile not only through the titles published, but through the journals he attracted to the press.

Before coming to WSC, Grosshans was a Rhodes Scholar, studying for two years at Oxford University between brief stints on the faculty at Kansas State and Bowling Green University. During World War II, he participated … » More …

Spring 2011

An art history

Worth D. Griffin stepped off the train in Pullman in the fall of 1924 to find Washington State College’s art department barely four years old and with just one other full-time faculty member. Prior to that, the only art instruction offered was painting lessons for students with the pocket money.

But Griffin had come to help teach design and creative composition and build a program. The Indiana native had studied commercial and fine art in Indianapolis and at the Art Institute in Chicago. In addition to working as a magazine illustrator, he trained among American realists, artists focused on rendering unidealized scenes of daily life. … » More …

Short Story: Where the Lilacs Grow

From On Her Way: Stories and Poems About Growing Up Girl, edited by Sandy Asher (New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 2004). Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Sister Paris’s roses smelled like poison. My nose was just inches away from an orange Tropicana as big as Kenny Royal’s fist, and all I could smell were chemicals. Not even a whiff of tea rose. Nana’s roses had always smelled like roses-all luscious and sweet, almost ticklish. They’d grown in curved rows along the south side of the house, where the sunshine warmed away the dew and dried up the black spot that ate away at … » More …

Summer 2010

WSU Big Ideas, Discoveries, Creations, Conceptions, People (a suggestive list)

The Uniqueness of Pacific Northwest Flora and Fauna
C.V. Piper

Largely self-taught as a naturalist, Piper believed he needed to classify the flora and fauna of the PNW so other scientists could better understand the uniqueness of area. Published Flora of the Palouse Region (1901), Flora of the State of Washington (1906), Insect Pests of the Garden, Farm, and Orchard (1895), and many other books, including works on hay, soybeans, and other crops.

Allopolyploid formation as a mode of speciation
Marion Ownbey

Ownbey’s work on Tragopogon (goat’s beard, salsify, or oyster plant) on the Palouse was a first, seminal demonstration of the … » More …

Spring 2010

Of honor and friendship

One of the most successful partnerships in WSU history began in failure.

It was the spring of 1975, Kansas State University. Guy Palmer was given a piece of ore in an analytical chemistry class and told to figure out how much nickel was in it. He got it wrong, earning an F.

This happened to be in the highly competitive environment of undergraduates vying for veterinary school. About one in ten applicants would gain admission, so it was not exactly in students’ interest to help each other out. But Terry McElwain saw Palmer struggling to redo the assignment while working on a second one. He … » More …

Winter 2009

Grover Krantz (1931-2002) and Clyde

“I’ve been a teacher all my life, and I think I might as well be a teacher after I’m dead,” Grover Krantz told the Smithsonian’s anthropology collections manager David Hunt as they negotiated Krantz’s proposed donation of his skeleton to the Smithsonian’s natural history museum. As a physical anthropologist specializing in hominoid evolution, Krantz gleaned his understanding and ideas by studying the bones of apes and humans. Following his death, his own bones would become available for study.

Odds were, however, that his bones would remain in a drawer, alongside the bones of his three Irish wolfhounds, which he had already donated, waiting for whatever … » More …

Winter 2003

Tim Pavish new head of WSU Alumni Relations

Tim Pavish has been named executive director of Washington State University Alumni Relations and the Alumni Association. The 1980 graduate of WSU’s Edward R. Murrow School of Communication was selected from 50 applicants in a national search. He began his new job September 8, succeeding Keith Lincoln, who is retiring.

“Tim has been a tremendous friend of our university over the years. We have greatly appreciated his loyalty, his hard work, and his wise counsel. He is an ideal choice to continue the job of building the association and meeting the needs of our alumni,” says WSU president V. Lane Rawlins.

Before accepting the WSU … » More …