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Notable Alumni

Summer 2014

Machine in the classroom

New tech tools engage young scientists

In a familiar classroom scene, lab partners take turns squinting into a microscope. They spy a wriggling paramecium, if the organism doesn’t swim away from the field of view. These days they also peer into an iPad to watch videos and access digital textbooks. Engineer and entrepreneur Jeff Stewart sees a happy marriage between these old and new technologies in science classrooms.

Stewart and his colleagues at Exo Labs have enhanced that connection with an accessory that connects any microscope to an iPad, where students and teachers can take pictures and videos, measure objects, and quickly share … » More …

Nancy Gillett
Spring 2014

Nancy Gillett ’78—The business of science

When pathologist and researcher Nancy Gillett ’78 decided to leave Genentech, a major medical biotechnology firm, for a small contract research company, her colleagues called it professional suicide. But Gillett had made life-altering career decisions before, moving from being a practicing veterinarian to a research scientist and then to a top-level business executive overseeing 5,000 people at 13 sites around the world.

Gillett’s significant success as a researcher and executive has led to accolades, including the 2013 Regents’ Distinguished Alumna Award from Washington State University. Her path to the University’s highest honor started as the young student from Las Vegas, Nevada, came to WSU to … » More …

Chance McKinney: Think About That
Winter 2013

Think About That

Chance McKinney

Chance McKinney ’96
2013

As the rhythmic guitars launch “Son of a Gun,” the lead song from Chance McKinney’s album Think About That, it’s easy to get hooked into his industrial country music, a powerful blend of modern country and guitar-driven rock, with some unexpected surprises along the way.

If you can expect anything from McKinney’s music, it’s a solid dose of fun. In the second track, the organ, catchy melody, and backup singers from … » More …

Tim Pavish at WSU Lewis Alumni Centre
Fall 2013

Ten years of teamwork

In September 2003, Tim Pavish ’80 left Seattle and a 20-year career in advertising to return to Pullman and become the executive director of the WSU Alumni Association (WSUAA). He was eager to do something more for his alma mater, after all that it has given him over the years.

“I owe a lot to WSU, not the least of which is it’s where I met my wife, Carin (Hull) Pavish,” he says. “I made many of my closest friends at WSU and through WSU. I received a great education here and learned valuable life lessons outside the classroom. And now my two kids … » More …

Summer 2013

Something Old Something New—A history of hospitality

When Washington State College introduced its hospitality program in 1932, no one had yet imagined an airport hotel, a drive-through restaurant, a convention center, or the boom of international travel. Eighty years later, as the industry grows in new and unexpected ways, the School of Hospitality sends its graduates out to meet its evolving needs.

» More ...
Spring 2013

George R. “Bob” Pettit ’52—A profile in persistence

Every few days, Bob Pettit ’52 runs six miles. Now 83, he has done this since his late 20s, when he joined the faculty of the University of Maine and felt the mounting tensions of academic life.

“It’s a great release of stress,” he said this fall while visiting Pullman to receive the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest honor for WSU alumni. “And I think aerobic exercise is the secret formula for longevity.”

Pettit’s running habit also speaks to his fortitude, whether he’s diving in waters around the world in a search for natural cures to cancer, finding new ways to process tons of … » More …

Asif Chaudhry and kids
Spring 2013

Asif Chaudhry ’88—The ambassador

In 2008, when Asif Chaudhry became U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, the small Eastern European country wedged between Romania and Ukraine was in flux. As it moved from Communist rule to a free market, pro-Western government, the country was seeking a stronger relationship with the United States.

Chaudhry ’88 PhD knew the new Moldovan government faced economic problems as well as social issues with human trafficking. He also recognized Moldova’s importance as a former Soviet state and an economic partner with the European Union.

“The biggest challenge that we faced was a country that previously was not as strong in terms of the … » More …

Spirits rising
Winter 2012

Spirits on the rise

The morning is cool on Samish Island, with a fog hanging over the water. But inside an old chicken coop, it’s steamy and sweet. A beer of barley mash is bubbling not too far from the door, tall copper stills stand like sentinels on the left, and the back is layered with metal shelves stocked with small white oak barrels.

During Prohibition, boats loaded with whisky from Canada would slip through the San Juan Islands and land just down the beach from here. According to family lore, Mary Lou Caudill’s uncle was often on board. “He worked on the boats bringing alcohol in from Canada,” … » More …

Chancho, a puppy treated by World Vets in Nicaragua
Fall 2012

World vets

Quivering all over, a dirty yellow and white puppy with a large potbelly whimpers as a veterinarian injects it with saline fluids. The puppy is severely dehydrated and disoriented, unable to stand up on its own.

Chancho, as the veterinarians name him because of his pig-like round belly, initially had a grave prognosis. Found wandering along the street, and visibly weak with parasites and tremors, he did not have long to live.

The puppy spends the night on intravenous fluids and medication. When the veterinarians return the next morning, his condition has improved. By the following day, they are confident he will survive.

Chancho was … » More …