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Notable Alumni

Jason Gesser
Winter 2014

The right color back on

Ask Jason Gesser ’02 about the finest decision he’s made and his answer is as pinpoint as each of the 70 career touchdown passes he threw at Washington State.

“Coming to Washington State was the perfect and best decision I made in my life,” he says. “Besides marrying my wife,” Gesser is quick to add, with a laugh. He married his college girlfriend Kali Surplus ’02, a former WSU volleyball player, and the couple has three children.

In his new role as the assistant director of development with the Cougar Athletic Fund, the fundraising arm of the Washington State University Athletic Department, his … » More …

Chip Hanauer piloting the Boeing U-787
Fall 2014

Chip Hanauer ’76—The boat guy

As long as he can remember, Chip Hanauer has loved motorsports. “There wasn’t even much in the media back then,” says the hydroplane pilot from his perch at a coffee shop near Green Lake. “There was Wide World of Sports and they would run the Monte Carlo and the Daytona 500. I looked forward to those more than Christmas.”

During a weekend trip to Crescent Bar in central Washington, a 9-year-old Hanauer saw a notice for outboard hydroplane races for kids ages 9 to 12. He went home, got a paper route, babysat, mowed lawns, and saved $250. “I found a classified ad in The … » More …

Lewis Alumni Centre
Summer 2014

Lewis Alumni Centre “re‑barn”

Twenty five years ago the WSU “farm barn” with its cattle stalls and hayloft was converted into a welcome landing for visiting alumni and their families and friends. The ground-floor livestock area was transformed with a visitors’ desk, an open lounge with distinct seating areas, a small library, and several charming meeting rooms. The second level under the gambrel roof became a bright, open space perfect for parties, reunions, and game day gatherings.

The farm barn had been a landmark on the east side of campus since the 1920s when it was built to serve the agriculture school. Over the years, offices, laboratories, and classroom … » More …

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 …