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Notable Alumni

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 …

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.

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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 …