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Dinner with girl geeks - Kristin McKinney
Spring 2017

Dinner with girl geeks

Working for a Portland, Oregon, staffing firm in the late 1990s, Kristin McKinney ’95 helped recruit employees to the city’s burgeoning tech industry. The job unleashed her own geek.

“I found I had a bit of an inner nerd,” says McKinney, who got her degree in business. “I never really knew that.”

Her newfound enthusiasm was tempered by a sobering reality: Women then, like now, accounted for less than 30 percent of the computing and information technology workforce, according to the National Science Foundation.

McKinney, now a recruiter in Nashville, Tennessee, is working to reverse the trend. In 2013, she joined computer application engineer Rachel … » More …

WSU exhibit of early Issaquah businesswoman Lucy Stevenson's collection. Photo by Robert Hubner.
Fall 2013

Gallery: Businesswoman and tailor Lucy Stevenson’s collection

An exhibit at WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections exploring the story of Issaquah businesswoman and tailor Lucy Stevenson, fashion, and history at the turn of the last century. Lucy opened her own hat and dressmaking business in 1894. Her great-granddaughter Loralyn Young donated the collection to WSU. Courtesy WSU Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles. Read more in “A fitting business.”

Photos by Robert Hubner

Devon Meister. Photo Drew Tarter/Tarter Photographic Services
Winter 2016

Storming the clouds

Flying into a hurricane might be the stuff of nightmares for the average person, but for Devon Meister ’14 MBA, it’s just another day on the job.

A meteorologist and pilot in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, Meister routinely flies a WC-130J into the heart of some of nature’s biggest storms, where the best data can be collected and used to help save lives.

But nothing prepared her for the danger of her first hurricane mission.

Flying at night, Meister and the crew were headed toward Hurricane Rafael in 2012. But because meteorologists have limited ability to analyze satellite data during darkness, there was no … » More …

Winter 2016

Call it the Urban Extension

The massive Oso landslide killed 43 people, caused extensive flooding, and destroyed a key highway north of Everett in 2014, pushing the communities of Arlington and Darrington to their breaking point.

For months, grieving residents and community leaders remained so immersed in the search and recovery demands that nearly everything else had to be put on hold. That’s why, when they were invited to participate in a national competition that could funnel up to $3 million or more toward desperately needed economic revitalization efforts, Arlington Mayor Barb Tolbert was practically on the verge of tears, again.

“It was this rare opportunity but we had no … » More …

Pan roasted duck breast. Photo E.J. Armstrong
Winter 2015

Duck

Rediscovering a worldwide favorite

In a small northeast Washington field, a flock of 34 Ancona ducks—a white breed with distinct, mottled feathers—quack sociably as they waddle around Rebecca Cahill Kemmer’s farm. Sometimes they drop eggs while they follow their guardian geese and gobble up old apples and remnants of summer squash.

Cahill Kemmer and her husband Eric Kemmer started their Pend Oreille County farm, in Fertile Valley just north of Spokane County, in 2013, with education and assistance from WSU Extension’s small farms team. When they chose livestock, ducks were a natural choice.

“They’re very hardy,” says Cahill Kemmer. “Last winter, they liked to sit … » More …

Ed Schweitzer
Spring 2015

Schweitzer receives alumni award

 

Edmund O. Schweitzer III ’77 PhD received the university’s highest alumni honor, the 2014 Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award, in a ceremony last November. He earned his doctorate in electrical engineering from WSU, where he also served as a faculty member. In 1982, Schweitzer founded Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories to research and manufacture digital relays and other products to protect electric power systems. He is a fellow of the IEEE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He holds 100 patents and the company he founded has been recognized as a global leader in improving the stability and safety of electrical grids.

Seely mint
Winter 2014

Mike Seely ’84, ’09—A passion for peppermint

During the August harvest, the smell of peppermint freshens the air over Clatskanie, Oregon, where third-generation farmer Mike Seely ’84, ’09 MBA is finding sweet success in a crop that once nearly bankrupted him.

“We’ve been raising mint forever,” says Seely, who paid his WSU tuition farming the fast-growing perennial. He first farmed near Vancouver before buying his home farm along the lower Columbia River where the moderate climate and rich soils are ideal for growing the flavorful crop. He earned his first degree in electrical engineering, but unlike his siblings he never strayed far from farming.

This year, the Seely’s … » More …

Allison Helfen
Summer 2014

Allison Helfen ’89—A crush on local wine

While sweet Riesling and Merlot were once the foundation of Washington’s wine, you can tell, just by cruising the wood racks of The Wine Alley shop in Renton, that this is a whole new scene.

Our state’s offerings were already intriguing when Allison Helfen ’89 and her husband Scott started the shop nine years ago. “When we first opened, the hot thing was viognier. And Syrahs were everywhere,” says Allison Helfen. Today the shelves are even more diverse. “They have to be. People get bored,” she says. That’s why her stock has shifted to include inky Malbecs, sprightly Sangioveses, and rich Barberas.

The Helfens’ shop … » More …