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Notable Alumni

Pete's Dragon
Fall 2018

Architect of other worlds

A green furry dragon named Elliot living in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. A twisted and pathetic creature yearning for a ring in Middle Earth. A monstrous ape, an alien jungle, a future dystopian city.

If any of these cinematic creations will capture the imaginations of moviegoers, they need the magic of visual effects created by wizards like Eric Saindon ’96. Saindon’s own imagination was stirred by animated films as a kid, which led to over two decades designing effects and leading teams of visual effects artists on some of the largest blockbusters on screen.

Much of Saindon’s career has been with » More …

Deer at Twilight book cover
Fall 2018

Deer at Twilight—Poems from the North Cascades

Deer at Twilight book cover

By Paul J. Willis ’80 MA, ’85 PhD

Stephen F. Austin State University Press: 2018

 

Hiking solo through the mountains can be a lonely endeavor. Missing human companionship, some turn to the subtle moods and personalities inherent in the woodland world itself.

Those emotional complexities come alive in this lovely little volume written while author Paul Willis explored the North Cascades National Park during an artist-in-residence program and a subsequent residency with the North Cascades Institute.

His verse covers territory … » More …

Cover of Bound
Summer 2018

Bound

Cover of Bound

James McKean ’68, ’74

Truman State University Press: 2017

 

Bound presents a lyrical memoir about growing up in the Pacific Northwest and the women whose feminine fortitude contributed to the author’s life.

Taking readers into the kitchens and parlors of mid-twentieth-century America, McKean lovingly unpacks the attic trunk, sharing the exploits of his wife, mother, grandmother, and great-great-grandmother-in-law Rachel Cartwright Lee, among others.

At a time when ladies were expected to stay … » More …

Dominic Dipietco with search dog Jeb
Summer 2018

To the rescue

Jennifer Brown ’99 grew up thinking a team of horses would be required to pull her away from an equine veterinarian career. Although Brown thought she was not that strong in science during high school, her love of training horses and interacting with the animals propelled her to pursue a doctorate of veterinary medicine at WSU.

The heroism displayed during the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, however, introduced Brown to a new possibility. “During my residency, 9/11 happened,” Brown says. “That obviously made a big impression on many people and one of the things that impressed me was the work of the search and … » More …

Keith Jackson at WSU Martin Stadium
Summer 2018

Keith Jackson 1928–2018

When I finally met Keith Jackson ’54 last summer, I felt like I was meeting a friend. He didn’t know it, but we had already spent numerous Saturdays together. While he was calling the biggest games in college football, I was a fan, enjoying not just the games, but the spectacle and excitement that Keith communicated so skillfully to audiences.

Listening to Keith call a game, it was easy to get lost in the excitement of the event. He was a nearly flawless professional—this was obvious to even a casual fan. What set Keith apart from other broadcasters is that he respected the games and … » More …

Kara Rowe with camera and chickens
Summer 2018

From Wilbur to the world

Time for a pop quiz. Name at least one famous female farmer. If you’re coming up dry, you’re not alone—but Kara Rowe ’00 wants to change that. An executive producer at Emmy-award winning North by Northwest in Spokane, Rowe is a champion of all things agricultural—especially women farmers.

Rowe, together with NxNW partner Dave Tanner, and Audra Mulkern, a photographer, foodie, and founder of the Female Farmer Project, are raising funds for a documentary called Women’s Work: The Untold Story of America’s Female Farmers. The producers hope to correct a longstanding problem with the history of ag … » More …

E. Garry Hill
Spring 2018

Running up the competition

If you want the facts about track and field records, ask a statistics junkie like E. Garry Hill ’69. But he might throw you with another fact, this one culled from long experience as editor of Track & Field News, announcer at the Olympics and World championships, and expert on the sport: Track and field as a spectator sport is struggling mightily.

Rows and rows of empty seats faced runners and field athletes competing at the Rio Olympics. And where can you watch big track events on TV? Hill calls it like he sees it, and he’s seen a lot since he competed for Washington … » More …

Cover of Losing Eden: An Environmental History of the American West
Spring 2018

Losing Eden: An Environmental History of the American West

Cover of Losing Eden: An Environmental History of the American West

Sara Dant ’91 MA, ’00 PhD

Wiley: 2017

 

The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition welcomed millions of people to Chicago to celebrate the rise of industrial America, the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival on the continent, and the romanticization of the “frontier” West. Historian Frederick Jackson Turner presented his thesis that the western advance into a wild and savage frontier defined the American spirit, and … » More …

Charles Hudson
Spring 2018

Living the fighting spirit

Hunting and rodeoing, playing football and singing in the school choir. For Charles Hudson ’84, growing up in the ’60s and ’70s on the Ft. Berthold Indian Reservation in rural North Dakota also meant listening to stories from his Hidatsa mother and white rancher father. One of them was about a huge flood — and it wasn’t a myth.

Six years before Hudson was born, construction of the Garrison Dam submerged 550,000 acres of Hidatsa, Mandan, and Arikara (the Three Affiliated Tribes) land, resulting in Lake Sakakawea and forcing hundreds of families to flee, including Hudson’s. The tragedy only inspired his parents to triumph over it.

» More …