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Community and Economic Development

On a mission to cure the disease
Spring 2016

Leen Kawas is on a mission…

…to cure the disease that took her grandmother’s life.

A scientific discovery that could lead to treatments for Alzheimer’s and cancer drives biochemist and executive Leen Kawas. For her, it’s a personal and professional quest to develop that discovery into innovative, affordable drugs for the millions of people facing those diseases—a quest that started at seven years old, when her grandmother got cancer.

At 30, Kawas ’11 PhD is one of the youngest biotech CEOs in Seattle and, as a woman from Jordan, one of the most diverse. In her first year at the helm of M3 Biotechnology, her small but rapidly growing company, … » More …

Mary Jean Craig ’68
Spring 2016

Mary Jean Craig

Mary Jean Craig ’68 couldn’t wait to join 4-H. Her mother and a friend started a pre-4-H club that got her interested, and Craig squeaked into the local fair with a sewing project. After 60 years of involvement in the organization, she knows it was worth it.

Craig, who lives in Moscow, Idaho, was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame last October for her lifetime achievements and contributions.

After 11 years in the club, Craig continued as a member of the “Crimson Clovers” collegiate 4-H chapter at WSU and then as a volunteer leader. She became an extension professional in Idaho in 1980, … » More …

915 Labs MATS thumbnail
Spring 2016

Successful startups from WSU

Launching startup companies like M3 is one key way that public research universities contribute to economic development. In addition to introducing a product or service to the market that solves global challenges or meets consumer needs, these companies create new jobs. Graduate students in the lab of entrepreneurial professors are also often heavily involved in startups, giving them business and leadership experience that expands their job opportunities. WSU’s Office of Commercialization works with researchers to navigate through every part of the startup process, from initially disclosing information about the invention, to securing patents, to developing a business plan and finding funding.

A sample … » More …

Bubbling cider
Winter 2015

The drink that built a nation

Bubbling a revolution in Washington State

It’s canning day at Tieton Cider Works in Yakima. Tall, red cans of Rambling Route cider pass through a pasteurizing unit as they come off the conveyor belt of the mobile canning truck. Sold in four packs, the company’s first canned product is intended to reach the masses, perhaps even enticing craft beer drinkers with a moderately-priced, portable cider.

The label on a can of Rambling Route cider describes the journey apples made across the country to Washington: “When it reached the land that would be called Washington, the apple knew.” It knew it had found a home in … » 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 …

Fall 2012

The China Connection

Business professor Jerman Rose first went to China in 1995 as part of a Washington State University hospitality program to train hotel managers in the Shangri La Hotel Group. Recognizing the growing opportunity for business students from both China and the United States, he decided to learn Chinese and look for an academic partner for WSU’s international business program.

By 1998 he had helped establish a relationship with Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE) in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. Almost 15 years later, says Rose, the college has established a WSU Center at SWUFE and facilitated many undergraduate, graduate, and faculty exchanges.

For Rose, the … » More …