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Other Notable Alumni

Fall 2016

The music of life

In Yakima’s Garfield Elementary School, Principal Alan Matsumoto ’75 is hearing music ring through the halls after school. With 100 percent of the students facing poverty, the afterschool Yakima Music en Acción (YAMA) gives them the opportunity to transcend their circumstances with instruments.

YAMA, based on a Venezuelan program called El Sistema, brings professional musicians to the school to teach Garfield students how to play violins, cellos, and other instruments in ensemble groups.

The program launched four years ago with just seven students. Matsumoto says he first heard about El Sistema from Stephanie Hsu, who had recently graduated from training and now leads YAMA. … » More …

Summer 2017

Space Cougs

Since the 1960s, engineers, biologists, and even historians who graduated from Washington State have contributed to the exploration of our solar system. You can read about a few of them below. If you know of other Cougs who have been involved in space exploration, please send their stories and we’ll include them here.

Thora Waters Halstead ’50

Space biologist

Microbiologist Thora Waters Halstead pioneered the field of space biology and her research now is a critical piece of NASA’s plans to send astronauts to Mars.

Waters, who earned her undergraduate degree at Washington State University in 1950, was a trailblazer at NASA» More …

Paccar Environmental Technology Building
Summer 2016

Within the urban fabric

The architectural responsibility of making more than just buildings

When the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, planned to expand their convention center in the late 2000s, they wanted a structure that would reflect the city’s environmental values while tripling the meeting space of the downtown facility. The Vancouver Convention Centre West, designed by LMN Architects and completed in 2009, exceeded their vision: The gentle slope of the 6-acre green “living roof” provides bird habitat; the building is heated and cooled by seawater; and fish and shellfish inhabit the base of the building.

The Vancouver project fits exactly with the philosophy of the Seattle-based architects … » More …

Color My World thumb
Summer 2016

Color my worlds

An alumna artist brings out the kids in us

Tarah Luke felt like her hands would fall off after completing 120 pages in adult coloring books over five and a half weeks.

Luke ’05 didn’t color the pages, though. The Seattle-based artist designed and drew the images featured in the four books. The Eiffel Tower, a marching band, an octopus, and a movie camera are just a few examples from the series of themed volumes divided into places, music, animals, and inventions.

Luke’s collection is part of a growing national trend. Adult coloring books, usually featuring complex patterns within images, have become an increasingly popular … » More …

Wildfowl Decoys of California book cover
Summer 2016

Wildlife Decoys of California: Vintage Carving Traditions of the Golden State

Wildfowl Decoys of California book cover

Michael R. Miller ’68

Triple-D Book Publishing: 2015

More than 40 years ago, Michael R. Miller ’68 was passing through a Sacramento antique shop when he came upon a carved duck decoy. It was a pintail drake. Carved from a single piece of redwood, it had an elegantly pointed bill and tail and subtle shades of gray, black and off-white. Like so many of its ilk, it was just outside the ordinary … » More …

Book - Briefly Noted
Summer 2016

Briefly Noted

 

Immortal of the Cinder Path: the Saga of James “Ted” Meredith

By John Jack Lemon ’78

2015

In this first tribute to early twentieth-century athlete James “Ted” Meredith, Lemon introduces a mostly forgotten, and sometimes heartbreaking, story of a world-record breaking runner, Olympic gold medalist, and all-around sports star.

 

Hope

By Suzanne D. Lonn ’67

WestBow Press: 2014

This third novel from Lonn explores family dynamics through adoption, obsessive compulsive disorders, and salvation. Hope is a sequel to Lonn’s earlier novel The Game of Hearts (2003 Exlibris). She also published Mixed Nuts in 2008, a novel about elder abuse, alcoholism, depression, and dementia.

» More …

Kim Reykdal thumb
Summer 2016

Kim Reykdal ’94

High school counselor Kim Reykdal ’94 doesn’t wait around for students to make appointments. She searches them out.

Whether it’s scholarship applications, information about opportunities with the U.S. military, or the latest on specialty or technical colleges, Reykdal is known to work the lunchroom, if necessary, to get students setting goals for life after high school.

That commitment to student achievement earned Reykdal a trip to Washington, D.C. in January as one of four 2016 national Counselor of the Year finalists, where first lady Michelle Obama praised her efforts in a White House ceremony. The recipients also met with lawmakers and attended a congressional … » More …

The Mott Squad
Spring 2016

The Mott Squad

Before broadcaster Robert Mott founded NPR, he helped bring Washington State’s communication education into the television era.

National Public Radio cofounder and former Washington State professor Robert Mott briefly appeared on a large projection screen before the video image froze and then disappeared. Again.

Mott waited patiently in his San Diego home as some of his former broadcast students, now in their 60s and 70s, double-checked the video chat settings from the Yakima conference room where they’d gathered. He wasn’t too worried.

Their bond, after all, had been forged in an era of technological innovation, though that was a half century earlier when many problems … » More …

A veterinarian to the corps
Spring 2016

A veterinarian to the corps

He was the old guy in airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia, a U.S. Army veterinarian holding his own with soldiers half his age, preparing to leap from a plane.

JOHN L. POPPE ’86 DVM had parachuted recreationally back in his Pullman days but was taking command of a special airborne veterinary unit in 2001 and wanted to be jump ready.

“I was determined to do it,” recalls Poppe, now a brigadier general and chief of the U.S. Army’s multifaceted Veterinary Corps.

He was a 42-year-old lieutenant colonel back in jump school and his commitment to readiness was no academic exercise. Two years later, … » More …