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 …
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
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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
Immortal of the Cinder Path: the Saga of James “Ted” Meredith
By John Jack Lemon ’78
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.
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.
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 …
After World War II, Bill Fitch left the Army, packed his duffel in Seattle and, with the U.S. government’s guarantee of free college tuition, headed to Pullman. When he and Al Smith, a fellow veteran and high school classmate, arrived at Washington State College, they found themselves on a campus crowded with thousands of GIs.
Spurred by unprecedented growth in student numbers from the “GI bulge” in the late 1940s, the small rural state college was becoming a modern higher education institution, and a decade later would bloom into a full-blown university. Wave after wave of student-veterans, a faculty newly empowered to govern itself, and … » More …
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 …