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Other Notable Alumni

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 …

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 …

Forgotten Fruit. Photo Zach Mazur
Winter 2015

Forgotten fruit

The ‘lost’ apples of the Palouse entice a detective to sleuth for their rediscovery

Dave Benscoter’s obsession began innocently—as a favor to a neighbor, Eleanor, a retired missionary. Resettled near Chattaroy, and now beset with complications from childhood polio, she asked Benscoter ’78 to harvest some apples for her from the old orchard above her house.

“Every apple was too high for me to pick,” he says of his initial effort.

“One of the trees was 40 to 50 feet high. The trunk was split, and I couldn’t get my arms around either trunk.”

Determined to deliver Eleanor’s apples at some point, he started pruning … » More …

Still Searching for Amelia thumb
Winter 2015

Still searching for Amelia

A Mount Vernon high school teacher gets pulled into one of the greatest mysteries of the twentieth century

Dick Spink ’85 never intended to hunt for Amelia Earhart’s airplane. He specializes in boats.

He put himself through Washington State University designing and fabricating aluminum boats. He now holds on to a day job teaching at Mount Vernon High School, but he’s also a naval architect and licensed master. He sells boat kits all over the world, from Singapore to Africa, and often builds clients’ boats on site. Which is how he found himself in the north Pacific, in the Marshall Islands, and deep into … » More …

Amy Eveskcige, Courtesy The News Tribune
Winter 2015

Dream maker

“My earliest memories of school were full of hope,” says Amy Eveskcige ’13 EDD, the new superintendent of Chief Leschi Schools and the first Puyallup Tribe member to hold the position. She’s eager to instill that same hope to the kids attending her schools. Chief Leschi Schools, operated by the Puyallup Tribe, is one of the largest Bureau of Indian Education schools in the nation. That she even became superintendent took support of her own teachers.

As a child, her hopes were slim. Her dreams, muted. Her father died when she was three. Her mother was an X-ray technician but spent most of her time … » More …

Author Tracy Cutchlow ’97 and her daughter.
Spring 2015

Bringing up babies

If only babies came with instruction manuals.

A simple set of operating guidelines might help new parents navigate the necessity of naps, manage mealtimes, and teach a toddler to share.

While there are thousands of books and guides and websites, the situation is far from simple. Well-meaning childhood experts, doctors, and parents have blanketed early childhood with good, bad, and often conflicting advice. “The problem is, no one has time to read all that’s out there,” says Tracy Cutchlow ’97, a journalist, book editor, and (fairly) new mother.

Raising a baby can be confusing, confounding, and complicated, Cutchlow admits one afternoon over coffee in Seattle. … » More …

Slow Regard cover
Spring 2015

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

Slow Regard
Patrick Rothfuss ’02 MA
DAW Books, 2014

A darling of the sci-fi/fantasy set, Pat Rothfuss has diverted from the long-awaited third part of his bestselling Kingkiller trilogy and, instead, taken the time to explore the story of lovely, lonely Auri, one of the secondary Kingkiller characters.

Warning his readers that this book may not be for them, not even for the most serious fans of his first two meaty novels The Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear, Rothfuss nonetheless draws them in to this bittersweet tale of the fair-haired mysterious woman who … » More …