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Alumni

Spring 2008

Kathleen Sayce: Keeping a heritage alive

Wielding loppers, Kathleen Sayce cuts through brambles smothering a parcel in the heart of historic and otherwise tidy Oysterville on southwest Washington’s Willapa Bay.

Between a leaning red alder and a mangled Sitka spruce, Sayce (’78 M.S. Bot.) opens a narrow trail through native bittersweet, salmonberry, and red elderberry plants. With verve, she hacks invasive ivy and blackberry vines. In the center of the thicket she unveils shredded food wrappers, perhaps the plunder of black bears living on Long Beach Peninsula.

The science officer at ShoreBank Pacific, Sayce—-sporting a sheen of perspiration and bug repellant—-is no buttoned-down banker. She is the only working biologist or … » More …

Spring 2008

What I've learned since college: An interview with Johnnetta B. Cole-anthropologist, author, activist

Johnnetta B. Cole launched her career as an educator and activist at Washington State University in 1964. While in Pullman, she taught anthropology, helped found the Black Studies Program, and served as the program’s first director. In 1970 she was named Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year. After leaving Pullman, she held a number of teaching and administrative positions at several East Coast schools. In 1987 she became the first African American woman to be president of Spelman College, the country’s oldest college for African American women. In 1992 Cole landed in the national spotlight as a cluster coordinator on President-Elect Bill Clinton’s transition team … » More …

Spring 2006

Cooking is its own reward

Betsy Rogers ’89 had her eureka moment while sitting in a cooking class.

It was 2000, and the Seattle-based public relations specialist had recently lost her job in a downsizing. Instead of jumping back into a new job, she decided to freelance and take her time in deciding what to do next.

“I did like being self-employed, but I didn’t like what I was doing,” she says. What she really enjoyed was food, though. With some extra time on her hands, the Washington State University public relations graduate signed up for a cooking class.

“So I was thinking about what things really get me … » More …

Spring 2006

Digital Daddies

Aaron Johnson and Cliff Knopik, the odd couple of young parenthood, sit together in Johnson’s Puyallup dining room while his newborn daughter, Brooklyn, sleeps in a bedroom nearby. His wife, Heather, makes dinner in their small apartment kitchen.

A laptop, two microphones, and a soundboard clutter the round table in front of them, as they settle in for a half-hour of Who’s Your Daddy, a radio show-like podcast of not-so-typical guy talk: choking hazards, umbilical chords, creepy children’s books, and breast feeding in public. Nothing’s sacred for these two young fathers who feel their quirky take on parenthood is worth sharing.

Aaron and Cliff met … » More …

Spring 2006

Kelly Smith

You don’t want to be around him when he loses…

Kelly Smith harbors such desire to win, that the coach gets testy for days before an ordinary baseball game. From the first pitch to the last, he’s usually demonstrative, typically pessimistic, and occasionally combative. Along the baseline, his eyes seem to radiate heat while his mouth hurls verbal spears.

If you only encountered Smith at the ballpark, you might see why he playfully describes his diamond demeanor with a term that won’t appear in this article.

“I think ‘intense’ is a nicer term,” offered Smith (’80 Ed., Soc. Stud.), a former Cougar star who became … » More …

Spring 2006

Farming in the rain

Farming in the Skokomish River Valley can be a challenge, what with 60 to 80 inches of rain a year. One year, Hunter Farms’s pumpkin fields flooded, the pumpkins bobbing like buoys on a temporary sea. Fortunately, the river receded in time for families across the South Puget Sound region to visit Hunter Farms and cart home their pumpkins.

One of the Hunter family cousins has a letter written by Isaac Woods soon after he arrived in the valley from Iowa in the 1880s. Apologizing that he couldn’t repay the $8.00 he’d borrowed from the recipient of the letter to move west, he complained about … » More …

Spring 2006

What I've Learned Since College: An interview with Rebecca Miles

Last May, Rebecca Miles became the first woman and, at age 32, the youngest person to be elected chairman of the Nez Perce tribe. In her one-year post representing the 3,000 members of the tribe, Miles has traveled the country speaking on issues like salmon recovery and the 150th anniversary of the Nez Perce treaty. She has also worked hard at home to address local issues, raise her two sons, and serve her community. A 1997 criminal justice graduate of Washington State University, Miles went on to earn a graduate degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University. She spoke with Hannelore Sudermann November 15, 2005, … » More …

Summer 2008

WSU Alumni Association’s Achievement award winners

From the CEO of Boeing to the founder of Olympia’s Oysterfest, Washington State University’s Alumni Association has found many worthy and interesting graduates deserving of recognition for their accomplishments and contributions to WSU and their greater communities. Here is a list of the WSU Alumni Achievement Award Winners from the past two years.

2007

Richard B. Ellingson ’75, president of the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association and advisory board member of the WSU School of Hospitality Business Management, has enriched the lives of numerous WSU students.

Shaikh M. Ghazanfar ’62, ’64, ’69, professor emeritus at the University of Idaho, an expert on Islamic studies and culture, … » More …