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Alumni

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 …

Summer 2008

Sam Ham – The adventures of

The first time Sam Ham ’74 was in the Galapagos Islands, he took a two-foot-long telephoto lens to capture nature up close. He was thrilled when, on a hike with a graduate student, he came across a stunning brown Galapagos hawk. Ham raised his camera, aimed, and discovered he was much too close. “I had to back up practically 50 yards to get it in focus,” he laughs, noting how “up close” nature in the Galapagos can sometimes be.

Ham, a natural resources professor at the University of Idaho, has been bumped by sea lions while snorkeling, has watched nesting sea turtles from a few … » More …

Summer 2008

An interview with Edward Heinemann – a life of horse sense

Ed Heinemann was just a freshman in the spring of 1936, when the students at Washington State decided to strike. A group calling themselves the Student Liberty Association wanted more freedom from the administration’s puritanical social regulations, particularly those imposed by the dean of women, who set dress codes and early curfews.

Heinemann remembers walking on campus one May morning to see posters on buildings and doors announcing, “Strike.” To his surprise, the faculty joined in, cancelling classes. In the wake of the upheaval, the dean of women was dismissed, and the rules were gradually loosened.

Heinemann, who earned … » More …

Fall 2008

Dave Edler – “A real tough kid”

During his years as a Cougar baseball player, Dave Edler got chewed out many times by Bobo Brayton for his wild and headstrong ways. Once, Brayton caught his young star using marijuana. Edler told the coach that his father didn’t mind.

“We’ll see,” Brayton said, and phoned Edler’s father in Yakima. That resulted in “the fastest trip a guy ever took to Pullman from Yakima,” Brayton recently recalled with a laugh.

Edler left WSU in 1978, a few credits short of graduation, when he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners. He says he learned lots of lessons from the legendary coach, among them that “the … » More …

Fall 2008

Cougar Crew Days – The old crew’s back in town

Eight graying heads lean forward in unison and then back as 16 oars slide into the water and propel the boat forward. A racing shell of 50-somethings streaks by the Wawawai Landing as a crowd of more than three dozen Washington State University’s men’s crew alumni gather around the boathouse on the shores of the Snake River.

It is Saturday, March 15, and regardless of a chill wind and choppy waters, former team members have come from as far as Brazil for the annual Cougar Crew Days, a weekend event allowing current and former oarsmen, coxswains, and coaches, along with family and friends, to gather … » More …

Fall 2008

BJ Duft – Of meals and missions

At age 24, BJ Duft found himself in Bill Marriott’s private jet face-to-face with the CEO of Marriott International. They were headed back to Washington D.C. from Penn State University where Duft ’86 had gone to do some on-campus recruiting for the company and Marriott had attended a ceremony in his honor. During the flight Marriott turned to Duft and asked if he could change anything at the international hotel company, what would it be? Duft was so nervous that he has no clue what answer he managed to stammer out. What he does remember is that Marriott took a Steno notepad from his shirt … » More …