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from Washington State Magazine

Stories from Washington State Magazine—connecting you to Washington State University, the state, and the world. We’ll take you into the lives, research, and experiences of the WSU community, where Cougs from all over talk with us about everything from new ideas and fascinating memories to books and food.

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Season 2

November 11, 2022
Art experiences and happiness: a visit to the museum
Episode 16

Can experiencing art improve your wellbeing? What better way to answer that question than to visit an art museum at Washington State University.

Ryan Hardesty, executive director of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU, takes Washington State Magazine editor Larry Clark on a tour of the museum in WSU Pullman’s Crimson Cube. They have plenty to discuss about how people benefit from seeing, hearing, and experiencing art as they visit the exhibits—including Trimpin’s sound sculpture, Keiko Hara’s works of landscapes and dreams, Juventino Aranda’s powerful explorations of identity and home, and Irwin Nash’s photographs of Latino lives in migrant worker communities of the Yakima Valley.


See the exhibits and find out how to visit the museum at

Read more about art and happiness in “The joy of handiwork” in the Fall 2022 issue of the magazine.

November 4, 2022
A boatload of ideas for fungi
Episode 15

There are a million things to do with fungi, from boats to book covers to medicine for bees. Katy Ayers, a Washington State University student and avowed mycophile has done some pretty amazing things with mushrooms and fungi, including a world record canoe and homes for bees.

In this episode, we talk with the bioengineering and biochemistry major about her many ideas, the fungal revolution, and that famous MyConoe.


Read more about fungi saving the bees, helping plants, and modeling a way to make biofuel stock in “It’s fungi to the rescue,” Winter 2022 issue.

October 19, 2022
Larkin Campbell: A view from the middle
Episode 14

Larkin Campbell calls himself an unknown actor. Now the Washington State University alum takes us behind the scenes of a life in Hollywood, not as a celebrity but as someone who loves the industry even if only a few recognize him.

In this episode, Larkin talks about his WSU memories, getting into the acting business, and playing Coach Shane in the 125th episode of The Office, as husband of the girlfriend of main character Michael Scott.


Read about Larkin’s hilarious memoir, A View from the Middle: How an Unknown Actor Managed to Stay That Way, in the Summer 2022 issue.

July 11, 2022
Blanca Blanco breaks the mold
Episode 13

Actress, model, and author Blanca Blanco grew up around Chelan in north-central Washington state. Her parents from Mexico—her dad was a farmworker and her mom took care of peoples’ kids—had very little money, but Blanco had big dreams for her future.

In her recent memoir, Blanco tells her story of tenacity and determination, how she went from a tough youth to graduating from Washington State University with a psychology degree, and finally to a career in Hollywood.

In this episode, she talks with Washington State Magazine associate editor Adriana Janovich about her childhood in Chelan, time at WSU Pullman, acting career, and writing her memoir during the pandemic lockdown.

Read about Blanco and her book in the Summer 2022 issue of Washington State Magazine.



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