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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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RECENT EPISODES

 

July 8, 2021
The future of hydrogen fuel and a Seattle DJ
Episode 8

Hydrogen fuel is emerging as a major part of the future fuel mix. Washington State University mechanical engineer Jacob Leachman has been on leading edge of hydrogen research for over a decade. He talks about hydrogen projects in the Pacific Northwest, reasons why hydrogen is a fuel of choice, and the potential of the fuel.

Also in this episode:

Seattle DJ Taryn Daly, a self-professed rockaholic and a WSU alumna, has her dream job at Seattle’s KISW station. Like most people, Taryn had to make some big adjustments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more about Leachman’s and other WSU researchers’ work on hydrogen, and about Taryn Daly’s career as a rock DJ.


February 26, 2021
Hydrogen fuel start-up, a Coug love story, and healthy plant relationships
Episode 7

How do you take innovative research from the university lab to the public? Three WSU engineering researchers working on unique hydrogen fuel tanks, fueling stations, and other technology started their own company to move their findings into the commercial world. We spoke with two of the founders about the challenges of launching a business and the potential of green hydrogen fuel.

Also in this episode:

  • Two Cougs meet at a stoplight … a love story about a pair of Washington State University alumni in Austin, Texas, whose serendipitous connections led to marriage.
  • Plants and microbes can and do have healthy symbiotic relationships. Stephanie Porter, a microbiologist at WSU Vancouver, talks about her research into the important symbiosis of crops and other plants with organisms in the soil.

Read more about Porter’s symbiosis research, Coug love stories, and WSU hydrogen fuel research.


January 27, 2021
Bats and viruses
Episode 6

Bats could be a key to help prevent a future pandemic.

Washington State University researchers Stephanie Seifert and Michael Letko explain why the flying mammals are important for improving our understanding of viruses and diseases that spill over from animals to humans, such as Ebola, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Seifert and Letko also take on misconceptions about the pandemic and talk about the challenges of studying bats.

Both scientists work in the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, where Seifert is a research assistant professor studying molecular ecology. Letko is an assistant professor and molecular virologist focused on cross-species transmission and viral-host interactions.

WSU News science writer Sara Zaske is the guest host.

Read more about Letko’s coronavirus research in “Viral haystack,” Fall 2020 issue.

[Thank you to Felix Blume for the recording of bats in Southern France.]


December 22, 2020
Roast goose, researcher parents, and a plague journal
Episode 5

“There never was such a goose. … Its tenderness and flavour, size and cheapness, were the themes of universal admiration,” wrote Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol. On this episode, Washington State University executive chef Jamie Callison offers ways to roast and serve the classic holiday goose and sides. It’s a dish ready for a comeback.

Also in this episode:

  • WSU Vancouver biologist Stephanie Porter on balancing life as a scientist and a parent. Research, teaching, and family is possible, as Porter explains through her own experiences.
  • John Streamas from WSU was intrigued this year by Daniel Defoe’s plague journal written in 1722. Streamas penned his own scholarly observations in a modern plague journal for 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world along with protests and examinations of racism.

Read more about roasting goose, biologist Stephanie Porter’s research on symbiosis, and John Streamas’s plague journal of 2020.


November 27, 2020
Glenn Johnson: Voice of the Cougs for 40+ years
Episode 4

We’re all missing the Apple Cup tradition this year, but we can still listen to the Voice of the Cougs.

Glenn Johnson, mayor of Pullman and WSU football and basketball announcer, talked with associate editor Adriana Janovich via Zoom about his 40 plus years as Voice of the Cougars, and the surreal experience of announcing a 2020 football game at Martin Stadium without a crowd of fans.

Read more about Johnson’s career in “The Voice.” (Fall 2020 Washington State Magazine)


November 16, 2020
Rowing for 50 years, listening to art, and encouraging women in STEM
Episode 3

Cougar Crew, a scrappy and resilient group of rowers at Washington State University, recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. They had to cancel a banquet and other events due to COVID-19, but former coach Ken Struckmeyer and rower Doug “Doc” Engle reminisce about the team, catching a crab, and rowing on the Snake River near Pullman.

Also in this episode:

  • Seattle-based artist, composer and inventor Trimpin created Ambiente432, an innovative sound installation at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at WSU. Visitors to the museum activate the artwork by walking around the entry pavilion and talking, which creates sounds that have calming effects.
  • WSU engineering professor Noel Schulz talks about her experiences as a woman in engineering. She shares ways to encourage girls and women to enter and stay in the science and engineering fields.

Read more about Cougar Crew, Ambiente432, and women in STEM.


September 2, 2020
Hunting the western toad, recognizing courage, and delving into the novel Stripland
Episode 2

Erim Gómez lives his childhood dream: catching frogs, toads, and salamanders. The doctoral student in environmental studies hunts for the western toad along the Snake River, as he works to determine the biodiversity of amphibians on the Palouse prairie.

Also in this episode:

  • Carla Peperzak risked her life and freedom in World War II as a member of the Dutch Resistance. She was only 16 when she secretly saved a number of Jews by making fake IDs. Now a 96-year-old Spokane resident, Carla was honored as Washington state Person of the Year for 2020.
  • Joan Burbick, a retired English professor at Washington State University, talks about Stripland, her novel that explores trauma, perceptions of reality, violence, and connected relationships in the aftermath of a shooting of a Nez Perce man by a white police officer. Her powerful and moving book references the steep stretch of road in Lewiston, Idaho, that slices through the valley from the Snake River to the Nez Perce reservation.

Read more about disappearing amphibiansCarla Peperzak’s life, and the novel Stripland.


July 16, 2020

Composing music, living with wasps, and relishing Rainier cherries
Episode 1

Composer and Washington State University music professor Greg Yasinitsky hears a band in his head when he’s creating music. In the premiere episode of Washington State Magazine’s podcast, Yasinitsky dives into the art and craft of composition…and why writing music for kids requires special attention.

Also in this episode:

  • Megan Asche, a WSU entomology doctoral student, wants us to better understand—and be less fearful of—those frequent barbecue visitors, wasps and yellowjackets.
  • Rainier cherries, developed at Washington State in 1952, offer a delectable summer treat. WSU Executive Chef Jamie Callison serves up some ways to enjoy them in your meals.

Read more about WSU’s music studio, wasp research, and Rainier cherries.

 

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