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WSU parents

Sherridan and Jeff Poffenroth with WSU Sophomore Bret Poffenroth and Ryan Poffenroth ’17 (Family Facebook photo from WSU Parents’ Chat Café)
Spring 2018

WSU Parents Chat Café

What is the definition of the Coug family?

WSU Parents Chat Café is a Facebook group where parents of WSU students come together in support of each other. We handle the noncampus types of questions that WSU staff might not have the personal know-how or time to answer. We handle questions around ordering cupcakes, pizza delivery, local medical services, flight and travel information, winter tires and clothing, and many others. I tell new members, those questions that wake you in the middle of the night? We have also had them and we have the answers. There really isn’t any question you can come up with,that … » More …

Summer 2003

Don Zajac named WSU Dad of the Year

Like the husband in O. Henry’s famous story, “Gift of the Magi,” who sold his prized watch to buy his wife a comb for Christmas, Don Zajac sold his vast collection of vintage metal lunch boxes to take his daughter, Meggan Zajac, on a month- long European tour last summer.

As a way of showing her appreciation, Meggan successfully nominated her father for Washington State University’s Dad of the Year. He was honored November 2 at the annual Dad’s Weekend breakfast in the Compton Union Building.

Don Zajac, a single father, has been there for his daughter “all of my life, and our relationship has … » More …

Spring 2003

Foundation honors Creighton

John W. “Jack” Creighton, Jr., Bellevue, received the Weldon B. Gibson Distinguished Volunteer Award at the Washington State University Foundation Dinner Gala in the Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum last fall.

The annual award, established in 1981, recognizes an individual who has demonstrated sustained, exemplary service and achievement on behalf of Washington State University and the WSU Foundation.

Cited for his leadership and unselfish devotion to WSU, Creighton earned praise from nominators for his work as co-chair of the national steering committee for Campaign WSU. The multi-year effort raised a record $275 million in private gifts to the University. The successful campaign led to Creighton’s further … » 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

Cell phones help students and parents stay close—Sometimes too close

Michael Johnston (’08 Bus. Admin.) switched his cell-phone plan in October. And the incentive wasn’t just the free, high-tech phone or the low text-messaging fees.

“I can get those mobile-to-mobile minutes with my family now,” says Johnston. “Now I don’t have to worry as much about the minutes I use with them.”

Johnston says he talks to either his mom or dad each day, for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

He’s not the only one. He’s part of the millennial generation for whom there is no typical, mandatory Sunday evening phone call home.

Now parents are getting the 9 a.m. Saturday call, the … » More …

Fall 2002

From farm to College Hill, the migration continues

When Don Appel left the family farm at Endicott in the 1930s to enroll at Washington State College, he didn’t know what he was starting. Or where it would end.

Unfortunately, failing eyesight ultimately forced him to withdraw from school one semester short of graduating. He returned to farming but continued to stress the importance of education. In 1979 he was awarded a degree in engineering. Now all nine of his children hold Washington State University degrees. They were followed by a third generation of graduates. A fourth is in the queue.

Dick Appel (’59 Agri. Engr.), Don’s oldest, was the first in the family … » More …

Fall 2002

Guardian angel comes to the rescue

When his home and family life was in turmoil, Kathy Cochran came to her nephew’s rescue. At the time Robert Cochran was 15, living in Kansas, and the court was about to place him in a foster home again. Kathy gave the court another option. She agreed to take him in, and the judge awarded her custody.

“Aunt Kathy . . . has been my best friend, my mom, and my guardian angel all at the same time,” Robert wrote in a letter nominating her for Washington State University 2002 Mom of the Year. She was selected from 24 candidates and recognized at the April … » More …