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History alumnus leads virtual vacations from Bolivia

Llama Me!Derren Patterson (’07 History) wanted to see the world.

After stops in China and Korea, he landed in Bolivia—and made the landlocked South American country his home. The ecotourism adventurer has been sharing his passion for the place—part mountain range, part desert, part rainforest—for twelve years now.

“I’ve guided Hollywood movie stars, princes and princesses, backpackers, even my mom,” he says. “I’ve done all sorts of crazy stuff. But one of my favorite things » More …

A writer in chief

 Bill Gardner.Bill Gardner grew up on Pullman’s College Hill and thought for sure he was on track to be a teacher when he graduated from WSU. His father was a soil physicist at the University from 1950 to 1983. “I was 11 before I realized there were professions other than being a professor,” he says. “If I stood out at the end of my driveway, every house I saw had a professor living there.”

Gardner (’88, ’01 MA English), chief of Washington State University Police (and a published author), got into police work almost on a whim. He drove to the campus station with a friend who wanted to apply and decided » More …

Using photography to help combat racial, social injustice

Protesters march in a BLM demonstration.Sharing the complete picture of humanity, especially the hard topics, so that one day she can affect positive change.

That’s the reason photographer and WSU Tri-Cities alumna Madison Rosenbaum first picked up a camera. Shedding light on difficult social issues and providing a voice for the unheard is also what led her to document local protests following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. » More …

Math alumna: In the right place

Annalise Miller. Annalise Miller saw a worrisome trend among local youths in northern Namibia, where she’s been working to promote financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

“What I noticed is many lack the basic critical thinking and leadership skills that are vital in becoming successful entrepreneurs,” she says. “They are in an economic crisis so job creation is really important.”

To help build their skills, she and her colleagues developed a five-day Exploring Entrepreneurship Kids Camp. The goal: teach 12- to 16-year-olds the basics of » More …

Rockin’ the stars

Dean Karr.During his thirty-year career, Dean Karr (’88 fine arts) has worked with some of the biggest names in the music business and collected all kinds of keepsakes—from VIP passes and platinum records to props and guitars signed by the likes of Judas Priest and Slayer’s Kerry King. Exploring Karr’s 1926  Spanish-style home in the Hollywood Hills is like walking through a museum of rock-and-roll’s recent history. From his first-floor studio to his upstairs office, souvenirs tell the story of his work, which he sums up simply:  “I just like making cool stuff.” » More …

Quite a crew

WSU rowers in action under a colorful sunset.Cougar Crew, one of WSU’s most successful club sports, is gearing up to commemorate its fiftieth anniversary. Organizers hope to see 1,000 alumni, family, friends, and other supporters at their gala on March 21, 2020. The dinner and auction are part of the team’s annual Cougar Crew Days, which features a reunion, boat race, and opportunities to support the long, proud, and scrappy tradition of Cougar Crew.

“It was totally grassroots,” says former WSU rower Dave Arnold (’88 History). “It was grit and perseverance and scrappiness. People sacrificed to do it.”

They helped build their own boathouse. And when a windstorm blew it down, they helped build it back up. They also built their own dock, hit white caps » More …

Buckin’ hunger

“Let ’Er Buck” sculpture by Austin Barton.In September, competitors in northeast Oregon’s 109th Pendleton Round-Up took part in one of the world’s most famous and colorful rodeos. Set in a wide valley pressed up against the Blue Mountain foothills, the small city of Pendleton has hosted the Round-Up since 1910, a rodeo voted best in the United States for four years running.

Much of the thanks goes to the 1,100 volunteers, including a group of highly engaged Cougar alumni, whose teamwork and hospitality make » More …

With a pencil or brush or horse

Don Weller with his dog.His canvases are mostly covered with cowboys and horses now, along with their accompaniments—saddles and chaps, barns and fences, cows, canyons, rivers, red rocks, ropes—all things he’s loved from an early age.

Don Weller (’60 Fine Arts) worked for decades as an illustrator and graphic designer before making a second career of painting images of rodeos and ranches and, in a sense, getting back in touch with » More …

Student regents: Where are they now?

College of Arts and Sciences - Washington State University.It’s been 20 years since the state legislature created the student position on the Board of Regents, WSU’s governing body.

It’s a big deal; the 10-member board, appointed by the governor, sets policy and provides guidance for University administration. the student regent holds the same voting rights and responsibilities as other regents—with only one exception: personnel issues.

“Having a student voice on the Board of Regents is invaluable,” says Governor Jay » More …

Triple threat: school, sports, and service

Pole vaulting.Senior Troy Gingerich is the only NCAA student-athlete at WSU who is also an active member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program.

Raymond Sun, associate professor of history, remembers his first encounter Gingerich: “He was a quiet guy until we started to have class discussions. What he had to say showed he had » More …