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College of Arts and Sciences Alumni

Dr. Universe: Why won’t sea turtles lay eggs in the ocean?

Dr. UniverseSea turtles spend almost their entire lives in the ocean. Even as babies, sea turtles’ bodies have special traits for living at sea, helping them glide and paddle through the water. After emerging from their eggs, baby sea turtles (called “hatchlings”) scramble to the ocean to live the rest of their lives. Only female sea turtles return to land as adults, to lay eggs and begin the cycle again.

I talked with my friend Frank Paladino to learn more about sea turtles. He completed his Ph.D. at » More …

Increasing student and faculty engagement

Students in a large classroom.Teaching Psychology 230 – Human Sexuality – puts Blythe Duell in front of up to 500 undergraduate students each class session. It’s a massive crowd compared to her previous teaching job at a small college in the south. She was intimidated upon returning to WSU in 2018 – where she’d earned a PhD a decade prior – to be assigned a class with a large enrollment and very diverse students.

Duell wanted to ensure she was doing everything in her power to make sure students were engaged and » More …

Alumna’s gift will keep on giving

Akanna PoorWhat do you give someone for Christmas that not only helped you navigate college, but gave you everything to ensure your success?

For Akanna Poor, a recent WSU Tri-Cities first-generation graduate, the answer was simple. Give a gift that will continue to give to others – all in the name of the individuals who helped give her » More …

Former Cougar Crew members share life lessons

1973 WSU Cougar Crew on a dock.Out here, among the rolling hills of the Palouse, generations of rowers have pulled hard. They’ve learned life lessons on the Snake River, where conditions can change instantaneously and team work is essential. They’ve forged lifelong friendships. They’ve made memories.

As the Cougar Crew prepares to celebrate the team’s 50th anniversay, a few former WSU oarsmen, including three CAS alumni, shared their stories with » 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 …

Veterans preserve history

five people in a room full of archive boxesThe cool, high-ceiling basement room in College Hall is furnished in Spartan fashion. On this summer day it’s library quiet, but not by tradition or rule. It’s the natural product of deep concentration, as the lab’s three curation technicians, all student veterans, work their way through a collection of ancient artifacts.

At a cluster of mismatched tables in the center of the room, senior Chris Sison carefully examines a tray of artifacts, occasionally consulting a set of printed cards or making a note in » 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 …

Vancouver Notable Alumni Award

Morgan Parker With remarkable energy, drive and a passion for community service, Morgan Parker (’12, ’14)  is devoting her life to help young adults who are struggling find their paths in life, and in doing so, she is making the community a better place for everyone.

She is the director of Next, a program » More …