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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Alumni

Shaping imagination and examining issues

Io Palmer and Manal Alharthi.“In the classroom, incredible things and conversations can happen around the making of art. The process opens your soul,” said Io Palmer, WSU associate professor of fine arts.

“My background set the stage for me to pursue something that brings me a lot of fulfillment, and I want to facilitate that experience for others,” Palmer said. “I want to show students art can be life-affirming and also be a deep, rich vehicle for expression.” » More …

Radiocarbon dating adds a millennium to Sakaro Sodo stelae

Sakaro Sado pictured in 2014.Rising as high as 20 feet, ancient stone monoliths in southern Ethiopia are 1,000 years older than scientists previously thought, according to a new study in the Journal of African Archaeology led by Ashenafi Zena (’19 PhD).

“This is one of the most understudied archaeological sites in the world, and we wanted to change that,” said Zena, who is now at the State Historical Society of North Dakota. » More …

Atom laser creates reflective patterns similar to light

A glass bottle surrounded by metal equipment.When cooled to almost absolute zero, atoms not only move in waves like light but also can be focused into shapes called caustics, similar to the patterns light makes on the bottom of a swimming pool or through a curved wine glass.

WSU physicists have developed a technique to see these matter-wave caustics by placing attractive or repulsive obstacles in the path of a cold atom laser. The results are curving cusps or folds, upward or » More …

WSU artists paint the town colorful

Sarah Barnett standing next to a mural. Vivid displays of color, shape, and beauty are popping up across Pullman, thanks largely to the talents of a group of muralists at Washington State University.

Students and faculty in the fine arts department have worked in recent months with other artists in the community to create a vibrant bouquet of public art on walls of buildings at the center of town and at the » More …

A vulnerable but powerful place

Book cover: Full Support, by Natalee Woods.With more than a decade of working in lingerie departments for an upscale department store, Natalee Woods’s (’03 English) expertise with fitting bras in both Seattle and Los Angeles provides readers of her new book a glimpse into the traditionally proscribed walls of dressing rooms.

In Full Support: Lessons Learned in the Dressing Room, Woods utilizes a humorous and satirical voice to offer subtle and profound insights into » More …

Notable alumni award

Karissa Lowe.Meet cultural ambassador, program manager, and volunteer extraordinaire Karissa Lowe (’01 BA English, ’03 MA education).

After earning her degrees  at WSU Vancouver, she served as an elected member of the Cowlitz Tribal Council for 15 years, until 2020. During that same period, she sat on several Cowlitz Tribal boards, the Grantmakers of Oregon and » More …

How Chinese pioneers helped build the Pacific Northwest

Polly Bemis sitting outside a cabin in Warren, IdahoThough often surprising to people today, Chinese immigrants once had a thriving population in the Inland Pacific Northwest. From their earliest days searching for gold to their later work constructing the Northern Pacific Railway, the Chinese endured discrimination and, in many cases, extreme brutality.

How it began

When word came that gold had been discovered in central California in 1849, many Chinese headed to » More …

Full circle

Painting by David Patterson. Following a successful career as a methods analyst with Boeing, David Patterson (’76 fine arts) returned to his childhood hometown of Pullman and the community that fostered his lifelong love of creating art.

A prolific pastel painter and photographer, he was first inspired by his mother Maxine (Weeks) Patterson (’46 fine arts). She specialized in oil paintings and watercolors and was represented by a Pullman gallery. She was still sketching into her late » More …

Where math and poetry intersect

James Owusu Asare.As a seven-year-old, James Owusu Asare developed an unusual hobby: he would sit quietly at home in Accra, Ghana, writing lines of poetry. By age 15, he realized he had a special ability and began to take it more seriously. But when it came time to go to university, Asare decided to study math even though it was his weakest subject as a child. » More …