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College of Arts and Sciences Alumni

Alumni recall Peace Corps experience

Tanzania_wikipedia imageIn all, more than 235,000 Americans have served in 141 countries since Peace Corps’ inception in 1961. The Corps has three main aims: help meet the needs of interested countries, help promote a better understanding of people in other countries, and help promote a better understanding of Americans.

Nearly 10,000 volunteers have come from the state of Washington. Of those, about a tenth—1,008 volunteers, to be exact—is made up of WSU alumni, including Zoë Campbell (’09 biology) and Diane Kelly-Riley (’95 MA English, ’06 PhD Ed. Psych.), recently recalled their experiences in » More …

I, scientist

Hypatia illustration.Angela Jones (’94 English) is the CEO of Washington STEM, a nonprofit organization that collaborates with communities, businesses, and educators to ensure youth have equitable access to STEM education. They work with ten regional STEM networks across the state to help direct resources and scale successful programs that aim to ensure that there is cradle to career support for STEM skills. This means working to strengthen math skills for the state’s youngest students so they can start » 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 …

Music review: Giants in the Trees

Cover of CD - Volume 2 by Giants in the Trees.In their simply titled sophomore offering, Giants in the Trees have established their stride. Jillian Raye, Erik Friend, Ray Prestegard, and Krist Novoselić (’16 Soc. Sci.) have spent more than two years honing their sound—from the old creamery building where they practice to last year’s inaugural Thing festival in Port Townsend. Their second album—heavier, stronger, and tighter than their debut—features 39 minutes of ten varied tracks of moody, melodic, and modern Americana, punctuated with whimsy and, at times, trippy, psychedelic pop. » More …

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 …