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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Alumni

Q&A with alumnus Edward Felt

Edward Felt.A biology and organizational communication double major, Edward Felt (’09) is the north American sales manager for VMRD, Inc., a Pullman-based company that develops and manufactures veterinary diagnostic test kits and reagents for distribution in more than 77 countries, as well as performing specialized testing for the global serum, veterinary, and pharmaceutical industries. » More …

Q&A with alumna Michelle McArthur Allman

Michelle McArthur Allman.A high school teacher earlier in her career, Michelle McArthur Allman (’98 English & Secondary Education) currently is the Director of Special Education for the Laurel School District in Laurel, Delaware. Her department serves students from preschool through 12th grade and ages 3 through 21 who have an IEP or a 504 plan, as well as coordinating summer programming for the Extended School Year, 12-Month Services, and Gifted and Talented programs. » More …

Pilots for the presidents

Jeff Tontini and Dan Ircink.Their brotherhood took off from the Sigma Nu chapter house in Pullman to careers as Marine Corps helicopter pilots flying two presidents of the United States.

Alumni Jeff “Cliffy” Tontini (’89 History) and Dan “Dano” Ircink (’89 English) were pledge brothers to Sigma Nu fraternity as freshmen at Washington State University in 1985, but they couldn’t foresee that their parallel paths would take them to the skies and around the world. » More …

Transfer student finds community on both sides of the river

Kyle Kopta.When deciding what four-year university he wanted to attend, affordability and proximity to family were primary factors for first-generation student Kyle Kopta (’21). He discovered WSU Tri-Cities, located just 40 minutes from his hometown of Hermiston, Oregon, had a digital technology and culture program that would allow him to apply his passion for photography, video, graphic design, and fine arts as part of earning a well-rounded degree with potential use in a variety of careers. » More …

Plastic waste has some economic benefit for developing countries

Plastic waste in shrink wrapped bags.For decades, wealthy nations have transported plastic trash, and the environmental problems that go with it, to poorer countries, but WSU sociology researchers have found a potential bright side to this seemingly unequal trade: plastic waste may provide an economic boon for the lower-income countries.

Yikang Bai (’15 MA, ’19 MS, ’20 PhD) and former WSU faculty member Jennifer Givens analyzed 11 years of data on the global plastics trade against economic measures for 85 countries. » More …

Music review: Random Perfect Plan

Album cover: Random Perfect Plan.Richard Tillinghast (’11 psych) found his way to WSU Vancouver after he learned he was going to become a father. He commuted to campus several days a week for two years from his home near White Salmon. Years before, he had started college on the East Coast, but family tragedy and the itch to travel took him overseas. He wandered the world, making a living through music, kayaking, and » More …

History prof recognized for excellence in teaching

Aaron Whelchel, associate professor of history at WSU Vancouver and WSU Global, is the winner of the 2020-21 Excellence in Online Teaching Award, an annual student-nominated award sponsored by Academic Outreach and Innovation (AOI).

“Dr. Whelchel has an obvious enthusiasm for the material. He gathered wonderfully thought-provoking content, often primary sources, that encouraged me to challenge what I thought I knew about » More …

Making her own way

A fan watches Cougar sports.Carly Ellingsen (’16 BS zoology) comes from a long line of Cougars. She’s named after her great-grandfather, Carl “Tuffy” Ellingsen, who kicked, ran and threw the Cougars to their second Rose Bowl in 1931.

Her grandfather, Don Ellingsen, another Washington State University Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, still ranks seventh all-time in receptions among other WSU football greats. » More …

Essay: How history offers comfort

Alumna Nikki Brueggeman (’13) reflects on how the field she loves can help us through the pandemic and beyond.

After college and graduate school, I wandered away from studying history. My life became filled with employment, relationships, and other distractions. My history books sat on shelves, ignored. Then, a virus began to spread across the world, and I found myself reaching for my books once again. » More …

Dr. Universe: If snakes smell with their tongues, what do they do with their noses?

Dr. Universe: a cat in a lab coatSnakes have an amazing sense of smell. They can use their tongues to pick up on all kinds of scents in the air.

Whenever we smell something in the air, we are actually sniffing tiny building blocks called molecules. These molecules are what make up the scents of everything around us—things like baked bread, fresh-cut grass, and warm cookies. » More …