Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University

Courage, Shenanigans, & Sports Reporting: Honors Eckman Fund Supports AP Writer’s Remarks at 2024 Murrow Symposium

Courage, Shenanigans, & Sports Reporting: Honors Eckman Fund Supports AP Writer’s Remarks at 2024 Murrow Symposium

By Phyllis Shier, WSU Honors College,

San Francisco Associated Press (AP) sportswriter and honors alumna Janie McCauley (’98) delivered keynote remarks at the April 2024 Murrow Symposium’s closing luncheon. The event was sponsored by the Honors College Art Eckman Fund, which supports honors sports broadcasting majors with enrichment opportunities and was open to the university community.

In her remarks, McCauley addressed reporting on controversial and dangerous topics and the courage it demands of both the journalists and the subjects of these stories. She cited examples that speak to heroic courage, like that of her colleague Anja Niedringhaus, a German photojournalist who was killed in Afghanistan in 2014 covering an election. Janie worked with Niedringhaus at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. Her Murrow symposium remarks were delivered on the tenth anniversary of Niedringhaus’s death.

McCauley also covered the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic games, which included the first men’s volleyball team from Iran. Conducting background prior to the games, she became aware of women in Teran who were fighting for the right to attend, since Iranian women were not allowed in stadiums. In telling their stories McCauley couldn’t use their names or else they would be in danger, she said.

“I’m still in touch with some of these courageous women in Iran to this day who risked their lives, in some situations, to fight for what they believe in,” she said. Janie made it her quest to find an Iranian woman in the Rio stands at the volleyball match. With assistance from the crowd, she finally found an Iranian expatriate living in Brazil who told her “I’m here for everybody back home who can’t be.”

“That was one of the more powerful stories I’ve done in my career, telling (the story) through the eyes of that woman…,” McCauley said.

That story encouraged Janie to seek out other tough assignments including an abuse scandal surrounding an Olympic rowing coach she knew and a story about the “forgotten population” of San Quentin inmates who benefited from playing tennis with a group she’s a part of, among others.  Tennis helps San Quentin Prison inmates find community | TenniStory (

For McCauley the “call” to sports journalism came early. As a child growing up in Washington state, she anticipated her family’s annual trek across the mountains from Leavenworth to attend a Sonics game in Seattle. Those early interactions energized her passion for sports and fueled her tenacity. Allowed one hour after the game to explore the Sonics stadium, Janie engaged in what she called “shenanigans.” Like sneaking into the visiting Detroit Piston’s family room by pretending to be the niece of rival player Bill Laimbeer. Or standing on a toilet seat in the arena bathroom to hide until everyone left so she could meet players, coaches, and their family members. Once she snuck under a dumpster to meet players as they prepared to get on the bus. “I think it probably gave me some skills for how to be resourceful,” she joked.

At thirteen, Janie wrote to NBA teams across the country with hopes they’d respond. Many did—replying with letters that included bumper stickers and signed photos of team players like David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs. Those interactions impressed on her the importance of writing, so in high school she got a job with her local newspaper, The Leavenworth Echo. As a WSU student she reported for the AP, writing quotes and short articles for newspapers across Washington and Idaho.

McCauley joined honors in her sophomore year, describing it as “a safe space to try new things out.” Minoring in Spanish, she spent her senior fall semester in Guadalajara, Mexico, conducting honors thesis research on the dangers journalists face in unsafe countries, foreshadowing a career to come.

But it was those early interactions with NBA teams and the treks across the mountains for Sonics shenanigans that instilled the confidence to pursue sports writing. Over her career she’s run into some of her early heroes and when she does, she thanks them.

“It was special—it influenced what I’m doing now,” she said.

This summer McCauley will cover swimming at her sixth Olympics in Paris.

“Thirty years in and I’m still having fun,” she told Murrow Symposium participants. “It’s been the joy of my life.”

The Honors College Art Eckman Fund, established by Cougar football team member and honors business administration alumnus Colin White (’03), was created in memory of renowned sports broadcaster and former Cougar Art Eckman (’64), who passed away in 2023. The Fund was first awarded in 2022, sponsoring a “Women in Sports” guest lectureship. White, who volunteered as a student web developer for Cable 8 Productions, was inspired to give back because of the financial support he received to attend WSU.

“Looking back now and being lucky enough to be in the financial position that I am in, I want to be able to provide that same sense of financial relief for other Cougs,” White told the WSU Foundation. Alumni and industry partners across the WSU community are encouraged to support the endowment.

Honors Nurses Present in Salt Lake City

Honors Nurses Present in Salt Lake City

Six Honors College students in the College of Nursing presented their research at the 2024 Western Institute of Nursing Conference in Salt Lake City. The presentations covered a range of healthcare topics:

Carolyn Stone* and Ekatrina Burduli Mental health and Birth Satisfaction of Perinatal Individuals During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Rosie Kirker*, Sheila Hurst, Britanny Bannon, Carolyn Stone, Dena Carr, Sharon Stadelman Sleep Distrubance and Challenges Faced by People Experiencing Houselessness

Destiny Stanek Bolles*, Janessa Graves, Sheila Hurst, Shawna Beese: The Relationship Between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) among All of us Respondents.

Macy Johnston*, Janessa Graves, Sheila Hurst, Shawna Beese: Exploring Access to Outdoor Physical Activity and Stress in NIH All of Us Research Program

Amelia Kohut*, Janessa Graves, Sheila Hurst, Shawna Beese: The Relationship Between Food Insecurity and Perceived Stress

Bianca Gerghe*, Janessa Graves, Sheila Hurst, Shawna Beese: Mental Health Service Utilization Among Pregnant Women in NIH All of US Research Program

Angela Crable, Jenifer Brewer, Molly Parker, Tara Marko, Natasha Barrow, Amelia Kohut, Sheila Hurst, Julie Postma: Assessing Nursing Curriculum Using the Planetary Health Report Card

Sheila Hurst, Brittany Bannon Dena Carr, Sharon Stadelman, Charis Williams, Carolyn Stone, Grace Borchert, Morgan Erickson, Marian Wilson: Sleep Assessment Among Houseless Individuals

Leap! Networking Event

Leap! Networking Event

The LEAP! Networking event is an opportunity for all students in the WSU Honors College to enhance their professional networking skills. During this event, students will engage with industry professionals, practice interview and communication skills, and learn best practices for professional success upon graduation! Make sure to register for LEAP! today. Food will be provided. Alumni from various industries will participate.

Friday, October 8
4:00-6:00 p.m.
Elmina White Honors Hall Lounge

You can register for the LEAP! Event here:

WSU Honors College pre-med students research health and science topics in summer

WSU Honors College pre-med students research health and science topics in summer

June 28, 2021

MEDIA CONTACT: Robin Bond, assistant dean of the WSU Honors College, 509-335-4505,

Grant Norton, dean of the WSU Honors College, 509-335-4504,

PULLMAN, Wash.—Tapping their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills and building their resumes, four Washington State University Honors College pre-med students are spending their summer researching topics ranging from a female gynecological disorder to U.S. minority mortality rates, and from cannabis use to infectious diseases.
» More …

WSU Emeritus Society announces two undergraduate research awards, two grants for Honors College students

WSU Emeritus Society announces two undergraduate research awards, two grants for Honors College students

May 5, 2021

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Brigham, WSU Emeritus Society,

PULLMAN, Wash.—The Washington State University Emeritus Society of retired faculty members has announced that four of seven students selected to receive awards and grants to support their undergraduate research efforts are from the Honors College, group spokesman Tom Brigham said.

“As retired faculty from disciplines across the university, we feel it’s important to do what we can to encourage students’ research, scholarship, and creative activities,” said Brigham. “This allows us to contribute to the continued advancement of WSU, our community, and the state.
» More …

WSU Honors College students receive 15 research awards at the SURCA 2021 presentation event March 29

WSU Honors College students receive 15 research awards at the SURCA 2021 presentation event March 29

MEDIA: Mary Sanchez Lanier, WSU assistant vice provost, 509-335- 2320,

PULLMAN, Wash.—More than a quarter of Washington State University students who delivered virtual presentations won monetary awards at the annual Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) on March 29 in Pullman.
» More …

WSU Honors Thesis Abroad Grant

WSU Honors Thesis Abroad Grant
Facilitated by WSU Global Learning (GL) and International Studies Abroad (ISA)

Who: Student: WSU Honors student interested in carrying out guided research on the impact of global learning on students. This could be related to reach of Global Learning to different student populations or on the desired outcomes of Global Learning activities. The student should know basic statistics. Supervisor: Kelly Newlon, Ph.D., Director of Global Learning ISA contact: Colton Oliphant, Regional Director of University Partnerships

» More …