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Washington State University

Honors Alumni & Friends Impact the World

Throughout Washington, the nation, and the world, more than 5,000 WSU graduates are distinguished for having completed the rigorous program in the WSU Honors College. They work as financiers, entrepreneurs, scientists, and educators, for example, in corporations, governments, start-ups, and non-profits. They make a difference wherever they go. They, along with other friends of the program, also continue to make a difference to Honors through their gifts and support.

Alumni and Friends News

Alumnus Patrick Gavin and Student Elijah Shoemake Publish UAV-related Article

“Car-Top Test Module as a Low-Cost Alternative to Wind Tunnel Testing of UAV Propulsion Systems” is the title of an article published in the Journal of Aerospace Engineering, listing Patrick Gavin (’14) and student Elijah Shoemake as co-authors.

The article details the efforts of a WSU team of students and faculty to assess motor and propeller performance for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) using a car-top test module developed for the test.  Read their paper>>

Researcher Lindsay Sanford Credits Honors Professor Pamela Lee with Important Skill-Building

Alumna Lindsay Sanford (’07 Mechanical Engineering) is a research development specialist at Baylor Scott & White Health in Temple, Texas. The company is that state’s largest not-for-profit health system. More>>

Alumna Authors Book on Raising Children

Tracy Cutchlow (’97 Journalism) based her new book, Zero to Five, on her own experiences with two-year-old daughter Geneva as well as her familiarity with key child development research.  More>>

Alumnu Returns to WSU for Vocal Concert

Kristofer Barber (’00, Vocal Performance and Honors) returned to Pullman and WSU in March 2014 to conduct a master class in Kimbrough Hall and to give a voice recital in Bryan Hall. A Pullman native, Barber is now a singer and actor based in Amsterdam. He has performed more than 35 roles in the U.S. and Europe. More>>

Alumna Earns First Montana State University Award for Women in Science

Joan Blanchette Broderick (’87 Chemistry and Biochemistry), MSU professor, is the inaugural winner of the Woman in Science Distinguished Professor Award, established for promote women in STEM careers. In her lab, she explores how certain types of metals (particularly iron) function in biology; it could have wide applications in biomedicine and green energy. Her extensive vita lists her S. Town Stephenson Award from the Honors College when she was an undergraduate student at WSU. More>>

Alumna’s Career Cleared for Takeoff

Having interned with Boeing as an undergraduate, Honors alumna Lindsay Sandler (’13 Mechanical Engineering and Honors) was offered her first full-time job with the Seattle-based aerospace giant. More>>

Taking a Sip from the Crimson Spoon

After an intriguing offer from WSU’s Executive Chef Jamie Callison, culinary whiz and Honors alumna Linda Burner Augustine (’83 Home Economics and Honors) authored a best-selling cookbook called The Crimson Spoon. More>>

An Author, the Sea, and Desmond Tutu

Jared Brickman (’12, Communication/Journalism and Honors) anteed his Semester at Sea experience into a second published book and thesis project before heading to graduate school. More>>

Honors Hosts McKinney, Baumgartner, and Marler

The Honors College at Washington State University welcomed several guests for discussions and presentations this past year.  Some were alumni of the program, highlighting the successes of graduates from the Honors community. More>>

Alumnus Julian Reyes Awarded 2012 NSF GRFP

Julian Reyes (’10, Civil Engineering and the Honors College), has received a fellowship with the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). The oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long-held history of high- achieving recipients.  More>>

Alumnus Andrew Whitaker Electrifies, Graduates MIT

Coauthor of the MIT Future of the Electric Grid Study, Andrew Whitaker (’09 Electrical Engineering, Chinese Language and Culture, and the Honors College) graduated MIT last September with his S.M. in Technology and Policy.  More>>

Alumnus Ahmad Bayomy Begins Residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at UW

The University of Washington Orthopaedics and Sport Medicine program accepted eight students from across the nation for its 2012-13 Orthopaedic Surgery Residency (R1) rotation.  One of the students selected is alumnus Ahmad Bayomy (’06 Bioengineering and the Honors College) from Moscow, Idaho.  More>>

Alumna Megan Crenshaw Earns 2012 Gates Public Service Law Scholarship at UW

Alumna Megan Crenshaw (’11 Communications/Broadcasting, Political Science, and the Honors College) is a 2012 Gates Scholar at the University of Washington School of Law.  This scholarship program will pay for Crenshaw’s law degree in return for a five-year commitment to public service law.  More>>

Alumnus John Wyrick Lands $1.6 Million NIH Grant

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded $1.6 million to Washington State University scientists in order to understand how reparative enzymes in the body work.  One of the two main collaborators on this work is John Wyrick (’96 Biochemistry and the Honors College).  Wyrick is an associate professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences.  More >>

Alumna and Advisory Board Member Shirley Skidmore Inducted into Murrow Hall of Achievement at WSU

With a nod to her many achievements in the field of communications and her passion for the students in the Murrow College of Communication, Honors alumna Shirley Skidmore (’84 BA Communications, ’89 MA Communications, and ’02 English) was inducted in the Murrow Hall of Achievement on Oct. 20, 2011 in Seattle.  Skidmore is a member of the Honors College Advisory Board.  More>>

MSU Administrator has WSU Honors

Montana State University’s new dean of students is Honors College alumnus Matt Caires (’97 Liberal Arts).  Chosen from 85 applicants nationwide, Caires was named to the position in May 2011. Prior to this assignment, he served as assistant dean of students for leadership development at the University of Washington. While at WSU, Caires was the undergraduate student body president in 1996-97, and was a Pullman city councilman from 1995-97.

College Roots Honors Benefactor M.E. “Buzz” Johnson Dies in Montana

Manford E. “Buzz” Johnson died in Beaverton, Oreg. in August 2011 from complications from Alzheimer’s disease. With his late wife, Maxine, the couple created an endowed scholarship that has helped many Honors College students with their educations.


Alumnus Julian Reyes Receives Fulbright to Germany

Alumnus and WSU doctoral student Julian Reyes (’09, civil engineering) is spending the 2011-12 academic year studying in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar. Reyes is one of three Fulbrights from WSU in 2011—the first since 2004. Though his engineering doctoral program is rigorous, when on the Pullman campus, Reyes makes time to drop by to visit and help Honors and its students.

Alumnus Lewis Lee’s Law Firm Top for Quality Patents

Alumnus Lewis Lee was featured in Seattle Business Magazine (April 2011), following ranking of his firm Lee & Hayes as the #1 firm in the U.S. for securing the highest quality U.S. patents for its clients.  The ranking was commissioned by Intellectual Asset Management magazine. In August 2011, the firm received word that it was awarded the top spot as the highest quality patent law firm in the U.S. for the second year in a row.  In addition to being named top overall, Lee & Hayes was also recognized as the number one U.S. patent law firm in the information technology sector.  More>>

Honors Alumnus Zack Purvis to Study at Oxford

Zack Purvis (’06 Mathematics and Honors) has been accepted to the University of Oxford theology doctoral program beginning this October.

Purvis is completing his M.A. in historical theology at Westminster Seminary California and lives in Escondido, Calif. His interests include modern European intellectual and cultural history and theology, with a particular focus on 19th Century Germany.

In a recent email with Rachel J. Halverson, long-time Honors faculty member and associate professor of German, Purvis reminisced about a German culture class that he took as a student.

“Your and Wes Leid’s joint Honors course helped to cultivate a number of my academic interests, and Honors has greatly helped me before and after I graduated.”

With advice from Halverson, Purvis says he looks forward to applying for Fulbright and German Academic Exchange (DAAD) grants to continue his research and future dissertation.

After a two-year Peace Corps assignment in Morocco, alumna Anjie Bertramson (International Business, minor Chinese) returned to America.  Read her reflections on her time abroad abroad.

Alumnus Samuel Shaddox (’10 Political Science) was named in September 2010 to serve on the Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) by Washington Governor Christine Gregoire.  The University of Washington law student represented the WSU student body to the state legislature during his final semester at college.  About his HECB appointment, Shaddox wrote to Dean Walker and Assistant Dean Cassleman, “I could not have done it without the experiences and learning I was able to benefit from in the Honors College.”

Read more about Shaddox and his Olympia experiences in the Spring 2010 e-Excellence newsletter available online.

Alumna Stephanie Pitts (’09 Mechanical Engineering) has received a $150,000 three-year fellowship to conduct research on stainless steel used for nuclear power plant construction.  She is one of 30 graduate students receiving the award from the Nuclear Energy University Programs of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Currently a doctoral student in mechanical engineering at WSU, Pitts was the first engineering student to earn a Certificate of Global Competency from Honors.  She also studied abroad in Germany.  At Honors’ Fall 2009 Commencement, she earned both the Dean’s Award and the S. Town Stephenson Award.

Her story is featured in the Spring 2010 e-Excellence magazine online.

Honors alumna McKenzie Mohler (’10 English) accepted a position as an Honors Academic Counselor in the Honors College at Oklahoma State University. She plans to advise more than 200 Honors students.

Alumni Neill and Julia (Kaiser) Johnson (’69 D.V.M. and ’71 Biology) are lifelong Cougars and have recently made a current-use gift to Honors that supports scholarships for 15 students and boosts the Honors College Excellence Fund.  Neill, who is certified as a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and is retired from a research career in the pharmaceutical industry, now helps Julia, a veterinarian since 1974, in her companion/small animal hospital in New Jersey where she is a solo practitioner.

Honors alumnus Alan Emanuel  (’10 Neuroscience) received a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to support his graduate studies at Harvard University.  He began undergraduate research as a freshman.  His Honors thesis reflected his research into the functions of catecholamine neurons in the brain.

In fall 2009, Honors alumnus Amos Peterson (’00 Animal Science, with a French minor; ’08 DVM) began a combat tour to a U.S. Navy base in the Horn of Africa, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.  Peterson, a captain in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, has been Officer-in-Charge of the Andrews Air Force Base veterinary clinic in Maryland since 2008, and provides medical and logistical support for 37 military dogs.  Public service is a family interest for Peterson; his sister Ella Peterson, also an honors alumna (’03 International Business, with a minor in French) took a U.S. Peace Corps assignment, and has since become an English teacher in Taiwan.  The two are featured in the fall 2009 edition of Excellence Magazine.

Honors alumnus Michael J. Scott (’70 Economics ) was the guest speaker for the Fall 2009 Honors Commencement Ceremony.  Father of three Honors students, Scott was one of 20 scientists who contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize in equal parts with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

A hiking mishap led Honors alumnus Brian Gawley (’87 Mass Communications and Journalism) to write and publish a book about his three-day adventure in the Olympic National Forest.   The book details getting lost and injured, a daring rescue by the U.S. Coast Guard, and life after the ordeal.

Alumnus Brian Carlton (’09 Civil Engineering and History, minors in math and Spanish) received numerous accolades for his achievements while at WSU.  Today, he is studying geotechnical engineering at Berkeley and plans to be an expert in aspects of earthquakes.

Honors alumnus Shannon E. Coulter (Mechanical Engineering) reported in July 2009 for his latest assignment as a U.S. Navy officer: assistant professor of Naval Science and executive officer of the University of Auburn Naval ROTC unit in Alabama.  During a military career that began in 1990, Commander Coulter, nicknamed “Flash,” completed numerous assignments; for example, he served with the “Screaming Eagles” in Miramar, Calif., flew reconnaissance missions over Bosnia-Herzegovina, was a Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) in the F-14A/B Tomcat, and served as the Iraqi Civil Aviation Project Officer as part of a 12-month assignment to the Multi-National Force-Iraq Logistics Directorate at Camp Victory in Iraq.

Honors alumna Leslie V. Rowe (French and Education, minor Spanish) presented the V.N. Bhatia Lecture March 6, 2010 during the WSU Honors College 50th Anniversary celebration. She was appointed in fall 2009 to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique, having completed in summer 2009 her assignment as U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanutu. She was featured in the Fall 2008 Honors Excellence pint magazine; an expanded complete interview is available.

Honors alumnus Duane Jacklin (Ag Econ) made a significant gift with his brothers that supports Honors students seeking a better understanding of the world, and the role the U.S. has in it.