Washington State Magazine

Washington State Magazine :: Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Points of views

In This Issue...


Mountains and Rivers and Prairies Without End—Recollecting Washington’s landscapes :: “The whole concept has burgeoned ... to one where the landscape is part of why people select to live in certain locations, has political meaning, has religious meaning, has all of these other kinds of meaning.” by Tim Steury

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Trips: Washington road trips from Tim Steury and Kathleen Flenniken}

A True Story Fraught with Peril :: Buried in hundreds of layers of rock are tales of fire, brimstone, destruction, and fragility. by Eric Sorensen

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Trips: Flood Basalts and Glacier Floods: Roadside Geology of Parts of Walla Walla, Franklin, and Columbia Counties, Washington }

A Dose of Reason—Pediatric specialists advocate for vaccines :: In 2011, Washington’s vaccination rate was dangerously low. According to the CDC, 6.2 percent of children in kindergarten had not been fully immunized. by Hannelore Sudermann

An inquiring mind :: Ken Alexander ’82, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital.


On the Road :: Washington’s Poet Laureate brings poetry to, and discovers it in, each of the state’s 39 counties. by Kathleen Flenniken ’83


:: Backyard boarders

:: Google ranking molecules

:: Music to a closed country

:: The calculus of caring and cooperation

:: Sorting debitage from rubble

:: A wider canvas

:: Predictive software helps communication

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Video: WSU chemist applies Google software to webs of the molecular world }


:: First Words

:: Posts

:: Sports: After the games

:: In Season: What about buckwheat?

:: Last Words: Everyone could use a lift

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Recipe: Sonoko Sakai’s Nihachi Soba Noodles }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Video: Campus shortcuts }


:: Robert Franklin ’75, ’76, ’79—A new leash on life

:: Pavlo Rudenko ’09—As fast as he can go

:: Nancy Gillett ’78—The business of science

:: Alumni news: Two alumni recognized for their contributions to food and agriculture

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Guide: A Guide to TriboTeX Nano-based Lubricant }

New Media

Soldiers of Paint by Doug Gritzmacher ’98 and Michael DeChant Jr.

Civility and Democracy in America: A Reasonable Understanding edited by Cornell W. Clayton and Richard Elgar

A Yankee on Puget Sound by Karen L. Johnson ’78 and Dennis M. Larsen ’68

New & Noteworthy: Operation Cody: An Undercover Investigation of Illegal Wildlife Trafficking in Washington State by Todd A. Vandivert ’79; Isaiah Shembe’s Prophetic Uhlanga by Joel E. Tishken; The Business of Android Apps Development/Taking Your Kindle Fire to the Max/LEGO Technic Robotics/Practical LEGO Technics by Mark Rollins ’94

On the cover: “Washington Road Trips” by John S. Dykes

First Words

First Words

by | © Washington State University

This being my last “First Words,” I have struggled to conjure something profound and insightful, or at least clever, to leave you with. But I am coming up short. So I’ll just skip the philosophical and offer a few observations. Forgive me if I repeat myself. I’ll try not to get sentimental.

From Washington State Magazine’s inception, we have followed the simple principle that we would not produce anything we would not read ourselves. Add that to our tagline—“Connecting you to Washington State University, the State, the World”—and I believe we’ve created a pretty successful formula.

There are many things we deliberately decided not to be. We are not a long-winded brochure. Neither are we a fundraising vehicle. Most important, we are not produced by committee. Rather, we are a magazine. Which means, as our mission states, that we cover “news and issues of interest to Washington State University faculty, staff, students, and alumni and the people of Washington from Seattle to St. John.”

Fortunately, you agree with our approach. In reader surveys and less formally, you have been very clear about what you are most interested in: research, statewide issues, and WSU’s involvement in the affairs of the state and world. 

I cannot imagine a more stimulating and fascinating challenge.

Beyond a shift in the masthead, not much about the magazine will change, at least immediately. I imagine there’s a redesign on the horizon. There will probably be an increasing web presence, but as a complement rather than a substitute. I suspect the voice will change a bit. But not dramatically. You have been hearing that voice through all of us, not just yours truly. 

Larry Clark ’94 will continue to be “managing editor.” But he will also become the one where the buck stops. Hannelore Sudermann will share leadership with Larry and become the “content editor.” John Paxson will continue, exquisitely, to art direct and more. Eric Sorensen will continue to report on university research in his unique and lively style. He will also share that overwhelming beat with a new staff member.

Nick Deshais joined us this fall. He will split his time between science writing for the magazine and bringing the popular Dr. W.S. Universe back from her extended sabbatical. 

Telling the story of WSU has been a large part of my identity for the past 24 years. Much as
I’m looking forward to my new ventures, it will be very strange to shut down my computer and close my office door for the last time. But it’s time to direct my attention elsewhere.

 In whatever direction my friends and colleagues take this magazine, I am confident it will continue to be lively, beautiful, and adept at interpreting the myriad endeavors of this great university and state. Indeed, I look forward to opening the May issue, having joined you as an engaged and expectant reader.

Tim Steury, Editor

Categories: Washington State Magazine | Tags: Magazines, Editor

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