Washington State Magazine

Summer 2007

Summer 2007

In This Issue...


It felt like coming home :: With Lane Rawlins, Washington State University has "become what a lot of people envisioned it could be." Even though he has plenty of ideas of what to do next, it is time to hand over the presidency. by Hannelore Sudermann

The presidents :: The fledgling Washington State Agricultural College hired and fired two presidents in two years. But then Enoch Bryan arrived, with his vision of a college of science and technology "shot through and through with the spirit of the liberal arts." Since Bryan, the succeeding presidents of Washington State University have established something of a rhythmic cycle of stirring things up and reconciliation, with lots of good drama and ideas mixed in. by Tim Steury

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Our Story: WSU presidents I have known (or known of) :: The secretary of Glenn Terrell and Clement French gives the lowdown on her former bosses and their predecessors. by Gen De Vleming }

Counting cougs :: Between 1995, the year before Washington banned the hunting of cougars with hounds, and 2000, the number of human-cougar encounters nearly quadrupled. Although encounters have returned to pre-ban levels in some areas, the public perception is that cougars are making a comeback—and must be stopped. But Hillary Cooley and Rob Wielgus insist that much of what we think we know about cougars is wrong. And their argument rests with the young males. by Cherie Winner

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Gallery: Counting Cougs :: Stalking the wild—and elusive—cougar with graduate student Hilary Cooley in northeastern Washington. A photo gallery by Robert Hubner. }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Gallery: Project CAT :: In September 2006, photographer Robert Hubner joined graduate students Hilary Cooley and Ben Maletzke on a trip to capture and collar a cougar kitten, with the help of students from the Cle Elum-Roslyn schools' Project CAT. }

Biology by the numbers:: In normal times, Europe's brown bears live in a state of happy equilibrium. But under certain circumstances, things can go seriously awry, leading the males to commit what researcher Robert Wielgus calls sexually selected infanticide. Wielgus's most powerful tool against this eventuality is math. by Cherie Winner

Hops & beer :: Raising the raw ingredients for beer can be just as complex and interesting as growing grapes for wine, says Jason Perrault '97, '01. Like grapes, hops have different varieties and characteristics. Perrault, fourth-generation heir to a hops-farming legacy, runs a hops breeding program for Yakima Valley growers, helping to ensure that Washington continues to provide three-quarters of the hops grown in this country. by Hannelore Sudermann


:: World Class. Face to Face. It's not a slogan, it's a plan. President Rawlins shares some parting thoughts on the eve of his retirement.

:: Questioning the questions

:: Happy—and healthy—ever after


:: FOOD AND FORAGE: It's rhubarb pie time!

:: SPORTS: Baseball's my game

:: SPORTS: Hoop dreams


Cover: V. Lane Rawlins steps down as WSU's ninth president, having given the University a stronger sense of itself and its role in the state. Read the story. Illustration by Steve O'Brien.

Susan Pavel.


Susan Pavel ('99 Ph.D.) Shelly Hanks

The photograph of Annie Williams, in a dress woven from mountain goat wool, was taken for the 1893 World Exposition in Chicago.


The photograph of Annie Williams, in a dress woven from mountain goat wool, was taken for the 1893 World Exposition in Chicago. Courtesy Myron Eells Collection, Whitman College and Northwest Archives

Susan Pavel '99 recreated the dress with wool gathered by her husband, Michael. Modeling the result, now owned by the Heard Museum in Phoenix, is her niece Shelby.


Susan Pavel '99 recreated the dress with wool gathered by her husband, Michael. Modeling the result, now owned by the Heard Museum in Phoenix, is her niece Shelby. Courtesy Susan Pavel

She's home

by | © Washington State University

When her husband-to-be Michael Pavel took her home to the Skokomish reservation in the summer of 1996, it was revealed that Susan Pavel (photo, center) couldn't cook.

"The attitude," she says, "was, well, let's teach you some useful trade. Like weaving."

And with that, Susan Pavel ('99 Ph.D.) joined the revival of Coast Salish weaving.

Susan and Michael, a Washington State University faculty member in education, were living with his uncle, Bruce Miller, a master weaver.

"He started me at the beginning, carding the wool, spinning the wool, dyeing the wool, working up the loom. Actual weaving was maybe a third of the process."

Susan spent the whole summer, working six to eight hours a day, weaving her first piece, which she gave back to Uncle, her teacher.

"The tradition is, when you learn a new craft or new skill and produce something, you give it away."

Weaving is an esteemed occupation within the Coast Salish tribes. However, in what was both a result and cause of cultural upheaval, the Salish joined the industrial revolution around the turn of the 20th century, turning to industrially woven blankets and cloth. For a period of more than 40 years thereafter, says Pavel, only three people in Washington were actively weaving within the style she now practices. Now an accomplished weaver, Pavel estimates she has taught her craft to more than 500 people.

Traditional weavers used a variety of materials--cedar, various plant fibers, and hair of the wool dog, which has now disappeared. But the most prized fiber was the wool of the mountain goat, which, due to the goat's habitat, is enormously time-consuming to gather.

At some point, says Pavel, Michael had gathered enough mountain goat wool to begin work on a dress modeled after one worn by Annie Williams, photographed for the 1893 World Exposition in Chicago.

"When I wove it, I just wove it," says Pavel. "I didn't measure it to anybody's body."

But when she discovered that it fit her niece, Shelby Pavel, and further, that Annie Williams was Shelby's distant aunt, Pavel named the dress "She's Home."

For more information and photos of Pavel's work, click here.

Categories: Alumni, Cultural studies | Tags: Native Americans, Coast Salish, Weaving

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