Washington State Magazine

Fall 2011 Earth, Wind and Food

Fall 2011

Earth, Wind - and Food

In This Issue...


A Fine Thin Skin—wind, water, volcanoes, and ice :: Different as they seem, the soils of Eastern and Western Washington have one thing in common. They come—either by water, wind, or ice—generally from elsewhere. And what takes eons to form can be covered over or erode away in a geologic heartbeat. by Tim Steury

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Map: Washington soils }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Story: How you contribute to soil health }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Story: When soil goes sour }

Above & Beyond :: In the spring of 1792, George Vancouver praised “the delightful serenity of the weather.” A few years later, William Clark complained of a dour winter that was “cloudy, dark and disagreeable.” How right they both were. Weather patterns determined by mountains and ocean grant the Pacific Northwest a temperate climate that also has a dark and unpredictable side. by Hannelore Sudermann

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Links: Links to weather news, AgWeatherNet, and other resources for following Pacific Northwest weather }

Billions Served :: Seven billion people will soon become nine billion before the global population levels off. Can so many people be fed from a finite Earth? Yes, they can, say WSU researchers. But the solutions will necessarily be many. by Eric Sorensen


{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Gallery: Images of Antarctica: WSU geochemist Jeff Vervoort and interior design assistant professor Kathleen Ryan discuss their exhibit of photos from the frozen continent. }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Puzzle: Creature crossings: A lesson in teaching the nature of science }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Video: Valley View Fires of 2008 and Firewise Community Produced by the Spokane County Conservation District }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Map: Historic wildfires of the Pacific Northwest }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Story: How to protect your home from wildfires }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Video: Small forest management }


{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Project: Coug-o-lantern Stencils for carving the WSU Cougar head logo on pumpkins }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Illustrations: Plans and sketches for new WSU football facilities and Martin Stadium }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Recipes: Pumpkin recipes }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Interactive photo: Tour the Admiralty Head Lighthouse }


{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Gallery: Cougar logo through the years }

New media

:: The Docks by Bill Sharpsteen ’80

:: L.A. Rendezvous by Charles Argersinger

:: A Chinaman’s Chance by Alex Kuo

Cover photo: “Small Forest in the Palouse Hills” by Chip Phillips

WSU Alumni Association News
WSUAA president Rhonda Kromm ’86, ’05 with Olivia (left) and Zoe—two of her four adopted children. Courtesy Richardson Studio


WSUAA president Rhonda Kromm ’86, ’05 with Olivia (left) and Zoe—two of her four adopted children. Courtesy Richardson Studio

Rhonda Kromm ’86, ’05

© Washington State University

Rhonda Kromm wouldn’t let car problems keep her from going to college. Since her old vehicle wouldn’t make the drive from Moses Lake, she hitchhiked to Spokane and hiked up the hill to Spokane Community College to enroll. Then she hiked back down the hill to find another ride home.

She wouldn’t let money hold her back, either. With an AA degree completed, Kromm took a year off from school to save up. Then she moved to Colfax, spent mornings taking classes at WSU’s Pullman campus and afternoons coaching at Jennings Elementary. She finished her degree in education in 1986 and that summer moved with her family to Hawaii, figuring WSU would become part of her past.

It wasn’t to be. Kromm continued her involvement with WSU as an alumni volunteer, a grad student, and now president of the WSU Alumni Association (WSUAA).

It was an interesting journey, says Kromm, one that included years as a volunteer with the WSUAA’s Hawaii Chapter, where she helped coordinate WSU events, tailgate parties, and summer send-offs for new students. In 2002, Kromm and her family moved back to Pullman. While raising a family, working as a public-school teacher, and earning a graduate degree, she remained an active volunteer with the Palouse Chapter of the WSUAA. Kromm’s involvement with the Alumni Association includes, in part, serving as president of two chapters, a member of the Board of Directors, and WSUAA president for 2011-12.

She has also served six years as an alumni representative on the WSU Athletics Council. “It was awesome to be involved with WSU Athletics,” she says. Her Hawaii ties made her a great local “auntie” for Hawaii product and Cougar basketball great Derrick Low, who would bring fellow students and teammates over for occasional family dinners. “You could never make too much food for them,” she says of Derrick and his friends. Kromm expanded her involvement even further by serving as the alumni liaison to the WSU Arboretum Committee and the WSUAA representative for the WSU Foundation Board of Governors.

Now Kromm, who worked so hard to get to and finish college, finds herself back on campus all the time. Whether it’s increasing the number of Cougars who are Alumni Association members or helping the Alumni Association expand its support of WSU, “I’m involved everywhere I can be.” 

For more information about WSUAA and alumni chapters visit www.alumni.wsu.edu or call 1-800-258-6978.

Categories: Alumni, Education | Tags: Alumni Association, Teaching

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