Washington State Magazine

Summer 2014

Summer 2014

State of Wonder

In This Issue...


State of Wonder—Growing up in a state that fosters belonging :: A childhood spent in Washington has never been better. Our abundant natural resources, our trove of teachers and volunteers, and our commitment to child development make this a great state to grow up in. by Hannelore Sudermann

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Story: A storybook story The Inga Kromann children’s book award }

Machine in the Classroom—New tech tools engage young scientists :: Teaching with new technology may involve a microscope app for an iPad or an affordable circuit board for a budding engineer. School children have some exciting new tools with which to conduct experiments and explore their worlds, but now teachers have to decide how to use them. by Larry Clark ’94

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Video: Focus Microscope Camera captures the world beyond the eye’s reach }

Lost Highway—John Mullan closed the last link of the Northwest Passage and vanished from history—until now :: More than 150 years ago, a contingent of road builders and a military escort set out on a rugged pilgrimage to build a wagon highway across the Rocky Mountains and into the west. Historian Keith Petersen ’73 has traced the tumultuous life of the lead engineer John Mullan and, in the process, uncovered some fascinating facts about what is now known as Mullan Road. by Eric Sorensen

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Story: Mullan Road Monuments by Keith Petersen }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Gallery: Gustav Sohon’s illustrations of the Mullan Road and the West }


:: Charting the course of a globe-trotting pathogen

:: Sex, drugs, and differences

:: The time in between

:: Consider the dragon

:: A matter of taste

:: The scoop on Ferdinand’s murals

:: 100 years of the Bookie

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Video: Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Gallery: A century of the Bookie }


:: First Words

:: Posts

:: In Season: Salmon

:: Sports: Summer spikes

:: Last Words: Ask Dr. Universe


:: Tom Norwalk ’75—Visit Seattle

:: Tim Hills ’93—Hotels and history

:: Cori Dantini ’93—Art and whimsy

:: Allison Helfen ’89—A crush on local wine

:: Alumni news: Lewis Alumni Centre “re-barn”

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—List: Seattle sites you may not have visited }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Book excerpt: The Many Lives of the Crystal Ballroom }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Video: The Lewis Alumni Centre Story }

New Media

:: The Aesthetics of Strangeness: Eccentricity and Madness in Early Modern Japan by W. Puck Brecher

:: Hunger Immortal: The First Thirty Years of the West Seattle Food Bank, 19832013 by Ronald F. Marshall ’71

:: Legal Guide to Social Media: Rights and Risks for Businesses and Entrepreneurs by Kimberly A. Houser

:: New & Noteworthy: Kierkegaard for the Church: Essays and Sermons by Ronald F. Marshall ’71; The Whiskey Creek Water Company by Jan Walker ’60; Into the Storm: Journeys with Alzheimer’s edited by Collin Tong; Teeing Up for Success Cheri Brennan ’72, contributor; So This Is Christmas by Jim Devitt ’86

On the cover: Milky Way galaxy over Mount Rainier from Sunrise Point—meteorites show up as streaks of light. This image was a winner in Smithsonian magazine’s 10th annual photo contest. Photo by Dave Morrow. See the entire image.

Summer 2014
Web Exclusives
Art from Kromann Award winner Jessica Peterson's book.

Art from Kromann Award winner Jessica Peterson's book.

A storybook story

by Hannelore Sudermann | © Washington State University

For nearly 40 years Inga Kromann taught literature to teachers in training at WSU’s College of Education. In fact, she led the charge in expanding the children’s book offerings from “a two foot shelf in Holland Library” of “50 shabby, outdated books” as she describes it, to a serious collection now housed in Owen Library and filled with children’s and young adult literature. She also helped expand education courses to include permanent classes in teaching folk literature, poetry, advanced study in literature, ethnic literature, and literature in the curriculum.

In recognition of her work and to encourage student teachers to think more about the role literature can play in their classrooms, Associate Professor Jane Kelley created an award in Kromann’s name. Students who write, illustrate, and produce their own books can vie for a $1,000 award and their own place on WSU’s library shelves. Kromann contributes to the prize money and to the cost of producing the book.

By breaking down the process of writing, illustrating, and designing a children’s book, the students may develop a strong sense what goes into a book that at once entertains and serves a purpose for its audience. One winner from a few years ago features a young girl learning about senses by exploring a rose garden with a blind woman. Another deals with a young person whose father is away at war and who confides her feelings to a firefly.

Two years ago, Jessica Peterson ’13 sat down to write and illustrate a children’s book about a little girl who couldn’t get to sleep. In the process, she managed to capture pieces of her own childhood in West Seattle. “We had been studying children’s literature and I had been thinking about what to write, and this just came to me,” she says. Peterson, who has been writing and illustrating little books since the fifth grade, took her character out on a nighttime ride through the city during which she saw familiar sights in a new light and acquired a following of animals along the way.

Peterson’s Washington childhood has filled her with great images and experiences, many of which she hopes to draw on as an elementary school teacher. Some of her favorite memories can be found in the woods behind her house where she and her younger sister Haley (currently attending WSU) and big brother Brodie ’12 would play capture the flag and pretend they in were a world far away from home. “When I was around 12,” she says, “we found this site that didn’t have a house, but there was a rope swing. We loved playing there. It was like a storybook in real life.”

Her own storybook, in which she captures that magic of exploration, won the Inga Kromann Book Award in 2012. “I’ve always liked writing and illustrating,” says Peterson, who has been substitute teaching in Seattle. “Winning just gave me some extra confidence to do it.”

Categories: Children's books, Education | Tags: Children, Writers