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In This Issue

WWU’s College of Sciences and Technology to be renamed College of Science and Engineering

The reality of higher ed costs: All of us must stay informed

Western’s June graduates sent off by distinguished speakers

Alumni Today Directory outreach underway

Alumnus Richard Veith continues family legacy of medical service

WWU industrial design alumnus develops Clean Water for Haiti

WWU's 2014 Outstanding Grads receive praise

WWU authors to add to your Summer Reading List

WWU’s College of Sciences and Technology to be renamed College of Science and Engineering

The Western Washington University Board of Trustees has approved the renaming of the College of Sciences and Technology to the College of Science and Engineering, effective September 1, 2014.

The change was proposed after the Washington State Legislature committed to provide financial support so the WWU Department of Engineering Technology could grant engineering degrees. Western is transitioning from engineering technology programs to engineering programs, as well as continuing to support its long-standing programs in industrial design and vehicle design.

The reality of higher ed costs: All of us must stay informed

As a first-generation college grad who worked full-time while attending Western, you may be tempted to label me a “self-made man.” But the reality is, most of us who graduated college prior to 2000 did it with help – not just from our parents, scholarships, the GI bill or employer programs – but from Washington citizens who paid taxes and graciously subsidized the cost of higher education.

When I attended WWU, Washington State paid 70% of the cost of my education. Today that funding has dropped to less than a third, forcing all Washington colleges to rely more on tuition. The cost of attending college has far eclipsed general inflation, forcing many students and families to take out loans they will spend decades repaying.

The U.S. Senate recently blocked a bill that would have allowed students to refinance their college loans and alleviate some of that burden. On the tails of that decision, the Seattle Times published this article addressing the truths and myths about why college is so expensive. While the article cites our neighbor University of Washington in several examples, I encourage you to read it because these issues affect every state college and are a particular focus here at Western Washington University.

As an alumnus and father, it’s important for me to stay informed about the challenges our current and future generations of students face when it comes to accessing quality higher education. As a business professional, I cannot turn a blind eye to what the future holds when our ability as a society to support higher education is failing. The future economic vitality of Washington State is at stake, and Washington already doesn’t produce sufficient graduates to support my industry. Failure to act will only exacerbate the problem. As a taxpayer, it is my responsibility to support future generations just as past generations supported me.

You will be hearing more about this topic and how it impacts Western in the coming months. I encourage you to stay informed, as it affects us all and we must be part of the solution.


Keith Boyd (’95)
President of the Board, WWU Alumni Association
Principal Director, Microsoft Corporation

Western’s June graduates sent off by distinguished speakers

Western graduated 1,935 new professionals into the world on Saturday, June 14. Former Gov. Gary Locke received an honorary doctorate and was one of the graduation speakers at Western’s commencement in Carver Gym.

Locke recently completed two years as the U.S. ambassador to China, where he was instrumental in encouraging Chinese companies to do business in the United States. He also streamlined travel between the U.S. and China by drastically reducing wait times for Chinese citizens to obtain visas to visit the U.S. But perhaps what made a greater impression on the Chinese people was Locke’s reputation as a high-profile leader who eschews the trappings of power and carries his own backpack.

In 2009 President Obama nominated Locke to serve in his Cabinet as the Secretary of Commerce; the president nominated Locke to be ambassador to China in 2011. He was the first Chinese American to serve as a U.S. governor, commerce secretary or U.S. ambassador to China.

In addition to an address from Locke, graduating seniors received advice from featured alumni speakers Jerry Thon (’75), former president of the board for the Western Washington University Foundation and vice president of Astoria Holdings; and Douglas Massey (’74), the Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology at Princeton University.

Thon has made a profound impact on the Western Community. In 2010, he was awarded the Larry “Go Vikings!” Taylor Alumni Service Award for being one of Western’s biggest cheerleaders. From giving personal tours of campus to hosting receptions for new faculty, staff and community members as chairman of the Western at Home Committee, Thon continues to promote Western and serve as one of the university’s biggest advocates.

He and his wife, Truc, continue to give back to Western by volunteering and supporting a number of scholarships and programs at Western, including the Allan Thon Family Annual Scholarship for students or post-baccalaureate students at Western who are planning to become science teachers for K-12. 

“My main focus is to make sure there are enough funds available for everyone to have an opportunity like I had,” he says.

Thon worked his way through Western on Alaskan fishing boats. Upon graduating, he started his own fishing business that grew into a full processing operation he was able to sell in 2000 to begin his semi-retirement

Massey has also built a career from interests and relationships that began at Western. He is a pioneering scholar in two areas of sociological research: international migration and socioeconomic stratification. At Princeton University, Massey directs the Office of Population Research and oversees the Mexican Migration Project and the Latin American Migration Project, two groundbreaking, long-term studies exploring the complex causes and consequences of immigration.

As an undergrad, Massey co-authored a paper with then-graduate student Lucky Tedrow, who is now director of Western’s Center for Social Science Instruction. Massey also worked closely with the late Professor of Sociology Ed Stephan. Massey and Stephan co-authored studies in social geography that Massey built upon at Princeton for his doctoral dissertation, the first nationwide study of residential segregation of Latinos in the U.S.

He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1990 to write “American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass,” which won the Distinguished Publication Award of the American Sociological Association and is one of his many comprehensive studies of how inequality is produced in the U.S. along the lines of race, class and gender. His more recent work explores academic achievement by students of color at selective colleges and universities.

Massey is the president of American Academy of Political and Social Science and former president of the American Sociological Association and the Population Association of America.

In his speech, he encouraged students to find their own ways to make the world a better place and to keep an open mind about avenues that might turn out to be worthwhile pursuits.

Alumni Today Directory outreach underway

Western alumni are being contacted via email and postcard by our web partner Harris Connect to update contact information. If you haven’t already, you can expect to see this communication from Harris very soon and we appreciate your cooperation in validating your information.

In addition, Harris provides a service in which they publish a Collector’s Edition, softbound and CD-ROM versions of the directory that includes all alumni who wished to share their information, stories and photos. It’s a great opportunity for you to have a method for keeping track of other alumni. However, updating your information or being published does not require you purchase the book.

Having current information helps us make sure you stay informed of what’s going on at Western to keep you better connected.

Any questions or concerns can be emailed to alumni@wwu.edu. We appreciate your cooperation and support of Western.

 - WWU Alumni Association staff

Alumnus Richard Veith continues family legacy of medical service

After graduating from Western with a major in psychology and a minor in chemistry, Richard Veith (’69) followed the deep footprints embedded by family members before him to pursue his love of medicine.

He enrolled in the University of Washington School of Medicine and finished the four-year program in just three. He went on to join the UW faculty, where he eventually became chair of UW Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences – a position he held until stepping down this February.

Richard is the third of four generations of physicians in Washington, going back to his grandfather, Michael Maguire, more than a hundred years ago. In November 1919, he joined the other local physicians to form the inaugural medical staff at St. Elizabeth Hospital, now known as the Yakima Regional Medical & Cardiac Center.

“I grew up hearing stories of my grandfather snowshoeing to the reservation to take care of the Native Americans in the Yakama tribe,” he said.

His uncle was also a physician in Yakima, his brother is an orthopedic surgeon, his eldest son is an anesthesiologist and his younger son will be starting medical school at the UW this fall. In addition, he has an aunt and sister who became nurses and daughter, Carly, is a family therapist who works with at-risk youth in foster care. His wife, Marcella Pascualy, is also a physician on the UW faculty.

His brother Rob, who also attended Western, has devoted part of his career to providing medical services to underserved countries around the globe. He has been visiting Vietnam about twice a year since 2000.

“He is a foot surgeon and the foundation he works with identifies youngsters and young adults who are born with feet deformities and can’t afford to get them fixed,” Veith said. “He’s been going in for years now and he’ll spend a couple days at different sites doing corrective surgeries to help transform their lives.”

Veith joined him last August and took a side trip to visit a medical school in South Vietnam to discuss psychiatric training for medical students and doctors.

“I also went to Cambodia in February to work with their faculty to bring their training up to speed, but mostly to figure out ways to deliver mental health care because here at the University of Washington, we’ve always had to be attentive to getting care out to these really rural areas,” he said. “We’ve developed a model of psychiatry delivery called collaborative care that is being implemented nationally as part of health care reform.”

Despite having traveled around the world, Veith says the people he’s encountered during his visits to Vietnam are unlike any other.

“I’ve never been to a place where people are so incredibly friendly,” he said. “They’re just wonderful.”

Veith has recently reconnected with WWU and has shared his overseas experiences with Western faculty and students in the area of behavioral neuroscience, the psychology masters program and the speech and communication department.

In September 2011, he was appointed by the US Cabinet Secretary for Veterans Affairs to chair the oversight committee for the Department of Veterans Affairs: Geriatrics and Gerontology Advisory Committee. He also serves as Chief of Psychiatric Services at the UW Medical Center, in addition to serving on a number of medical boards. He also serves on the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean's Advisory Council, and has been contributing financially to Western scholarships and student research opportunities.

Since stepping down from his position as chair of the UW Psychiatric and Behavior Sciences program, Veith has put his energy towards conducting a telemedicine research project in rural Washington, teaching students at UW, and pursuing efforts to improve mental health care in Vietnam and Cambodia as an adjunct professor of global health.

WWU industrial design alumnus develops Clean Water for Haiti

Since moving to Haiti, Chris Rolling (’98) has used what he learned from his industrial technology vehicle design major in ways he would have never expected.

"Every day is an adventure in Haiti," Rolling, executive director for Clean Water for Haiti (CWH), said.

CWH is a faith-based nonprofit mission that is made up of Clean Water for Haiti Foundation in Haiti, Clean Water for Haiti US and CWH Foundation of Canada. The goal is to provide the people of Haiti with safe and affordable access to water in their homes through the use of Bio-sand water filters.

While learning to live in Haiti was new to Rolling, charity work was not. During his time at Western he was involved with the Upper Room, a charity drop center for street kids to go and find a warm meal and safe place to hang out. That is where he found his inspiration and decided he didn't want to work in an office setting; he wanted more for his life.

After graduation, Rolling worked a few jobs in order to pay off some student loans before he took a position with the nonprofit Youth with a Mission (YWAM). He worked with them in Jamaica before moving to Haiti shortly after the start of 2001.

Once Rolling was in Haiti it didn't take long for him to become acquainted with the founders of CWH and get involved with the organization. Shortly after he arrived, the founders of CWH decided to move onto their next endeavor and named Chris the executive director in their absence. He's been in this position since 2003.

"Haiti is a really hard place to live. There are serious security issues and issues with learning the culture, but not many people can say that they save lives for a living," Rolling said.

During his senior year at Western Rolling thought about dropping out, unsure of where his education would take him, but in Haiti he's used his major and a few elective classes in ways that have changed lives. Rolling used his experience welding to teach locals workers to construct the Bio-sand filters CWH uses.

"I wouldn't have been able to do this without Western," Rolling said.

While he only leaves Haiti once a year, he has not made it back to visit Western since graduation, but said he fondly remembers campus as his "happy place.”

For more information, visit CleanWaterforHaiti.org.

WWU's 2014 Outstanding Grads receive praise

Western Washington University faculty presented 38 students with the distinction of "Outstanding Graduate" of their department at WWU's 39th Annual Outstanding Graduate Awards Ceremony this month. Below are some of the comments from faculty about these accomplished students.

“All of these students being honored today, including Andrew, have something in common… they have challenged us and everyone around them to be better. We’ve all improved and are better because of their presence around us, so thank you to Andrew’s parents.”
– Milly Johnson on Andrew Wray (Outstanding Graduate, Mathematics)

“He told me he hates to be the center of attention. And when he told me that, it put me in kind of despair because he’s going to have a very unhappy life. Because everywhere he goes, he’s going to distinguish himself for his intelligence, creativity and his kindness.”

– James Hearne on Clinton Burkhart (Outstanding Graduate, Computer Science)

“Just last week I watched you as you appeared from out of the darkness at the back of the main stage theater, then walk slowly forward to stop short and without moving off that spot proceed with your heartbeat, your breath, your flesh, and your bones, to lift the ceiling off the theater. And for one quick, bright moment, you were nine feet tall… I have born witness to your true height, Juliette, and there’s no going back now. You have inspired us all.”
Nolan Dennett on Juliette Machado (Outstanding Graduate, Dance)

“Through his leadership, perseverance and focus, he’s left the human services program in a better position to help students. As he would say, he’s left a ladder for others to follow in his footsteps.”

– Hope Corbin on Jared Ibarra (Outstanding Graduate, Human Services and Rehabilitation)

“Outstanding Western students like Josh share a willingness to take chances, a sense of intellectual adventure and enthusiasm to challenge situations that are complex and require them to combine in, a liberal arts tradition, their knowledge of difference fields to make progress.”
– Tom Roehl on Joshua Arthur Lozensky (Outstanding Graduate, Management)

WWU authors to add to your Summer Reading List

Looking for some good novels to read this summer? Check out some of our WWU alumni's recently published books!

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