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CLA alumni notes

Reprinted from Washington State Magazine


Avon J. Murphy ('67 M.A., English) edited New Perspectives on Technical Editing (Baywood Publishing, 2010), a research-based guide designed for advanced technical communication students, teachers, researchers, and practicing editors. Contributors' topics include research methodologies, the history of technical editing, effective approaches to developing editing courses, the politics of editing within organizations, the "on-the-job work" of copyediting, the power of electronic editing, best practices of science editing, and the nuts and bolts of editing technical journals. The book includes substantive chapter references and an annotated bibliography.


Ronald F. Marshall ('71, philosophy) recently published two articles in International Kierkegaard Commentary, "No Quack Doctor: Kierkegaard's Dialectical Understanding of God's Changelessness" and "The Traversed Path: Kierkegaard's Complex Way to Religious Simplicity." Marshall has been the pastor of First Lutheran Church in West Seattle since 1979.

Peter Doumit ('72, history and education) is the author of two books, What I Know About Baseball Is What I Know About Life and More Of…What I Know About Baseball Is What I Know About Life. These books were inspired by notebooks that he would give team members, in which to keep inspirational quotes. Doumit has spent the last 38 years as a coach and administrator in the Moses Lake School District. He is currently the coach for the basketball teams at Chief Moses Middle School and freshman baseball at Moses Lake High School.


Christa Lee Olson ('87, foreign languages) has been named vice provost for international programs at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. After earning her bachelor's degree in foreign languages from WSU, Olson received her Ph.D. in French literature at Stanford University. She then joined the faculty of New Jersey City University, and in 2001 she became associate director of international initiatives for the American Council of Education (ACE) in Washington, D.C. At Drake, Olson will be responsible for international initiatives, including implementation of the University's Internationalization Strategic Plan.

Loretta Tuell ('88, political science) is staff director/chief council for the U.S. Senate's Indian Affairs Committee. Tuell has considerable experience regarding Indian law. Her accomplishments include serving as a counselor to the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, director of the Office of American Indian Trust, and acting director of the Office of Tribal Services at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She is also a former board member for the National Native American Bar Association and a former board member of the National Native American Law Students Association. She received the prestigious American Bar Association's Margaret Brent Award in 2009. Tuell has served on the board of trustees of the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) since 1998 and became chair of the board in 2007.


Ken Lisaius ('93, political science) is senior advisor and director of public affairs for the Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). His responsibilities will include overseeing the development and implementation of BIO's education and industry branding campaign. In the past, Lisaius held the position of senior counselor at Virginia-based Brightline Media, and before that he spent several years as deputy director of the Office of Media Affairs, special assistant to the President of the United States, and deputy White House press secretary under President George W. Bush.

Jason Hare ('94, anthropology) administers and oversees all web properties and projects for the Durham Public Schools, where he has worked since 2005. In 2010, his title was changed from webmaster to web analyst because of his added duties. Hare's study of anthropology has helped him understand how users interact with tools and text. In 2009 he received an achievement award for his service.

Gail Stearns ('95, liberal arts) has been appointed the new dean of the chapel at Chapman University, a private school in Orange, California. Stearns is currently director of the Interfaith House on the Pullman campus and is adjunct faculty in the WSU Honors College and previously taught in the Women's Studies Department. She has written two books and is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church.


Maricela Alvarado ('00, Spanish and English) was named Woman of Innovation by the YWCA Greater Lafayette (Indiana). Since 2004, Alvarado has served as the first director of the Latino Cultural Center at Purdue University. She also created the Latino Leadership Retreat and helped create Humanigration, a course that includes an immersion trip to the Mexico/U.S. border. Alvarado is a volunteer at the United Businesses Serving the Community, the Lafayette Commission for Latino Affairs, and the Indiana Latino Higher Education Council (as founding member and vice president), among other involvements. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Purdue.

Tom Pierson ('00, political science) is the new president and CEO for the Tacoma–Pierce County Chamber of Commerce. Prior to accepting the position, Pierce served as CEO for the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce for eight years, which received a four-star accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce based on financial controls, management, and overall performance, under his leadership, and doubled its membership to nearly 500 businesses. Community involvement is important to Pierson. He is chairman of the Woodstone Credit Union board of directors and serves on the Franciscan Foundation board of trustees. He also has board roles with Communities in Schools of Federal Way, Safe City Federal Way, St. Francis Fellowship, Multi-Service Center, Advancing Leadership, Jobs for South Sound, and Federal Way Boys and Girls Club.

Nathanael Whitworth ('05, English and Spanish literature; '07 M.A., English) has recently joined the business development team at EcoAnalysts Inc., a biological monitoring and consulting company in Moscow, Idaho. Whitworth has experience writing and editing literary journals as well as teaching university-level reading. He speaks Spanish fluently, is proficient in German and French, and has studied Arabic and Chinese. In his new position, Whitworth will work with the sales and marketing team and with scientists to provide technical editing of scientific reports.

Jon Coyne ('06, psychology) works with autistic and disabled youth at Mariner High School in Everett. He started a nonprofit organization three years ago called Acts of Kindness Friends, which routinely serves meals at Seattle's "Outdoor Meal Site," underneath the freeway by Sixth Avenue and Columbia Street.

Russ Martin ('09, social sciences) became the executive director of the Helena Symphony in January 2011. Before accepting this position, he was the director of the Walla Walla Symphony and had a musical career that involved being nominated for a Grammy and working with Capitol Records. During his years in the music business, he worked with famous musicians including Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, Bob Seger, Al Stewart, Alan Parsons, and John Sebastian.


Samuel Hap Shaddox ('10, political science) was appointed to serve on the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board. At WSU he served as director of legislative affairs for the Associated Students of WSU, where he advocated and advanced student interest in the legislature. Shaddox is currently studying law at the University of Washington.

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