CWUAlumni NewsAlumni News of a Lifetime, 09 Mar 2017 09:29:25<p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 550px; height: 370px; margin: 5px;"></p><p>Kevin Hardin, a 1983 Central aviation graduate, has credited his storied career by a phenomenon that many can attest to. He said that it was not a matter of outperforming thousands of other pilots, it was merely a bit of luck that landed him the chance of a lifetime.</p><p><br>Hardin came to Central at a time when first-rate aviation programs were virtually non-existent. Born into humble means, he and his family did not have the resources necessary to send him to an Embry-Riddle-like institution, yet Hardin attributed his success as a pilot to a program where he learned much of his skills in an unconventional way.</p><p><br>“The aviation program back then was basically in its infancy. It didn’t have any structured flight courses that Embry-Riddle had,” Hardin said. “It was really a self-directed program as far as the flying portion.”</p><p><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 335px; margin: 5px; float: left;">Hardin, with a few other people, invested $5,000 in a plane that was owned by a flight instructor. This served as the solitary machine in which the program taught students how to fly. When learning at Central, he received extensive practice performing cross wind landings, taking off in icy conditions and mastering temperature inversions.</p><p><br>“I can remember it was 15 degrees below zero there for a week, and then we actually got the airplane airborne in that cold weather, and it was 35 degrees at 8,000 feet,” Hardin said.<br>Upon graduation, Hardin moved back home to Hawaii in a time of airline deregulation which made work hard to come by.</p><p>“Very few people were learning how to fly because the industry was bleak,” Hardin said.</p><p>After trying to land a job, he began earning his hours as a flight instructor. However, he was having a rather tough time making ends meet so he started selling cars for a guy he met while body surfing in Hawaii one day.</p><p><br>Hardin admits that he was rather proficient in the art of selling automobiles, but he always knew he aspired to become something greater.</p><p><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 372px; margin: 5px; float: right;">He began to volunteer as an air ambulance copilot to gain more experience, flying to islands all across the Hawaiian belt and getting people the medical attention they so desperately needed on Honolulu.</p><p><br>He did this all while still holding down his job at the car lot. To Hardin’s surprise, this job selling cars would get him the first real pilot job of his career.</p><p><br>“I sold a car to a guy from Pago Pago in American Samoa who owned an airline called South Pacific Island Airways, it was one of the airlines that started up after deregulation and was struggling but I just hounded him until he got sick of me,” Hardin said.</p><p><br>Hardin, 24, was making around $700 a month flying as first officer while living in Samoa for 18 months. It wasn’t until a friend he met during his days flying the air ambulance had submitted a resume to Hawaiian Airlines, on his behalf, that he finally received the chance of a lifetime.</p><p><br>Hardin started at Hawaiian Airlines just before they hired 150 more pilots, giving him the seniority he would later benefit from.</p><p><br>“I just walked into it at the absolute perfect time. Hawaiian had some very lucrative investors that wanted to expand it,” Hardin said. “Within my first year there I was moving up to be a DC8 captain, and I was 24 years old! I had never even flown a big jet before.”</p><p><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 275px; height: 206px; margin: 5px; float: left;">A year passed, and Hardin was gaining valuable experience as well as confidence. He decided it was time to try his hand at becoming a first officer, and sure enough he was awarded the position shortly after applying.&nbsp;</p><p><br>Then 25, Hardin was learning from some of the airline’s best pilots.<br>“I learned under the wings from experienced senior guys who were, believe it or not, junior to me,” Hardin said.</p><p><br>With every passing flight, Hardin grew as a pilot. He flew people from Hawaii to American Samoa and Guam, and everywhere in between. He still held his ambition closely, and a month before his 26th birthday he took a chance and applied to be a captain.</p><p><br>He hasn’t moved from the left seat since he was 26. Now 57, Hardin has some amazing stories to tell.</p><p><br>“It was one of those careers that I just stepped in to at the right place at the right time, and had enough of the right stuff to get checked out.” Hardin said.</p><p><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 275px; height: 183px; margin: 5px; float: right;">He credits a lot of his success to what he learned from more experienced pilots, such as to not bounce around to different jobs when things go bad.</p><p><br>“A lot of guys jumped ship and went to other airlines [when Hawaiian Airlines filed for bankruptcy], but I said I’m not going to jump ship until the ship sinks,” Hardin said.<br>One of his most notable feats was piloting the second longest single engine flight in a transport category aircraft, totaling 3 hour 12 minutes when flying from Maui to Portland.</p><p><br>“We were 80 miles from the equal time point and one engine just ate itself. It sounded like someone threw a lawn chair through the front of the engine,” Hardin said. “Everyone had 3 hours to prepare for us to land so we had virtually every ambulance and firetruck on Maui waiting for us at the airport.”</p><p><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 274px; height: 183px; margin: 5px; float: left;">While the flight was one of the longest ever recorded, Hardin said that it didn’t gain much notoriety outside of a few news sources in Maui and Portland.</p><p><br>Looking back on his time at Central, Hardin considers his frequent flights to the Stehekin airstrip (roughly 140 miles north of the Ellensburg campus) to fly-fish among his fondest memories during his undergraduate years. To this day, he still visits the same strip from time to time.</p><p><br>When asked about his thoughts on Central today, Hardin said that he was very impressed with how the campus has developed and how the aviation program has grown. He is excited about the opportunities for future pilots in a growing industry, and still enjoys keeping in contact with his old flying buddies he met during his time at Central.</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 375px; margin: 5px;"></p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>Central Washington University: The Institution of Choice, 09 Mar 2017 08:42:00<p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 175px; height: 234px; float: left; margin: 5px;">Choice is a bit of a funny thing. Our lives are predicated by the choices that we make, and usually if we look back, many of us realize it only takes a few choices to send us down the path that we are currently on today. From how we treat people to the actions we carry out during the day, our choices often tell the true story of our character.</p><p><br>If you talk to our alumni and recent graduates, they will tell you that the best choice they made was to attend Central. Here, they found a home where they could develop into the amazing people they are today. The mission of Central will always be about student success, and by living out this mission we are committed to being the institution of choice.</p><p><br>With the first phase of Wildcat Day fast approaching, we are reminded why so many choose Central. With CWU offering over 125 degree programs, boasting a 19:1 student/faculty ratio, an average class size of 25 students, and an average cost of $3,000/quarter in tuition it is easy to see why the university recorded its largest incoming class in this past year.</p><p><br>From the Alumni Association perspective it is hard not to get excited about welcoming our future Wildcats and helping to connect these ambitious students with those that have come before them.</p><p><br>In late February, the Alumni Association sponsored a <a href=";album_id=1358830440805746" target="_blank">recruitment and networking event in Alaska</a> to meet with new and prospective students before the Wildcats men’s basketball team took on Alaska Anchorage. This event was an opportunity to share with our Alumni the exciting things taking place on campus while also making sure that each new and prospective student had a chance to connect personally with our alumni, who could share from their own experience the support they received while attending CWU. Our next alumni and prospective student reception will be in Honolulu, on April 5th from 6-8pm at the Ala Moana Hotel.</p><p><br>In addition to welcoming our new Wildcats, offering alumni a reason to gather is a huge part of what we do. I would like to thank everyone who made the trip up and spent the day with us at <a href=";album_id=1356799327675524" target="_blank">Mission Ridge</a>. In addition, we would like to invite you to join us at <a href="" target="_blank">White Pass on March 11th</a>. All current Alumni Association members will receive a $23.00 discount on their lift tickets (call 509-963-2160 for your promo code) and can meet us in the main lodge from 1-3pm to receive a member’s only gift. If you’re not a current <a href="" target="_blank">member sign up today</a> and will send you the promo code for this special offer in addition to all the exciting benefits you can take advantage of throughout the year. So come hit the slopes and remember to wear your crimson to get “Caught Red Handed” by our marketing team who will be handing out prizes on the slopes.</p><p><br>Although Central is committed to student success and access based education, sometimes the choice to attend college is taken out of the hands of even the most promising of students. Realizing that many of our students are coming from underprivileged backgrounds and are often the first generation in their family to pursue higher education, the Alumni Association will host a <a href="" target="_blank">Happy Hour at Creekside West Bar and Grille</a> with all of the proceeds going directly towards CWU student scholarships. This event will provide alums the opportunity to network with one another while raising money for scholarships.</p><p><br>In closing I would like to thank you for your active role and commitment to Central. I invite you to<a href="" target="_blank"> become a member</a> if you have not already, or <a href="" target="_blank">renew your membership</a> if necessary. If you’re on the fence, feel free to take a look at the <a href="" target="_blank">amazing benefits</a> you will receive with your membership. Your generosity helps us push forward our commitment to advancing the institution.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 175px; height: 48px; margin: 5px;"></p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>Central Alumni Give Back, 08 Mar 2017 16:48:15<p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 200px; margin: 5px;"></p><p>The Central Washington University Alumni Association prides itself on bringing its members new and exciting opportunities to network and reconnect with fellow Wildcats in addition to current Central students.</p><p>Whether these opportunities include attending a CWU sporting event to cheer on our talented athletes, or the event consists of partnering with our Student Alumni Association to bring alumni to campus to network with current students, we truly believe the best way to engage is by connecting our alumni with our students.</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 126px; margin: 5px; float: left;">New this year, the CWU Alumni Association will be hosting a <a href="" target="_blank">Happy Hour at Creekside West Bar and Grille</a> with all of the proceeds going directly towards CWU student scholarships.</p><p>“In lieu of our typical registration fees, we wanted to provide alumni an opportunity to focus 100 percent of their support to benefit the current students of Central.” Bob Ford, Senior Director of Alumni and Constituent Relations, said.</p><p>All are welcome to join the Alumni Association at Creekside West Bar and Grille to meet and network with other Wildcats in the area. We invite you all to enjoy a hosted happy hour with hors d’oeuvres and drinks (served to those 21 and over), all while helping raise money for students through alumni based scholarships.</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 137px; margin: 5px; float: right;">If you are unable to attend but would still like to <a href="" target="_blank">make a donation</a> towards helping a student get a quality education from Central, we encourage you to make a gift directly by visiting our <a href="" target="_blank">give page</a> or by calling 509-963-2160.</p><p>We also encourage you to read about the <a href="" target="_blank">impact of these scholarships</a> on our students to understand the imprint they have on the lives of future young professionals.</p></p style="text-align: center;">Flying High with CWU Aviation, 08 Mar 2017 16:26:59<p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 332px; margin: 5px;"></p><p>Central Washington University is no stranger to the growing pains of the flourishing higher education system. Since 1975, the <a href="" target="_blank">CWU Aviation department</a> has strived to grow with the times, uniquely positioning graduating pilots to take on successful jobs in the aviation industry. Demands are high and growing in the field, helping Central become a critical aviation business partner. Offering comprehensive degrees and direct-hire negotiations after graduation, CWU is really a one-stop-shop for all things flying.</p><p>“I chose the aviation program here at Central because of the community the program has around it,” said CWU Aviation major, Dillon Madlener. “On almost all of my flights I've been on, at least one pilot has heard of, or went through, the program here at Central. The program holds a high standard for the students and that will benefit them once they are off to the airlines or anything aviation related.”</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 167px; margin: 5px; float: left;">After hiring a new aviation chair with over 30 years of experience in international, academic, and business relations, the program is well on its way to stardom. Professor Sundaram Nataraja originally from India but coming with work experience in the Middle East, stepped in with a positive outlook for the department, and his enthusiastic arrival has been warmly received and inspiring.</p><p>“The program has had its ups and downs since switching contractors, from<a href="" target="_blank"> Mid-State Aviation</a> to <a href="" target="_blank">IASCO</a> flight training,” said Madlener. “Even though it has been hard at some points, all the faculty and instructors have done everything they were capable of doing to help each and every student. The instructors here at Central create relationships with most of the students here. This leads to more enjoyable flight training. Good times or bad, it is hard to beat flying around near the Cascades with an instructor who is like a friend.”</p><p>In one year, Professor Nataraja has revitalized the aviation program, with plans to “create an even more comprehensive curriculum and new specializations that cover all aspects of aviation and airline needs.”</p><p>“We are developing a new Master’s program, which is currently going through the University approval process,” Nataraja said. “Our Master’s program in Aviation Administration will be developed both as a fifth-year program for our current students and as an educational service to the airline industry.”</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 376px; margin: 5px; float: right;">Credited with the creation of the Pilot Development Program, CWU board member and director of Recruiting at <a href="" target="_blank">Horizon Air</a>, LaMar Haugaard, has developed this program that will be both beneficial to aviation students and to the company.</p><p>“Since 1998, Horizon Air has enjoyed a relationship with CWU aviation,” Haugaard said. “We are excited about the new opportunities for students and for Horizon/Alaska.”</p><p>Also on the horizon (pun intended), is a vision for the connection of high school students with the CWU aviation program. A pre-aviation curriculum that would educate high school students, and guide them into the college direction, is the goal in the next few years. Then the idea is to target community colleges that offer an associate’s degree in aviation-related studies.</p><p>“What we want to do is streamline the process with a singular articulation that provides a direct transfer into our four-year program,” Nataraja said.</p><p>While the aviation program is getting students in the door and majoring in aviation, the post-college route is getting some re-design as well.<br><br>“We are establishing direct-hire agreements with industry partners such as regional airlines, airport authorities, and fixed base operations,” Nataraja said.</p><p>With the pilot development program that has been developed between Central and Horizon Airlines, CWU anticipates to expand on the concept of traditional hiring agreements by adding a financial incentive. Although this program may not cover all of the costs, it certainly covers some, which assists in flight instructor costs.</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 175px; margin: 5px; float: left;">“Training bonuses and signing bonuses and financial resources . . . pilots wouldn’t be eligible (for these perks) until they actually started working,” said assistant professor, Jason Underhill. “This partnership gives students the chance to actually get the financial benefits as a student.”</p><p>In addition to the new Pilot Development Program, Horizon Air graciously donated a $10,000 flight simulator to CWU’s Flight Training Center. This has enhanced Central’s array of flight-training devices, making CWU the only place on the West Coast where aviation students can experience the CRJ-200 turbo-jet trainer, airline style curriculum, and the advanced turboprop flight trainer.</p><p>With enrollment skyrocketing in 2016, the extra equipment could not have come at a better time, according to Nataraja. 100 new students have enrolled in CWU’s aviation program this past year, and Nataraja foresees that number more than doubling in the next few years to come.</p><p>A study from <a href="" target="_blank">Boeing</a> predicts a much larger demand for pilots in the next two decades. The industry will need to supply more than two million new aviation personnel from 2016 until 2035. Knowing this, and because there is currently no enrollment cap for the program, classrooms and airspace are filling up rapidly at Central. During the next legislative session, CWU will be seeking funding to expand the Aviation Training Center at the <a href="" target="_blank">Bowers Field Airport</a>. A larger facility that would allow growth in the program is what is needed most, so funding has been requested for a hangar facility at Bowers Field Airport, as well as a larger and more comprehensive classroom space for aviation students.</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 210px; margin: 5px; float: right;">“Once we do move into the [Bowers Field] hanger, it will help my training in many ways,” Madlener said. “It will shorten the time it takes to go preflight and get back to debrief, we won’t have to go out of our way to fuel the planes, and many more reasons; all good ones.”&nbsp;</p><p>The agreement for the Bowers Field Airport hangar facility, will now allow CWU to purchase buildings that <a href="" target="_blank">Midstate Aviation</a> owns, on property leased from the county.</p><p>“This agreement definitely helps aviation move forward with expanding its program,” said Paul Ballard, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies. “To meet the critical need for more pilots—actually more aviation professionals in general—we have to make room for more students and aircraft.”</p><p>Beyond the renovations, moves, and big changes on the horizon for the CWU aviation program, there are still a few main reasons why students choose Central’s program.</p><p>“Here in the aviation program, all of the professors and advisors are great. It would be hard to pick only one professor as a favorite,” Madlener said. “From Mr. Underhill to Professor Sloan to Dr. Nataraja and the rest of the professors, they all have different roles in the program but no matter who you are, they take time out of their day to make sure you are doing well. If someone needed help, either school related or not, without a doubt, I believe that any professor in the program would stop and help out no matter what the circumstance.”</p><p>To learn more about Central’s aviation program and to read the aviation article in the latest issue of Connections magazine, <a href="" target="_blank">please click here.</a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 550px; height: 366px; margin: 5px;"></p></p style="text-align: center;"></br></br></p style="text-align: center;"></br>CWU Legislation In Review, 08 Feb 2017 13:11:26<p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; margin: 5px;"></p><p>With the legislative session in full swing, it is important to keep our alumni informed and up to date with the legislative priorities of the university. During this legislative session, lawmakers will approve two year budgets for construction and also for operations. Nearly 3,000 bills will be introduced, with only about a tenth of those finding their ways through the legislative process to adoption.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>CWU's legislative team includes: Distinguished Alumna Ann Anderson who served as a member of the state House and Senate, Steve DuPont who is a former ASCWU officer who has been instrumental in achieving CWU's record construction budget appropriations over the last several years, and Antonio Sanchez, whose extensive experience includes directing House policy committees and international business relations development for the Lieutenant Governor.<br>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; margin: 5px; float: left;">Central’s top capital budget request is funding for the construction of a new Health Sciences facility. The building will house programs in:<br><br>• Nutrition Science<br>• Clinical Physiology<br>• Exercise Science<br>• Public Health<br>• Emergency Medical Services<br><br>The funding will allow the university to construct a state-of-the-art facility, equipped with new labs and modern learning spaces. This building will allow all students majoring in Health Science programs to be under one roof for the first time. Central is seeking $49.9 million to complete the construction of the facility at the Ellensburg campus.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>Also on the list of priorities is a $10 million request to expand hangar space and classroom size at the Bowers Field Airport for the aviation department. This request stems from the growing demand for highly skilled and educated aviation students, with an emphasis on pilots. A third priority is design funding for a renovation of Nicholson Pavilion. Constructed in 1959 as the "Health and Physical Education Building," the "suspension bridge" facility has never been renovated. During regularly scheduled school hours, academic, credit-bearing programs account for as much as 72.3 percent of activity in Nicholson.<br><br>To view a full list of capital budget priorities for Central Washington University <a href=" budget priorities.pdf" target="_blank">click here.</a><br>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; margin: 5px; float: right;">Central's <a href="" target="_blank">operating budget proposal</a> seeks additional funding to address the state's K-12 teacher shortage, the increased occurrence and intensity of wildfire, and the need to provide advising for CWU students. The $11.9-million teacher shortage proposal focuses on reducing student education costs and expands student teaching opportunities. The wildfire proposal seeks $1.2 million to develop a professional certificate training program in geospatial technologies for current firefighters; a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildfire Science and Wildland Management; and a graduate education program focused on managing wildlands and wildfire in the Pacific Northwest. The $6.4 million advising proposal reduces advisor caseloads and creates advising strategies specifically for students who transfer from other institutions.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>Your voice is important and policymakers want to hear from you. Reach out to your state <a href="" target="_blank">House and Senate representatives</a> and to <a href="" target="_blank">the governor</a> to make your opinions and passions part of state government.</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; margin: 5px;"></p><p>Story by: Joey Castonguay, UA Communications Student Intern</p><p>Photo's courtesy of: CWU<br>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>#CentralCouple Nick Terrel and Jessica Stretch Exhibit Great Passion for Future, 08 Feb 2017 12:51:02<p><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 331px; margin: 5px;"></p><p>Central Washington University alumni, and featured #CentralCouple, Nick Terrel (25) and Jessica Stretch (26), both came to Central with open-minds and adventure seeking spirits. By Spring of 2014 they both found themselves walking across the stage at commencement; Nick completing his bachelor’s degree in Art and Jessica completing her bachelor’s in Special Education.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Following commencement, Terrel started working for his father’s construction company and soon realized where his true passion stemmed – creating handmade furniture and home decor using the wood from century old homes, buildings and barns across the Pacific Northwest.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>When you ask Terrel about his phenomenal woodworking abilities, his eyes light up and you can just feel the immense amount of passion he has for what he does. “I’ve always wanted to have my own wood shop, so when I was working for my father’s construction company after graduating CWU I would take old wood off jobsites to make wall hangings and tables. I posted some projects on my social media pages and word started spreading from there.” Terrel said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; margin: 5px; float: left;">Stretch, currently working at Meadows Elementary as a Preschool Special Education Teacher, attributes her drive to help others in the classroom to her professors at Central. “I had two amazing professors in the special education department who taught me life lessons that I implement into my classroom daily. Their knowledge and experience in the field helped better prepare myself as an educator.” Stretch said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Not only were both of these Central alumni able to discover what they were each truly passionate about during their time at Central, but they were able to find love in the most unexpected of places.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“We met on Instagram!” Jessica laughed. “We had gone hiking at a local spot up in the hills of Ellensburg when the wildflowers were blooming. We both posted similar pictures on Instagram and Nick saw it under his explore feed. We started following each other and met shortly after!”</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Terrel attributes his passion and his drive to what he was able to learn about himself while attending Central. “My experience at CWU has influenced me to take a risk and do what I am passionate about. I knew I could just work a 9-5 job and get the bills paid but there wasn’t much excitement in that. I got an Art degree hoping I would be able to go in this direction and work for myself building furniture. After a lot of hard work, my dream became a reality.” Terrel said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“My favorite memory is of Ellensburg itself. Not only is the town fun, but the hills, hiking and outdoors were the best. Even if you get stuck in the snow and have to get a local to pull you out!” Stretch added.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 300px; height: 453px; margin: 5px; float: right;">When asked what his favorite project has been so far, Terrel says he was given the opportunity to make six tables for the Allen Institute of Artificial Intelligence, funded by Paul Allen in Seattle; one of the pieces included an 11-foot conference table that was made of reclaimed wood lath from a home on Capitol Hill, built in 1924.</p><p>While Jessica and Nick are planning for their futures together as husband and wife, they fondly reminisce about their time spent together in Ellensburg and how Central led them to one another, and to their passions.<br><br>“The small town feel of Ellensburg is our favorite memory as a couple at Central. It was a great town to spend a few years living and learning about life without our families around. We were both able to grow as individuals and know what we truly wanted in life.” Stretch and Terrel said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Nick and Jessica look back fondly on their time at Central where they were both able to find what they were truly passionate about, and find one another. They are currently working towards furthering their careers and planning their wedding in Leavenworth on July 8, 2017. But for right now, with their two dogs Maia and Leo, they are living and loving life the #CentralCouple way.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Story by: Mia Patterson, UA Communications Graduate Assistant</p><p>Photos courtesy of: Nick Terrel</p></br></br></br>The Central Factor, 08 Feb 2017 11:29:43<p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 150px; height: 200px; margin: 5px; float: left;">As we all start to get into the swing of things this New Year, it is abundantly clear that big things are on the horizon for 2017 at Central. Here in Ellensburg, there is an excitement about future projects and the many stories of our graduates really creating an impact on the world around them. Central is making strides to continue to push to be the best undergraduate experience available, all while maintaining a lasting relationship with our valued alumni.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>Our alumni are the foundation on which this outstanding university is built upon, and by sharing your stories we not only take pride in you; but we get to showcase to the rest of higher education that Central possesses that little something different that stays with our graduates for life. The “Central Factor” can be found in everyone who graduated from our great university. Even the people who come in to work every day to ensure that university runs at the highest level possible feel that same attitude. It is something that has been building since the inception of Central 125 years ago, yet as the years go on we continue to find ways to enhance our students’ academic experience.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>Through your contributions, you have given us the opportunity to create an environment that has continued to foster creativity and success for not only our past graduates, but thousands of more in the future. We have always, and will continue to, produce strong graduates ready to step into the professional world and thrive. Central looks to not only build great professionals, but even better people.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>With the completion and unveiling of our new Science Phase II building this past fall, Central has several new and exciting projects it is presenting to the Washington State capital this year. Complacency is something we do not believe in here at our university, as you all know, and with these new budget priorities we know this is a real statement of intent to our commitment to advancement. Through any avenue available, we invite you to take an active role in the betterment of our amazing institution.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>I personally want to thank you for your commitment to Central. We know that in life it is nearly impossible to do things alone, even people who are self-made once gained from the help of someone else, and we as an institution look to make the most out of our amazing donors’ generosity. If you or someone close to you is not a member of our association, signing up is just <a href="" target="_blank">one click away</a>. Becoming a member isn’t just about taking pride in your or your kids’ alma mater, you will receive numerous <a href="" target="_blank">benefits</a> upon completion that range from discounts in the <a href="" target="_blank">Wildcat Shop</a> to savings on<a href="" target="_blank"> insurance</a>. If your membership has expired, we also offer an avenue for <a href="" target="_blank">renewal</a> we encourage you to look at.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>2017 is a year filled with optimism and excitement, and we here at Central could not be more proud of all the amazing work our alumni are accomplishing. We look forward to the opportunity to continue to produce strong alumni for years to come.<br>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 55px;"><br>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>Real, Relevant, and Right, 08 Feb 2017 11:16:18<p><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 650px; height: 366px; margin: 5px;"></p><p>Tony Bynum; photographer, videographer, environmental activist, father, and Montana-ite; characterizes his work into three simple statements; is it real, is it relevant, and is it right? Living by those standards in today’s world can be hard, but Bynum seems to have found his niche. Whether he is taking photographs of spectacular ‘big sky country’ in his home state of Montana, or capturing the unique perspective behind conservation through hunting, his experience in the outdoor photography field and environmental savvy goes virtually unmatched.<br>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 200px; margin: 5px; float: left;">Early on in his schooling, Bynum had no real intention to go to college. He planned to stay in agriculture, a field he knew well and had grown up with. Life had other plans for him however, and after applying to several state colleges, he was proud to announce that he would became the first in his family to attend and graduate from a university. Bynum chose CWU for several reasons, but as a young, fresh-out-of-high school senior, he saw CWU as an opportunity to continue his life-long interests of hunting, fishing, and farming, all while continuing his education. It was the perfect happy-medium between his roots and the new ones he would grow.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>“I always felt that it was safe, accessible, inviting, accepting, and that it was a place where I was welcome,” Bynum said. “The whole time I was there, I never felt like anyone was shunned, or discriminated against, or that there were any places I couldn’t go or people I couldn’t talk to.”<br>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 275px; height: 155px; margin: 5px; float: right;">Bynum worked at dining services and in the maintenance department for the entire six years he attended school at CWU. By his sophomore year, he entered the Geography and Land Studies major, deciding that this was ultimately where his heart was. He credits his initial interest in his major and draw into the program to two professors, Kenneth Hammond and Morris Uebelacker.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>“Part of it [choosing a major] was obviously the subject matter, but the other part was the instructors, who starting in my junior year through graduate school, really became my passion,” Bynum said. “I didn’t feel like I was going to some university [CWU], I felt like I was going to classes with people who cared about me.”<br>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 300px; height: 169px; margin: 5px; float: left;">Bynum also had the opportunity to attend graduate school at Central, as one of the second students to receive a Bureau of Reclamation fellowship. Successful in this line of work, Bynum went on to work with Native Americans to help build capacity on Indian land for the next 10 years. This Department of Interior fellowship and graduate school made such a large impact on his life, that he credits CWU for the path he has taken since then.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>“Central has been responsible for two of the largest and most impactful experiences of my life,” Bynum said. “The experience and education I received in the Geography and Resource Management department provided me with a tremendous amount of access and experience to real-life issues and education that perfectly suited me for what I wanted to do in my life,” Bynum said. “It also gave me access to real-life experiences and on-the-ground examples of activities that you could expect to be involved in, in the environmental resource field. It was stellar!”<br>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 300px; height: 169px; margin: 5px; float: right;">One of Bynum’s major turning points in both his career and his personal life, was when his daughter, Jaida, was born and his subsequent move to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana, where he has remained for 14 years. Bynum also decided to put his fifteen years of experience in the professional world of resource management and environmental science, on the backburner and pursue a career as a scientist consultant, working from home part-time, all while raising his daughter. Bynum’s photography career did not kick off until about 10 years later, when he began to photograph the scenery in Montana.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>“I travel all over the world for my job and when I come back to the United States, to Montana in particular, I am always excited to be back. My life here is all about capturing images for conservation organizations for commercial clients and for myself, because that is what I like to do now.”<br>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 350px; height: 197px; margin: 5px; float: left;">Bynum is now involved in many different environmental organizations, some in Montana, and others all over the U.S. One organization that he holds near and dear to his heart is the Glacier to Medicine Alliance. He serves on the board of directors, with the focus on preventing regions of Montana from oil and gas development. Today, he serves on several boards and continues to advise and help Montana based conservation units. Some of his clients include; Montana Resource Advisory Council, Montana Wild Sheep Foundation, and the Montana Back Country and Anglers.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>Bynum’s tag line, “real, relevant, and right,” has stood the test of time, both in his personal and professional life. He still asks himself those three questions and abides by those traits; have good character, be real and honest, and to be skilled in follow through. Living those traits, he has grown his business astronomically. He has become a staple in the environmental world, supporting such projects as #OurWild and #BLMWild, which are two initiatives that protect public lands in the U.S. By capturing the beauty of these places, he continues his legacy of conservation in the American West.<br>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 300px; height: 169px; margin: 5px; float: right;">Central holds a special place in Bynum’s heart and has guided him through to his accomplished life today. Bynum still believes that getting involved is the best way to learn and he is glad he did that at Central.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>“Be a part of something bigger than yourself, participate in your community, talk to people and try to understand where they are coming from, and be a good solid citizen.”<br>&nbsp;</p><p>To see Tony Bynum’s work and to learn more about his business, <a href="" target="_blank">click here.</a></p><p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 650px; height: 366px; margin: 5px;"></a><br>Story by: Claire Cox, UA Communications</p><p>Photos Courtesy of: Tony Bynum Photography</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>Looking Forward, 04 Jan 2017 12:49:17<p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 175px; height: 234px; margin: 5px; float: left;">With 2016 in the books, we begin to lean forward as we enter 2017 and celebrate the culmination of 125 years as an institution committed to student success. In looking forward to the New Year, there is a high level of anticipation and excitement for what we will achieve as an institution on the rise.<br><br>This fall, Central reported a 15 percent increase in first-year enrollment, setting a <a href="" target="_blank">new enrollment record.</a> We also dedicated the new $64 million Science II building which includes a planetarium, electron microscope, observatory tower, ice core lab, and anechoic chamber.<br><br>Although we have had some great achievements over the past 125 years, we will need the full support and engagement of our greater alumni community. With your participation and involvement, we can blaze a new trail and create even more opportunities for our students, both today and in the future.<br><br>There has never been a better time to reconnect and invest in the lives of our students. As proud alumnus, we look forward to supporting your engagement to help us move the institution forward through the next 125 years. Our ability to help connect students with alumni is only as great as your involvement. In 2017, we invite you to engage with us in some very practical ways–whether you sign up to <a href="" target="_blank">become a mentor</a>; connect with us on<a href="" target="_blank"> social media</a> to share your story; come back to the classroom and <a href="" target="_blank">share your knowledge</a>; or<a href="" target="_blank"> give back</a> to support access to higher education. Your involvement in the life of the students will be a major contribution toward their success.<br><br>We know that one of the greatest resources of this great institution is the success and accomplishments of our alumni. Alumni like you and fellow successful Wildcats, including Washington State Teacher of the Year, Camille Jones; Retired Marine <a href="" target="_blank">General James N. Mattis</a>, who has recently been nominated to serve as the new US Secretary of Defense; Humanitarian and January’s featured alum Chris Clark who has created a global relief organization focused on the most underserved regions of the world; Ray Conner, Vice chairman of The Boeing Company and a member of the Boeing Executive Council; Dr. David L. Altheide, Regents’ Professor at Arizona State University who specializes in Justice and Social Inquiry; and Dr. Mimi Healy, President and CEO of Lasergen, a start-up biotechnology company focused on developing chemistries for next-generation sequencing and cutting-edge medical diagnostics.<br><br>Through the involvement of more than 1,800 new alumni members over the past 18 months, we have been able to engage alumni across the country while also investing in programs, including a new <a href="" target="_blank">1891 Traditions program</a> that is helping to pass along the tradition and spirit of what it means to be a Wildcat to our current students. In the last year, we have supported more than 120 different programs–just imagine what we could do if we doubled our membership participation in the coming year.<br><br>We hope you join us in making difference in the lives of our students while reconnecting with your classmates and friends.&nbsp;</p><p><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 55px; margin: 5px; float: left;"></p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>Creating a Worldwide Family, 04 Jan 2017 12:11:38<p><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; margin: 5px;">Central Washington University alumni, Chris Clark, has made it his life mission to serve and care for orphaned children in their home nations. Chris and his wife Debbie are the founders of Children of the Nations, an organization supporting orphaned children around the world.<br><br>Clark was a student at Central, working towards a degree in Law and Justice. Upon his graduation in 1984, Clark thought he may take a career as a probation officer or working with juvenile delinquents. His time at CWU was well spent, eventually giving him a better understanding of what it was like working with troubled or displaced children. Although he discovered this was not his true calling, Clark credits Central for steering him in the right direction.&nbsp;<br><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 280px; height: 236px; margin: 5px; float: left;">Clark and his wife Debbie decided to embark on a trip to Africa in 1995, where they encountered orphans and refugee children in dire need of assistance and care. With true dedication to helping these children, he returned to the United States, researching an organization that would help these children. To his and his wife’s dismay an organization to help orphaned children around the world did not exist.<br><br>It was at this time the Clark’s decided they had to do something about this issue thus the Children of the Nations was born.<br><br>“Seeing the need orphans had in Sierra Leone, and researching non-governmental organizations or non-profits and coming up short, I felt compelled to do something” Clark said. “My wife had been trained to work with children and we thought that we could not make an excuse to bypass the tremendous needs of orphans around the world.”<br><br>To start this organization, they did not receive any grants or private funds, instead using their own funds to spread the word. They started by creating a child sponsorship program so anyone who wanted to help in some way could, through sponsorship opportunities.&nbsp; It eventually took on a life of its own, as everyone was invited to join in.<br><br>With the first few years under their belt, the funding primarily came from child sponsorships and individual donations. The money they raised enabled them to operate homes, schools, farms, skill centers, clinics, and village feeding centers in an effort to provide quality care for the children. Each country has a Children of the Nations home-base, with an individual mission style, nonprofit organization that is recognized among Christian charities.<br><br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 280px; height: 350px; margin: 5px; float: right;">Traveling to every Children of the Nations location isn’t easy, but the Clark’s make it a priority to see the more than 4,300 children that are part of the network. Chris goes at least twice a year, while his wife goes once a year. There is an emotional connection to the children and the desire for them to succeed which is important to the Clark’s work. This is evident as the children that are part of the organization affectionately refer to the Clark’s as “mom and dad.”&nbsp;<br><br>Having three adopted children of their own, as well as five grandchildren, the Clarks naturally have become very torn between being home and traveling. Now that their children are adults it is easier to pick up and travel as needed. In order to balance the demands of travel they have dedicated January through June as their season abroad spending time in Africa and the Caribbean. June through September is usually at the office in Silverdale, Washington, and September through December is usually, on the road, here in the USA.<br><br>The Children of the Nations has been successful in achieving major milestones, such as: The Village Partnership program that is developed to address the unique needs of a community; The Children’s Homes, that provide full-time family-style care for orphaned children; and The University/Vocational program which helps students in Sierra Leone, Malawi, Uganda, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the United States, to get a high-quality education. There are graduates of the University/Vocational program have already become doctors, teachers, and other professionals.<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br><img alt="" src="/alumni/sites/" style="width: 280px; height: 187px; margin: 5px; float: left;">“Our hope is to build out our model so that we have structures and programs in place for children to enter at pre-school and go all the way through to university level, or be trained in a skill.” Chris said. “Beyond this, our hope is that our children become involved in every aspect of their societies and communities creating tipping points that will end the cycles of abuse, poverty, and ignorance.”<br><br>Children of the Nations has made huge strides, from the initial desire in 1995 to help children in need overseas, to today with the child sponsorship program. Children of the Nations was started with a vision, and a monthly budget of $300; today it operates with an annual budget of more than $7 million.<br><br>Children of the Nations has become a worldwide movement of people, all working towards one common goal of giving foreign children the chance at an education and the opportunity to build a better life for themselves.<br><br>To learn more or to get involved please visit: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>