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College of the Sciences

Alumni Information

We would love to hear from you! Email us as and let us know what you've been doing since graduation!


Connor Parrish, Master's Alum, is the Fisheries Biologist and Project Manager with Mid-Columbia Fisheries.  In March 2021 for the Mid-Columbia Fisheries' Winter Speaker Series, he presented Smolt Outmigration in the Yakima Basin: A Challenge for Fish, A Challenge for Us.

Jakob Sprague is finishing his Masters Thesis at Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology in Germany and is applying for PhD programs.

Bryant Sawada, B.S. 2013, recently completed his M.S. in Science Education and is teaching AP Environmental Science, Forensic Science, college and career prep, Band, and Photography at a high school on the big island of Hawaii.  He and his wife Raina are expecting their first child (in March).

Carl Barrentine (B.A. Zoology, 1974; M.S. Biology, 1978) retired from a career in college teaching (2014) and has moved to Spokane where he is currently studying the moths of eastern Washington.  Follow him at

Taylar McGuire (B.S.) has been accepted into the WSU Medical School program.

Heather Mahurin (B.S.) will start at the UW School of Medicine Fall 2018.

Eric Garcia (B.S.) graduated from PNWU (2018) and is going into emergency medicine in Michigan.

Prosper Doe and Evan Sainsbury (B.S.) both graduated from the WSU School of Pharmacy in May 2018.

Katie Nation (B.S., M.S.)  accepted a postdoctoral position at Tufts University, in the Infectious Disease & Global Health Department, School of Veterinary Medicine.

Timothy Mayer (B.S. 2011) After completing his Bachelors degree, Tim worked for the USFS in the Columbia River Gorge, before pursuing his Masters at the University of Illinois, Springfield (M.S. 2017). Tim was recently hired as the NASA DEVELOP Center Lead at the USGS | Colorado State University Node (Fort Collins).

Jennifer Herdmann (B.S. 2014) worked as a crew leader and biological fisheries technician for Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Grand Canyon National Park, and US Fish and Wildlife Service monitoring and recovering endangered fish throughout the Upper Colorado River Basin. She is currently Salmon Education Lead at Cascade Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group, a nonprofit dedicated to native fish and habitat recovery.

Carly Wickhem (M.S. 2016) After completing her Master’s degree, Carly began working as an environmental contractor at the Yakima Training Center (a US Army training installation) monitoring greater sage-grouse and common raven populations.  She has recently been hired as the Assistant District Biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Region 5 - District 9 (White Salmon).  

Raegan Nelson (B.S. 2017) is currently pursuing a PhD in Immunology and Infectious Disease in the Basic Biomedical Sciences Program of the Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota.  Raegan is studying the relationships between influenza and secondary bacterial superinfections with the host's immune system.  

Taggert Butterfield (B.S. 2013, M.S. 2016) is pursuing a PhD in the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in the Evolutionary Ecology lab of Rodrigo Macip-Ríos. Taggert studied the ecology of turtles in Chamela for his masters project and is now studying their evolution and will be mentoring and working with CWU's SOBRE México students in Chamela.

Natasha Ewing (B.S. 2015) is employed at Omeros, a Seattle-based pharmaceutical company.

Sara Healas (M.S. 2013) is currently a Marine Science Interpreter at the Seattle Aquarium (07/14).

Paul Houghtaling (M.S. 2012 ) is a Field Biologist for the Santa Cruz Puma Project, University of California-Santa Cruz.  Houghtaling is featured in an NPR article on the project, On the Trail of a Mountain Lion, Hunters Hope to Help.  

Patrick McAfee (B.S. 2006) is currently attending the U.S. Air Force - Navy Striker Trident Program.

Melissa (Reitz) Babik (M.A. 2011) and William Meyer (M.A. 2002) were interviewed about a Yakima River restoration project.  See AP: A Big Story from October 7, 2014.  Often Pesky Beavers Put To Work Restoring Streams  by Phoung Le.

Babik is the Project Manager on the Yakima Beaver Project and is with the Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group, a nonprofit that works to restore salmon populations. Meyer coordinates the Yakima Basin water resources plan for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Birkin Owart has published his paper, Selection on Crop-Derived Traits and QTL in Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) Crop-Wild Hybrids under Water Stress.  Birkin R. Owart,1 Jonathan Corbi,2 John M. Burke,2 and Jennifer M. Dechaine1,*  William J. Etges, Editor.  PLoS One. 2014; 9(7): e102717.  Published online 2014 Jul 21. doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0102717

Alumni Links

CWU Alumni Association 

CWU Foundation 

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