Citizen Jess


By Jeff Bunch ‘88 Like many of his protagonists, author Jess Walter is a complex character – extraordinary, yet quite everyday at the same time. The Spokane native and Eastern Washington University graduate (’87 BA journalism) is one of the most respected American writers on the national scene, who happens to be one of the most loyal and visible EWU alums from eastern Washington. The New York Times best-selling author, former National Book Award Finalist and Edgar Award winner is a master of the language. He is a keen commentator about daily ... MORE

Behind the Lens


By Jeff Bunch ‘88 Dustin Snipes has carved a niche for himself in the wide world of photography by getting shots from a different perspective. Snipes, a successful commercial photographer in Southern California, has a national reputation for showing his subjects in a different light. He regularly shoots cover photos for ESPN The Magazine and Sports Illustrated, just to name a few. Snipes was headed down a path toward a different set of bright lights when he was at Eastern. Snipes (’06, BA theatre) enjoyed setting the stage for others and ... MORE

Paying it Forward

Forward (2)

By Bailey Wolff ’10 Francis Adewale won the green card lottery in 1998. He was one of 50,000 people offered a visa to work in the United States. “I didn’t even enter my name in the drawing; one of my friends did that for me,” said Adewale, who earned his master’s in public administration from Eastern in 2010. Adewale was a successful attorney in his native Nigeria, but the green card selection offered new opportunities that he couldn’t pass up. It was the next step in his life, and it helped bring him from great suffering to great ... MORE

Peace, Love, Basketball

Basketball (2)

Sonya Elliott’s return to life, love and the court By Kandi Carper '05 It was a crisp Sunday afternoon, Oct. 21, 1991. Everything was planned for Sonya Gaubinger and Mark Overholdt’s Nov. 8 wedding. As the couple returned to Seattle from their final wedding shower in Spokane, things changed in an instant – shattered china, shattered crystal, shattered bodies, shattered lives. A Burlington Northern train hit the couple’s red Chevy Lumina near Ritzville. Mark died on impact. Sonya was ejected through the car’s back window. Sonya was in ... MORE

The Beat Goes On


By Mike Corrigan '89 Vince Littleton was raised on music. His father was a performing musician who used the basement of the family’s Spokane Valley home as a rehearsal space. From an early age, Littleton was captivated by the sounds emanating from below and intrigued by how those sounds were created. One instrument in particular caught his fancy. “There were always drum sets down there,” he recalled. “And I loved the sound and the power of the drums. I was drawn to them from the time I was a baby, really.” For the past 14 years, ... MORE

Eastern’s Oldest Graduate


By Jeff Bunch '88 EWU was called Cheney Normal School in 1926 when Vera Thrall Johnson graduated from rural Marlin, Washington, and headed to Cheney for an education. Vera was encouraged to leave the family homestead in the eastern Washington dry land wheat country to start her teaching studies. She would eventually return to teach at her alma mater and several other country schoolhouses over a long career. At 105 years old, Vera is the oldest known living graduate of Eastern Washington University. The Moses Lake resident is a study in ... MORE