University News Winter 2013

Benson is Back

Wade Benson is returning to EWU as the university’s volleyball coach.

While coaching at EWU from 2000-06, he guided the Eagles to six consecutive 20-win seasons, three Big Sky regular-season titles and a second-round appearance in the 2001 NCAA tournament.

He’ll replace interim coach Lisa Westlake, who stepped in when head coach Myles Kidd resigned four matches into the 2012 season.

“He has been a tremendously successful head coach at every school,” Eagles athletic director Bill Chaves said. “What he was able to previously accomplish in the Big Sky speaks for itself. We look forward to our program again being very competitive year in and year out under his leadership.”


New Trustees Appointed

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has appointed two new members to the EWU board of trustees and both are alumni – Judge James Murphy of Spokane and Vicki Wilson of Richland, Wash. Their terms are effective immediately and will continue through Sept. 30, 2018.

Judge Murphy earned his BA from Eastern in 1965 before going on to law school. Murphy served on the bench for 26 years in Spokane County, retiring as a superior court judge in 2003.

“As a graduate, I have watched an amazing transformation occur at the university since my days as a student,” said Murphy. “I know this growth was largely made possible by the leadership of an active board of trustees and dedicated leadership provided by staff and the office of the president. I can’t wait to be part of such a creative group of people and such a dynamic process.”

Vicki Wilson, a native of Tri-Cities, earned her BA in business administration from Eastern in 1981. She currently is a manager in the service operations organization for Lockheed Martin Information Technology.

“EWU was a very important part of my early adult years and has played a significant role in who am I today,” said Wilson. “I’m excited and look forward in helping to continue the great tradition of EWU.”

Wilson and Murphy replace Kris Mikkelsen and Ines Zozaya Geist, whose terms recently expired.

Trustees on the board work with EWU President Rodolfo Arévalo to set the strategic direction of the university and help ensure that EWU is academically and financially accountable and successful.

Scholar in Residence

This fall, students in the university’s Department of Psychology spent Thursday afternoons learning principles of compassion and practice from a world-renowned scholar and teacher, Venerable Geshe Thupten Phelgye.  

A Tibetan Monk, Geshe Phelgye is founder of the Universal Compassion Movement (UMC) and a member of the Dalai Lama’s Parliament-in-Exile. While serving as a Scholar in Residence at EWU, he offered a seminar on Buddhist psychology. Additionally, during winter quarter 2013, Geshe Phelgye will teach a two-credit course for the College of Arts, Letters & Education. And during spring quarter 2013, he will teach a two-credit seminar for international affairs within the Departments of Government and Honors.

Business School Nationally Recognized

EWU’s College of Business and Public Administration (CBPA) has been named an outstanding business school by The Princeton Review, which features EWU in the 2013 edition of its annual guidebook, The Best 296 Business Schools.

Student input from surveys and data collected from each institution helped identify the top business schools named in the book.

“EWU is honored to have our program recognized by The Princeton Review for having a balance of affordability, quality and convenience,” said Roberta Brooke, director of EWU’s MBA Program. “This is the result of a team effort by all those associated with Eastern, and we will continue to strive for excellence.”

Young Professionals Network Series a Success

What began as a casual speaker series aimed at addressing the needs of Eastern’s young alumni has become the go-to community for young professionals. The Young Professionals Network Series is a monthly get together that is part career booster, part happy hour mixer.

On the first Thursday of each month, these events begin with a networking-focused happy hour. These take place in a unique setting each month in order to feature new hot spots throughout Spokane.

These events provide young alumni the opportunity to engage with special guest executives and professionals in a relaxed setting. Upon arrival, attendees fill out information cards to be entered into a drawing. The most anticipated prize is a private, 30-minute lunch with the featured professional or top-level executive panelist. After the networking hour, special guest speakers discuss selected topics, followed by a Q & A session, prize drawing, opportunity for job announcements and additional networking.

The target audience for the Young Professional Series is young alumni, specifically recent graduates looking for connections. The primary objective is to provide a professional outlet for them to network with each other and alumni who can share expertise and mentorship. In addition, the alumni office wants to understand the needs of this group. In doing so, they hope to begin a lifelong, mutual relationship.

Their goal is to present topics that are unexpected enough to separate their event from other events and speakers and find featured guests who connect with the audience, entertain and provide relevant advice. To aid in this effort, attendance is limited, with a reasonable fee charged to attendees and rewards for returning attendees and their guests.

The inaugural event was held in April 2012.  Since then, alumni have responded greatly to the opportunity to engage. The launch event had 38 attendees, and by the third event, 68 people attended. A true sign of success is that, as a direct result of the series, three alumni attendees attained employment offers.

For more information contact Leah Mow or 509.359.4553.

Man on a Mission

David Reese, a pre-med student at EWU, completed a 24-hour treadmill run of 105 miles between 11 a.m., Dec. 14 and 11 a.m. Dec. 15.

Reese’s goal was to break a world record by running 161 miles on a treadmill in 24-consecutive hours. Although he fell short of his world record attempt, his efforts still made his fans proud.

His goal came from his desire to raise $500 for people living in rural areas who need access to medical care.


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