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WSU part of White House health and climate change discussion

By Alli Benjamin, College of Nursing

Patricia-Butterfield-webSPOKANE, Wash. – Leaders in medicine, nursing and public health who recently participated in a White House roundtable on the health impacts of climate change included Patricia Butterfield, dean emerita and professor at Washington State University College of Nursing.Continue reading

Helen Thomas and Bob Schieffer go virtual


PULLMAN – Former White House Bureau Chief Helen Thomas and CBS News’ Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer will appear in Second Life for an interactive Q&A session, held at 5:30 p.m. April 6 on both the real and virtual campuses of WSU.

The duo are the recipients of this year’s 2009 Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism and in Broadcast Journalism, respectively.

The special event is part of the Virtual Journalism Summit, a unique gathering that will examine media and the metaverse through a series of panels, presentations and workshops with newsmakers in journalism and technology. The day-long free event is sponsored by a grant from The McCormick Foundation in partnership with The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

“The McCormick Foundation is proud to partner with Brett Atwood and WSU’s Edward R. Murrow College,” said Clark Bell, director of the McCormick Foundation’s Journalism Program. “Our reporting institutes are designed to be timely, engaging and insightful. This event should certainly fulfill our expectations and serve as a valuable learning platform for the participating journalists.”


Other speakers include Second Life founder Philip Rosedale, Club Penguin co-founder Lane Merrifield, CNN senior producer Lila King, ThinkBalm co-founder Erica Driver and virtual journalists Bernhard Drax and Wagner James Au.

“We’re excited to bring together many of the leaders in technology and journalism to discuss and explore this new media channel for storytelling,” said WSU President Dr. Elson Floyd. “These and other emerging forms of digital news distribution offer both promise and potential for our students and for the future of journalism.”

“These emerging 3D spaces offer fascinating new opportunities for storytelling,” said Erica Austin, dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. “And as the traditional, newspaper-based world of journalism looks for appropriate new ways to provide the vital checks and balances vital to democracy, this event will provide a very significant catalyst for innovation.”

The McCormick Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening our free, democratic society by investing in children, communities and country. Through its five grantmaking programs, Cantigny Park and Golf, and three world-class museums, the Foundation helps build a more active and engaged citizenry. It was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The McCormick Foundation is one of the nation’s largest charities, with more than $1 billion in assets. For more information, please visit

For a complete schedule of events, please visit the event Web site at:

Helen Thomas, Bob Schieffer to accept Murrow awards


PULLMAN – Former White House Bureau Chief Helen Thomas and CBS News’ Chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer will accept the Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism and in Broadcast Journalism, respectively, at WSU at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, in Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum.

“Helen Thomas and Bob Schieffer are two veteran political journalists that represent the best of the Murrow legacy: exceptional achievement in communication and a responsible, ethical, productive career,” said Erica Austin, dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at WSU. “We are honored that both accepted the award and will be present at the ceremony to receive it.

“As it happens, Bob has won a Helen Thomas award, so it is especially demonstrative of the Murrow legacy to have them accept this award together.”

The Murrow awards are presented during the daylong Edward R. Murrow Symposium, sponsored by the Murrow College. Murrow was a 1930 graduate of Washington State College, now WSU.

Schedule of Events

Monday, April 6
  • 7:00-9:30 p.m. Alumni and Friends Welcome Reception
    Lewis Alumni Centre (Registration required)
Tuesday, April 7
  • 8:00-8:30 a.m. Registration
  • 8:30-9:00 a.m. Welcome
  • 9:10-11:50 a.m. Workshops
  • 9:30-10:00 a.m. Press Conference Murrow Studio A
  • 10-11:30 a.m. Résumé Critiques
  • Noon-1:15 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:30-3:45 p.m. Workshops
  • 2:15-3:30 p.m. Résumé Critiques
  • 4:30-7:15 p.m. Scholarship Awards and Recognition Banquet
    (Early reservations required)
  • 7:30 p.m. 35th Edward R. Murrow Symposium
    Addresses by Helen Thomas and Bob Schieffer,
    Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum

“In recognizing Helen Thomas and Bob Schieffer, the Murrow Symposium is highlighting the contributions of two reporters who exemplify the timeless attributes of great journalism. Their dedication, their curiosity, their willingness to speak truth to power–these qualities are every bit as essential to young journalists today as they were when Thomas and Schieffer began their careers. It will be exciting to welcome them to our campus.”

Helen Thomas
Commonly referred to as “The First Lady of the Press,” Thomas has covered every president since John F. Kennedy. For 57 years, she served as White House correspondent for United Press International (UPI). She recently left UPI and joined Hearst Newspapers as a syndicated columnist. Thomas is known for tenacious coverage of the federal government, including the FBI and Capitol Hill.

In November 1960, she began covering then-President-elect John F. Kennedy, following him to the White House in 1961 as a member of the UPI team. It was during this first White House assignment that Thomas began the tradition of closing presidential press conferences with, “Thank you, Mr. President.”

She has traveled around the world several times with presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, during the course of which she covered every Economic Summit. “The World Almanac” has cited her as one of the “25 Most Influential Women in America.”

A best-selling author, Thomas has written four books, including “The Great White House Breakout, ” a 2008 children’s book; “Watchdogs of Democracy?”; “Thanks for the Memories Mr. President: Wit and Wisdom from the Front Row at the White House” and “Front Row at the White House: My Life and Times.”
Bob Schieffer

2009 marks Schieffer’s 52nd year as a reporter and his 40th year at CBS News. He is one of the few broadcast or print journalists to have covered all four major beats in the nation’s capital – the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department and Capitol Hill.  He has covered every presidential campaign and been a floor reporter at all of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions since 1972.

He moderated the final presidential debate in 2004 and his handling of the third and final presidential debate of the 2008 campaign was widely praised by colleagues and those across the political spectrum. 

Over the years, he has won seven Emmys and two Sigma Delta Chi Awards. In 2002, the National Press Foundation chose Schieffer as Broadcaster of the Year. He has been a principal anchor for CBS News since 1973. He is also a member of the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was awarded the 2003 Paul White Award by the Radio-Television News Directors Association. In March 2005 his alma mater, Texas Christian University, created the Schieffer School of Journalism in his honor. 

Schieffer joined CBS News in 1969 and has anchored the Saturday edition of the CBS Evening News from 1976 to 1996 and from March 2005 to August 2006, an 18 month period that saw a substantial increase in viewers. He had previously anchored the Sunday edition of the CBS Evening News from 1973 to 1976. Schieffer has been CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent since 1982.

He is the author of four books: “Bob Schieffer’s America” (2008), The New York Times bestseller “This Just In, What I Couldn’t Tell You on TV” (2003), “Face the Nation” (2004) and the best-selling “Acting President” (1989).

Among the previous winners of the Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement are Don Hewitt, creator and former executive producer of the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes;” “Frontline” executive producer David Fanning, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Daniel Schorr, Walter Cronkite, Sam Donaldson, Bernard Shaw, Keith Jackson, Ted Turner and Al Neuharth.

The Murrow Symposium also features workshops led by communication professionals who provide a glimpse of real-life career options to students from WSU, the University of Idaho and high schools in both states. High schoolers from across the country compete in the annual Edward R. Murrow High School Journalism Awards Competition.

For more information about the 2009 Murrow Symposium, visit

Reception to honor presidential award winner

A reception to honor Charlena Grimes, academic coordinator for the College of Engineering and Architecture, who recently won the 2004 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, will be held 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, in the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education in the second floor atrium.

Grimes was one of nine individual (and five institutional) recipients nationwide invited to the White House in May to receive the 2004 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). The award recognizes people who have mentored underrepresented students in science, mathematics and engineering. Grimes is thought to be the first-ever Washington State University recipient.

Grimes, with the College of Engineering and Architecture since 1982, has directed both the Minority Engineering Program (MEP) and the Women Engineering Program (WEP) on campus.  She developed and now directs the BRIDGE Workshop, in its 16th year, for incoming women and minority students. The five-day event just before the start of WSU classes in August offers seminars on career planning, time management, stress management, and study skills; classroom sessions on chemistry and math placement; and campus tours. More than 800 students have participated in BRIDGE since she created the program in 1990, and the program has increased the retention rate of underrepresented students by more than 20 percent. Grimes also formed chapters of organizations for African American, Hispanic, and Native American engineers and pioneered the establishment of a free summer camp for Native American youth interested in engineering and their teachers, as well as a camp for Latina/o students.

During her time at WSU, the number of African American, Hispanic, and Native American students in the college has more than doubled, and she has had an effect on the lives of more than 1,000 underrepresented students, said Olsen. She has received numerous awards, including the WSU Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award, WSU President’s Employee Excellence Award, the Council of Minority Student Presidents Award, and the Finer Womanhood Award, presented by Phi Beta Sigma fraternity (an African-American fraternity).