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In the tidy, colorful living room of her house on St. Paul Street in Bellingham, Katy Frank carefully lays out a couple dozen images she’s cut from magazines. Desert landscapes. A zebra. Trees in the throes of autumn. A hand leaving a bloody print on frosted glass.

She steps back and studies, searching for the pieces missing from her half-finished collage. As she works, she explains the mindset behind her choices as an artist.

Eric Kean, the viola instructor/math lecturer at Western Washington University who developed content for pre-calculus and AP statistics iPhone apps last year, has two more things to add to his resume: Web developer and textbook author.

When summer commencement arrives on Aug. 20, few students will have waited longer to turn the tassel than one soon-to-be alumna, Western senior Ruth Hackler.

Hackler, who works as an administrative assistant in the Department of Psychology, will receive her B.A. in Psychology—about 32 years after taking her first class at the university.

Make no mistake—she is far from being a slacker.

“It really did not take me 32 years to finish,” she says with a laugh.

Title: Professor of chemistry, director of advising for pre-healthcare professions

Hobbies: Music. George sings in the bass section of the Whatcom Chorale and is a Seattle Opera season ticket holder. He also enjoys golf and baseball.

Favorite quote: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” – British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (the quote was popularized in the United States by Mark Twain).

Name: Hud Hudson

Title: Professor of Philosophy

Hobbies: Thinking and reading and writing

Favorite quote: "But time and chance happeneth to them all"

Favorite restaurant: Little Cheerful

Favorite Bellingham location: Village Books -- Book Fare Cafe

Memorable vacation: August 2009 in San Marino, Italy -- where my wife, Cathi, and I became engaged.

Merle Prim leans forward in his chair with a huge grin. He's talking about students, one of his favorite subjects, and he's getting into it.

It’s a rare professor who can teach such disparate subjects as those taught by Western Washington University’s Eric Kean.

Kean, a lecturer at Western since 2001, teaches mathematics and viola, both longtime passions of his.

“Back when I was a math graduate student, I remember thinking that my dream job would be to teach math and viola at a university,” Kean says with a wide smile. “It was just by sheer luck that after a year here (teaching mathematics) the viola position opened up, and here I am.”

In an office tucked away in a corner of Arntzen Hall’s second floor, Western environmental studies professor John Miles sits in his rolling office chair. He is flanked on one side by his desk and computer and on the other by a completely full, floor-to-ceiling bookshelf where one might see titles like, “Ecological Politics,” “These American Lands” and “Mind and Nature.”

Originally from New Hampshire, Miles was drawn to the western wilderness by a love of the outdoors.

With a strong sense of community and a background in dance, Pam Kuntz, a senior instructor at Western, has made it her mission to spread dance throughout the Whatcom County community.  For 10 years as a faculty member at Western, Kuntz has inspired and motivated students on the topics of basic dance skills, vocabulary and anatomy while helping them to see the world through the lens of dance.

Larry Marrs, a longtime administrator at Woodring College of Education, will retire from Western Washington University as of Dec. 31.

Marrs served as dean of Woodring for 15 years, from 1984 to 1999, and has been a Woodring professor and director of the college's Professional Development Resource Center since 2005.

From 1999 to 2005, Marrs was executive director of the North Snohomish, Island and Skagit Counties Higher Education Consortium.