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In Memoriam: Myrl Beck

Myrl Beck

Myrl Beck, Jr., professor emeritus of Geology at Western Washington University, passed away at age 89 on Jan. 4, in Bellingham.

Myrl attended Caltech from 1951-1952, then attended Stanford from 1952-1955, intending to be a lawyer.  He was accepted to law school at Stanford but changed his mind and ultimately graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics.  On graduation day in 1955 he married Virginia Geringer, and they raised three daughters and traveled for many years.

Myrl had a very active life in geology research and teaching and was an important mentor for many geology students over the years.  He is well known in the geology community as one of the fathers of the Baja BC theory and has even last year been interviewed by Nick Zentner for his online geology teaching series.  Myrl was an excellent and prolific writer, with more than 100 research publications to his name.  He has done field work in the Appalachians, Great Lakes, California coast range, Cascade mountains, Olympic mountains, Colorado Rocky mountains; Chile, Argentina, Columbia and Tobago in South America; Barbados, Grenada, the Grenadines in the Caribbean; and Italy and Greece in Europe.  In 1997 he finally retired but continued to be involved in research for about a decade.

Read more about Myrl's life and his time at Western in Western Today

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Spotlight

Western’s Computer Science Grad Students Reprogram Diversity in the Field

Piper Wolters & Richard Li

Computer science: It’s a vast field with endless areas for specialization, an enormous range of career options, and an abundance of well-paying, varied jobs. With a computer science degree, doors open on a diversity of opportunities. 

But the diversity of opportunities for computer scientists stands in stark contrast with a lack of diversity in a demographic sense—the field is surprisingly homogenous. According to the career search platform Zippia, 66.1 percent of computer scientists are white, and only 22.2 percent are women—a far cry from the demographics of the broader population. 

In Western’s computer science master’s program, students are breaking the mold by making computer science their own despite the statistics. In the process, they’re writing a new story—one that says, “Computer science is for everyone.” 

Read more in Western Today

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