Alumni Spotlight: Joseph Liston ('95)

Joseph Liston ’95 majored in East Asian Studies and Mandarin Chinese at Western. He currently works for an information security company managing and creating learning programs. His interest in Chinese studies inspired him to become involved with the Northwest China Council, an organization that promotes understanding of Chinese culture, business, history, and contemporary affairs.

“The biggest influence from my time at WWU was Professor Kathleen Tomlonovic, Chinese language teacher and later director of the program. She taught me resilience, and while she was tough, she pushed her students to be successful," Liston says.

As with so many students at Western who study abroad, Liston was deeply inspired by his experience in China.

“While I was in school at Western, I studied abroad in Beijing, China at Beijing Foreign Studies University, which was a life-changing experience for me."

Liston also enjoyed working on campus. "I also was a radio DJ at KUGS which was a lot of fun and had the opportunity to briefly work on Western's TV news program 'Western Window.'”

Liston lives near Portland, Oregon and enjoys going backpacking and camping with his family, as well as playing with their golden retriever. He made many lifelong friends at Western. In fact, he and his roommate from Ridgeway Omega are still good friends, and their families vacation together every summer.

“As far as advice, I would say don't be afraid to take chances, sometimes the greatest things happen when you step outside your comfort zone. Also, the world needs more kindness now, so do something kind every day.”