Hall of Achievement – 2011
Award-winning journalist for KGW television in Portland, Oregon, Tracy Barry anchors the station's top-rated and most-honored weeknight newscasts. She joined KGW NewsChannel 8 in 1985, and, in addition to anchoring, reports on everyday heroes in the community who are making a difference for others.
Tracy's prior experience includes working as an anchor and reporter at KATU-TV (ABC) in Portland; KSTW-TV (UPN) in Tacoma, Wash.; KTVB-TV (NBC) in Boise, Idaho; and KPVI-TV (NBC) in Pocatello, Idaho. She has reported live from the G-8 summit in Japan and from New York City on the emotional tenth anniversary of the September 11 tragedies.
Tracy has received numerous awards for her anchoring and reporting. In 2009, she was honored as one of the most respected journalists in the Northwest with induction into the Northwest Regional Emmy’s Silver Circle.
Tracy is deeply involved in her community, and is especially active in charitable organizations that benefit children, including Holt International Children’s Services, The Children’s Center, and the March of Dimes. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in communication at WSU in 1977.
“I always think of my degree from WSU as my very own 'golden ticket'—it opened doors to a career doing the work I love,” Tracy said. “I am forever grateful that I had a chance to attend a journalism school that valued accuracy, ethics, and quality writing above all else.”
As a student at WSU in the 1960s, Steve Montgomery showed potential as an on-air talent and as a manager. In 1966 he was the public address announcer for the athletic department, announcing Cougar basketball and baseball games. He was also involved in the management of KWSU as operations chief.
In the 45 years since he graduated with a BA in communication, Steve has found success in an array of communication arenas. His Seattle-based advertising company, Montgomery Marketing and Communications, has received a number of national and regional awards during its 25 years in business.
Steve's voice has been heard throughout western Washington in radio and television commercials and around the world as announcer for various professional sports, including hydroplane racing. He has anchored dozens of programs on ESPN, ESPN2, and the Speed Channel.
Before starting MMC, Steve worked in all phases of broadcast programming, sales, and management. He was the program director at KIRO Radio during the transition from music to news programming in the early '70s and served as the station's first afternoon news host. In the late '70s and 80's he worked in sales and management at Seattle's Country KAYO and KISW FM.
Active in civic and community affairs, Steve has served on the boards of directors of the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club, the Ronald McDonald House Holiday Cruise, and the Hydroplane and Race Boat Museum.
“The WSU Communications experience gives a student a priceless opportunity to explore various phases of the communications industries before picking one as a career,” Steve said. “In fact, you may want to pick more than one!”
Shirley Skidmore began her career as a television news reporter, producer, and anchor. Now director of marketing and communications at Marylhurst University near Portland, Oregon, she leads a team responsible for promotion and marketing of the university and its programs, services, and events. Working with the university president and other stakeholders, she has created messaging and outreach strategies and a brand platform to raise the educational reputation of Marylhurst across Oregon and nationwide.
Shirley previously served as assistant superintendent for communications and community outreach in Washington's Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, where she managed all internal and external communications efforts and served as a top advisor to Washington's state school superintendent. She and her team created several award-winning collateral materials that supported school district communications with parents and other key publics.
Her prior professional posts include director of communications and outreach for the Chalkboard Project, customer communications manager for Clark Public Utilities, and senior account executive with a Portland public relations firm.
Shirley is an active member of the professional advisory boards of the WSU Honors College and the Murrow College of Communication (serving as chair of the latter in 2002-03), and the branding and messaging task force of the Portland City Club. She previously served on communications/marketing committees for WSU and WSU Vancouver, and has been active in a number of professional communications and marketing organizations, presenting at numerous conferences and workshops on topics in public relations, communications, and marketing.
Shirley earned her bachelor's and master's degrees at WSU in communication in 1984 and 1989, respectively, and her bachelor's degree in English in 2002.
“I owe my professional success to the amazing education I received at WSU and the strong mentoring of my professors,” Shirley said. “They taught me more than strong practical skills they taught me by example how important it is to work hard, keep learning, and, above all, live a life of integrity.”