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College of Arts and Sciences Faculty

Dr. Universe: Why do we have eyebrows?

Illustration of Dr. Universe looking at a hair follicle. Humans have hair on their heads, arms, and even the face. If you feel your face, you might feel some small, fuzzy hairs on your cheeks and forehead. But the hair of your eyebrows is usually a bit thicker.

I asked my friend Mark Mansperger why we have eyebrows. He’s an anthropologist at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

Eyebrows appear to serve two main purposes, he said. One of the purposes of eyebrows is to keep » More …

Women faculty share career journeys

A panel of women at a table with microphones.Faculty in sociology, criminal justice, and anthropology shared personal stories about their career experiences during the Association for Faculty Women (AFW) Pathways to Leadership event in early November.

The event was designed to illustrate different leadership pathways and gave both attendees and panelists an opportunity to » More …

Dr. Universe: Why do people like different kinds of music?

Dr. UniverseHumans have been experimenting with all kinds of sounds, lyrics, and instruments for thousands of years. There are hundreds of genres of music, so while you might like one kind, a friend might like something completely different. Or maybe you became friends because of your similar taste in music.

My friend Horace Alexander Young is a WSU musician and professor. When I went to visit him, » More …

New Boeing Distinguished Professor named

Dylan Bugden.An expert in environmental conflict and the sociology of energy systems, Dylan Bugden has been named Boeing Distinguished Professor in Environmental Sociology.

Bugden is an enthusiastic educator and researcher who examines environmental electoral politics, social movements, and land-use conflicts with » More …

Asked and answered: 50 years of survey innovation

Don Dillman.When you open the envelope for your 2020 Decennial Census next year, you will be directed to an online questionnaire inspired by Regents Professor Don Dillman. His extensive research and experimentation with visual design and social exchange theory have led to better user experience, increased response rates and higher quality data from surveys sent out by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, National Science Foundation, Gallup, Nielson, and many more organizations and governments worldwide. » More …

Sutton to lead Dept. of History

portrait imageAn expert in the historical intersection of U.S. politics and religion, Professor Matthew A. Sutton will serve as chair of the Department of History at Washington State University, effective August 16.

Sutton is the Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor in history. As chair, he succeeds Steven Kale, who is returning to the history faculty.

“Dr. Sutton’s well-rounded background in research, teaching, and leadership will reinforce the department’s solid foundation, empower faculty and create opportunities for » More …

Four CAS faculty elected to state Academy of Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences, Washington State UniversityIn September, four CAS faculty will join the ranks of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, an organization that advances science in the state and informs public policy.

“It’s a great honor that so many WSU scientists have been recognized by the Washington State Academy of Sciences,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “They’ll be contributing their expertise to some of the most important issues we face in Washington. It’s another way » More …

Dr. Universe: Why do people litter?

Dr. UniverseThere is a lot of litter on our planet, but it hasn’t always been that way. For most of human history, people made stuff out of things they found in nature. They might make tools out of rocks or sticks. These things break down and become part of the soil again.

It wasn’t until the invention of new materials, like plastic, that we started creating more litter. In fact, along with the rise of these new materials came the word “litterbug.”

That’s what I found out from my friend Erik Johnson. He’s a WSU sociologist who is really curious about culture, the ways people interact and live together, and » More …

Passion for service leads to faculty development role

Melanie NeuillyAssociate Professor Melanie Neuilly knows a thing or two about managing personal and professional challenges.

When she landed a WSU seed grant that would fund a summer of research in Nice, France, she dreamed of an enriching research experience by day, romantic dinners on café terraces, and strolls on Mediterranean beaches by night. But once she began her research project, reality set in. » More …