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College of Arts and Sciences Faculty, Staff

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 …

Helping non-violent offenders take the first step

View of a prison block from behind bars.Two criminal justice faculty members are playing key roles in a national effort to free thousands of non-violent prisoners and help them transition smoothly to civilian life.

The First Step Act signed into law late last year is designed to create a path to release for prisoners convicted of non-violent drug offenses. The prisoners earn credit for good behavior and are issued a risk profile based on a number of factors. That’s where WSU’s Zach Hamilton and Alex Kigerl come in. » 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 …

Leading WSU UCORE general education program

Clif StrattonHistory professor Clif Stratton has been named the new director of WSU’s University Common Requirements Program, known as UCORE.

“It’s a great honor to lead UCORE,” Stratton said. “It is central to the mission of the university. It touches virtually every student on every campus, regardless of their major, from their first-year through capstone courses.

“UCORE meets students’ academic needs by advancing knowledge, understanding, and skill development. It helps them make connections across disciplines. In many ways, UCORE provides a foundation » More …

In search of microplastics in food

portrait outsideWhile shocking images of giant gyres of plastic trash in the world’s oceans cause widespread alarm, a more insidious threat to ecological and human health may be the nearly invisible microplastics in local waters, said environmental science professor Alex Fremier.

Supported by a Fulbright Global Scholar Award, Fremier will spend four months in Belém, Brazil, collecting water, fish and sediment samples in the Lower Amazon River Basin with the aim » More …

Crimson Spirit Award: Sheryl DeShields

Sheryl DeShields.

Sheryl DeShields, secretary senior in the Department of Psychology, received the September 2018 Crimson Spirit Award. DeShields’ colleagues honored her for her noteworthy extra efforts and commitment to the unit. One nominator described her as “the heart and soul of our talented and close-knit department.” Another noted she is “outstanding in every way. I have had experience with at least twenty different secretaries in two different colleges, and Sheryl is the best that I have seen.”  » More …

New CAS dean blends humanities, arts, sciences

professor portrait, outsideAs a young scholar, Matthew Jockers loved both the wildness of literature and the controlled logic of computer programming. And much like Rudyard Kipling’s description in East and West: at first “never the twain shall meet,” but in the end, they combine to form a strong bond.

“There is a thread in my literary training that was focused on » More …