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College of Arts and Sciences History

Single mom earning degree while raising her son

Ana BetancourtFor the average college student juggling school, classes and a job can be a difficult feat in itself. WSU Vancouver, however, is not a campus filled with traditional students. It is a commuter campus and sees everything from parents to long-distance commuters attending classes.

Ana Betancourt is a WSU Vancouver junior majoring in sociology and minoring in history. Off campus, her primary job is photography. On campus, » More …

Library instruction increases student educational success

Instructor between two students with laptops discussing library project.Clif Stratton knows the difference library instruction makes for his students. For more than five years, he has brought students in his “Roots of Contemporary Issues” class to Terrell Library to meet with Corey Johnson, WSU’s instruction and assessment librarian. Johnson teaches the students how to find suitable primary and secondary sources for their research assignments, a skill the students will need for the remainder of their academic careers at WSU.

“Corey deals in concrete examples in his demonstrations of how to use databases,” said Stratton, assistant clinical professor in the Department of History and assistant director » More …

Undergraduate students’ research opens doors to the future

Collage showing a mineral, institutional icons, a student with latex gloves inspecting what looks to be a bat wing, and a woman leaning up against a stack of books.Alyssa Sperry’s research for her University Scholars Honors thesis on the history of salt in Jamaica earned her the Library Research Excellence Award for 2018. It also changed her life.

The library research award is designed to recognize students who excel in using the library and its rich resources. Sperry, who graduated from WSU Vancouver in May with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a minor in history, used the library exceptionally well—and went far beyond it. » More …

History professor emerita teaching in Kazakhstan on Fulbright Fellowship

Maria TomachevaMarina Tolmacheva, WSU professor emerita of history and an expert in Islamic and world history, has been awarded a four-month Fulbright Fellowship to teach and consult on academic development at KIMEP University in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Tolmacheva recently began teaching courses on Central Asian history in the context of world history to graduate and undergraduate students at KIMEP, a North American-style independent university, formerly known as Kazakhstan Institute of » More …

WSM review: Bringing Water to the Idaho Desert

Book cover of Complexity in a Ditch.Growing up on a farm near Inkom, Idaho, the young Hugh Lovin (’56 MA history) would engineer ways to divert water to the crops he produced for his livestock. Later in life, after years of writing histories of labor, Lovin turned his attention again to irrigation. In a number of articles, collected for the first time in this volume, he traced the history of the “dreamers, schemers, and doers” who brought water to hundreds of thousands of acres of southern Idaho desert. » More …

Long journey of WSU’s newest student regent

Jordan FrostJordan Frost was a sophomore at Kent-Meridian High School when a teacher, Andrea McCormick, handed him a packet of materials to run for student body president. She already had filled them out. “You just need to sign your name,” she said.

Later, she gave him a Washington State University hoodie, “which was really the first time I thought about WSU.”

» More …

Historic find is subject of new documentary

Orlan Svingen during filmingRecent discoveries by a WSU history professor and his students may hold the key to an ongoing American West conflict.

After nearly 10 years of research, Professor Orlan Svingen, along with students and colleagues in the WSU public history field schools, unearthed an official U.S. government document from 1870 and several supporting records that shed new light on conflicting claims about historical use and ownership of large swaths of southwestern Montana and northwestern Wyoming. » More …

Arts & humanities faculty awarded 2018 fellowships

green background with WSU shieldSeven College of Arts and Sciences faculty received WSU Arts and Humanities Fellowship awards through a program funded by the Office of Research.

“These grants showcase the range and innovation of creative and humanistic work at WSU,” said Todd Butler, chair of the fellowship review committee. “These faculty are taking on challenging questions and demonstrating the vital contributions the arts and humanities » More …

English professor returns to History Channel

Promotional title for the History Channel showNarrative historian and English professor Buddy Levy is making a return to the History Channel.

Levy, the author of a 2005 biography about early American adventurer Davy Crockett, is among the experts interviewed in the cable network’s latest documentary series “The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen.”

The new series by executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio explores the formative period » More …

History professors launch community conversations

WSU Vancouver history professor Sue Peabody and adjunct professor Donna Sinclair were looking at the demographic records of Clark County, Washington, and noticed some surprising facts. The local population has more than doubled in the past three decades, from 221,654 to nearly 500,000 in 2017. And while more than half (54 percent) of the current residents were born in another state, another 10 percent of the county’s residents were born in another country altogether.

The data started them thinking: “How did all these people come to Clark County?” and “How is Clark County changing in response to this growth?” » More …