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College of Arts and Sciences Archives

Political advertising expert Ridout tapped to lead PPPA

Travis Ridout.A national expert on political advertising and campaign finance, Travis Ridout will begin on July 15 a four-year term as director of the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs (PPPA).

Now the Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Policy, Ridout joined the WSU faculty in 2003. Since then, he has taught a wide range of courses, including American politics, elections, media and politics, political behavior, » More …

Non-tobacco plant identified in ancient pipe for first time

Ancient smoking pipes.People in what is now Washington state were smoking Rhus glabra, a plant commonly known as smooth sumac, more than 1,400 years ago. The discovery, made by a team of WSU researchers, marks the first-time scientists have identified residue from a non-tobacco plant in an archeological pipe.

“The research casts doubt on the commonly held view that trade tobacco grown by Europeans overtook the use of natively-grown smoke plants after Euro-American contact,” said Shannon Tushingham, assistant professor of anthropology. » More …

E-DNA detection could cut pathogens in pet trade

Salamander.As SARS-CoV-2 puts new focus on zoonotic pathogens, WSU disease ecology researcher Jesse Brunner  has developed a method using environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect disease in the vast international trade of aquatic animals.

The problem with monitoring the pet trade is one of magnitude: every year more than 225 million live animals are imported into the U.S. alone, with the majority destined for » More …

Pandemic makes teaching abroad ‘surreal experience’

Preston with Romanian psych students.Thomas Preston, a political science professor and expert in international security policy, had just begun a four-month, Fulbright-sponsored teaching stint in Constanta, Romania, when the entire country was placed in lockdown and martial law was declared.

It was early March, the coronavirus was threatening to become a global pandemic and the Romanian government was having as little of that as possible, so officials quickly imposed strict » More …

Psychologists study cannabis, PTSD relief connection

Cannabis leaf.According to a recent study led by Carrie Cuttler, assistant professor of psychology, people suffering from post‑traumatic distress disorder report that cannabis reduces the severity of their symptoms by more than half, at least in the short term.

Cuttler and her colleagues analyzed data of more than 400 people who tracked changes in their PTSD symptoms before and after cannabis use with Strainprint, an app developed to help » More …

Outstanding Seniors exemplify dedication to learning, leadership, service

Outstanding Seniors medallion. In the College of Arts and Sciences, an Outstanding Senior is defined as one who has excelled in academic performance and in service to their department or school and to the University community.

This year, 23 students were selected to receive the honor by faculty in their respective Pullman campus degree programs and the leadership of their department or school. » More …

Flattening the curve with jazz

A screenshot of jazz musicians in a Zoom meeting.The WSU Jazz Big Band isn’t letting the global pandemic get in the way of delivering excellent big band entertainment. The award-winning group, directed by Regents Professor Greg Yasinitsky, put technology to the test to produce a video of the aptly titled composition, “Flatten That Curve.”

In addition to the quality of the music, what makes the performance fascinating to watch is » More …

Interdisciplinary research on COVID-19 impact

Mother holding sleeping baby.Fifteen faculty and graduate student researchers from multiple colleges and campuses across the University recently joined forces to form the WSU COVID‑19 Infant, Maternal, and Family Health Research Collaborative.

Spanning a variety of disciplines, including biological sciences, anthropology, and psychology, the collective already has a half dozen studies lined up to address critical questions related to the impact of COVID‑19 on the health of mothers, babies, and families. » More …

SBS director earns WSU leadership honor

Carter.Listen to Pat Carter, recipient of the 2020 WSU Outstanding Chair/Director award, talk about the School of Biological Sciences for a few minutes and you’ll be ready to jump online and register for every course the school offers.

“I see the role as creating an environment where students, faculty and staff can be successful” said Carter. He tries to keep all three aspects of WSU’s land-grant mission — to advance knowledge, to extend » More …

Exhibition studies students research presidential art collection

Painting, “Snow and Stubble,” Z. Vanessa Helder.In 1935, Washington State College President Ernest Holland wrote to Charles Duveneck, the brother of American figure and portrait painter Frank Duveneck, who created a portrait of Charles in 1890. Holland had acquired the portrait for his personal collection. “I am fortunate to have been able to purchase the pastel portrait of yourself; and I shall be grateful to have you tell me if you know of some paintings by your brother which I might obtain…at a reasonable price,” wrote Holland.

With such gently persuasive letters, Holland was able to acquire close to 100 artworks that eventually became a founding collection for » More …