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College of Arts and Sciences Archives

International scholars join Electronic Literature Lab

Electronic Literature Lab.Two internationally renowned scholars will spend the 2020-21 academic year at WSU Vancouver as research affiliates in the Electronic Literature Lab (ELL).

One of only a handful of media archaeology labs in the United States, the ELL is used for advanced inquiry into the curation, documentation, preservation and production of born-digital literary works and other media.

The two will collaborate with ELL director and WSU professor Dene Grigar on projects such as » More …

Blackwell to lead new human biology program

Aaron Blackwell.An expert in human evolution and immune function development, Aaron Blackwell, associate professor of anthropology, will direct the new human biology degree program at WSU, consisting primarily of courses in anthropology and biological sciences.

CAS launched the four-year, interdisciplinary bachelor of arts program this fall to help meet global demand for skilled professionals in health, social and environmental sciences and public policy. It melds approaches and content from social and biological sciences to provide students a vibrant understanding of » More …

Meet the new faculty of fall 2020

College of Arts and Sciences - Washington State University.Meet the college’s newest faculty, whose disciplinary expertise—from origin of life and supermassive black holes to political psychology, ancient economics, and interdisciplinary art—enriches and expands the arts and sciences at WSU. » More …

Small towns have highest risk of intimate partner violence

Ariel shot of a small town.“In criminology, we often have this urban bias. We assume big cities are the worst and paint other places as idyllic,” said Kathryn DuBois, associate professor at WSU Vancouver. “We tend to think in a continuum from urban to suburban to rural, but for intimate partner violence, it’s actually the suburban areas that are the safest, and small towns that have the highest risk.”

In a recent study, DuBois, analyzed the responses of more than 570,000 women from the National Crime Victimization Survey from 1994 to 2015. She found that women from small towns were 42% more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence than women from the suburbs and » More …

Sociologist elected to Washington State Academy of Sciences

Trophy on a stack of books.Alair MacLean, associate professor of sociology at WSU Vancouver, will join the 2020 class of the Washington State Academy of Sciences (WSAS).

The academy announced its newest members in July, including seven from WSU. The honor recognizes researchers for their outstanding scientific and technical achievement as well as their willingness to work on behalf of the academy to bring the best available science to bear on issues within the state of Washington. » More …

Putting Affordable Learning Grants into action

drawing, computer and booksFive CAS faculty members in four academic areas—chemistry, Spanish, humanities, and English—are creating free, open educational resources for their courses with the help of WSU Affordable Learning Grants.

By shifting from traditional textbooks to openly licensed course materials,  faculty have saved WSU students more than $1 million savings in textbook costs over the past four years. Students have also reported a very high satisfaction rate with online, affordable course materials versus » More …

Examining how autism research can improve juvenile justice policies

Book cover: Law and Neurodiversity.A new book co-authored by Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Laurie A. Drapela offers guidance on how autism research can inform and improve juvenile justice policies in Canada and the United States. Both countries rely on decentralized systems of governance to craft and implement law and policy, but their treatment of » More …

Compliance with CDC guidelines: what makes a difference?

Washing hands.Until there is a vaccine or effective treatments in place for COVID-19, public health experts are recommending preventative health behaviors such social distancing and wearing facial coverings in public to help stem the spread of the disease. But not everyone can or will enact these prevention behaviors.

Based on her lab’s prior work linking economic stressors (such as job insecurity and financial strain) with workplace safety behaviors, Tahira Probst, professor of psychology and an expert in occupational health » More …

Study indicates stereotypes can lead to workplace accidents

Pregnant woman.Fears of confirming stereotypes about pregnant workers as incompetent, weak or less committed to their job can drive pregnant employees to work extra hard, risking injury.

“The pregnancy stereotype is a silent stressor. It is not always visible, but it really impacts women in the workplace,” said Lindsey Lavaysse (’20 PhD), lead researcher for WSU recent study of pregnant women in physically demanding jobs. » More …

Research opens a new approach to mental illness

Silhouette of someone on a bench with hands held to head.Some of the most common mental disorders, including depression, anxiety and PTSD, might not be disorders at all, according to a recent paper by WSU biological anthropologists.

The researchers propose a new approach to mental illness that would be informed by human evolution, noting that modern psychology, and in particular its use of drugs like antidepressants, has largely failed to reduce the prevalence of mental disorders. For example, the global prevalence of » More …