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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 …

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 …

CAS student-athletes earn PAC-12 academic honors in rowing

multiple rowing oars on the grassEleven CAS student-athletes on the WSU women’s rowing team earned Pac-12 academic honors for 2018-2019. The WSU team led the league with a total of 23 honorees, followed by Stanford and the University of Washington.

To be eligible for selection to the PAC-12 academic teams, a student-athlete must have a minimum » More …

CAS seniors prioritize knowledge, service to others

Devon Holze, Gavin Pielow, and Trevor Foote.Devon Holze said she “hated math” until she took a class in calculus and discovered she loved it. Around the same time, she also grew passionate about political science, and now believes in the power of combining knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with the ability to communicate that knowledge to other people.

Holze is among 25 students named Outstanding Seniors of 2019 in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). The recognition is based on » More …

Motivation and opportunity: from prison to PhD

Noel VestNoel Vest’s goal was to go to community college to earn a degree as a chemical dependency counselor when he walked out the doors of a Nevada prison on June 28, 2009. Other than hard labor, it was the only career he thought was possible for a formerly incarcerated person.

Almost a decade later Vest is will graduate from Washington State University with a PhD in psychology and start the next chapter of his life as a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University. » More …

A look at research in two SBS laboratories

Five people standing in front of shelvingVice President for Research Chris Keane, along with Mike Kluzik, director of the Office of Research Assurances, recently toured the Kelley and Cornejo laboratories in the School of Biological Sciences.

Research in the Kelley Laboratory focuses on evolutionary genomics and adaptation to extreme environments. The lab is interested in understanding how populations diverge and adapt to the environments they encounter. To identify and characterize specific genes » More …

Annual awards honor faculty, staff, student achievement

group photo on the stageSixteen faculty, six staff, and six graduate students were honored for outstanding achievement at the 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Appreciation and Recognition Social earlier this month.

Professor Mechthild Tegedar, an international leader in plant biology, and Gary Collins, a pioneer in the study of material defects, received the top two faculty awards. Chuck Cody and Paul Wheeler, both in » More …

Medical Big Data

illustrationCurrently, there is a shortage of data wranglers and analysts. Just in time to meet the needs of what could be a revolution in healthcare, WSU is bringing up to speed one of the few data analytics programs in the country. Under the direction of entrepreneur-scientist Nella Ludlow, WSU’s new data analytics program is training the bioinformaticists who will be the genetic counselors and consultants of the future.

Just in its second year—paralleling the new WSU MD program in Spokane—Ludlow’s students are getting jobs as fast as they can get their degrees. She mentions a couple of juniors who got internships with a company that analyzes low-altitude aerial photography for » More …

Undergraduates’ data analysis, proposals could help reduce impaired driving

highway road and driver seen from back seat of carWhen Savanna Obernberger, a junior studying criminal justice, learned that drunk and drug-impaired drivers in the state kill nearly 200 people a year, she wanted to help solve the problem but didn’t know where to start.

A few months later, Obernberger and four classmates presented to the state Traffic Safety Commission a set of four innovative ways to tackle the problem of impaired driving. Their proposed solutions ranged from insurance cost incentives for safe driving to a smart phone app that helps » More …

Math prof to receive Chancellor’s Medallion for research

portrait Bala Krishnamoorthy, associate professor and program leader for mathematics and statistics at WSU Vancouver, has been selected to receive the 2019 Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence. The award recognizes exemplary and influential work by a WSU Vancouver faculty member.

Krishnamoorthy discovers ways people can use data strategically to make better decisions. His research interests include computational algebraic topology, geometric measure theory, integer optimization and basis reduction, computational models for surgical and biomedical applications, and » More …