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College of Arts and Sciences jsteward

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 …

Inside Outside

<em>Group of children at summer camp running through a woodland area with their guide/teacher walking behind them.</em>Biophilia, our innate affinity for and connection to nature, is not only for children—parents, too, are taking time from hectic schedules to unwind with meditative forest bathing, and many doctors now prescribe visits to the park instead of pills.

Getting kids outside is nothing new to Jeff Sanders, WSU associate professor and environmental historian. He says the idea of a nature deficit goes back at least 150 years to the Industrial Revolution, when many Americans left rural areas for work in Chicago or New York along with » More …

“Indians to Indians” researcher earns Fulbright award

portrait imageHistory doctoral student and future professor Ryan W. Booth has received a Fulbright U.S. Student award to spend nine months in India exploring socio‑cultural characteristics attributed to indigenous soldiers during the British Raj up to a century ago.

His work adds an international element to his dissertation, and may well lead to a new global thread of research in the area » More …

Making the difference

“The fact that I’m a teacher now is just the greatest turn of events—my old high school teachers would be shocked,” says Kerry Clark (’11 Hum., ’14 MA English). He’s sharing his improbable story as we tour Saint George’s School, a private K–12 preparatory institute nestled in the woods along the Little Spokane River.

Clark teaches English and history classes for the International Baccalaureate Diploma program at Saint George’s and is also a college counselor. On top of that, he coaches soccer, basketball, and baseball. The notable achievement is made more impressive when you learn » More …