Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences jsteward

How Chinese pioneers helped build the Pacific Northwest

Polly Bemis sitting outside a cabin in Warren, IdahoThough often surprising to people today, Chinese immigrants once had a thriving population in the Inland Pacific Northwest. From their earliest days searching for gold to their later work constructing the Northern Pacific Railway, the Chinese endured discrimination and, in many cases, extreme brutality.

How it began

When word came that gold had been discovered in central California in 1849, many Chinese headed to » More …

Students create virtual museum of digital literature

The NEXT.A virtual museum and library of more than 2,500 digital literary works from around the world is now accessible thanks to the collaborative work of more than three dozen recent graduates of WSU Vancouver’s Creative Media and Digital Culture program.

Called The NEXT, it was created for the Electronic Literature Organization, an international arts group currently housed » More …

Full circle

Painting by David Patterson. Following a successful career as a methods analyst with Boeing, David Patterson (’76 fine arts) returned to his childhood hometown of Pullman and the community that fostered his lifelong love of creating art.

A prolific pastel painter and photographer, he was first inspired by his mother Maxine (Weeks) Patterson (’46 fine arts). She specialized in oil paintings and watercolors and was represented by a Pullman gallery. She was still sketching into her late » More …

Keynote for incoming students: “You belong!”

Melissa Parkhurst.In her faculty address at the Pullman Convocation ceremony, Melissa Parkhurst took the opportunity to not only welcome incoming students—freshmen, transfers, as well as sophomores who spent their first year online—but to bring greater recognition of the many ways WSU and the Coug family is here to support and help them in their journeys. “It can take a while to learn about all these services,” she said. “I wanted to make sure they knew to look.”

Her speech was powerful and well-received, and we’re pleased to provide the transcript here for you today. » More …

National distinction for instrumental performance

Chris Dickey.Chris Dickey, assistant professor of tuba and euphonium in the WSU School of Music, received third place in the 2021 American Prize in Instrumental Performance in the professional division.

For the competition, Dickey chose recordings that he says demonstrate the tuba’s melodic versatility and virtuosity. His renditions of James Stabile’s Sonata for Tuba and Piano, Elizabeth Raum’s Romance for » More …

The notorious “Tacoma Method”

Xiuyu WangOn a miserably cold November day in 1885, a mob of 500 White businessmen, police, and political leaders stormed Tacoma’s Chinatown, determined to immediately force out the residents.

“This so-called, and notorious, ‘Tacoma Method’ was lauded by Tacomans and other city leaders as a lawful and orderly way to expel the Chinese population from town,” says Xiuyu Wang, associate professor of history at WSU Vancouver and a » More …

$1.12M grant to help increase math teacher diversity

Silhouette of a person writing on a white board. William Hall, assistant professor of mathematics, knows the tremendous impact high school math teachers can have on how students learn to think and reason quantitatively, and that includes matters of civics, social justice, and fairness.

“It is not always clear that you can be passionate about those ideas and use a career in teaching high school mathematics to explore them further and serve your community at the same time,” he said. » More …

Where math and poetry intersect

James Owusu Asare.As a seven-year-old, James Owusu Asare developed an unusual hobby: he would sit quietly at home in Accra, Ghana, writing lines of poetry. By age 15, he realized he had a special ability and began to take it more seriously. But when it came time to go to university, Asare decided to study math even though it was his weakest subject as a child. » More …

Book review: Warrior Generation

Book cover: Warrior Generation, 1865-1885, by Richard Fulton.“For lower-class young men,” in Victorian Britain, Richard Fulton (’75 PhD English) writes, “life was pretty much black and white. There were survivors and there were losers.”

Life was a struggle with sickness, the weather, other boys, parents, teachers, policemen, bosses, and simply getting something to eat. Tough guys prevailed. And, Fulton notes, they were admired. “They grew up in a culture that accepted physical force as » More …

Testing arrest deferrals, early release amid the pandemic

County jail.Sociology professor Jennifer Sherman studies rural jails in eastern Washington. Together with fellow WSU sociologists Jennifer Schwartz and Clay Mosher, she investigates why rural jail populations are on the rise despite declines in urban and suburban jails.

“Our research began before the pandemic hit, so we did our best to adapt and used COVID as a natural experiment,” Sherman says. “We learned a lot about the resilience of our communities by » More …