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College of Arts and Sciences Anthropology

Where you live may influence your baby’s behavior

Babies lying down.Infants from rural families tend to display negative emotions such as anger and frustration more frequently than their urban counterparts, according to a recent study in the Journal of Community Psychology.

Babies born in big cities, on the other hand, typically are less fussy and not as bothered by limits set by their caregivers.

The study, led by WSU psychologist Maria Gartstein and » More …

Dr. Universe: How was popcorn discovered?

Dr. UniverseThere’s nothing quite like making popcorn: the snapping kernels, the warm buttery smell, and the knowledge that a delicious snack will be ready in minutes. It gives you some good time to think and wonder: how did humans first start doing this?

To find out where popcorn came from, I visited my friend Erin Thornton, an archaeologist at WSU. Archaeologists study how humans lived in the past—including the things they ate. To learn the story of popcorn, we have to trace the history of maize. » More …

Doctoral students pack years of research into three minutes

Three minute thesis contestants with Dean Jockers.Why people cannot regenerate lost appendages the way some frogs and other animals do is the question at the heart of Robyn Reeve’s doctoral research in biological sciences. Explaining her work clearly in a mere three minutes won her both first place and the “People’s Choice” award in the College of Arts and Sciences’ (CAS) recent qualifying event for WSU’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Contest of 2020.

For her presentation, “Leptin: integrator of immune response and regeneration,” Reeve will » More …

Seeding big-picture, interdisciplinary research

A detail of a classic Mayan polychrome vessel depicting a deer hunt.With support from Interdisciplinary Research and Innovation Seed (IRIS) grants, CAS faculty and graduate students in diverse areas are combining forces with colleagues across the university to tackle critical questions by integrating knowledge in a wide array of fields—criminology, biology, English, medicine, archaeology, nursing, and more.

“The IRIS grant program supports faculty efforts to build collaborative relationships and advance our interdisciplinary creative activities, scholarship, and » More …

DTC senior selected for Pollart Scholarship

Aracely Mendoza.One of the 2019 Pollart Scholarships for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities has been awarded to senior Aracely Mendoza.

“The scholarship is meant to highlight the work of students that are crossing boundaries and doing innovative things that show the way that arts and humanities will move forward,” said Todd Butler, director of the WSU Center for Arts and Humanities and associate dean of faculty for the College » More …

Veterans preserve history

five people in a room full of archive boxesThe cool, high-ceiling basement room in College Hall is furnished in Spartan fashion. On this summer day it’s library quiet, but not by tradition or rule. It’s the natural product of deep concentration, as the lab’s three curation technicians, all student veterans, work their way through a collection of ancient artifacts.

At a cluster of mismatched tables in the center of the room, senior Chris Sison carefully examines a tray of artifacts, occasionally consulting a set of printed cards or making a note in » More …

Dr. Universe: Why do we have eyebrows?

Illustration of Dr. Universe looking at a hair follicle. Humans have hair on their heads, arms, and even the face. If you feel your face, you might feel some small, fuzzy hairs on your cheeks and forehead. But the hair of your eyebrows is usually a bit thicker.

I asked my friend Mark Mansperger why we have eyebrows. He’s an anthropologist at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

Eyebrows appear to serve two main purposes, he said. One of the purposes of eyebrows is to keep » More …

Women faculty share career journeys

A panel of women at a table with microphones.Faculty in sociology, criminal justice, and anthropology shared personal stories about their career experiences during the Association for Faculty Women (AFW) Pathways to Leadership event in early November.

The event was designed to illustrate different leadership pathways and gave both attendees and panelists an opportunity to » More …

Exhibit explains significance of ancient tattoo tool

mueseum exhibitThe discovery of the oldest tattooing artifact in western North America earned a WSU PhD student international acclaim from the likes of National Geographic, the Smithsonian, and the New York Times.

Now, faculty, staff, and students will have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the ancient implement and the Ancestral Pueblo people of Southeastern Utah who made it. » More …

Who dominates the discourse of the past?

Shannon Tushingham and Tiffany Fulkerson.WSU researchers Tiffany Fulkerson and Shannon Tushingham set out to determine how a rapidly evolving demographic and professional landscape is influencing the production and dissemination of knowledge in American archaeology.

Their study, published in American Antiquity in July, found that women, who now make up half of all archaeologists in North America, and professionals working outside of a university setting » More …