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College of Arts and Sciences Alumni

Exodus: Climate and the movement of the people

footprints sandVast swaths of forests in western North America are dead or dying, killed by pine bark beetle. The beetles have been there all along, but prolonged droughts reduced the trees’ ability to defend themselves from the inner bark-munching bugs.

The western slopes of the Sierra Nevada range in California have been especially hard hit by the depredation, just as people who made money in Silicon Valley sought to move their families out of the choked cities and up into the beautiful mountain forests. Now, to mitigate risk of catastrophic fire and the further spread of pests such as bark beetle, landowners must cut down dying and dead trees—the forests that were the very reason they moved there in the first place. » More …

Innovative WSU approach ignites survey industry, earns national award

Winners holding plaqueWSU researchers received a national award for designing a new survey method that is now used in censuses around the world.

WSU Regents Professor Don Dillman and a team of former graduate students were honored with the Warren J. Mitofsky Innovators Award from the American Association for Public Opinion Research. The last award was granted in 2015 to Nate Silver, creator of FiveThirtyEight , the statistics-based news site.

The WSU team’s innovation is overcoming the negative effects that modern communication trends have on public opinion survey results by turning to an old-school source: postal mail.  » More …

Surgery, trauma expert Don Trunkey receives Alumni Achievement Award

Alumnus receiving awardDon Trunkey (’59), a professor emeritus of surgery at the Oregon Health Science University, received the WSU Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of his influential career and contributions to medical education, surgical methods and trauma care. » More …

History department newsletter, June 2017

Screen shot image of history newsletter2017 has been a year of growth and accolades for the Department of History. The summer newsletter highlights the Roots of Contemporary Issues Program, directed by Professors Jesse Spohnholz and Clif Stratton, which has become a center for transformative learning across the University, plus curriculum innovations, faculty and student awards, alumni updates, and more.

Read the full newsletter on the Department of History website >>

 

 

Ensemble premieres ‘Drive’ in honor of WSU president

PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble premiered “Drive” at a campus concert April 13, music written to honor the appointment of Kirk Schulz as WSU’s 11th president.

Greg Yasinitsky, Regents professor and director of the WSU School of Music, composed “Drive” to capture the optimism of the university community about the beginning of Schulz’s presidency. » More …

Bob Smawley: “Mr. WSU”

1950s ticket officeBob Smawley, “Mr. WSU,” embodied what it meant to be a Cougar for generations of Washington State University students, staff, and alumni, through his selfless service to the University, his caring nature, and his deep knowledge of WSU history, all delivered with a dry sense of humor and true compassion.

For over six decades, Smawley (’52 General Studies) worked under six WSU presidents in several departments, volunteered and led in the Alumni Association, taught many the history of WSU through engaging slideshows, and mentored thousands of students.

“He was the heart of WSU,” says Malia Martine Karlinsky ’92. “Bob had a magical way of making you feel valued and welcome.”

» More …