Skip to main content Skip to navigation
College of Arts and Sciences Graduate student

Campus involvement empowers first-generation, non-traditional student to soar

WSU graduate in his cap and gown getting photo takenWSU Tri-Cities alumnus Geoff Schramm never thought he would go to college.

Coming from a family where no one before him in his family had gone to college, he said it was sort of a family tradition that he goes straight into the workforce after high school.

“That’s just what you did in my family,” he said. “I didn’t have a blueprint for college or someone that could tell me about the experience. In some odd way, I felt it wasn’t for me when I was young.” » More …

Criminal justice & criminology department newsletter, November 2017

screenshot of e-newsletterIn this latest issue of Criminal Justice News, you’ll find highlights from a productive 2016-17 along with exciting plans for the academic year. Faculty and graduate students continue to collaborate on research with various agencies and organizations. And with more than 900 undergraduates in our program, the department is offering—and filling—more classes than ever before. Read the full newsletter on the department website >>>

History project showcases rare footage of Washington’s 161st Infantry Regiment

WWII archive photo of 161st Infantry soldiers relaxingSometimes you just get lucky. Graduate students Laura Briere and Jared Chastain, along with their faculty adviser, historian Orlan Svingen, were in College Park, Maryland, last spring looking for information about the storied 161st Infantry Regiment when they stepped off the elevator on the wrong floor.

It turned out to be a fortunate mistake. » More …

Sustainable farming pioneer wins Bullitt Environmental Prize

Student research in the field, holding a stalk of rhubarb Cornelius Adewale, doctoral student and sustainable agriculture pioneer in WSU’s School of the Environment, is the winner of the 11th Annual Bullitt Environmental Prize.

The Bullitt Prize recognizes people with extraordinary potential to become powerful and effective leaders in the environmental movement.

Adewale’s research focuses on improving the environmental impact of agriculture. He is developing tools farmers can use to evaluate farming practices, so they can store more carbon, reduce chemical fertilizers, and produce more food. » More …

The Calculus of Grace

Valerie CheathonFor Valerie Cheathon, it all adds up. She plans to earn a master’s degree in applied math so she can make movies. Sitting in the Compton Union Building on the Pullman campus of Washington State University one morning, she clearly sees the world as a weave of numbers—and stories.

“I like applied math. You can help people with math. You can solve problems. Like, how much air conditioning is needed,” gesturing at the expanse of the CUB, “that’s a math problem. The doors are nodes and the connecting hallways get different values depending on width, length, and so forth.” » More …

Ancient Inland Northwest volcanic eruptions blocked out sun, cooling planet

Palouse Falls (c)WSU Photo ServicesThe Pacific Northwest was home to one of the Earth’s largest known volcanic eruptions, a millennia-long spewing of sulfuric gas that blocked out the sun and cooled the planet, Washington State University researchers have determined.

“This would have been devastating regionally because of the acid-rain effect from the eruptions,” said John Wolff, a professor in the WSU School of the Environment. “It did have a global effect on temperatures, but not drastic enough to start killing things, or it did not kill enough of them to affect the fossil record.”

The research, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, appears in Geology, the top journal in the field. Starting 16.5 million years ago, they say, vents in southeast Washington » More …

Sociology department newsletter, October 2017

Screen shot image of sociology newsletterFall is here—and WSU sociology has seen some exciting changes. We begin this issue with a letter from new department chair Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson. She shares her goals for the department, including implementation of a new strategic plan.

» More …

The people’s plants

hat woven from long leavesThe Dominican boy had a leaf draped over his head, secured with a length of vine. Anthropologist Marsha Quinlan was intrigued.

“I asked him, ‘Is that a hat?’” she recalls. “And he explained that, no, he woke up with a headache and the leaf makes your head feel better. And I thought that was so cool!”

Quinlan was a graduate student at the time, on her first trip to the Caribbean island of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic). And that was the moment she realized she had to delve further into ethnobotany. » More …

CAS hosts solar eclipse viewing parties

crecent sun through solar glasses Mother Nature provided a special treat for the first day of classes at Washington State University this year: a total solar eclipse across all of the United States. Although the path of totality ran from the Oregon coast all the way through South Carolina, the Vancouver, Tri-Cities, and Pullman campus each experienced more than 93% of the surface of the sun being blocked by the moon. The College of Arts and Sciences hosted a viewing party on the Holland Library lawn and at the Jewett Observatory to help students and the WSU community enjoy and learn about the celestial phenomenon.  Solar glasses were the most popular way to look at the sun–and the only way to do so safely.

At Holland Library, volunteers from the Department of Physics, along with the CAS Student Ambassadors, showed students and community members how to use » 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 …