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College of Arts and Sciences Graduate student

Summer scholars connect research to the real world

Student Jeannette Lilly (center) works with graduate student Erica Bakker (left) and Sarah Roley, assistant professor of environmental science, in an environmental science lab as part of her Chancellor’s Summer Scholars experience.This past summer, ten WSU Tri-Cities undergraduate students in the Chancellor’s Summer Scholar Program got to experience first-hand how top-tier university research can impact their local community.

“Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree get the opportunity to be a part of intensive research that could positively influence the Tri-Cities community,” said Kate McAteer, WSUTC vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Ranging from engineering, to the arts, to the sciences, there are a variety » More …

Innovative murals created for local elementary school

About 20 WSU students along with faculty project leaders and Kamiak Elementary principal Evan Hecker stand in front of 2 murals depicting the molecular vision of thermochromatic pigment.Imagine a large, outdoor painting that changes colors when warmed by the sun or by the touch of child’s hand and shifts hues again in cool rain and winter’s chill.

Two such temperature-sensitive paintings are among four vibrant murals created this fall at Kamiak Elementary School in Pullman through a unique collaboration between WSU artists and chemists. » More …

Grad student helps pilot medical mission to Ecuador

Charles Toye next to Ecuadorian in a wheelchair.This past summer, Charles Toye, a master’s student in Hispanic Studies, participated in the first WSU program in Ecuador hosted by Hearts in Motion, a non-profit organization that provides quality medical care and education to improve the health and welfare of people in the U.S. and Central and South America.

“Charles was chosen because of his proficiency in the language and culture, his training as a translator, and his science background, but most of all because he is such a caring person and » More …

PhD student creates LGBTQ digital history exhibit

Brian Stack presenting at the Neill Public Library.Brian Stack, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History, introduced his digital Palouse LGBTQ history project during a guest speaker presentation at Neill Public Library in Pullman.

Stack’s digital exhibit consists of articles, photographs, and other artifacts relating to queer history in the Palouse region from the 1970s to today, and addresses topics that have impacted university members as well as the » More …

Ecological legacy of the Palouse Prairie

Close up of spadefoot toad.It’s the cutest photo ever—innocent black eyes, little mottled snout covered with sand. Erim Gómez has won several awards for his angelic close-up of a spadefoot toad.

The doctoral student in environmental and natural resource sciences admits to a soft spot for the shy creatures. Working with associate professor Rodney Sayler in the WSU Endangered Species Lab, Gómez is conducting the first comprehensive survey of frogs and salamanders on the Palouse Prairie since the 1930s. » 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 …

NIH protein biotechnology program renewed with $2.3M grant

Doctoral student Kaitlin Witherell working in a laboratory.The National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health has awarded the WSU NIH Protein Biotechnology Training Program $2.3 million over the next five years to support training of Ph.D. graduate students. Renewing this competitive grant brings the total NIH investment into the program to more than $10.4 million since it began in 1989 as one of the first nine NIH training grant programs in biotechnology.

This long-running training grant provides essential support for interdisciplinary research and graduate » More …

Plant science relationship growing across the Atlantic

Rachael DeTar, Alexander Aleman, and Stanislav Kopriva.WSU’s growing collaboration with Germany’s interdisciplinary Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS) is adding a global perspective to the University’s work to advance agricultural science and develop sustainable methods of food production.

Earlier this summer, a WSU delegation of seven graduate students attended the annual International CEPLAS Summer School near Cologne and brought home awards for best oral and best poster presentations.

Five WSU faculty also presented their work during the week‑long event and continued discussions to establish research interactions that will benefit faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and » More …

A new tune: combining jazz and classical piano

musician in rehearsal roomCuban-born master’s student Raul Blanco has long been interested in combining Cuban music with other types of music, such as Scottish bagpipes. But combining Cuban music and jazz piano is special because it bridges his years of learning classic piano in his homeland with his personal interest in jazz.

“Raul has written music for several ensembles and has led both our Latin Jazz ensemble and Jazz Wires, our top jazz combo. He is an excellent teacher and mentor to undergraduate students in » More …

$1.4M DoD grant supports new eDNA techniques

Caren Goldberg near an Idaho pond.Freshly drawn from an Idaho pond, the half-liter of water running through Caren Goldberg’s funnel-shaped filter carries trace cells and tiny fragments bearing DNA—genetic code from native frogs and salamanders.

Those few strands of code say a lot to Goldberg, a WSU scientist who studies environmental DNA, or eDNA—genetic material sampled from soil or water rather than directly from an organism. The samples not only identify the animals who live in this pond, they hold the potential to » More …