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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Graduate student

Flattening the curve with jazz

A screenshot of jazz musicians in a Zoom meeting.The WSU Jazz Big Band isn’t letting the global pandemic get in the way of delivering excellent big band entertainment. The award-winning group, directed by Regents Professor Greg Yasinitsky, put technology to the test to produce a video of the aptly titled composition, “Flatten That Curve.”

In addition to the quality of the music, what makes the performance fascinating to watch is » More …

Interdisciplinary research on COVID-19 impact

Mother holding sleeping baby.Fifteen faculty and graduate student researchers from multiple colleges and campuses across the University recently joined forces to form the WSU COVID‑19 Infant, Maternal, and Family Health Research Collaborative.

Spanning a variety of disciplines, including biological sciences, anthropology, and psychology, the collective already has a half dozen studies lined up to address critical questions related to the impact of COVID‑19 on the health of mothers, babies, and families. » More …

Research opens a new approach to mental illness

Silhouette of someone on a bench with hands held to head.Some of the most common mental disorders, including depression, anxiety and PTSD, might not be disorders at all, according to a recent paper by WSU biological anthropologists.

The researchers propose a new approach to mental illness that would be informed by human evolution, noting that modern psychology, and in particular its use of drugs like antidepressants, has largely failed to reduce the prevalence of mental disorders. For example, the global prevalence of » More …

Amphibian study shows stress increases vulnerability

Some frog.Even the anti-freeze frog is not invulnerable to stress, according to a new study led by WSU biological sciences researchers.

“We’re seeing these mass mortality events in wildlife that are often due to infectious diseases; while at the same time, we notice an association with some kind of environmental change,” said Emily Hall, the lead author on the study, which was part of her PhD dissertation. » More …

Fellowships expand options for PhD students

A group gathered around a table. Living in Pullman while working on her graduate degree, Tabitha Espina yearned for the people, and the lumpia and adobo, that she grew up with in Guam. That all changed when she joined the first cohort of WSU’s grant-funded project, “Reimagining the 21st Century Land-Grant PhD” and began working with a community of Filipino and Pacific Islanders in Wapato, Wash. on a case study in public engagement.

“From this very small project—basically me wanting to find Filipino community close by and finally have Filipino food again—came the opportunity to talk about the humanities landscape more broadly, from a state level and eventually a national » More …

Graduate students honored with AFW Founders awards

Quast and Akney.Two master’s students, Julian Ankney and Ashley Quant, were honored with the WSU Association for Faculty Women Founders Award for outstanding achievement in their fields. The Founders Award is part of the AFW’s annual recognition of academic excellence and professional potential by WSU’s graduate students.

Learn more about Ashley and Julian:

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Researching potential negative effects of cannabis

Medicinal Marijuana.Coughing fits, anxiety and paranoia are three of the most common adverse reactions to cannabis, according to a recent study by the WSU Health and Cognition Laboratory.

Researchers surveyed more than 1,500 college students on the type and frequency of adverse reactions they had experienced while using cannabis for their study in the Journal of Cannabis Research. They also collected information on the students’ demographics, personality traits, cannabis use patterns » More …

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 …

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 …

2019 news recap: CAS research made headlines worldwide

CAS logo on white with borderFrom Instagram selfies to an ancient tattoo tool, research from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) made headlines around the world in 2019. The University distributed press releases for more than 65 scientific papers last year, including many from CAS faculty and scientists. Together, the findings were seen potentially billions of times by readers and viewers worldwide, elevating WSU’s profile as a premier public research university.

Four CAS stories graced the top 10, and eight more rounded out the top 50 stories. » More …