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College of Arts and Sciences CAS Story Hub

STAGE and Nuthouse students shine at regional theater festival

Many WSU students seated in an auditorium full of peopleNearly two dozen WSU students representing the STAGE student theater group and the Nuthouse student improve group attended the 2018 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) for Region VII to compete in several events, including Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions, Technical Olympics and Improv Olympics.

WSU students Aryn Allen, Avery Barnwell, Spencer Knudson, and Sara Wagoner were each nominated by external adjudicators » More …

Kennedy Center honors WSU faculty for teaching excellence

Two faculty holding award plaquesTheatre faculty Benjamin Gonzales and Mary Trotter received separate awards for outstanding and innovative teaching at the 2018 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) for Region VII.

“Theatre and art, teaches us about our humanity, our ability to lean into discomfort, in order to learn about the complexity and depth of our capacity to endure, to love, to discover and grow. Mary and Ben have helped so many students recognize their capacity to create, to connect, to be compassionate, to be change makers.” Said Kelly Quinnett, University of Idaho professor of theatre arts and immediate past chair for KCACTF Region VII. » More …

Historical detective story traces Indian Ocean slave saga

Illustration from book coverA detailed family saga set against the broader context of South Asian slavery, plantation life, Parisian society and French colonization, “Madeleine’s Children: Family, Freedom, Secrets, and Lies in France’s Indian Ocean Colonies” by history professor Sue Peabody traces the multigenerational biography of a slave family and their legal battles for freedom.

Peabody is one of the world’s leading authorities on slavery in the French Empire. The research took her to » More …

New language scholarship opens opportunities, honors alumnus’ mom

smiling alumnus and his momMolding better Americans is the motivation behind a new foreign language scholarship created for Washington State University students by alumnus Christopher “CJ” Johnson (’02), an officer and linguist in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

“So few Americans speak a foreign language, and the outcome is that few Americans understand the world outside their immediate circle,” Johnson said. “But studying a foreign language and actually employing it forces you to think beyond your circle, to look beyond America, and that’s important because it » More …

WSU/UI team to develop national milk conference

Female black and white cowA team of researchers from Washington State University and the University of Idaho has received a $50,000 grant from the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program to organize a national conference in Washington, D.C., on the compositions of bovine and human milk.

“Human milk is the only food ever designed by nature to feed humans, but cows’ milk comes close,” said Michelle McGuire, professor in the WSU School of Biological Sciences. “The more we can learn » More …

In the company of penguins, whales, and pteropods

Researcher in red coat in snow field Luana Lins, a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Biological Sciences, is fresh off a month-long visit studying polar organisms as part of the National Science Foundation’s Training Program in Antarctica for Early-Career Scientists. When she wasn’t counting bacteria or extracting the DNA of pteropods, Lins was visited by penguins, watched whales, and toured the drafty hut assembled in 1902 by Robert Falcon Scott. She saw precious little fresh food and not a single vascular plant.

“Antarctica is beautiful, magical and harsh,” Lins said on her return. “I left with an extreme awareness » More …

Unique $1 million Keck Foundation grant to develop self-replicating materials

Hipps Brozikfull in the labChemistry researchers at WSU have been awarded $1 million from the W.M. Keck Foundation to develop molecular machines that self-replicate, producing pounds of 100-percent pure material.

Their research is the first step towards a new paradigm in manufacturing where everything from smartphones to life-saving cancer drugs could be designed one atom at a time to exact specifications and then grown out of a vat.

“In the end, the product of this research is going to be a new field of science where we can make literally almost anything in a way only seen » More …

eDNA: An early warning system for deadly pathogens

A mountain yellow-legged frog. Photo credit: Michael Hernandez A new technology being developed at Washington State University could help save amphibians around the world from deadly pathogens like Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a particularly nasty type of fungus that attacks the skin of frogs and salamanders.

The new tool, know as environmental DNA, or eDNA, detects telltale bits of genetic material that living creatures shed into their environment, and enables wildlife scientists to confirm the presence of a wide variety of aquatic organisms without the hassle of finding them. » More …

Dr. Universe: What experiments can you recommend?

Dr. UniverseYou can try all kinds of fun experiments at home. It really all depends on what you are curious about. Lately, I’ve seen some really great sunsets and started wondering what gives them their colors.

I decided to ask my friend Tom Johnson, who leads fun physics demonstrations for kids visiting Washington State University. I asked him if he had any simple ideas for an experiment I could try out in my lab, or even the kitchen. One idea he had was to create a sunset in a cup. » More …

Professor’s research to help choral conductors in India

Dean Luethi video stillDean Luethi, associate professor in the WSU School of Music, has been asked by the National Association for Music Educators (NAFME) to produce four levels of choral conducting instruction to be offered via online videos so choral conductors in India can earn a mini-credential by the Western Music Educators Association (WMEA) in music instruction.

The NAFME began the WMEA in India three years ago to help music teachers by offering resources which will prepare them for the classroom. » More …

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