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College of Arts and Sciences CAS Story Hub

Center for Arts and Humanities fellowship awards

Fine Arts Center and Museum of Art.The WSU Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH) and the Office of Research awarded  2019 fellowships to eight faculty representing fine arts, history, and music, as well as politics, philosophy, and public affairs, and design and construction.

Each award supports faculty professional goals and advances university‑wide arts and humanities initiatives. The fellowships will support exhibitions, music recordings, research travel, and course releases. Many of these activities will lead to publications. In addition » More …

Olympos to Olympia

The director of the Office of Chief Information Officer for the State of Washington, who studied history at WSU, has a reminder for everyone who works in technology: “If you don’t understand history, you’re bound to repeat it.”

Sue Langen ’78 may work on the fifth floor of a huge office building in downtown Olympia, but she’s completely down to earth. Making technology work for the people of the state, she says, is a matter of both pride and ethical responsibility. » More …

Future math teachers instruct, learn from rural school children

Middleschoolers working with a hands-on project.Giddy at the end of another school year, middle schoolers in Nespelem, Washington, will charge into summer with a new way of viewing even their oldest and most familiar things, thanks to a WSU mathematics professor and her students.

Clinical Associate Professor Kimberly Vincent and a small group of aspiring math teachers visited the sixth through eighth graders at their school last fall and used some of the youngsters’ prized possessions—from spiraled seashells to a violin—to teach them about ratios and how to calculate proportions. » More …

New faculty seed grants kick-start research, creativity

Office of ResearchSpanning  biosynthetic pharmaceuticals, intermedia art, and wildfires, three College of Arts and Sciences faculty have been awarded New Faculty Seed Grants (NFSG) to encourage the development of their research, scholarly, and creative programs.

The grants support projects that will significantly contribute to the researcher’s long range goals by kick-starting a more complex project or idea. The seed funding to junior faculty helps build » 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 …

Senior’s antibiotic resistance review earns Library Research Award

Miles RobertsHeadlines warning of the dangers of antibiotic resistance appear in the news almost every day. The United Nations predicts that by 2050, 10 million people could die each year from diseases that have become resistant to drugs.

Biology major Miles Roberts wanted to know how science is working to counter this trend. So, for his “Microbes in Nature and Society” class (Biology 402), he reviewed 65 scientific articles and turned his research into a paper called “Maximizing Costs to Prevent Antibiotic Resistance Evolution.” His thorough investigation resulted 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 …

Dark sky advocate

Night sky outside Stanley, Idaho (via WS Magazine)For billions of years, Earthly life has flourished in a reassuring 24-hour cycle of light and darkness. Over the past century, however, urban skies have grown increasingly clouded with light pollution. The excess light disrupts circadian rhythms, poses safety and health risks, wastes energy, and exacts a sad aesthetic toll as well.

For humans, the stars have long provided a primal connection to the cosmos, inspiring the imagination of artists, philosophers, and scientists throughout history. Today, residents of the Pacific Northwest remain among the few who » More …

Statistician to aid international whale conservation research

Gray WhaleLeslie New, a WSU Vancouver assistant professor of statistics who specializes in the impacts of humans on wildlife, has been named to a scientific panel studying endangered whales found off the coast of Russia’s Sakhalin Island.

New will spend three years on the Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel, an independent scientific advisory body to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. She and her fellow panelists will look for ways to assess and manage the impacts of the region’s oil, gas and fishing industries, evaluate ways to monitor » More …

International internships, research inspire new direction

Collecting samples in Portland. Heading next to Switzerland in search of new insights about aquatic invasive species, world traveler and newly minted Ph.D. Eric Dexter is a late-blooming research success story.

Dexter was planning to become an acupuncturist when he inadvertently discovered a love for scientific research. » More …