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College of Arts and Sciences CAS Story Hub

WSU music director, Greg Yasinitsky, nominated for Pulitzer Prize

Greg YasinitskyGreg Yasinitsky, Regents professor and director of the WSU School of Music, has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Music for his composition Jazz Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.

“There is almost no way to describe it,” Yasinitsky said of his nomination by two independent musicians. “For me, it’s the biggest, most important musical award in the country.” » More …

Art Club focuses on techniques

kira Walters experiments with gradation and color.The Art Club’s focus this year is to participate in more hands-on practices like their recent Watercolor Workshop.

The WSU Art Club began last year, with a major focus on fundraising for the first few months, Vice President Sidney Westenskow said. The club also wants to increase the amount of collaborative art projects.

“Once you’re out in the real world, it’s harder to make friends and do communal projects or exhibits,” Westenskow said. “As an aspiring artist, you have to have a community developed when you’re learning in college.” » More …

Charting wealth inequality across millennia

Researchers at Washington State University and 13 other institutions have found that the arc of prehistory bends towards economic inequality. In the largest study of its kind, the researchers saw disparities in wealth mount with the rise of agriculture, specifically the domestication of plants and large animals, and increased social organization.

Their findings, published this week in the journal Nature, have profound implications for contemporary society, as inequality repeatedly leads to social disruption, even collapse, said Tim Kohler, lead author and WSU Regents professor of archaeology and evolutionary anthropology at WSU. » More …

Biology student selected for national pre-health workshop

Smiling student in building lobbyAs a result of resources and mentorship she received at Washington State University Tri-Cities student Catalina Yepez not only began the initial steps of realizing her future dream of becoming an eye doctor. The opportunities also led her to be selected for an opportunity open to only 30 students nationwide.

Yepez was selected to participate in a week-long workshop that prepares students for medical school and careers in optometry at the University of California, Berkeley, this summer.  » More …

Hollywood composer, musician, WSU alum, shares insights

Album cover, view of the PalouseHollywood studio musician, arranger, major film music composer and rising star. It’s not your average resume for someone who grew up on a Palouse wheat farm and graduated from nearby Wazzu.

Paul Henning, a WSU School of Music alum (’98) and Pullman native, returned to campus to talk about his experience in the music program, encourage other music students, share his insights and story and, oh yes, perform with the WSU Symphony Orchestra, including several of his own compositions.

And, despite his great success, his roots are still deep in the Palouse. » More …

Students Developing Augmented Reality App

Student using software to create augmented reality app Working in partnership with a local nonprofit organization, WSU Creative Media and Digital Culture students are developing an augmented reality app to tell the story of a historic local boarding school and orphanage.

The app will showcase Providence Academy in the 1870s, including founder Mother Joseph, the nuns who worked there, and students who attended the school. Smartphone users will be able to scan codes with their camera in designated locations to experience different augmented realities. » More …

Criminal Justice Club studies bias, police procedures

Small Lady Liberty statue with flag and gavel in backgroundThe Criminal Justice Club discusses controversial topics of law enforcement procedures and holds workshops and simulations to show different sides of what the media portrays about the system.

President Samantha Bill said the more involved one is with learning about crime from a police perspective, the more they can understand how the criminal justice system works. Bill cites many television crime shows as the basis for what people believe is the reality of the justice system. » More …

Huge carbon sink exists in soil minerals

artists depiction of carbon in soilA Washington State University researcher has discovered that vast amounts of carbon can be stored by soil minerals more than a foot below the surface. The finding could help offset the rising greenhouse-gas emissions helping warm the Earth’s climate.

Marc Kramer, an assistant professor of environmental chemistry at WSU Vancouver, reports his finding in one of two related papers demonstrating how the right management practices can help trap much of the carbon dioxide that is rapidly warming the planet. » More …

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 …

Distinguished sociology professor brings expertise in health disparities

Denney portrait, outsideWhen Justin Denney was still an aspiring, young sociologist, he strove to understand the dynamic forces that shape and perpetuate social inequality. Then, in graduate school, he came across the signal texts of renowned sociologist and Washington State University alumnus William Julius Wilson.

“Those classic works illuminated a central tenet and contribution of sociological inquiry that had eluded me to some degree,” Denney said. “It was an important moment for me and has influenced my career in a profound way.” » More …