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College of Arts and Sciences CAS Story Hub

Restoring a musical relic

Thomas LeClair in the basement of Webster Hall working on the pipe organ.Thomas LeClair, a biology and music double major, is trying to fix a 91-year-old theatre organ languishing in the basement of the Webster Physical Sciences building on the Pullman campus.

LeClair learned about the instrument while thumbing through old files in the WSU Libraries Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections.

“I was looking up information about the organ I practice on in Bryan Hall and » More …

Interdisciplinary research reveals valuable pine resin possibilities

Light shining through pine trees in forest.WSU researchers have reverse engineered the way a pine tree produces a resin, which could serve as an environmentally friendly alternative to a range of fossil‑fuel based products worth billions of dollars.

Colleagues in the Institute for Biological Chemistry literally dissected the machinery by which loblolly pine produces oleoresin. Key aspects of their work utilized WSU’s Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center in the School of Biological Sciences.

Before the arrival of petroleum-derived alternatives in the 1960s, the sticky, fragrant oil‑resin mixture was central to » More …

Helping students discover their potential

Anne Taylor.Washington State University Tri-Cities alumna Anne Taylor found her calling in higher education after experiencing what is possible through her own education at WSU.

The 2017 graduate earned her bachelor’s degree in social sciences and looking back on her educational experience at WSU Tri-Cities, it was the family atmosphere, the care that she personally experienced as a student and the great friendships that she built as a result of her time at WSU that made her realize that she would like to give back in the same way. » More …

Public affairs graduate receives Notable Alumni Award

Notable Alumni 2018 - Sponsored by Opsahl Dawson Certified Public AccountantsAshlyn Salzman has packed a lot of experiences and accomplishments into her 25 years.

She has mentored young people (particularly young women), volunteered at the Cougar Food Pantry, with Cougs in the Community and advocated for WSU students at the Washington State Legislature. Salzman serves on a Young Alumni committee for WSU Vancouver and is on the board of the Clark College Alumni Association. She is a member of Leadership Clark County and an events volunteer for nonprofit fundraisers » More …

WSU professor, students debut at Carnegie Hall

Francis Fay, Gordon Shaw, and Ruth BodenWashington State University students Francis Fay and Gordon Shaw, and faculty member Ruth Boden made their Carnegie Hall debut on Nov. 3 in Manhattan, New York. The three were invited to perform with international cellist Mischa Quint and the InterHarmony Cello Ensemble.

Fay is a junior music major studying cello performance, and Shaw is a sophomore music major studying music composition, cello and guitar. Boden is an associate professor » More …

AAAS Fellow honors for WSU faculty

Monica Johnson-KirkpatrickMonica Kirkpatrick Johnson, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, is one of three WSU faculty named as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The honor, bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers, recognizes Johnson for her “distinguished contributions to research on life course development focusing on how adolescents transitioning into adulthood is impacted by different social relationships and economic resources.”

She is a leading researcher in understanding well-being and achievement in adolescence and the transition to adulthood, serves on the editorial board for four » More …

The fabric of Washington

Woman’s dentalia cape.Stories, photos, paintings, and belongings like baskets and tools tell the rich history of Plateau tribes of the inland Pacific Northwest, a history now shared online.

The Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal, a gateway to those cultural materials, is maintained by Washington State University’s Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation (CDSC) in partnership with WSU’s Native American Programs.

The materials have been chosen and curated by » More …

Combining service and social sciences for success

Peter Nolan in uniform.Peter Nolan spent four years post-high school serving in the military police through the U.S. Army.

But as his enlisted contract came to a close, he decided to leave active duty to pursue college full-time because he knew an education would provide him with not only the background and know-how to succeed in a future job but  also greater career advancement options. » More …

English, history alumni making a difference in K-12 education

CAS alumnus with young studentsDamien Pattenaude went back to his old school in Renton when there was a need. Now he wants to see even more kids return to Renton classrooms as teachers, just as he did.

It has become an even more urgent concern for Pattenaude (English ’99, education ’05 MA, ’16 EdD) now that he is superintendent of the growing Renton School District. Like other school administrators across Washington and the country, he faces a teacher shortage, especially in special education, math, and » More …

Undergraduate students’ research opens doors to the future

Collage showing a mineral, institutional icons, a student with latex gloves inspecting what looks to be a bat wing, and a woman leaning up against a stack of books.Alyssa Sperry’s research for her University Scholars Honors thesis on the history of salt in Jamaica earned her the Library Research Excellence Award for 2018. It also changed her life.

The library research award is designed to recognize students who excel in using the library and its rich resources. Sperry, who graduated from WSU Vancouver in May with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a minor in history, used the library exceptionally well—and went far beyond it. » More …

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