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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Anthropology

Veterans preserve history

five people in a room full of archive boxesThe cool, high-ceiling basement room in College Hall is furnished in Spartan fashion. On this summer day it’s library quiet, but not by tradition or rule. It’s the natural product of deep concentration, as the lab’s three curation technicians, all student veterans, work their way through a collection of ancient artifacts.

At a cluster of mismatched tables in the center of the room, senior Chris Sison carefully examines a tray of artifacts, occasionally consulting a set of printed cards or making a note in » More …

Dr. Universe: Why do we have eyebrows?

Illustration of Dr. Universe looking at a hair follicle. Humans have hair on their heads, arms, and even the face. If you feel your face, you might feel some small, fuzzy hairs on your cheeks and forehead. But the hair of your eyebrows is usually a bit thicker.

I asked my friend Mark Mansperger why we have eyebrows. He’s an anthropologist at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

Eyebrows appear to serve two main purposes, he said. One of the purposes of eyebrows is to keep » More …

Women faculty share career journeys

A panel of women at a table with microphones.Faculty in sociology, criminal justice, and anthropology shared personal stories about their career experiences during the Association for Faculty Women (AFW) Pathways to Leadership event in early November.

The event was designed to illustrate different leadership pathways and gave both attendees and panelists an opportunity to » More …

Exhibit explains significance of ancient tattoo tool

mueseum exhibitThe discovery of the oldest tattooing artifact in western North America earned a WSU PhD student international acclaim from the likes of National Geographic, the Smithsonian, and the New York Times.

Now, faculty, staff, and students will have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the ancient implement and the Ancestral Pueblo people of Southeastern Utah who made it. » More …

Who dominates the discourse of the past?

Shannon Tushingham and Tiffany Fulkerson.WSU researchers Tiffany Fulkerson and Shannon Tushingham set out to determine how a rapidly evolving demographic and professional landscape is influencing the production and dissemination of knowledge in American archaeology.

Their study, published in American Antiquity in July, found that women, who now make up half of all archaeologists in North America, and professionals working outside of a university setting » More …

CAS most-read news stories from 2018

CAS logo on white with border

Life on the moon, the decline of salmon diversity, and assessing the effects of cannabis were among the most newsworthy Washington State University research stories last year, according to a communications office analysis. Five CAS stories graced the top 10, and 19 more rounded out the top 100.

Here are the top CAS research news stories with links to the full story, potential viewership numbers, top outlets in » More …

Dr. Universe: Why do we dance?

Dr. UniverseIf we traveled around the world, we would see all kinds of dancers. We might see classical ballerinas in Russia. We might see break dancers performing on the streets of New York. We might even see tango dancers in Argentina.

While the exact reasons we dance remain a mystery, there are a few theories about it.

That’s what I found out from my friend Ed Hagen, an anthropologist at WSU who has researched the roots of dance. » More …

Graduate students honored at Evening of Excellence

Steven Hobaica and Anne FullerTwelve College of Arts and Sciences graduate students in five different disciplines received scholarship awards at the WSU Graduate School at the fifth annual Evening of Excellence.

“I am grateful for the support that the award and the Graduate School have provided for graduate students to continue to serve their communities through research, scholarship, and public engagement,” said Tabitha Velasco, doctoral student in » More …

First WSU Udall Native American Congressional intern

Emma Johnson snorkeling during spring/summer study abroad in the Great Barrier Reef.WSU Vancouver cultural anthropology student Emma R. Johnson will spend the summer in the office of U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, serving as the university’s first Udall Native American Congressional intern.

“On May 29, I’m scheduled to board a plane headed to Washington, D.C., and soon I’ll be at work in the senator’s office learning first-hand how government operates and how federal issues involving Native Americans like me are addressed,” she said. Johnson is a member of the Cowlitz Tribe of western Washington State. She has worked as a Rangeland Management » More …

Doctoral students pack years of research into three minutes

11 faces and 3MT logoFrom creating voice-responsive materials, to enabling regrowth of lost fingers and limbs, to reducing stress on caregivers of autistic children, to unearthing cultural history in Puget Sound, a wide range of high-impact research topics were expeditiously explained in the recent CAS Three Minute Thesis contest.

Eleven Pullman-based doctoral students competed for valuable fellowship prizes by presenting their years of dissertation work in three minutes or less, using just one visual slide, and in language anyone could understand. » More …