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College of Arts and Sciences English

Hamlin chosen as first Bornander Honors College chair

Will Hamlin.WSU English Professor William M. Hamlin has been selected as the first faculty member to serve the Honors College as the Elma Ryan Bornander Honors Chair.

“Will is a scholar, author, researcher, and award-winning teacher and mentor who has served the university, his department, and the Honors College and its students for years in innovative and impactful ways,” said M. Grant Norton, Honors dean. “We are very pleased » More …

Vancouver Notable Alumni Award

Morgan Parker With remarkable energy, drive and a passion for community service, Morgan Parker (’12, ’14)  is devoting her life to help young adults who are struggling find their paths in life, and in doing so, she is making the community a better place for everyone.

She is the director of Next, a program » More …

Learning by canoeing

A group in a canoe.Students in Desiree Hellegers’s Native American Literature course spent two class sessions in a 15-person, 36-foot tribal canoe on the Columbia River. Chairman of the Chinook Indian Nation Tony Johnson led the canoe portion of the class, themed “Mni Wiconi, Water is Life.”

They began with instructions in the Cathlapotle Plankhouse near Ridgefield, Wash., followed by » More …

Dr. Universe: Why do we have different accents?

Dr. UniverseWhether you say hello, ‘ello, hey ya’ll, toe-may-toe or toe-ma-toe, we all have a kind of accent that often comes from where we live or who lives around us.

That’s what I found out from my friend Nancy Bell, a WSU English professor who is really curious about the way language works. She told me more about why we have accents and why » More …

Film documents Chicago’s Black Arts Movement

The Wall of Respect, mural, Chicago, Il.Two WSU Vancouver professors have chronicled one of America’s preeminent artistic and cultural movements in a new film. “BAM! Chicago’s Black Arts Movement” introduces viewers to more than a dozen writers, artists, musicians and community organizers who were instrumental in the campaign centered on black pride and aesthetic. People like poet Eugene Redmond, musician » More …

Chilson awarded Idaho Commission on the Arts fellowship

Professor of English Peter Chilson.Professor of English Peter Chilson is one of five Idaho writers recently awarded an Idaho Commission on the Arts Fellowship. Chilson lives in Moscow, Idaho, and has taught writing and literature at WSU for two decades. He is working on a new literary nonfiction book project about the history of immigration in one American town.

The ICA announcement states, “The awards, given every two years, recognize outstanding writers, honoring work deemed to exhibit the highest » More …

Textbook learning issues, literally

Anne Marie GuerrettazA Spencer Foundation grant for $50,000 is funding research into textbooks for Spanish-language classes and how those may help or hinder student learners.

Anne Marie Guerrettaz, assistant professor of language, literacy, and technology in the College of Education, is the principal investigator, with co-PIs Nancy Bell from the Department of English, and Nausica Marcos Miguel from Denison University’s modern languages program.

“I have discovered over the past year that 90 percent of English-speaking American kids that study a foreign language » More …

Dr. Universe: What’s the best story ever made?

Dr. Universe: a cat in a lab coatHumans have been telling stories for thousands of years. At first, they told these stories out loud, then they started to write.

There are more than a hundred million published books on our planet now and to find out which one is best, I visited my friend Matthew Jockers. He’s a professor at Washington State University who combines his love of stories with computer science to research what makes some books bestsellers. » More …

Fulbright summer award leads WSU sophomore to Wales

Ava Beck Linguistics major and Spokane native Ava Beck will study at Aberystwyth University in Wales for three weeks this summer, thanks to a Fulbright Summer Institute award.

Beck is one of approximately 60 U.S. students selected to undertake academic and cultural programs at any of nine hosting institutions throughout the United Kingdom. At Aberystwyth, Beck will join fellow Americans exploring contemporary issues in identity and nationhood “through the lens of Wales.” She will attend classes in the university’s Dept. of International Politics, explore the city, visit the National Library of Wales, and learn » More …

Book review: Baseball in a Grain of Sand

A baseball player holding a bat casts a shadow across the orange gravel of the playfield.Baseball, writes Bill Gruber (’79 PhD English), evokes a literary state of mind. Now an English professor at Emory University, he explains that the suspense, narrative, soaring victories, and crushing tragedies of stories also appear in baseball, perhaps more than any other sport.

In Baseball in a Grain of Sand, Gruber explores baseball history and drama through one summer season of an American Legion team in Moscow, Idaho, the Blue Devils. Along the way, he meets and introduces fascinating people, many of whom share Gruber’s unabashed sentimentality for the sport. » More …