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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences History

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum multi‑year initiative

close up gloved hands and the number detail of a Holocaust prisoner uniform.A collaboration between WSU and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., will bring the Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Annual Lecture and programming to the Northwest year next year and begin a multi-year regional initiative to address anti-Semitism, racism, and histories of persecution in North America. The joint endeavor will put WSU at the center of conversations that engage communities and combat racism.

“We hope that by understanding why and how genocides have happened, » More …

Cougs who serve

Troy Moya.The world-wide reach of WSU’s Global Campus has given rise to a unique community of students who are actively serving in the United States military. The convenience and flexibility of asynchronous learning is an ideal option for active duty soldiers and sailors who live and work in locations around the globe.

“Earning my degree was essential for increasing my analytical capabilities,” said Troy Moya, an enlisted Air Force imagery intelligence analyst and a recent WSU psychology graduate. “It has helped me to express my thoughts in an informed way that » More …

Student-produced video celebrates Veterans Day

The WSU Veterans Memorial on the Pullman campus.With the usual in-person gatherings unable to take place this year, faculty, staff, and students across the WSU system celebrated Veterans Day a little differently. Student-veteran Chris Mann produced a special video to share the traditional wreath placement at the WSU Pullman Veterans Memorial and to honor and thank veterans throughout the WSU community.

Mann, a senior majoring in psychology and criminal justice who spent eight years on active duty in the Marines fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is president of the » More …

Fallen, but not from history

Roses laid on the WSU veterans memorial.Charles Kirkham. Noel Plowman. Toll Seike. Allen Ferguson. Sidney Beinke. Myron “Mike” Carstensen. Archie Buckley.

They were husbands, fathers, sons, brothers. One was a standout college athlete and beloved coach. A couple were pilots. A few quit school to serve. Some were never found.

These seven servicemen are a handful of nearly 260 military personnel with ties to WSU who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II. Now, 75 years after the end of the war, the stories of the men and women who didn’t » More …

Preserving a nearly⁠-lost legacy

US marine corps war memorial.Following a talk about the Fallen Cougars Project in Pullman last Veterans Day, Kathy Aiken (’80 PhD history) shared a faded newspaper clipping with the speakers. The obituary for her father’s friend noted that he had—like Aiken’s dad— attended Washington State College for a year and a half before joining the United States Army to fight in World War II.

“Samantha and Ray looked at it, and said, ‘We don’t have this guy in our project.’ And it started us on this odyssey,” says Aiken, a professor emerita and » More …

History alumnus leads virtual vacations from Bolivia

Llama Me!Derren Patterson (’07 History) wanted to see the world.

After stops in China and Korea, he landed in Bolivia—and made the landlocked South American country his home. The ecotourism adventurer has been sharing his passion for the place—part mountain range, part desert, part rainforest—for twelve years now.

“I’ve guided Hollywood movie stars, princes and princesses, backpackers, even my mom,” he says. “I’ve done all sorts of crazy stuff. But one of my favorite things » More …

Hiding in plain sight

Carla Olman.For many years, she never spoke about World War II.  “It was too difficult. You try to forget. You try to go on with life.”

But by the time 91-year-old Carla Olman Peperzak met Raymond Sun, a WSU associate professor of history, the former teenage operative in the Dutch Resistance had dedicated the rest of her life to telling her story.

“Her generation is disappearing very, very rapidly,” Sun says. “We’re really running out of these witnesses. There’s some sense of urgency to » More …

Family, career, and an educational journey

Samantha Edgerton.Before she decided to pursue a graduate degree in history, Samantha Edgerton worked in the disability and insurance industry for 18 years.

“I was hesitant to start a master’s program because of my age,” Edgerton said, “but my adviser encouraged me to not let that prevent me. It has been a dream of mine to finish my degree and to actually be able to call myself a historian,” Edgerton said. “While it has been incredibly difficult, so many people encouraged me not to quit.” » More …

New books get to roots of contemporary issues

Book covers for Ruptured Lives, Power Politics, and Chronic Disparities.Tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues —from energy supply to mass migration and public health—is at the heart of an acclaimed new book series based on WSU’s innovative Roots of Contemporary Issues program (RCI).

Written and edited by WSU history faculty, the series reflects the RCI thematic structure and introduces the University’s pioneering teaching approach to educators and students at other institutions.

“We designed the books after years of learning how to engage with WSU students who are eager to learn about how the world » More …