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College of Arts and Sciences Sociology

Alumni recall Peace Corps experience

Tanzania_wikipedia imageIn all, more than 235,000 Americans have served in 141 countries since Peace Corps’ inception in 1961. The Corps has three main aims: help meet the needs of interested countries, help promote a better understanding of people in other countries, and help promote a better understanding of Americans.

Nearly 10,000 volunteers have come from the state of Washington. Of those, about a tenth—1,008 volunteers, to be exact—is made up of WSU alumni, including Zoë Campbell (’09 biology) and Diane Kelly-Riley (’95 MA English, ’06 PhD Ed. Psych.), recently recalled their experiences in » More …

2019 news recap: CAS research made headlines worldwide

CAS logo on white with borderFrom Instagram selfies to an ancient tattoo tool, research from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) made headlines around the world in 2019. The University distributed press releases for more than 65 scientific papers last year, including many from CAS faculty and scientists. Together, the findings were seen potentially billions of times by readers and viewers worldwide, elevating WSU’s profile as a premier public research university.

Four CAS stories graced the top 10, and eight more rounded out the top 50 stories. » More …

I, scientist

Hypatia illustration.Angela Jones (’94 English) is the CEO of Washington STEM, a nonprofit organization that collaborates with communities, businesses, and educators to ensure youth have equitable access to STEM education. They work with ten regional STEM networks across the state to help direct resources and scale successful programs that aim to ensure that there is cradle to career support for STEM skills. This means working to strengthen math skills for the state’s youngest students so they can start » More …

WSU students named finalists in NFL data competition

If you’ve never watched American football, it can look like organized chaos. But for WSU graduate students Namrata Ray and Jugal Marfatia, looking at data snapshots of plays allowed them to find hidden data inside the chaos. That eventually lead the duo to a trip to the 2020 National Football League’s Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Ray, a doctoral student in sociology, and Marfatia, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in economics, entered the NFL’s 2020 Big Data Bowl competition to answer » More …

The sky isn’t falling

Cannabis.More than a few citizens held their breath when Washington legalized recreational cannabis in 2012.

“There were many who believed it would trigger a massive increase in youth use and marijuana-related traffic collisions and fatalities,” says Clay Mosher, sociology professor at WSU Vancouver.

“But in the five years since sales began, those increases in youth use have not manifested, and while there have been some spikes in polydrug driving, they aren’t as significant as predicted.” » More …

Combating rising incarceration in rural areas

County jail.While big cities across the United States are making progress to reduce the number of people entering local jails, smaller cities and rural counties are experiencing an alarming rise in incarcerations.

Understanding the factors behind this shift and helping rural Washington communities overcome their justice system challenges is the goal of new, grant-funded research by WSU sociologists. » 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 …

New Boeing Distinguished Professor named

Dylan Bugden.An expert in environmental conflict and the sociology of energy systems, Dylan Bugden has been named Boeing Distinguished Professor in Environmental Sociology.

Bugden is an enthusiastic educator and researcher who examines environmental electoral politics, social movements, and land-use conflicts with » More …

Amazon Catalyst grants advance projects with global impact

Two people sitting in front of a wall covered in sticky notes. One person wearing a VR headset sits next to another person pointing off screen.The Amazon Catalyst Program at WSU awarded nearly $20,000 to two teams comprised of research faculty and students from varied disciplines and locations.

Team Cross-Cultural Optics, led by Julie Kmec, professor of sociology, was awarded a grant to develop a virtual reality environment that enables female engineers based in the U.S. to explore engineering spaces » More …

Asked and answered: 50 years of survey innovation

Don Dillman.When you open the envelope for your 2020 Decennial Census next year, you will be directed to an online questionnaire inspired by Regents Professor Don Dillman. His extensive research and experimentation with visual design and social exchange theory have led to better user experience, increased response rates and higher quality data from surveys sent out by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, National Science Foundation, Gallup, Nielson, and many more organizations and governments worldwide. » More …