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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Sociology

Plastic waste has some economic benefit for developing countries

Plastic waste in shrink wrapped bags.For decades, wealthy nations have transported plastic trash, and the environmental problems that go with it, to poorer countries, but WSU sociology researchers have found a potential bright side to this seemingly unequal trade: plastic waste may provide an economic boon for the lower-income countries.

Yikang Bai (’15 MA, ’19 MS, ’20 PhD) and former WSU faculty member Jennifer Givens analyzed 11 years of data on the global plastics trade against economic measures for 85 countries. » More …

Similar values, different views

A face mask with one half blue with white stars, the other side red with white stars.When it comes to wearing masks, partying, or just going to work at the office, Americans react a little differently based on which side of the political aisle they sit on.

In a nationwide survey, WSU sociologists found both liberal and conservatives in the U.S. disapprove of individuals putting the health of their community at risk, but conservatives cared more about why those individuals were taking the risks in the first place. » More …

Big name corporations more likely to commit fraud

Downtown buildings.Fortune 500 firms with strong growth profiles are more susceptible to “cooking the books” than smaller, struggling companies, according to a recent study published in Justice Quarterly.

“Prestigious companies, those that are household names, were actually more prone to engage in financial fraud, which was very surprising,” said Jennifer Schwartz, WSU sociologist and lead author on » More …

New research in these interesting times

In March 2020, when the University moved to distance learning to comply with stay-at-home orders, some WSU Vancouver researchers who were unable to pursue their existing projects turned instead to look at how COVID-19 was affecting various communities.

The new projects are “a lot broader than what people might expect. We are not looking for better testing or a vaccine or methods of contact tracing, but rather the impacts of the pandemic on various communities,” said Christine Portfors,  vice chancellor for research and » More …

Football-loving states slow to enact youth concussion laws

"American football" by alschim (Creative Commons)States with college teams in strong conferences, in particular the Southeastern Conference (SEC), were among the last to take up regulations on youth concussions, according to a recent study by WSU sociologists. The research, which investigated the association between youth sport participation and passage of concussion legislation, uncovered the importance of SEC affiliation, and found a similar connection in states with high » More …

Sociologist elected to Washington State Academy of Sciences

Trophy on a stack of books.Alair MacLean, associate professor of sociology at WSU Vancouver, will join the 2020 class of the Washington State Academy of Sciences (WSAS).

The academy announced its newest members in July, including seven from WSU. The honor recognizes researchers for their outstanding scientific and technical achievement as well as their willingness to work on behalf of the academy to bring the best available science to bear on issues within the state of Washington. » More …

Crimson Spirit award: Cesar Munguia

Cesar Munguia.Cesar Munguia, student services coordinator/advisor for Cougs Rise,  received a 2020 Crimson Spirit recognition.

After earning his WSU undergraduate degree in sociology, Cesar joined the University as a full-time staff member in the Office of Academic Engagement. As a project coordinator for Cougs Rise, he is committed to providing support services to students with the highest need, specifically those from populations that WSU is working to recruit and » More …

Four junior faculty awarded seed grants

Seed grant awardees.From the impact of a Universal Basic Income to safer nuclear fuel, scholarly and creative work by this year’s CAS recipients of New Faculty Seed Grant awards spans a range of topics and disciplines.

The grant program helps junior faculty build a foundation for their research and creative programs. This kick-start funding creates opportunities for professional growth and also provides a basis for » More …

Faculty recognized for teaching excellence

CAS logo on white with borderSeventeen CAS faculty members from 9 academic areas and 3 campuses are among the newest members of the WSU President’s Teaching Academy, the institution’s premier organization dedicated to teaching excellence.

Members “are all committed to delivering outstanding teaching experiences to our students and advancing the practice of great teaching,” said Clif Stratton, chair. » More …

Six CAS seniors in WSU Top Ten

6 of the 2020 WSU Top Ten Seniors.For more than 80 years, WSU has recognized ten of the top seniors in each graduating class. The class of 2020 honorees includes six College of Arts and Science students: Morgan Atwood, Elyse Bennet, Ana Karen Betancourt Macias, Kathryn “Katie” Doonan, Thomas LeClair, and Colin Taylor.

These women and men represent the highest standards in specific aspects of the college experience, including campus involvement, community service, athletics, and visual and performing arts.

Learn more about our Top Ten seniors and their plans for the future: » More …