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College of Arts and Sciences Published research/scholarship/creative work

Unlocking secrets of the ice worm

A close up shot of a human finger with mud and sand covering the tip. In the mud is a tiny black worm.The ice worm is one of the largest organisms that spends its entire life in ice and Washington State University scientist Scott Hotaling is one of the only people on the planet studying it.

He is the author of a new paper that shows ice worms in the interior of British Columbia have evolved into what may be a genetically distinct species from Alaskan ice worms. » More …

Passion for service leads to faculty development role

Melanie NeuillyAssociate Professor Melanie Neuilly knows a thing or two about managing personal and professional challenges.

When she landed a WSU seed grant that would fund a summer of research in Nice, France, she dreamed of an enriching research experience by day, romantic dinners on café terraces, and strolls on Mediterranean beaches by night. But once she began her research project, reality set in. » 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 …

Examining churches’ role in fighting poverty

Book coverA new book by a WSU Tri‑Cities associate professor of history examines the complex relationship between religion, race, and government‑led antipoverty initiatives, and how this complex dynamic resonates in today’s political situation.

In his book, titled Fighting to Preserve a Nation’s Soul: America’s Ecumenical War on Poverty, Robert Bauman explores organized religion’s role in the struggle against poverty and its impact on social movements, the on‑going “War on Poverty” (initiated by President Lynden Johnson in 1964), and the power balance between church and state. » More …

Hearing the whispers

Annita LucchesiThe Indian name of Annita Lucchesi (’16 MA Amer. Studies), who is a Southern Cheyenne descendant, is Hetoevėhotohke’e—which translates to the peaceful sounding Evening Star Woman. But Lucchesi calls herself mé’êśko’áe—a hellraiser girl, one who is always stirring things up.

In November 2018, Lucchesi produced a groundbreaking report on missing women that was published by the Urban Indian Health Institute, a division of the Seattle Indian Health Board. U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray and Representative Derek Kilmer, » More …

International internships, research inspire new direction

Collecting samples in Portland. Heading next to Switzerland in search of new insights about aquatic invasive species, world traveler and newly minted Ph.D. Eric Dexter is a late-blooming research success story.

Dexter was planning to become an acupuncturist when he inadvertently discovered a love for scientific research. » More …

Study shows generational toxicology of popular weed killer

molecular structureIn the first study of its kind, WSU researchers found a variety of diseases and other health problems in the second- and third-generation offspring of rats exposed to glyphosate, the world’s most popular weed killer. The researchers saw descendants of exposed rats developing prostate, kidney and ovarian diseases, obesity and birth abnormalities.

Michael Skinner, professor of biological sciences, and his colleagues call this phenomenon “generational toxicology” and they’ve seen it over the years in fungicides, pesticides, jet fuel, the plastics compound bisphenol A, the insect repellant DEET and » More …

Practical solutions to real crime issues

David MakinAfter leading police on a slippery, high-speed chase through snowy Spokane neighborhoods, running red lights and stop signs, driving through a resident’s yard, and slamming his stolen Subaru into a Jeep, a chronic car thief finally was caught, several minutes — and thousands of dollars in property damage — later.

Could anything have been done to prevent this crime spree?

A team of undergraduate researchers in David Makin’s Crime Prevention Strategies class would say yes, based on the in-depth study of vehicle theft prevention the students conducted » More …

Jazz CD receives bevy of national attention

Greg Yasinitsky YAZZBand Jazz Big Band.“YAZZ Band,” the recently released compact disc from Greg Yasinitsky, Regents Professor of music, has received significant national attention, including a feature in Down Beat magazine — the “Jazz Bible” — and on the Public Radio International show “Jazz After Hours.”

The disc also features WSU School of Music faculty members Sarah Miller, Brian Ward and David Jarvis, along with WSU alumni » More …

Grad student discovers oldest tattoo tool in western North America

Tattoo ArtifactWith a handle of skunkbush and a cactus‑spine business end, the tool was made around 2,000 years ago by the Ancestral Pueblo people of the Basketmaker II period in what is now southeastern Utah.

Andrew Gillreath‑Brown, an anthropology PhD candidate, chanced upon the pen‑sized instrument while taking an inventory of archaeological materials that had been sitting in storage for more than 40 years. » More …