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Washington State University
CAS Connect March 2014

Celebrating and rewarding achievement college-wide

A message from the dean

Dean Daryll DeWald
Dean Daryll DeWald

During this year’s Showcase celebration, numerous faculty, staff and students in the College of Arts and Sciences will receive some well-deserved recognition.

At the top of the list is new Regents Professor Kelvin Lynn, professor of physics with a dual appointment as professor of mechanical and materials engineering in the College of Engineering and Architecture, and director of the WSU Center for Materials Research. He is the 20th CAS faculty member to earn the Regents Professor distinction since the program began in 2003.

Lynn is internationally renowned for his pioneering research on positrons—antimatter particles that can annihilate negatively charged electrons and produce energy. He and his colleagues are developing a trap for the particles that may someday power interstellar travel. For now, the particles are useful in characterizing defects embedded deep inside various materials here on Earth. He is also widely respected for his research to improve crystals used in lasers applications and his collaboration with worldwide industry leaders.

He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society, and a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences. His achievements, honors, and accomplishmentsare truly remarkable and worthy of the University’s highest faculty honor.

At the Showcase awards “Celebrating Excellence” banquet, CAS faculty will be honored with a Sahlin Faculty Excellence award, a Distinguished Teaching award, and the Faculty Diversity award, and two staff members will receive the President’s Employee Excellence awards.

We will also celebrate the 22 outstanding CAS faculty who earned tenure, promotion, or both this spring—nearly twice as many as in any other college at WSU.

It is gratifying to see these individuals recognized and rewarded for their high-impact innovative contributions to their scholarly disciplines and their classrooms. They are a diverse group, representing nearly a dozen academic units, and all are committed to educational excellence. Many have earned national and international reputations for their scholarly, creative, and research activities.

Finally, the college will be represented by more than 40 entries in the Academic Showcase poster session for faculty, graduate students, and staff, and nearly 60 faculty-mentored projects in the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities poster session (SURCA).

The WSU Academic Showcase is an opportunity for CAS community members to share their most recent work with the wider University community. Scheduled presentations range from “Elements of Life in the Cosmic Cauldron” by Guy Worthy and Baitain Tang (physics) to “Big Bang at Carnegie Hall” by Greg Yasinitsky (music), and include many other interesting and interdisciplinary subjects.

The SURCA undergraduate showcase provides our highly engaged students with an avenue to gain experience presenting their work, both orally and as a poster, in a professional setting. Our students will display and discuss their research on medieval tapestries, fish biomechanics, strategies to assist veterans returning from combat, diversity in vector-borne diseases, and many other thought-provoking topics.

SURCA is a wonderful opportunity for students to expand their hands-on learning with a real-world application. Discipline-specific experts provided by the Office of Undergraduate Education will score each poster and presentation and provide participants with constructive feedback after the event. Additionally, the highest scoring presenters in each of the eight categories are eligible for Crimson, Gray, Early Career, and Novice Researcher awards.

Congratulations to all of our College of Arts and Sciences colleagues!