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Study Finds Imposter Syndrome Higher Among First Generation Students

Imposter syndrome describes the unfounded belief that one is unworthy of his or her accomplishments, and according to new research, first-generation college students are more likely to suffer from it.

Elizabeth Canning.

The study by Elizabeth Canning, assistant professor of psychology at WSU, published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, focused on a group of 818 freshmen and sophomore students pursuing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The students completed surveys, which included questions surrounding imposter syndrome, immediately after their STEM classes for a two-week period and at the end of the semester.

In classes that students considered highly competitive, first-generation students were more likely to agree with statements such as, “In class, I felt like people might find out that I am not as capable as they think I am.”

However, in classes that students didn’t perceive as competitive, there was no difference in the levels of self-reported imposter syndrome between first- and continuing-generation students.

“We found that when students think their class is competitive, they feel more like an imposter on a day-to-day basis and this is most problematic for first-generation college students,” Canning said.

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U.S. News ranks WSU Global Campus online degrees among nation’s best for 2020

Three online programs at Washington State University have been ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

WSU is the only university in Washington state to rank in the top 25 of U.S. News’ Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs.

WSU’s Global Campus offers 20 undergraduate and 12 graduate degrees in many disciplines, as well as numerous minors and certificates. New degrees this year include a BA in Anthropology, BS in Biology, BA in English, BS in Earth and Environmental Sciences, and BA in Political Science. Additional degree programs are currently in development.

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WSU Insider

Coming to a TV near you: $163 million in political ads for the top 2020 Colorado races

The 2020 election arrived six months ago on Colorado’s TV screens and reached $7.2 million in political advertising by the end of the year.

But that’s just a drop in the 2020 advertising bucket. One election watcher predicts Colorado will see $163 million worth of TV and digital ads this year just in the presidential and U.S. Senate contests.

Travis Ridout.

“There’s enough evidence right now that Senate control could be in play in 2020. That really attracts the advertisers,” said Travis Ridout, a Washington State University political scientist and co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks political advertising. “I expect we’ll see a lot more from the Trump campaign than we did in 2016. I expect that small-dollar democratic donors are going to empty their wallets to defeat Trump in 2020.”

Coloradans already are getting attention from presidential candidates as the state prepares to hold its first presidential primary election in 20 years on Super Tuesday, March 3. Then there’s the nationally watched U.S. Senate contest, where Cory Gardner is one of the top Democratic targets in the Nov. 3 election.

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The Colorado Sun 

Who Killed the Knapp Family?

Across America, working-class people are dying of despair. And we’re still blaming the wrong people.

We Americans are locked in political combat and focused on President Trump, but there is a cancer gnawing at the nation that predates Trump and is larger than him. Suicides are at their highest rate since World War II; one child in seven is living with a parent suffering from substance abuse; a baby is born every 15 minutes after prenatal exposure to opioids; America is slipping as a great power.

We have deep structural problems that have been a half century in the making, under both political parties, and that are often transmitted from generation to generation. Only in America has life expectancy now fallen three years in a row, for the first time in a century, because of “deaths of despair.”

William Julius Wilson.

In the 1970s and ’80s, problems in African-American communities were often blamed on a lack of “personal responsibility.” William Julius Wilson, a Harvard sociologist who earned his doctoral degree in sociology at WSU, countered that the true underlying problem was lost jobs, and he turned out to be right. When good jobs left white towns like Yamhill, Oregon, a couple of decades later because of globalization and automation, the same pathologies unfolded there.

Men in particular felt the loss not only of income but also of dignity that accompanied a good job. Lonely and troubled, they self-medicated with alcohol or drugs, and they accumulated criminal records that left them less employable and less marriageable. Family structure collapsed.

It would be easy but too simplistic to blame just automation and lost jobs: The problems are also rooted in disastrous policy choices over 50 years. The United States wrested power from labor and gave it to business, and it suppressed wages and cut taxes rather than invest in human capital, as our peer countries did. As other countries embraced universal health care, we did not; several counties in the United States have life expectancies shorter than those in Cambodia or Bangladesh.

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The New York Times

Remembering Kelvin Lynn

Kelvin Lynn.

Eminent Faculty and Regents Professor Kelvin Lynn passed away unexpectedly while skiing in Salt Lake City on Jan. 2, 2020.

Nationally renowned in the fields of materials science, physics, and positron and crystal growing research, Lynn was the Boeing Chair of Advanced Materials Science and a faculty member in both the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He had a wide variety of research interests, including muon, high energy, and atomic physics; antimatter for defects in mono-energetic beams; electronics development; radiation detectors; high-power laser materials; computer modeling and theory development; and materials, including metals and alloys, silicon, silicon carbide, diamond, solar cells, and gemstone-quality synthetic rubies.

Lynn was an international leader in crystal growth, developing methods to produce high-quality crystals used in industry, academia, and federal agencies. Manmade crystals inspired by Lynn’s innovative research power an astonishing range of devices from the sensors that control electronic functions in cars to the semiconductors driving computers and smartphones. In recent years, he and his colleagues made a key advance in cadmium telluride solar cell technology, overcoming a practical voltage limit that had been pursued for six decades.

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WSU Insider