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WSU jazz concert features tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Alison Poteracke.

The Washington State University School of Music will present the online concert “A Virtual Celebration of Jazz” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 20.

The Jazz Big Band will present the premiere of “RBG,” a tribute to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, composed by recent WSU master’s graduate Alison Poteracke, and “Conspiracy Theory” by Greg Yasinitsky, WSU coordinator of Jazz Studies, along with other works by students and faculty.

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Lewiston Tribune

15 CAS undergraduates in 9 projects win SURCA research awards

More than a quarter of Washington State University students who delivered virtual presentations won monetary awards at the annual Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) on March 29 in Pullman.

SURCA is the unique WSU-wide venue for students from all majors, years in college, and from all WSU campuses. Nearly 150 students from the Pullman, Vancouver, Spokane, and Global campuses delivered presentations detailing their research, scholarship, and creative activities conducted with a mentor.

Faculty, postdoctoral students, and community experts used a common rubric to judge and score all presentations in nine SURCA categories that are designed to cover all disciplines at the university. At the awards ceremony March 30, 52 students were announced as the recipients of 33 awards, including nine CAS projects.

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WSU Insider

Scientists Create Crystal Stronger Than Diamond

Currently, diamond is regarded to be one of the hardest and most scratch-resistant natural materials in the world. Most diamonds found in nature and often used in jewelry display a cubic crystal structure, a repeating pattern of 8 atoms forming a cube with carbon atoms at its vertices. Each carbon atom forms four bonds with its neighbors, explaining the overall stability and hardness of the crystal structure.

Now scientists at Washington State University’s Institute for Shock Physics created hexagonal diamonds large enough to measure their stiffness and also calculated their hardness. The results of their experiments are published in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.

Yogendra Gupta.

“Diamond is a very unique material,” said Yogendra Gupta, director of the Institute for Shock Physics and corresponding author on the study. “It is not only the strongest—it has beautiful optical properties and a very high thermal conductivity. Now we have made the hexagonal form of diamond, produced under shock compression experiments, that is significantly stiffer and stronger than regular gem diamonds.”

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WSU Insider
News Beezer

A pandemic’s new norms

Sociologists at Washington State University found both liberal and conservatives in the United States 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.

Christine Horne.
Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson.
Kirkpatrick Johnson

Sociology professors Christine Horne and Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson asked Americans across the country whether they approved of actions like wearing a mask or stockpiling necessities.

“The more harm there was, the more disapproval there was,” Johnson says. “People were more disapproving of social gatherings than they were about doing a job.”

Johnson and Horne randomly assigned half of their respondents to read a scenario where an individual was putting their own health at risk, and the other half read about someone who was putting the health of the community at risk. They then asked the respondents whether people would disapprove of the behavior in the story and how much they thought liberals and conservatives would disagree.

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Washington State Magazine

English department trains faculty on student veteran awareness

Veterans make up an important portion of Washington State University’s student population, with 3.1% of students either previously or currently serving in the military, according to Fall 2020 student data. This is a distinctive student population that brings a unique set of experiences and abilities to the classroom.

On WSU’s Pullman campus, two English department faculty members, who happen to be veterans themselves, are doing what they can to build awareness and understanding of this unique student population by delivering Student Veterans Awareness training for English 101 faculty members.

Mike Edwards.

“Veterans, military members, and their families are a vital and vibrant part of the WSU Cougar community,” said Mike Edwards, an assistant professor of English. “We want these students to know that they are welcome here and that their service and life experiences are valued.”

Elijah Coleman.

Edwards, a US Army veteran and previous instructor at the US Military Academy at West Point, has been teaching the Student Veterans Awareness training for fellow English faculty members every year since 2013. Elijah Coleman, another English faculty member who is a Marine veteran, co-leads the training.

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WSU Insider