Skip to main content Skip to navigation
CAS News Arts and Sciences Headlines

WSUV student body president defeats addiction, earns bachelor’s

Skye TroySkye Troy is still learning to talk about the hardest times in her life, including being kicked out of high school for doing drugs, and later arrested for stealing credit cards.

The student body president spoke at Washington State University Vancouver’s commencement ceremony, where she received her degree in public affairs.

Now 22 and clean for six years, Troy hopes to go to work as a government relations liaison in the fields of social justice, economic equality and women’s rights. She’s passionate for social reform at the local level, drawing from her own experience growing up in the rural Oklahoma city of Owasso to drive her.

“I had to overcome so many obstacles,” she said.

Find out more

The Columbian

Study: Tennessee among worst states to be a police officer

Being a police officer isn’t the most glamorous job in the world, but a recent study suggests it’s worse to be one in some states than others, and Tennessee is near the bottom of the barrel.

One of the issues for modern officers most frequently cited by a panel of academic experts quoted in the study is the erosion of public trust in law enforcement over the last several years.

Dale Willits“The single largest issue facing police officers today is the incredible amount of tension between police, as an institution, and the communities they serve and the resultant lack of legitimacy,” wrote Dale Willits, assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University.

Find out more

Times Free Press

Not survival of the fittest for Tassie devils

Typically infectious diseases affect mostly older, younger, or less healthy individuals. However, the team of scientists from Australia and the US found that devils with higher fitness are at highest risk of infection and death from facial tumours. Dr Konstans Wells of Griffith’s Environmental Futures Research Institute (EFRI) said this was probably because of the disease’s mode of transmission among socially dominant individuals.

Professor Andrew Storfer, of Washington State University, said the study also revealed how resistance to the disease may be evolving.

“Our results show a recent decline in the likelihood that devils become infected. This could indicate some evolving resistance of devils to the cancer, as recently shown by researchers from our team,” he said.

Find out more

Health Medicine Network

WSU Study Finds Lasting Effects of Mercury Exposure in Fish

Michael Skinner portrait
Michael Skinner

A new study by WSU researchers has found that toxic effects of exposure to mercury in fish can be passed on to later generations.

The WSU School of Biological Sciences study looked at zebrafish that were exposed to very low levels of methylmercury, which occurs in nature when mercury is metabolized by small organisms. It found that the toxic effects of exposure were passed on not only to their offspring, but also the third generation of zebrafish. The toxic effects were neurological and included abnormal locomotion, impaired vision, and hyperactivity.

Michael Skinner, a professor of biological sciences, says mercury is present as a toxin in our environment through several sources, like burning coal, and can make its way to humans through eating fish, like tuna, that have that been exposed to the heavy metal.

Find out more

Spokane Public Radio

Grad student awarded prestigious NIH research fellowship

Jacob Day

A Washington State University graduate student has been awarded a prestigious National Institutes of Health predoctoral fellowship.

Chemistry Ph.D. student Jacob Day is the recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for the accidental discovery and subsequent development of a compound that enables scientists to investigate the protective role that sulfur dioxide plays in the heart.

The highly selective fellowship is awarded annually to top U.S. graduate students in health science-related fields. It will provide Day $103,938 over the next three years to continue studying the poorly understood relationship between sulfur dioxide and heart disease. His work could eventually lead to the development of new drugs and medical therapies to address a wide range of cardiovascular problems.

Find out more

WSU News