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WSU Vancouver announces 4 award recipients

Bala Krishnamoorthy.Washington State University Vancouver will present four awards at its spring commencement ceremony for advancing equity, research, student achievement and teaching. Among these recipients is Bala Krishnamoorthy, an associate professor and program leader in mathematics and statistics. He will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence.

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The Columbian

In new book, WSU Vancouver professor sees benefits of legalized marijuana

Clayton Mosher.

In the months after Washington voters approved legalized marijuana in 2012, Clayton Mosher, a sociology professor at Washington State University Vancouver, noticed what he believed to be unnecessary safety concerns.

Years after sales began, Mosher believes the apprehension has been proven to be unwarranted.

“We’re only four years out, but I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of negative outcomes,” Mosher said. “We’ve done a really good job in our state, I think.”

Mosher, who has studied marijuana policy for roughly 30 years, recently released his new book “In the Weeds,” coauthored with Scott Akins of Oregon State University. The book traces the evolution of society’s views on the drug and how it has affected policy.

The book tackles the effects, medical applications and possible harms of marijuana. “If the sky was going to fall, it probably would’ve fallen by now,” Mosher said, “Legalization didn’t create marijuana, and we’ve seen some positive effects of this.”

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The Columbian

IFL Science

Viewing the ordinary with new eyes

Avantika Bawa.
Avantika Bawa

Sporting a Portland Trail Blazers jersey, artist and Washington State University Vancouver associate professor of fine arts Avantika Bawa is talking about her new solo show at the Portland Art Museum.

The show, which opens Aug. 18, includes almost two dozen drawings of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum where the Blazers won their most recent championship … in 1977.

The drawings are inspired by Bawa’s fascination—her “obsession,” as she says—with the coliseum. “Some people find it extremely boring, but I chose to take this building and put it on a pedestal and worship it like a mad person.”

The result is a suite of drawings that are intricate and, while certainly architectural, are also poetic, urging the viewer to blaze a trail alongside the artist in order to see the building in a new way.

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WSU Insider

Superstition is stopping Ebola victims from seeking medical care for the illness they believe is a ‘curse’

Ebola is spreading like wildfire in the Democratic Public of the Congo where many people are refusing to get vaccinated against the disease out of fear and superstition.

In some cases, even the sick are turning away treatment as distrust of Western medicine runs deep in Congolese culture.

Barry Hewlett.
Barry Hewlett

“As you can imagine, there’s a long history of outsiders manipulating and taking advantage of local people, so there’s generally some mistrust in terms of colonial history,” says Dr Barry Hewlett, professor of anthropology at Washington State University in Vancouver.

Though this wariness is not necessarily specific to medicine itself, Dr Hewlett, who studies the anthropology of infectious diseases and was the first such scholar to be involved in an Ebola outbreak response, says “any international health worker should assume that most people are not going to trust the service they’re providing….

“So much of outbreak control is behavioral and social, so we need behavioral and social scientists in there to work with the biomedical folks because local communities have to be behind [the response] and understand it on their own terms if control efforts are going to be effective.”

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Daily Mail

Professor’s radio art supports women broadcasters in Africa

BarberWomen broadcasters in Zambia and Zimbabwe, Africa, are sharing their traditional culture via radio art with the help of radio artists from 17 countries, including John Barber, clinical associate professor in the Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver.

Although they share the Tonga history and culture, Zambia and Zimbabwe are divided geographically by a large man-made lake, Lake Kariba, which makes up much of the border between the two countries. A new CD compilation that includes Barber‘s radio art work “Zambezi River Bridge” is helping to connect them.

“Zambezi River Bridge” was selected to be part of “A Radio Bridge Across the Zambezi,” a CD to be sold on the popular online sound-sharing platform BandCamp. All proceeds from online sales will benefit Zongwe FM, a community radio station in Sinazongwe, Zambia, and the women of Zubo Trust across the Zambezi River in Binga, Zimbabwe.


In late 1950, the Zambezi River valley was flooded as water gathered behind the Kariba Dam. The BaTonga people lost their ancestral land along the banks of the Zambezi and were forced to move. Today, Lake Kariba divides the Tonga community, and Zongwe FM radio provides not only a means of communication but also self-help, organization and cultural survival.

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WSU Insider