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Kennedy Center honors WSU theatre faculty for teaching excellence

Mary Trotter, left, and Benjamin Gonzales
Trotter and Gonzalez

Washington State University theatre faculty Benjamin Gonzales and Mary Trotter received separate awards for outstanding and innovative teaching at this years’ Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region VII, held Feb. 19-23 in Spokane.

Outstanding and Innovative Teaching and Service

Gonzales, a clinical associate professor and WSU faculty member since 2003, received the Horace Robinson/Jack Watson Award.  It is presented, each year, to a Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Region VII faculty member who has shown dedication and support for their students above and beyond the normal duties expected of university faculty.

Trotter, a clinical assistant professor at WSU since 2011, was awarded with the Region VII Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)/KCACTF Prize for Innovative Teaching. This prize is awarded for innovative teaching that supports student success in the area of theatre arts.

KCACTF Region VII includes Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, northern California and northern Nevada and is attended by more than one thousand faculty and students each year.

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WSU Insider

English professor Buddy Levy back on History Channel

Buddy Levy
Buddy Levy

Narrative historian and WSU English professor Buddy Levy is making a return to the History Channel.

Levy, the author of a 2005 biography about early American adventurer Davy Crockett, is among the experts interviewed for the cable network’s latest documentary series “The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen.” He appears in episodes 3 and 4, which air March 21 and 28.

“When we first talked it was clear they were looking to understand more than just who the people were,” Levy said. “They wanted to know about the frontier and what it was like to set out into the unknown.”

The new series by executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio explores the formative period of history featuring what it describes as the first 75 volatile years of the United States—from the Revolution through the California Gold Rush. It was a time when historical figures such as Crockett, Daniel Boone, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, John Fremont and Andrew Jackson spearheaded the fledgling nation’s expansion west into uncharted land.

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WSU Insider

Pullman Radio

Bringing the past into the future: Huna Heritage Foundation debuts online archive

It’s been the mission of the Huna Heritage Foundation (HHF) to perpetuate the Huna Tlingit culture and promote education for future generations, and it plans to do both of those things with the launch of its digital archive.

Kimberly Christen

One of the challenges HHF faced was finding a platform that met its needs. While it’s HHF’s goal to share pieces of culture and history, some information should only be accessible to certain people or groups, said HHF Executive Director Amelia Wilson. It’s HHF’s goal to not only host photos but to eventually have audio and video recordings as well, but some of that might be sensitive material — like clan songs, owned by a clan, which would only be made available to people inside that clan. HHF settled on the open source platform and content management system called Mukurtu. It was developed by Dr. Kimberly Christen of Washington State University to meet the archival needs of an indigenous group in Australia, Wilson said.

“This software is grassroots, community driven, and (a) customizable site that would allow us to draw upon our Hoonah cultural protocols to direct our access levels,” she said.

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Capital City Weekly

Juneau Empire

Opinion: What we need to talk about when we talk about mass shooters

A day after the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, President Donald Trump blamed the incident that left 17 dead on shooter Nikolas Cruz’s mental health.

Melanie-Angela Neuilly

Dr. Melanie-Angela Neuilly, an associate professor at the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University, told the Daily Dot, “While mental health should always be taken into consideration, the emphasis on mental health as a source of violence is misleading as individuals suffering with mental health issues are actually less likely to be violent (overall) than individuals without mental health issues.”

What we really ought to question, Neuilly said, are the cultural values that could contribute to deadly shootings. Near the top of that list is toxic masculinity.

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The Daily Dot

Opinion: Billy Graham was on the wrong side of history

Racial tensions are rising, the earth is warming, and evangelicals are doing little to help. That may be Graham’s most significant, and saddest, legacy.

By Matthew Avery Sutton, Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor of History

Matthew Avery Sutton

When Billy Graham stands before the judgment seat of God, he may finally realize how badly he failed his country, and perhaps his God. On civil rights and the environmental crisis, the most important issues of his lifetime, he championed the wrong policies.

Graham was on the wrong side of history.

The world’s most famous evangelist let his apocalyptic anticipation of the coming kingdom of God blind him to the realities of living in this world.

For Graham, the Bible had a clear message for Christians living in what he believed were humans’ last days on earth. Individuals alone can achieve salvation; governments cannot. Conversions change behaviors; federal policies do not.

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The Guardian