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New CAS associate dean to focus on promoting equity, outreach

Henry Evans.

Bringing deep and wide-ranging experience in the promotion of equity and inclusion in higher education, Henry Evans joined the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) on July 1 as its first associate dean for equity and outreach.

Since 2016, Evans served as associate director of equity and inclusion at Idaho State University (ISU), Pocatello, where he provided leadership and direction to the campus community in areas of equal opportunity, affirmative action, equity, and inclusion. His responsibilities spanned Title VI compliance, civil rights investigations, diversity training, and supervision of the ISU Diversity Resource Center, which provides student-focused diversity education and programming.

Evans was chosen for the job following a national search. In addition to his role as associate dean, he will also join the faculty of the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs as an associate professor, career track.

“I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to join a fantastic team of colleagues in the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office and the whole of the college to further the great work they have already begun in creating spaces where all are seen and valued and are free to be their authentic selves,” Evans said.

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WSU Insider

Asian clams’ spread in Columbia River warns of worse invaders

The invasive Asian clam is more common in the lower Columbia River than its native habitat of southeast Asia, according to a study of the clam’s abundance in the river.

The findings don’t bode well for potential future invasions by the even more destructive quagga and zebra mussels. So far, the Columbia is one of the only major U.S. rivers to remain free of these notorious ecology-destroying, equipment-clogging bivalves.

To understand how new invaders might spread, a Washington State University-led team studied the existing invasive Asian clams hoping to see what might limit them. Unfortunately, the answer was — not much.

Salvador Robb-Chavez.

“What struck me was just the sheer variety of habitats that Asian clams were able to settle down in and survive,” said Salvador Robb-Chavez, a recent WSU master’s degree graduate in the School of the Environment and the study’s lead author. “We found evidence of their presence just about everywhere in the lower Columbia River.”

For this study, published in journal International Review of Hydrobiology, the researchers sampled 27 sites along 481 kilometers (about 299 miles) of the river, stretching from the ocean to Richland, Washington. They found Asian clams were able to live at a variety of temperatures, water quality and substrates, such as silt, sand or rock.

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Science Daily
KING 5 News
KGW News
WSU Insider

5 Overlooked LGBTQ Stories to Celebrate Pride Month

How do you learn—and save—a history that was often too dangerous to write down?

To mark Pride Month 2023, we hunted through the Atlas Obscura archives for stories that have long been overlooked in mainstream American history: tales of people across the centuries—from as long ago as Colonial Williamsburg—who would now be thought of as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Among them:

The Forgotten Trans History of the Wild West
By Sabrina Imbler

Peter Boag.

People who did not conform to traditional gender norms were a part of daily life in the Old West, according to Peter Boag, a historian at Washington State University. While researching a book about the gay history of Portland, writes Sabrina Imbler, Boag stumbled upon hundreds and hundreds of stories of people who dressed against their assigned gender. Trans people have always existed all over the world. So how had they escaped notice in the annals of the Old West?

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Atlas Obscura

Tri-Cities to name street after Hanford cleanup advocate, community philanthropist

The Tri-Cities remembered one of its strongest champions of economic development and most generous donors to community causes, Bob Ferguson, on Thursday, July 6. Ferguson was the first chairman of the Tri-City Development Council, then called “the Tri-Cities Nuclear Industrial Council,” and was a champion for nuclear power, Hanford nuclear reservation site cleanup and economic development in the Tri-Cities.

A year before his death he donated $500,000 to Washington State University Tri-Cities to endow a faculty position in energy and environment as the first step toward launching WSU Tri-Cities Institute for Northwest Energy Futures. It is envisioned by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to become a center recognized globally for its innovation in developing clean energy sources and technology.

Ferguson said when he made the donation that he’d like to see a graduate degree offered for students studying the complex economic, political, technical and social issues of global climate change.

Previously the Ferguson family donated $100,000 to start the William R. Wiley Scholarship for WSU Tri-Cities students. The scholarship honored Ferguson’s friend Wiley, a former Pacific Northwest National Laboratory director, and is helping minority students studying science, technology, engineering, math or nursing in the Tri-Cities.

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 Tri-City Herald

U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholds bipartisan election redistricting commissions like Washington’s

A Supreme Court decision last week ensures Washington state’s bipartisan process for shaping its congressional districts will remain intact.

In the majority of U.S. states, state legislatures are responsible for redistricting and other election laws, but they do not hold the power without checks and balances . Concerns over political parties gerrymandering congressional districts when they have majority control have led some states to instate independent commissions to oversee elections redistricting.

In a 6-3 landmark decision, the court upheld that state legislatures are not the sole entities vested to make elections rules or draw congressional election maps.

The ruling concerned the “independent state legislature” theory, an interpretation of the Supreme Court’s Elections Clause that suggests the law forbids any nonlegislature government entities, including independent commissions, governors or courts, to alter a legislature’s actions on federal elections.

Cornell Clayton.

The court said state legislatures must operate under the same rules as all other government agencies, said Cornell Clayton, director of the Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at Washington State University. This means any election law made by a state legislature is subject to judicial review by both state and federal courts.

“If they ruled opposite, it would reverse 200 years of our understanding,” Clayton said. “It would be shocking for the court to strip itself of the authority to review legislative decisions made in states.”

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