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Chris Matthews to speak at Tom Foley documentary premiere

Political commentator and TV personality Chris Matthews will address a Spokane audience at the premiere of a new documentary film about legendary former congressman and speaker of the House Thomas S. Foley on Thursday, April 21, at 6 p.m. at Riverside Place Event Center.

Matthews will introduce the film and meet with guests at a dinner to benefit Washington State University’s Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service. Tickets and information are available online at

Cornell Clayton.

“Chris has many stories to tell about their time together in Congress.  But he can also bring a unique historical perspective on the changes that have taken place in Congress and our party politics – not all of them good — since the days of Foley’s leadership. It will be a fascinating evening,” said Cornell Clayton, WSU political science professor and director of the Foley Institute.

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The Spokesman-Review

History professor featured in Buffalo Soldier documentary April 16

Ryan Booth.

A new film about the African Americans who fought in the U.S. military in the late 1800s and early 1900s will feature expert commentary from Ryan Booth, an assistant professor of history at Washington State University.

“Both the Buffalo Soldiers and the Indian Scouts were created by an act of Congress in 1866 and essentially acted as the constabulary for the West up until the advent of World War I,” said Booth, whose research specifically focuses on the U.S. Indian Scouts. “The conundrum in all of this is why did Black and Native men take up arms to serve the country that had oppressed them for centuries?”

As Booth wrote in this 2021 piece for the Washington State Magazine, the 1800s must have seemed like living inside a tornado—everything upside down and nothing firm to hold onto.

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Social justice advocates of the year named

Jenny Zambrano.

Washington State University Biological Sciences Assistant Professor Jenny Zambrano and College of Education doctoral student James Asare are the first Cougs to receive the new Elson and Carmento Floyd & William and Felicia Gaskins Social Justice Advocate of the Year Award.

The recognition is part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Awards, given annually by the MLK Program to those who embody the spirit and vision of King’s work. Recipients of the Social Justice Advocate of the Year Award must have demonstrated a sustained commitment to the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and social justice through advocacy, collaborative partnerships, programming, research, service, or teaching.

Zambrano’s work to promote DEI is not a side project, but at the core of her mission as an educator and a scientist, said her nominator, Erica Crespi, associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences (SBS).

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George Nethercutt joins Foley Institute Advisory Board, establishes lecture series at WSU

A one-time political foe of the late Tom Foley is helping enhance efforts to promote their shared commitment to public service and productive discourse.

Former U.S. Congressman George R. Nethercutt Jr., a Spokane Republican who in 1994 famously defeated Foley, a Democrat and speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has joined the advisory board of Washington State University’s non-partisan Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service.

“Since 2008, my foundation has promoted civic education among students, so they are prepared to engage with our democratic system—a system that depends on the participation of informed citizens, open dialogue, and compromise to function properly.” said Nethercutt, a Spokane native who graduated with a degree in English from WSU in 1967.

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The Spokesman-Review

National laboratory director talks climate change, infrastructure and more

More than 125 people filled the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center on the Pullman campus Wednesday to hear about how advances in science and technology are influencing the nation’s response to threats ranging from emerging disease to climate change.

Kimberly Budil, director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, delved into these topics and more as part of her lecture – National Security in the 21stCentury: Deterrence, Bio-Resilience, Energy, and Climate. Budil visited the Pullman campus to deliver the Institute for Shock Physics’ John and Janet Creighton Distinguished Lecture.

“Our old ways of thinking about conflict have to change and evolve and be much more multi-dimensional than it once was,” Budil said.

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