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CAS in the Media Arts and Sciences Media Headlines

SURCA presents undergraduate research awards

Several students from across the College of Arts and Sciences were among WSU scholars who presented posters at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) 2022 on March 28.

SURCA is the unique WSU-wide venue for students from all majors, years in college, and all WSU campuses to share their mentored research, scholarship, and creative activities, and have judges evaluate their work shown on a poster. At this year’s event, around 140 students from four campuses were among those accepted to present 112 posters to 90 judges. Faculty, postdoctoral students, and community experts used a common rubric to evaluate and score presentations across nine SURCA categories.

At the awards ceremony, 43 students from WSU Pullman and Vancouver and the Global Campus were announced as recipients of 33 awards. In total, nearly $8,000 will be given to support their efforts.

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WSU Insider

Kettel Love Story: After more than 70 years, the chemistry is still there

After 70 years of marriage, Ernie and JoAnn Kettel’s chemistry is undeniable.

Ernie and JoAnn Kettel.
Ernie and JoAnn Kettel

In 1949 they met in a chemistry lab at Washington State College (now WSU). Actually, they’d briefly met a few months before when they both hitched a ride from the West Side of the state to Pullman.

Raised on a dairy farm in Sequim, Washington, he was on his way to becoming a veterinarian. JoAnn had grown up in Arlington, Washington, and chose Washington State College over University of Washington because she wanted to go to a smaller school.

The couple plunged into community life. Ernie served on the city council, the planning commission and the school board. JoAnn served on the PTA, was den mother for Cub Scouts and for 62 years has been a member of PEO AW.

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The Spokesman-Review

WSU’s nuclear reactor pool gets a new coat

The tank that holds WSU’s research nuclear reactor will soon be coated with a new, flexible epoxy lining without the reactor ever having to leave its watery home.

The university’s Nuclear Science Center has a unique reactor pool: a relatively large, rectangular concrete-walled tank about 25-feet deep and filled with 65,000 gallons of water. Near the bottom, the glowing blue reactor core rests in a square box. It’s hooked to a bridge on a track so it can be moved to one side of the pool while work is done on the other, keeping it constantly under several feet of protective, highly deionized water.

The work, which started last week at the Dodgen Research Facility on the Pullman campus, should take about five weeks, but it’s the result of a much longer process.

Xiaofeng Guo.
Guo
Liane Moreau.
Moreau

The Center has also expanded lab space, and two WSU faculty, Xiofeng Guo and Liane Moreau, who work in chemistry and materials development, are setting up work there.

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WSU Insider

Undergraduate researchers tackle important questions in sciences, humanities

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, relieving chronic pain, understanding protest behavior and conserving wildlife are among the goals of eight faculty-mentored undergraduate research projects funded this spring by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Students from across the college—in mathematicschemistryforeign languages and politicalpsychologicalenvironmental and biological sciences—are working with faculty researchers to solve questions as diverse as what are a book’s chances of becoming a best seller and which food sources threatened butterflies prefer.

Courtney Meehan.
Meehan

“The College of Arts and Sciences enthusiastically supports our students’ intellectual curiosity and the wide range of exciting and impactful research they conduct,” said Courtney Meehan, CAS associate dean for research and graduate studies. “Providing funds for these projects, and many more, advances the college’s ongoing commitment to support undergraduate students’ participation in an array of innovative research, scholarship and creative activities.”

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WSU Insider

Jeremy Lessmann appointed director of Office of Undergraduate Research

Jeremy Lessman.
Lessman

Washington State University has appointed Jeremy J. Lessmann, chemistry associate professor, as the director of the Office of Undergraduate Research (UR).

“Jeremy brings to his new position a wealth of knowledge about, and experience with, the office and undergraduate research, in general, and we are excited to have him on board as its leader,” said Mary Sánchez Lanier, assistant vice provost.

Lessmann said, “I am excited to serve all WSU students and the university in this new capacity, and I look forward to helping to advance students’ high-impact learning activities associated with research, scholarship, and creative activities across all majors.”

Lessmann’s own research interests include novel spectroscopic techniques in inorganic and bioinorganic spectroscopy, and chromatographic characterization and quantification of small molecule metabolites of lactobacillus strains in the quest to reduce foodborne illness, especially from poultry.

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WSU Insider