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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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Criminal justice professor honored for contributions to study of corrections

Mary Stohr

A nationally recognized scholar of prison reform, WSU professor Mary Stohr has been selected to receive the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences’ prestigious John Howard Award for her significant and sustained contributions to the practice of corrections.

“John Howard literally gave his life in the pursuit of improving European jails and promoting humane treatment of prisoners—he died of typhus, also known as ‘jail fever.’ I am very humbled to be recognized among the ranks of those working diligently to improve correctional facilities for inmates and staff,” said Stohr.

Stohr served five years as ACJS executive director, co-founded the Corrections Section and the Minorities and Women Section, and previously received both the Founders Award and the Fellows Award.

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The trouble with staying awake: BCOPS study addresses shift work hazards

Chronic fatigue and other ills brought about by irregular work schedules have always been a concern for law enforcement officers. Only relatively recently has there been any scientific analysis of the problem.

The webinar featured several presenters who each broke down data gathered during a longitudinal study of police officers in Buffalo, NY. The Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress (BCOPS) study followed hundreds of public safety officers between 2004 and 2020, tracking their work schedules and health over the course of the project.

Bryan Vila.

The seminal work in this area was an unrelated research effort published over 20 years ago. Tired Cops by Bryan Vila (now a Ph.D. and retired professor of criminal justice at Washington State University) detailed some of the health hazards suffered by cops who worked irregular schedules. Some of the situations he studied were brought about by the cops themselves, who insisted on working second jobs or engaged in other pursuits when they should have been sleeping.

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Officials: New policing laws lack clarity

Law enforcement officials on the Palouse have made it clear police reform laws that took effect in Washington this week will not stop staff from responding to emergency calls.

The legislation will, however, affect their actions when they arrive at the scene.

What police are allowed and not allowed to do is not always clear.

David Makin.

Washington State University associate professor David Makin said he advised police to clarify that the new law does not lock police out from assisting those people, it just limits their ability to use force. Makin works in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, serves on the Pullman Police Advisory Committee and has worked with Jenkins on police-related research projects for years.

“While both HB 1310 and HB 1054 have created unnecessary confusion regarding the rule of law, I would urge (the Pullman Police Department) to clarify the process and reassure the community that PPD is committed to assisting those most vulnerable in our community in their time of need,” Makin said “My understanding is that PPD has good working relationships and protocol for handling these situations and has handled these scenes with compassion.

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The Lewiston Tribune

WSU faculty receive $1.4 million grant for assessment addressing truancy in schools

Several Washington State University faculty are the recipients of a $1.4 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to refine and expand an assessment that helps address truancy in K-12 schools.

Nicholas Lovrich.
Paul Strand.

Paul Strand, WSU Tri-Cities professor of psychology, Brian French, Berry Family Distinguished professor and director of WSU’s Learning and Performance Research Center and Psychometric Laboratory, Nick Lovrich, WSU Regents professor emeritus, and Bruce Austin, research associate in educational psychology and the LPRC, have worked since 2014 to evaluate and refine WARNS. With the grant, the group is also adding the following members to their team to help refine the tool: Chad Gotch and Marcus Poppen, both WSU assistant professors in education, and Mary Roduta Roberts, an associate professor of occupational therapy at the University of Alberta.

Strand said the new grant will allow the team to update the instrument in a few ways. He said a variety of new issues have arisen that have impacted school attendance and performance in recent years. Examples, he said, include the prevalence of vaping and social media use.

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