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CAS in the Media Arts and Sciences Media Headlines

Mellon grant boosts digital stewardship of indigenous cultural materials

Washington State University researchers working to enable digital repatriation of Native American cultural heritage materials received a $700,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the next phase of an innovative, community-driven curation program.

Kimberly Christen.

Part of the unique Mukurtu CMS software initiative, Mukurtu Shared will allow the materials to be ethically and collaboratively curated in the online environment by indigenous communities using standardized, replicable workflows and freely available digital tools, said Kimberly Christen, professor and director of the Digital Technology and Culture Program in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and a principal investigator for the grant.

“Respecting indigenous values and knowledge, this method incorporates local Native American protocols for attribution, access, review, vetting and labeling of cultural heritage materials,” Christen said.

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WSU Vancouver’s Electronic Literature Lab hosts two international scholars

Dene Grigar.

Two international scholars will collaborate with Electronic Literature Lab (ELL) director Dene Grigar, professor of digital media/tech & culture at WSU Vancouver, on such projects as live-streamed performances of born-digital narratives originally produced on floppy disks and CD-ROMs from 1988 – 2000, and an open-source multimedia book documenting early works of computer-based literature.

Founded by Grigar in 2012 at WSU Vancouver, ELL is among only a handful of media archaeology labs in the United States and is used for advanced inquiry into the curation, documentation, preservation and production of born-digital literary works and other media.

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Mirage News

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Douglas Gast 1974-2020

Douglas Gast.
Doug Gast

Douglas Paul Gast, 46, associate professor of fine arts and director of the Digital Technology & Culture degree program at WSU Tri-Cities, peacefully departed this life on Sunday, August 2, 2020 at his residence. Born July 1, 1974 in Bainbridge, Georgia, he was the son of Linda L. Macom and Michael F. Gast.

Doug received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina, master’s in Communication Studies from Baylor University, and an MFA in Electronic Art from the University of Cincinnati. Since 2005, he has served Washington State University Tri-Cities and its students. He always extended a listening ear, words of encouragement and a helping hand to family, friends, and students.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made by mail to the Douglas P. Gast Scholarship and Travel Fund in Fine Arts and Digital Technology & Culture Endowment # 7246-0127, c/o Don Shearer, Associate Vice President, Washington State University Foundation, PO Box 643528, Pullman, WA 99164 or online at https:// (Type Gast in Search).

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WSU Vancouver’s creative media and digital culture students reimagine the Park Foundation

Students in the creative media and digital culture program at Washington State University Vancouver led and created an updated Parks Foundation website, logo and social media presence this spring while collaborating and learning remotely throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new website is and features an illustrated interactive map of some of the Parks Foundation’s community grant projects and provides a space for the foundation to do storytelling and growth work. The comprehensive map of Clark County’s parks, trails and points of interest is a great planning tool for local exploration.

The students presented the final website, branding guide and revived social media platforms remotely amid Washington’s Stay Home Stay Safe campaign. The COVID-19 pandemic provided real-world experience as they needed to pivot and shift quickly with their teams.

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The Reflector

Using photography to help combat racial and social injustice

Sharing the complete picture of humanity, especially the hard topics, so that one-day she can affect positive change.

Protesters for social justice demonstrate in Pasco, Wash., photo by Madison Rosenbaum
Protest in Pasco on May 31. Photo by Madison Rosenbaum

That’s the reason photographer and Washington State University Tri-Cities alumna Madison Rosenbaum first picked up a camera. Shedding light on difficult social issues and providing a voice for the unheard is also what led her to document local protests following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

During her senior year, Rosenbaum was invited by digital technology and culture professor Peter Christenson to participate in the “Women artists from the Columbia Valley” exhibition, which featured 64 contemporary female artists and their work. As part of her submission for the exhibition, Rosenbaum collaborated with two other artists on images of mental health, and specifically her personal journey with depression.

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