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Video on cryogenics research earns WSU graduate national award

A video exploring how Washington State University cryogenics research is helping advance a wide array of cutting-edge technologies earned a WSU undergraduate a prestigious award from the Science Coalition.

Lillie Xi Max Williams.

Lillie Xi Max Williams, who graduated last week with a double degree in digital technologies and culture and strategic communication, took first place in the undergraduate category of the Science Coalition’s Fund It Forward Student Video Challenge. The award came with a $1,000 prize.

The challenge is a contest for undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in one of the more than 50 research universities that make up the non-profit Science Coalition.

Participants were asked to create a video to tell the story of why science matters and remind members of U.S. Congress that now is the time to invest in research for the future of our nation. The winning videos can be viewed on the coalition’s website.

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WSU Insider

Language is power

Language, says Kim Christen, “is really about relationships. Languages bring to life relationships to other human beings, to ancestors, to ancestors that aren’t human, to landscape, to histories, stories—to knowledge.”

Kimberly Christen.Christen is a professor of digital technology and culture and director of the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation at Washington State University. The Center develops collaborative projects between scholars, students, and diverse community members, with an emphasis on ethical curation and equitable access. One of the projects is the co-curated and managed Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal, a trove of Native American culture and a resource for teachers and community members working together to revitalize Native languages and cultures.

Christen prefers the term revitalization to preservation because, she says, “preservation conjures the idea that these materials and languages are not ongoing, critical parts of living cultures.” The word also invokes a past in which the U.S. government simultaneously sought to document disappearing Native languages while, “at the same time, they were promoting genocide.”

That, says Christen, was “a perverse notion of preservation.”

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WSU Insider

A Guided Stroll Through the Past

Beginning this summer, walk in the present while seeing some of Vancouver, Washington’s oldest historic sites with Now iTour, a self-guided, voice-activated virtual tour through the world’s first head-mounted tablet.

When RealWear, a San Jose–based knowledge transfer company, moved into the Artillery Barracks of Vancouver, they essentially became a part of The Historic Trust. With both organizations interested in bringing the local community together, a simple conversation birthed the grand idea of melding together the technology of RealWear, the history of Vancouver, Wash., and the talented students of WSU Vancouver’s Creative Media and Digital Culture program.

Dene Grigar.

Since fall 2017, Richard Burrows, director of community outreach and engagement at The Historic Trust, has worked with CMDC Director and Professor Dene Grigar’s students to develop three technology-based projects to provide engaging, interactive opportunities to experience the history of Vancouver in new ways. Each has been the focus of a senior seminar class, the last class taken before a CMDC senior graduates.

The first project was the Providence Academy Journey, an augmented reality experience, and the second, Unfolding Vancouver, an interactive game for tablets and smartphones. The graduating class of December 2018 developed Now iTour, an interactive tour given through a headset considered the world’s first head-mounted tablet, or the RealWear HMT-1. The company provided 10 headsets to The Historic Trust for the students to develop the application and for the Trust to give the tours.

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Northwest Crimson & Gray

‘Superhero’ WSUV student ready to soar

Single mother, business owner to be among 1,000 graduating Saturday.

Anne Murray.

When balancing college, raising two boys, and running a business overwhelms 43-year-old Anne Murray, she remembers something her mother used to tell her: “You can do anything for a short period of time.”

Murray and more than 1,000 students will graduate from Washington State University Vancouver this weekend. In some ways, Murray exemplifies what the suburban campus is all about.

On Saturday she will receive her bachelor’s degree in digital technology and culture. She plans to pursue a career in graphic design. And while it may have been a short period of time, like her mom would say, it’s certainly been a busy one.

Dene Grigar.

Dene Grigar, director of WSUV’s Creative Media and Digital Culture Program, said Murray’s reputation preceded her. Faculty in the program put together something called a “superheroes” list, including students who are driven, talented and prime candidates for internships or special projects. Murray was on that list early on.

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The Columbian

This might be the world’s only library of unpublished manuscripts: Vancouver’s Brautigan Library honors a Northwest literary icon

From a tribute cocktail once served at Capitol Hill’s now-shuttered Redwood to the Pacific Northwest streams he fished in as a boy, it’s easy to trace the lingering influence of Tacoma-born writer Richard Brautigan if you know where to look.

Though known for depicting San Francisco’s counterculture of the 1960s and 70s with surrealistic flair, you’ll find one of his greatest legacies on three bookcases in the basement of Vancouver’s Clark County Historical Museum.

Known as the Brautigan Library, the collection spans family histories, absurd Brautigan-esque capers, DIY religious tracts and memoirs of ordinary lives.

But in 1997, it closed due to lack of funding, and the manuscripts were put in storage in a basement.

John Barber.

This caught the attention of John Barber, a faculty member in the Creative Media and Digital Culture program at Washington State University, Vancouver, who had once studied under Brautigan.

He found space for the collection at the Clark County Historical Museum, and the library was moved and reopened in 2010.

Barber says he received an influx of manuscripts after the story about the Brautigan Library aired on This American Life. So far, 12 have been submitted in 2019.

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Seattle Times