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CAS in the Media Arts and Sciences Media Headlines

Top Ten Senior Awards

For more than 80 years, Washington State University has recognized 10 of the top seniors in each graduating class. The WSU Alumni Association selects these women and men who represent the highest standards in specific aspects of the college experience, including academics, athletics, campus involvement, community service, and visual and performing arts.

Five CAS students were among the Top 10 of 2021.

Kyle Kopta.

Kyle Kopta


  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Digital Technology and Culture
  • WSU Tri-Cities
  • Hermiston, Oregon
Samantha King-Shaw.

Samantha King-Shaw


  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • WSU Pullman
  • Sparks, Nevada
Brandt Fisher.

Brandt Fisher


  • College of Arts and Sciences, Honors College
  • Music performance in saxophone with an emphasis in jazz
  • WSU Pullman
  • Edmonds, Washington
Dallas Hobbs.

Dallas Hobbs


  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Digital Technology & Culture, Fine Arts
  • WSU Pullman
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Ariel Medeiros.

Ariel Medeiros


  • College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science, Psychology
  • WSU Pullman
  • Reno, Nevada

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Washington State University

English department trains faculty on student veteran awareness

Veterans make up an important portion of Washington State University’s student population, with 3.1% of students either previously or currently serving in the military, according to Fall 2020 student data. This is a distinctive student population that brings a unique set of experiences and abilities to the classroom.

On WSU’s Pullman campus, two English department faculty members, who happen to be veterans themselves, are doing what they can to build awareness and understanding of this unique student population by delivering Student Veterans Awareness training for English 101 faculty members.

Mike Edwards.

“Veterans, military members, and their families are a vital and vibrant part of the WSU Cougar community,” said Mike Edwards, an assistant professor of English. “We want these students to know that they are welcome here and that their service and life experiences are valued.”

Elijah Coleman.

Edwards, a US Army veteran and previous instructor at the US Military Academy at West Point, has been teaching the Student Veterans Awareness training for fellow English faculty members every year since 2013. Elijah Coleman, another English faculty member who is a Marine veteran, co-leads the training.

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WSU Insider

Writing, fighting for ‘true liberation’

Mahogany Browne.

Mahogany Browne dropped out of high school after she was told not to write poetry during an English honors class.

Browne will speak as part of the Washington State University Visiting Writers Series hosted by the Department of English at 6 p.m. Wednesday via YouTube Live. Browne said in an email that she will discuss how to recognize one’s rage as a useful tool “to get free” during her scheduled talk.

“I feel like there are so many ways we can show up and engage,” Browne wrote. “My art is communal, and therefore, everything I do is intentional in our fight for true liberation. … I’ve used my platform to speak to those that may not have the articulation or understanding of how we all are affected by injustice. I practice solidarity and look forward to continuing the efforts of groups that are responding to the lack of food and food quality for neighborhoods, policy, as well as educational symposiums to challenge the antiquated curricula plaguing our young people.”

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The Lewiston Tribune

Crimson Reads author explores family history in Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness

Debbie Lee.

Many of DJ Lee’s stories in Remote: Finding Home in the Bitterroots embody the powerful force of the Selway River that carves out a portion of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Idaho and Montana, the spiritual home Lee discovered in midlife. Lee’s 2020 memoir is also the culmination of research into her family history with the wilderness area, as well as a tribute to her missing friend and retired wilderness ranger, Connie Saylor Johnson.

“My family has been connected to the Selway-Bitterroot for nearly a century, but I never set foot there until I was almost forty-five years old,” wrote Lee, WSU Regents Professor of Literature and Creative Writing. “I’ve spent the past 15 years trying to piece together the history of the wilderness and of my grandparents, who lived there for decades. The memory of those years is like the Selway River itself. What seems to be a singular waterway is actually hundreds of streams and creeks, each with its own course, its own confluence.”

Lee and other WSU authors in the past year would have normally been honored in person during the WSU Libraries’ Crimson Reads, but this and other WSU Showcase events this year will be held virtually. For more information on all WSU authors who published in 2020, visit the Crimson Reads library guide. More author spotlights can be read this week on the WSU Libraries Facebook page.

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WSU Insider

National protests inspired Black Faculty and Staff Association to be an agent of change

Along with millions of Americans across the country, Multicultural Student Services Advisor Sylvia Bullock was glued to her television last summer when protests erupted across the nation following the death of George Floyd.

Aaron Oforlea.

The commitment statement calls for the continuation of one of the association’s signature programs: the Leadership Speakers Series. BFSA Past President and Associate Professor of English Aaron Oforlea created the series several years ago as a way for faculty, staff, and students to meet and learn from Black leaders working at other universities.

“Many predominantly white campuses have African Americans in leadership positions, and by getting to meet them, it helps us see the potential we have as a university to have more Black leaders,” Oforlea said. “We also want to inspire students to consider a career in academia and encourage people to work toward leadership roles.”

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WSU Insider