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CAS in the Media Arts and Sciences Media Headlines

Program integrates community service into coursework

Hundreds of students on several Washington State University campuses will participate in community service projects as part of their English classes this year.

For his English 101 classes, WSU Pullman Teaching Assistant Professor David Martin wanted the service-learning component to be research focused; however, he did not have a clear idea of what types of projects would work in his curriculum.

“I was able to learn what other faculty in CES (Community Engaged Scholars) were doing and I found that to be very useful,” Martin said. “It got my mind and wheels turning on some possibilities for my classes.”

This semester, his students are working with community partners in the Palouse region to identify local challenges such as food and housing insecurity, abandoned pets, and stream erosion. They will create a problem statement, write a literature review, and pitch ideas for how those challenges can be resolved.

Students in Linda Russo’s English 302 class will work with the Palouse Conservation District to restore areas along the Palouse River. She said CES inspired her to explore what literary studies can look like when students literally get their hands dirty.

Vanessa Cozza and Johanna Phelps, English professors on the Tri-Cities and Vancouver campuses, respectively, said students in their technical and professional writing classes are working with multiple community partners to create promotional materials such as instruction manuals, brochures, logos, and website designs.

Vanessa Cozza.
Cozza
Linda Russo.
Russo
Johanna Phelps.
Phelps

One of the greatest benefits of participating in CES, according to Martin, Phelps, Russo, and Cozza, was the opportunity to meet other faculty interested in service-learning. Many have stayed in touch with each other since the program concluded.

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WSU Insider

Center for Arts and Humanities announces fellowship and catalyst award recipients

The Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH) has selected nine faculty to receive the 2021 CAH Fellowships and Catalyst Award.

Faculty receiving the CAH Fellowship for 2021:

  • Avantika Bawa.
    Bawa

    AVANTICA BAWA, Department of Fine Arts

    Bawa will continue an ongoing series of installations reflecting the artist’s interest in responding to the built and natural environment through the language of drawing and construction.

  • Troy Bennefield.
    Bennefield

    TROY BENNEFIELD, School of Music

    Bennefield will explore and publish information on the life and works of Dutch composer Julius Hijman, whose career was interrupted by the Nazi regime. Bennefield will produce the first-ever recordings of Hijman’s compositions.

  • Dennis Dehart.
    Dehart

    DENNIS DeHART, Department of Fine Arts

    DeHart will create a lens-based series of works focused on the Columbia River drainage basin and the Snake River. The exhibition will be in collaboration with the WSU Libraries’ Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections.

  • Martin King.
    King

    MARTIN KING, School of Music

    King will commission a new horn, tuba and piano trio, record an album of music for this ensemble, and give performing tours of this music to expand and diversify the repertoire and promote this ensemble.

  • Laurie Mercier.
    Mercier

    LAURIE MERCIER, Department of History

    Mercier will conduct research for a book project about gendered occupational segregation in the U.S. and Canadian Wests from 1930-2020.

  • Melissa Nicolas.
    Nicolas

    MELISSA NICOLAS, Department of English

    Nicolas will create an open-access digital archive of personal narratives about living through the COVID‑19 pandemic.

  • Jeffrey Sanders.
    Sanders

    JEFF SANDERS, Department of History

    Sanders will develop a book proposal for a cultural and environmental history of strontium 90.

Jacqueline Wilson.
Wilson
  • JACQUELINE WILSON, School of Music

Wilson will create an album of classical works by Indigenous composers for solo bassoon utilizing a decolonized approach.

Faculty receiving the CAH Catalyst Award for 2021:

  • Ruth Gregory.
    Gregory

    RUTH GREGORY, Digital Technology and Culture Program

    Gregory will pursue multiple grant proposals to the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Spencer Foundation, and provide paid internships for community engaged humanities students.

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WSU Insider

Smith Teaching and Learning grants benefit undergraduate education

Washington State University faculty members are engaged in six new projects to improve undergraduate education, thanks to funding from the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Teaching and Learning Endowment. They include three in the College of Arts and Sciences:

Ruth Gregory.
Gregory

Ruth Gregory, scholarly assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies for the Digital Technology and Culture (DTC) Program, for the project “Digital Technology and Culture in the Community AmeriCorps Program: Closing the Equity Gap in Internship Experiences and Compensation.” The program will address internship inequity by creating an AmeriCorps unit at WSU focused on providing students from marginalized backgrounds paid internship opportunities.

Nikolaus Overtoom.
Overtoom

Nikolaus Overtoom, clinical assistant professor of history, for the project “Engaging an Equitable Antiquity.” The project will emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in the study of antiquity by redeveloping two courses—History 337 (Women in the Ancient World) for the Global Campus and History 395 (Topics in History: Ancient Warfare and Society).

Patty Wilde.
Wilde

Patty Wilde, assistant professor and director of composition at WSU Tri-Cities, for the project “Culturally Responsive Approaches to Writing Instruction: Using a Multi-disciplinary Community of Practice to Improve Equity and Student Outcomes” with Tri-Cities co-applicants Lori Nelson, scholarly assistant professor of biology; Tracey Hanshew, scholarly assistant professor of history; Robert Franklin, clinical associate professor of history; and Vanessa Cozza, scholarly associate professor of English; with facilitation by Janet Peters, scholarly associate professor of psychology. The project will use culturally responsive teaching knowledge to re-envision approaches to writing instruction, assignment design, and assessment in the context of their courses.

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WSU Insider

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.
Kopta

Kyle Kopta

VISUAL/PERFORMING ARTS

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

Samantha King-Shaw

ACADEMICS

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

Brandt Fisher

VISUAL/PERFORMING ARTS

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

Dallas Hobbs

ATHLETICS

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

Ariel Medeiros

COMMUNITY SERVICE

  • 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.
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.
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