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45 undergraduates named top researchers in SURCA competition

SURCA 2014 Applied Sciences Winners
SURCA 2014 Applied Sciences Winners

Thirty-nine awards were presented recently to 45 WSU students—many in the College of Arts and Sciences—at the third annual Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) 2014.

The work of 192 students University-wide was detailed in 11 oral and 145 poster presentations open to faculty, staff, students, and guests. More than 100 judges evaluated the presentations. The judges included WSU emeriti faculty and retirees, faculty, staff, and post-doctoral students as well as experts from companies outside of WSU.

While many students from urban campuses traveled to participate, SURCA was made available to two place-bound students thanks to web conferencing provided by the Global Campus. A Pullman student studying abroad in Mexico and a WSU Vancouver student who was unable to attend SURCA in person talked “live” to their judges who were in the senior ballroom of the Compton Union Building.

More about the competition and list of winners

WSUV grad student receives Fulbright to study in Switzerland

Eric Dexter
Eric Dexter

Growing up in Florida, Eric Dexter was the only kid in his class who didn’t want to become a marine biologist. He barely graduated from high school. No one in his family had ever gone to college or traveled outside the country.

In September, the Washington State University Vancouver graduate student leaves for the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, on a Fulbright Fellowship. There he will receive specialized training on theoretical research techniques to further his research on invasive aquatic species on Lake Geneva, one of the largest lakes in Western Europe. The subject of aquatic invasive species is a matter of international concern.

Read more about his journey

Three CAS grad students earn top AFW awards

Amber Morczek
Amber Morczek
Amanda Vander Woude
Amanda Vander Woude, right, with Sheila Converse, AFW president and music faculty member
Ellen Preece
Ellen Preece

Graduate and doctoral students in the College of Arts and Sciences won three of six annual awards presented last week by the WSU Association for Faculty Women. AFW’s top honors recognize students whose work benefits the community.

Ellen Preece, a doctoral student in the School of the Environment, won a Harriett B. Rigas Award. Elected president of the Washington State Lake Protection Association, at WSU Preece researches food and water safety issues.

Amanda Vander Woude, a graduate student in vocal performance, won an AFW Founders Award. Vander Woude studies the vocal injuries of professional singers, gives voice lessons to WSU undergraduates, and performs in various ensembles.

Amber Morczek, a doctoral candidate in criminal justice and criminology, received the Karen Depaul Leadership Award. Morczek has participated in violence-prevention programs, including the Prisoner Debate Project, which took WSU undergraduates to the Coyote Ridge Correctional Facility to collaborate with inmates during public debates in the facility about topics in criminal justice.

More about the 2014 AFW awards

March 26-27: Environmental writer explores storytelling

William Cronon
William Cronon

William Cronon, one of the country’s foremost environmental writers, thinkers and historians, will be the featured speaker at two free, public events March 26-27 as part of WSU’s Visiting Writer Series.

“William Cronon is an exceptional historian who has a scholar’s depth and breadth of knowledge but also a novelist’s skill at telling stories,” said Larry Hufford, director of the School of Biological Sciences and the Charles R. Conner Museum of Natural History at WSU. “His seminal book, Changes in the Land, was tremendously influential in shaping the way we think today about wilderness and the pervasiveness of human influence on the American environment.”

Cronon will present “The Portage: Time, Memory and Storytelling in the Making of an American Place” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the CUB auditorium on the WSU Pullman campus. On Thursday, he will join an interdisciplinary panel of faculty experts from WSU and the University of Idaho in examining “The Personal Voice of Scholarly Writing” 3:30-5:30 p.m., on the UI campus in Moscow.

Learn more about these cross-disciplinary events