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CAS in the Media Arts and Sciences Media Headlines

Showcase award winners announced

Washington State University faculty and staff making outstanding contributions to the institution and beyond are being recognized as part of the 2023 Showcase awards.

The outstanding achievements of researchers, faculty members, staff, and leaders are recognized each year in the lead up to Showcase. The annual event is a weeklong celebration of academic excellence that includes research expositions as well as talks from distinguished university representatives, and many other activities.

Cheryl Schulz.

This year’s Distinguished Faculty Address will be given by Cheryl Schultz from the School of Biological Sciences within the College of Arts and Sciences. Schultz, who is located on the WSU Vancouver campus, is a renowned conservation biologist specializing in species threatened by habitat loss, invasive species, and global climate change.

Additional Showcase award winners in CAS:

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award – Danh Pham, School of Music, WSU Pullman

President’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Career-Track Faculty – Vanessa Cozza, English, WSU Tri-Cities; and Sophia Tegart, Music, WSU Pullman

Sahlin Eminent Faculty Award – Keri McCarthy, Music, WSU Pullman

Sahlin Faculty Excellence Awards – Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, Psychology, WSU Pullman

Emeritus Society Legacy of Excellence Award – Nicholas Lovrich, Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs, WSU Pullman

Find out more

WSU Insider 

Palouse soundscape composer presents music of nature

Yii Kah Hoe.

Since coming to Washington State University from Malaysia in August, Yii Kah Hoe has ventured with his microphone into nearby woods and forests, along rivers and streams, and even out onto an icy pond to capture the music of nature.

An internationally recognized musician and composer, and the university’s first Fulbright scholar in residence, Yii is teaching, researching and continuing his artistic work of composing soundscapes that incorporate elements from nature and aim to raise environmental awareness.

He will premiere his newest composition, Of the Land, created in and about the Palouse, on March 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center. The free, public presentation, which is part of the 2023 Festival of Contemporary Artists in Music, will feature sounds of local nature and performances by music faculty Aaron Agulay, baritone, and Keri McCarthy, English horn.

Members of the audience also will play a part in the production, Yii said. Listeners will be able to move through the sounds emanating from speakers located across the space and contribute to the shifting, Palouse-based soundscape. “It will effectively transform the audience into performers in my music,” he said.

The composition, which Yii spent five months preparing, is a compilation of soundscape recordings from more than 12 different nature parks, many in the Pullman area and some in Idaho.

Find out more

WSU Insider

Using Her Bassoon To Elevate Indigenous Voices – With Composer Dr. Jacqueline Wilson (Yakama)

Jacqueline Wilson.

Can an instrument suit your personality? Dr. Jacqueline Wilson would say so. She believes her personality fits best with a large, low sounding, double reed woodwind instrument: the bassoon.

She serves as principal bassoonist of the Washington Idaho Symphony and assistant professor of bassoon and theory at Washington State University where she performs with the Solstice Faculty Wind Quintet. She recently released a collaborative album titled Works for the Bassoon by Native American Composers.

In this special episode of Traverse Talks, NWPB’s Hannah Snyder interviews Dr. Jacqueline Wilson (Yakama) about her album, inspiration, and unique performing experience. Listen to this podcast to learn more about Native American representation in classical music and hear samples of Dr. Wilson’s work.

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A new holiday song with a rat pack vibe

Greg Yasinitsky.

Just in time for the holidays, Washington State University Music Emeritus Professor Greg Yasinitsky has a new song, “It’s Santa!,” which is now streaming on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, Amazon, Deezer, and more.

The holiday song also is also included in the Winter Jazz Playlist, which is available on multiple streaming sites.

Horace Alexander Young.

The song was recorded in two versions with vocalist Horace Alexander Young and Yasinitsky’s YAZZ Band, and with the JECCA Vocal Jazz Ensemble, directed by Kathleen Hollingsworth, director of choral activities at Clackamas College, performing with Yasinitsky’s YAZZ Band.

Sarah Miller.
Sarah Miller

The recordings feature WSU emeritus faculty members Yasinitsky, who plays saxophone, vocalist Young, and drummer David Jarvis, along with current WSU faculty members Sarah and A.J. Miller on trombones.

Find out more & listen

WSU Insider

WSU adds equity and justice designation to general education curriculum

The Washington State University Faculty Senate approved a new course designation on Oct. 6 called “Inquiry into Equity and Justice (EQJS)” that will expand the University Common Requirements (UCORE) general education curriculum for the first time in a decade.

The new UCORE designation, which will not impact UCORE credits necessary for graduation, goes into effect in fall 2023. Courses in EQJS will equip students with intellectual tools and social contexts necessary to critically examine power dynamics, and to recognize, question, and understand structural inequities and privileges, according to the UCORE website.

A set of EQJS courses will be determined over the coming months and, will also provide students vital intellectual foundations, tools, and literacies to assess and evaluate ideologies and narratives to ethically pursue inclusive and just societies.

Clif Stratton.

“This is the first major change to UCORE requirements since they were put in place ten years ago, and the committee feels it represents a much-needed engagement with issues of utmost importance in today’s society,” said Clif Stratton, UCORE director and professor of history.

“It is critical to note that the addition of the EQJS designation to the inquiry set is credit neutral, meaning it adds no additional UCORE credit requirements to graduate,” said Stratton. Some colleges, however, such as the College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Arts and Sciences, are planning to implement a college-level requirement that students complete courses in all UCORE inquiry designations. UCORE course requirements to graduate, then, could be determined on a college-by-college basis, as necessary.

“The UCORE committee thanks those colleges for their ongoing commitment to a broad educational experience at WSU,” he said.

Find out more

WSU Insider