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CAS in the Media Arts and Sciences Media Headlines

New CAS associate dean to focus on promoting equity, outreach

Henry Evans.

Bringing deep and wide-ranging experience in the promotion of equity and inclusion in higher education, Henry Evans joined the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) on July 1 as its first associate dean for equity and outreach.

Since 2016, Evans served as associate director of equity and inclusion at Idaho State University (ISU), Pocatello, where he provided leadership and direction to the campus community in areas of equal opportunity, affirmative action, equity, and inclusion. His responsibilities spanned Title VI compliance, civil rights investigations, diversity training, and supervision of the ISU Diversity Resource Center, which provides student-focused diversity education and programming.

Evans was chosen for the job following a national search. In addition to his role as associate dean, he will also join the faculty of the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs as an associate professor, career track.

“I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to join a fantastic team of colleagues in the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office and the whole of the college to further the great work they have already begun in creating spaces where all are seen and valued and are free to be their authentic selves,” Evans said.

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WSU Insider

Tri-Cities to name street after Hanford cleanup advocate, community philanthropist

The Tri-Cities remembered one of its strongest champions of economic development and most generous donors to community causes, Bob Ferguson, on Thursday, July 6. Ferguson was the first chairman of the Tri-City Development Council, then called “the Tri-Cities Nuclear Industrial Council,” and was a champion for nuclear power, Hanford nuclear reservation site cleanup and economic development in the Tri-Cities.

A year before his death he donated $500,000 to Washington State University Tri-Cities to endow a faculty position in energy and environment as the first step toward launching WSU Tri-Cities Institute for Northwest Energy Futures. It is envisioned by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to become a center recognized globally for its innovation in developing clean energy sources and technology.

Ferguson said when he made the donation that he’d like to see a graduate degree offered for students studying the complex economic, political, technical and social issues of global climate change.

Previously the Ferguson family donated $100,000 to start the William R. Wiley Scholarship for WSU Tri-Cities students. The scholarship honored Ferguson’s friend Wiley, a former Pacific Northwest National Laboratory director, and is helping minority students studying science, technology, engineering, math or nursing in the Tri-Cities.

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 Tri-City Herald

U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholds bipartisan election redistricting commissions like Washington’s

A Supreme Court decision last week ensures Washington state’s bipartisan process for shaping its congressional districts will remain intact.

In the majority of U.S. states, state legislatures are responsible for redistricting and other election laws, but they do not hold the power without checks and balances . Concerns over political parties gerrymandering congressional districts when they have majority control have led some states to instate independent commissions to oversee elections redistricting.

In a 6-3 landmark decision, the court upheld that state legislatures are not the sole entities vested to make elections rules or draw congressional election maps.

The ruling concerned the “independent state legislature” theory, an interpretation of the Supreme Court’s Elections Clause that suggests the law forbids any nonlegislature government entities, including independent commissions, governors or courts, to alter a legislature’s actions on federal elections.

Cornell Clayton.

The court said state legislatures must operate under the same rules as all other government agencies, said Cornell Clayton, director of the Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at Washington State University. This means any election law made by a state legislature is subject to judicial review by both state and federal courts.

“If they ruled opposite, it would reverse 200 years of our understanding,” Clayton said. “It would be shocking for the court to strip itself of the authority to review legislative decisions made in states.”

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Attorney: Good defeats evil

The case that bankrupted the Aryan Nations nearly 25 years ago wasn’t just about racism. It wasn’t just about taking down a white supremacist group.

It was a battle of good versus evil, and good won.

“This was a major turning point in culture,” Norm Gissel told about 60 people during a Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations luncheon at the Best Western Plus Coeur d’Alene Inn on Thursday.

It was in 1998 when an Idaho First Judicial District jury awarded $6.3 million to Victoria Keenan and her son, Jason Keenan, against the Aryan Nations and their security guards that bankrupted the neo-Nazi group.

Gissel was part of the legal team that achieved that victory.

Cornell Clayton.

Cornell Clayton, a Rhodes Scholar and Washington State University political science professor, shared his views on extremism in a historical perspective. He said division in government has long been part of America.

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Coeur d’Alene/Post Falls Press

Mom and daughter accomplish college goals at WSU

Gaby Hernandez thought college wasn’t possible for her. She immigrated to the United States at 17, and though she graduated from high school in Bridgeport, Washington, her path led to motherhood and family life.

As her three kids grew, she and her husband encouraged their oldest child, daughter Sinai Espinoza Hernandez, to consider college. To that end, the family visited a community college. Something clicked, Gaby said. Her kids were older and she had been thinking about getting a job outside the home. Instead, she wondered, “maybe there’s something of college for me?”

Both mother and daughter found what they needed at Washington State University, with transfer options and online education. The result: They graduated together in the commencement ceremony in Spokane on May 5.

Gaby, a registered nurse, received her bachelor of science in nursing. Sinai graduated with a bachelor of arts in political science.

Both credit each other and their family for helping them reach their goals.

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WSU Insider