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Barry named vice provost for graduate and professional education

Tammy Barry.

Psychology Professor and Graduate School Associate Dean Tammy Barry has been named vice provost for graduate and professional education at Washington State University. She will assume the new position, which was formerly titled Graduate School dean, effective July 1.

Barry, who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, also has served as the director of WSU’s clinical psychology doctoral program. As associate dean, she oversaw the Graduate School function of program assessment and review, represented the Graduate School on the Committee on Institutional Accreditation and Program Assessment, and worked with the Provost’s Office to meet the needs of institutional accreditation processes.

“I am am thrilled to welcome Dr. Barry to the academic leadership team, and I know that she will bring a renewed energy to graduate and professional education across the WSU system,” said Elizabeth Chilton, WSU provost and executive vice president. “Dr. Barry’s commitment to collaboration and strong leadership was apparent throughout the interview process. It is clear that she has a firm understanding of graduate education at WSU and is well respected by the Graduate School’s staff and members of the University community.”

In her new role, Barry will be charged with creating a vision for dynamic growth and excellence in WSU’s graduate and professional education programs.

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WSU Insider

AI Predicts Infant Age and Gender Based on Temperament

It’s hard to tell the difference between a newborn boy and girl based solely on temperament characteristics such as the baby’s propensity to display fear, smile or laugh. But once babies reach around a year old that begins to change.

A new study in PLOS ONE used machine learning to analyze temperament data on 4,438 babies in an attempt to classify the infants by gender and age.

The results indicate it is far easier for computer algorithms to determine the age of a baby than it is for them to decipher a baby’s gender based off temperament data during the infant’s first 48 weeks of life.

However, once the babies passed 48 weeks of age, gender classification improved for the multiple algorithms considered, suggesting gender differences in infancy become more accentuated around this time.

Masha Maria Gartstein.

“It is at least suggestive of a picture where temperament begins to differentiate by gender in a more powerful way around age one,” said Maria Gartstein, lead author of the study and a professor of psychology at Washington State University.

Previous research has investigated age and gender-based temperament differences in babies, but few if any studies have looked at the two variables together.

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Neuroscience News
India Times
WSU Insider

Stepping up for students ‘just like me’

Forty-one years after being accepted to WSU — and after donating about $31 million to students in need of tuition help — Gary Rubens earns his degree in Pullman.

Gary Rubens first considered attending college in 1981 after he graduated from Issaquah (Wash.) High School, but even after being accepted to Washington State University he found the cost of the college education too much to afford.

Rubens instead chose to enter the workforce, where he would build a successful lighting supply company, ATG Stores, based in Kirkland, Wash., which he sold to the Lowe’s Corporation in 2011.

This sale got him thinking about what he wanted to do next.

“I thought back about what I wanted to do to help others and I just realized that I should really focus on helping people that are just like me, that have high potential but low opportunities,” Rubens said.

More than four decades after he graduated high school, Rubens walked across the stage at the Washington State University commencement ceremonies in Pullman to receive his degree in the social sciences with a focus on psychology and sociology.

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Moscow-Pullman Daily News
WSU Insider

Emeritus Society presents undergraduate researcher awards, grants

The Washington State University Emeritus Society of retired faculty has presented to students five undergraduate research awards and two grants in arts and humanities.

“Our organization underscores its mission to continuously advance our university, community, and state by making awards each year to exceptional students engaged in scholarly pursuits,” said Tom Brigham, society executive secretary and retired psychology professor.  “We are very pleased that our awards are something of a tradition at WSU, and we are happy to make a difference for so many.”

Society member Larry Fox, retired veterinary clinical science and animal sciences professor, made the award presentations at an April 14 event hosted by the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement (DAESA).

First presented in 2009, these $500 awards in five categories are intended to encourage students to strive for scholarly excellence. Recipients for 2022 include:

Emeritus Society Excellence in Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Awards

Diana Alonso, a digital technology and culture major mentored by Ruth Gregory; in the award category of arts, humanities, and creative activities for the project, “Design a Website for Undocumented Students Interested in Higher Education in Washington State.” It seeks to identify the obstacles that undocumented students encounter when pursuing a higher education and help overcome those barriers by creating a resource website for incoming and current undocumented Washington college students.

Shir Levy, a communication and society and psychology major mentored by Christopher Barry; in the award category of social, economic, and behavioral sciences for the project, “Perceptions of Confrontational Behavior in Sport Situations as a Function of Athlete Status, Narcissism, and Psychopathy.” The research shows that confrontational behavior is viewed differently as a function of sport versus non-sport contexts, and a person’s history as an athlete or non-athlete, and the perceiver’s self-reported narcissism, psychopathy, and self-esteem.

Wyatt Wallis, a physics and astronomy major mentored by Mark Kuzyk; in the award category of physical sciences and mathematics for the project, “Characterizing Dye Doped PMMA by the Young’s Modulus Measured Against Intensity of Light, CTA Concentration, and Method of Fastening.” The research investigated the consequences of applying tensile stress to a number of properties of PMMA fibers.

Emeritus Society Undergraduate Research Grant in Arts and Humanities

These awards were new in 2021 and each provides $1,000 to support original undergraduate scholarships in the arts and humanities. Recipients for 2022 are:

Nakia Cloud, an anthropology major and linguistics minor mentored by Trevor Bond. His project, carried out in cooperation with the Tribe Cultural Resource Program, is part of a grant-funded effort to digitize and interpret Nez Perce Native American material culture as it is linked to the McWhorter Collection at WSU. This will help preserve Nez Perce tribal history by recording video interpretations and memories of current members as they respond to historical photos, documents, and artifacts.

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WSU Insider

Increased Mental Health Risks Linked to High Potency Cannabis Concentrates

As more states legalize cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, the association between excessive cannabis consumption and psychosis is getting more research attention. An increasing number of states plan to conduct research on the mental health risks associated with high potency cannabis products such as concentrates.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports an increase in psychosis associated with cannabis use. Products such as wax, butter, and shatter are made with extracted THC and other cannabinoids, and they are usually “dabbed” or vaporized for a quick and powerful psychoactive or pain-relieving effect. NIDA warns that the higher the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) potency of the cannabis wax, shatter, or vape increases the risk of experiencing a psychotic episode. Some concentrates can have THC levels as high as 85-90%, so many states including Colorado and Washington are considering potency caps and product warnings.

Carrie Cuttler.

Although high potency concentrates are widely available in legal states, the research on their benefits and risks is limited. According to Washington State University lead researcher Dr. Carrie Cuttler, “There’s been a lot of speculation that these really high-potency cannabis concentrates might magnify detrimental consequences, but there’s been almost zero research on cannabis concentrates which are freely available for people to use. I want to see way more research before we come to any general conclusion.” Future research will identify patterns of use and potency levels that are associated with increased mental health risks.

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