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Psychology faculty member earns state honor for community engagement

Paul Strand
Paul Strand

Paul Strand, associate professor of psychology at WSU Tri-Cities, won a statewide award for exemplary civic engagement by university faculty.

The Timm Ormsby Award for Faculty Citizenship is presented annually by Washington’s Council of Faculty Representatives. Nick Lovrich, WSU Regents professor in political science, won the honor last year.

Strand, who has been with WSU Tri-Cities for 17 years, studies the development of social skills and academic readiness in children, particularly those who are raised in culturally and linguistically diverse homes. He has testified before the state Senate Human Relations and Corrections committees on the evidence in support of his ideas.

He has focused on children from Spanish-speaking homes who struggle with shyness and anxiety in school; how these feelings contribute to both academic difficulties and teacher perceptions that a child has intellectual deficiencies; and how to help children, families and teachers overcome these barriers.

More about Strand’s outstanding work

WSU psychology clinic now helping children

Brian Sharpless, Director, Psychology Clinic
Brian Sharpless, Director, WSU Psychology Clinic

For the first time in almost a decade, the WSU Psychology Clinic is offering services for children, including assessment and treatment of learning disabilities.

Three doctoral students and their supervisors now offer services for individuals under age 18. The clinic, which continues to provide adult services, began offering child services in January. It is the only place in Pullman that provides child assessment and therapy on a sliding-scale fee based on income, said primary supervisor Dr. Masha Gartstein.

“It’s something we always wanted to do to fill the needs of the community,” she said.

Veterans’ families can use the clinic free of charge.

Read more about the clinic in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News.
(subscription required)

More information is at the WSU Psychology Clinic website.

Psychology educator earns award for non-tenure track teaching

Samantha Swindell
Samantha Swindell

Clinical associate professor Samantha Swindell is one of two recipients of the annual President’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Non-tenure Track Faculty at Washington State University.

Swindell has taught in the Department of Psychology since 1998. She teaches lab, lecture, and online courses to classes of all sizes, and mentors undergraduate researchers and graduate instructors individually. She is a member of the WSU Academic Advising Association and has served on its certification committee since 2008.

As director of the psychology undergraduate program, she coordinates the annual undergraduate research symposium. Her own research focuses on teaching methods, outcomes, assessment, and implementing what is discovered in order to improve teaching and learning.

Swindell’s award will be among those presented at the Celebrating Excellence Recognition Banquet on March 28, part of the WSU Showcase annual celebration of faculty, staff, and student achievement.

Find out more about Swindell and WSU Showcase

How Smart Tech Will Take Care of Grandma

Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe
Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe

The great hope for senior care is that smart technology will help older people live independently in their homes instead of moving into assisted living centers or nursing homes. What shape will that assistance take? Out-of-the-way, non-intrusive sensors or actual robots? Some tech companies have already begun to design systems of both kinds.

WSU psychology professor Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe and computer science professor Diane Cook have developed what they call a smart home in a box.

Read more about how smart tech will take care of Grandma
Rehab Management Publication

Psychology clinic to teach ‘insomnia 101’

Brian Sharpless, WSU Psychology Clinic director
Brian Sharpless

The WSU Psychology Clinic is currently screening people to take part in group sessions aimed at treating their insomnia. Brian Sharpless, clinic director, said the sessions will feature “state-of-the-art” therapy methods to help participants learn about what causes the problem and what they can do to improve their sleep.

“A lot of people will start sleeping better within two to three weeks of treatment,” Sharpless said.
Learn more about the insomnia research.