Washington State College was a collection of a dozen buildings on a hillside in Pullman, home to less than 900 students. But for one night in 1913, the campus was buzzing with activity.
Booker T. Washington, an innovator in education, was in town. What was then known as College Hall or College Auditorium and later renamed Bryan Hall was packed to the brim, with folks outside clamoring to get in.
In a building not far from where Washington addressed the Pullman crowds more than a century ago, James Bledsoe is working toward a doctorate in educational leadership. A career development coordinator in the College of Arts and Sciences, Bledsoe has researched WSU’s history extensively, and said WSC had some unique connections to the African American community.
More than a quarter of Washington State University students who delivered virtual presentations won monetary awards at the annual Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) on March 29 in Pullman.
SURCA is the unique WSU-wide venue for students from all majors, years in college, and from all WSU campuses. Nearly 150 students from the Pullman, Vancouver, Spokane, and Global campuses delivered presentations detailing their research, scholarship, and creative activities conducted with a mentor.
Faculty, postdoctoral students, and community experts used a common rubric to judge and score all presentations in nine SURCA categories that are designed to cover all disciplines at the university.
Fifteen CAS students won 10 different awards across seven categories at the 2021 event held online.
After five years working on the Transformational Change Initiative, principal investigator Laura Hill has a tough time coming up with any shortcomings of the grant-funded project.
“The intention is to help the students connect with opportunities that align with their values, play to their strengths, and move them toward their goals,” said Sam Swindell, professor of psychology, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and co-principal investigator for TCI. “We recruited a group of ambassadors and they really deliver the program.”
“The experiential and co-curricular opportunities are not just preparing them for jobs, but increasing their breadth of knowledge and helping them to develop a flexible skillset,” Swindell said. “We’re trying to get students engaged as soon as possible. Starting early not only gives them more time to develop their skills and knowledge – and build important relationships – but each opportunity may lead to more opportunities and students are likely be better able to step into those new opportunities because of the experience they have already acquired.”
Todd Butler has been named dean of Washington State University’s College of Arts and Sciences following consultative meetings and discussions with university leaders, department chairs and school directors within the college.
Butler is currently serving as interim dean and will begin as dean on March 15. Since assuming the interim dean position, he has provided strong, stable and forward-looking leadership for the college.
“I appreciate the opportunity to serve as the next dean for the College of Arts and Sciences,” Butler said. “The College of Arts and Sciences is at the heart of the institution and poised for great success. I am thankful to work at a university that values our land-grant ideals, and alongside talented faculty, staff, and students.”
Todd Butler has been named interim dean of Washington State University’s College of Arts and Sciences following an open, internal search.
Butler will begin as interim dean Jan. 1, 2021. He has served as a faculty member in WSU’s Department of English since 2003, including two terms as department chair (2012-2018), and currently serves as associate dean for faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences.
As associate dean for faculty, Butler has supervised personnel matters for the college, which includes more than 550 faculty across 36 different units in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. He has been responsible for hiring, tenure and promotion, annual and pre-tenure review, professional leaves, leadership and professional development, and joint participation in strategic planning, budget development, and enrollment management efforts. He also has served as the college’s representative on WSU’s Modernization Steering Committee and Fiscal Health Advisory Committee.