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Two faculty and two alumni win state arts grants

Two Washington State University faculty and two alumni are among 62 recipients, out of 603 applicants, of 2012 Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) of up to $1,500 from Artist Trust, a Washington state nonprofit arts organization.

The faculty awardees are Kevin Haas, professor of fine arts, and Christopher Arigo, assistant professor of English. Alumni winners are Lauren Greathouse (B.F.A. ’03; B.A. ’03, English) and Dane Youngren (B.F.A. ’11).

The goal of the funding is a repeated and consistent investment to support and encourage individual artists’ projects in all disciplines in order to enrich community life throughout Washington. » More …

Race, class, and William Julius Wilson’s world of opportunity

By Eric Sorensen

In the middle of the last century, a Tennessee preacher-turned-sociologist, Tolbert H. Kennedy, found a relatively untapped pool of doctoral students among the nation’s black college graduates. Between 1944 and 1965, when Washington State University barely had a few dozen black students, he and fellow ex-preacher Wallis Beasley helped produce more black doctors of sociology than all but two schools, the University of Chicago and Ohio State.

Among them was a young man who went from the hardscrabble coal country of western Pennsylvania to graduate first in his class at Wilberforce, the oldest black college in the country, and get a master’s degree at Bowling Green University. Casting about to study for his doctorate, he fielded fellowship offers from nearly half a dozen universities.

Kennedy, then the head of the Division of Social Sciences, told the student over the phone what it was like at WSU and made it clear that he took pride in having so many outstanding black graduate students. He followed up with letters and calls offering to answer any questions.

“I was so impressed with that attention that I decided to go there,” recalls William Julius Wilson, sitting in one of three offices he keeps at Harvard University. “You have to understand, I didn’t get that kind of attention at the other universities.”  Continue story →

WSU receives $1.5M for Columbia Basin water modeling

By Kathy Barnard, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Finding ways to involve primary water users in the research process to develop scientifically sound and economically feasible public policy for water usage in the Columbia River Basin is the focus of a new, $1.5 million grant at Washington State University.

Scientists from WSU’s School of the Environment and the WSU Center for Environmental Research, Education, and Outreach have received a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant to build a collaborative water modeling project in the Columbia River Basin. Assistant professor Cailin Huyck Orr, an expert in inland waters, will lead an interdisciplinary, multi-campus team of social scientists, earth scientists, economists, civil and environmental engineers, agricultural scientists, and policy experts in the Watershed Integrated Systems Dynamics Modeling (WISDM) project.

“Research universities have the expertise to help solve a plethora of societal problems,” said CEREO director Howard Grimes. “Among the most complex is water management, especially in light of environmental change and diverse stakeholder interests. This interdisciplinary approach is exactly what is needed.”  Continue story →

Criminal justice program ranked third in nation

By Richard H. Miller, WSU Global Campus

Washington State University’s online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice has been ranked third in the nation by TheBestSchools.org.

The ranking cites WSU’s long history in criminal justice education as well as the professional experience of the faculty.

The ranking follows several other top national rankings for WSU Online in the last year:

  • Sixth place for supporting the military in the 2012 Guide to Online Schools.
  • Fourth place for the overall degree program from the SuperScholars website.
  • Sixth place from U.S. News & World Report for student services and technology.

WSU Online, part of WSU’s Global Campus, offers eight online undergraduate programs and eight master’s programs, including the new master’s in agriculture with a food science and management specialization.

Professor joins Smithsonian webcast on racist stereotypes in sports

C. Richard King
C. Richard King

This event has been postponed owing to Hurricane Sandy.

Professor C. Richard King (critical culture, gender, and race studies) will join other commentators, authors, and representatives from sports organizations for a live broadcast from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian on Thursday, November 1, from 7:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. PDT. The event will include a series of panel discussions on racist stereotypes and cultural appropriation in American sports. King will be part of a panel discussion that begins at 7:15 a.m. and will participate in the webcast throughout the day.

The discussions will explore the mythology and psychology of sports stereotypes and mascots and examine collegiate retirement of “Native American” sports references and some efforts to revive them despite the NCAA’s policy against “hostile and abusive” names and symbols, according to the museum website.

“My role will be to present reflections on the mascot controversy,” King said. » More …