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CAS in the Media Arts and Sciences Media Headlines

Vancouver professor receives $1.1 million in grants to study how the brain understands what it hears

Christine Portfors
Christine Portfors

Christine Portfors, associate professor of biology and neuroscience and head of the Hearing and Communication Laboratory at Washington State University Vancouver, has received two federal grants totaling more than $1.1 million over three years. The grants will be used to study how neurons in the brains of mice detect, discriminate and categorize the different types of sounds mice use to communicate.

“Mice are social animals, and they use a variety of vocalizations to communicate with each other,” Portfors said. “These vocalizations are similar to the speech sounds used by humans to communicate, so what we learn about the mouse brain will help us understand how humans process speech.”

Read more about the grants

Ten CAS undergraduates receive WSU awards to pursue research

Ten CAS students have been selected to receive $1,000 each to support research, scholarship, and creative work at WSU. Projects range from creating interactive applications for teaching to investigating properties of different flax proteins to testing a hypothesis about learning performance expectations.

Read more about all 25 undergraduate research awards

Note: CAS affiliation includes a Spanish double major and a School of Environment major not originally counted in the press release story.

Global campus earns national award

Sloan Consortium
Sloan Consortium

The WSU Global Campus has been honored with a national award from the Sloan Consortium for its commitment to assessing and improving the quality of online education programs through quantitative application of five quality pillars: access, learning effectiveness, cost effectiveness, student satisfaction and faculty satisfaction.

As it does for the WSU brick-and-mortar campuses, the College of Arts and Sciences provides a significant percentage of the coursework and instruction for the WSU Global Campus.

Read more about the Sloan award

Advancing social justice: Renowned sociologist, criminologist to speak, accept Wilson Award Oct. 17

Robert Sampson
Robert Sampson

Sociologist and criminologist Robert J. Sampson, one of the nation’s top scholars in studies of urban inequality, social structures and civic engagement, will present “Neighborhood Inequality and the New Social Transformation of the American City” on Thursday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. in the CUB Junior Ballroom. WSU will honor him with the William Julius Wilson Award for the Advancement of Social Justice as capstone to the 2013 William Julius Wilson Symposium.

“Rob Sampson is one of this country’s most imaginative, persistent, and tough-minded researchers into social life and the human condition. He is a most worthy recipient of the award,” said James Short, WSU emeritus professor of sociology.

Read more about the award