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When Kids Attack: Campaign 2014′s Youngest Combatants

Travis Ridout
Travis Ridout

A long line of American politicians have sought to appeal to voters by enlisting youthful surrogates in advertising. But the tactic, which is now on full display during the 2014 midterm election cycle, leads to tricky questions about what role children should play in campaigns, if any, and the costs and benefits for politicians who choose to thrust kids into the spotlight.

Travis N. Ridout, associate professor in politics, philosophy, and public affairs, said using children can help politicians who are “trying to target specific groups of voters, for instance parents who have young children.” By featuring their own children in their ads, politicians also have the chance to “seem more approachable” to potential voters, Ridout said.

Learn more and see some of the ads in ABC’s “The Note”

Political scientist alumnus honored for teaching, service

Daniel M. Ogden, Jr.
Daniel M. Ogden, Jr.,

Retired political scientist Daniel M. Ogden, Jr., of Vancouver, Wash., recently was honored with the WSU Alumni Association (WSUAA) Alumni Achievement Award for a 50-year career of service to academia, the federal government, and the local community.

The award is the highest honor bestowed by the WSUAA. Since 1970, fewer than 515 alumni have received it.

Ogden  was one of a select group in 1960 that managed four U.S. presidential campaign advances for Sen. Jack Kennedy, culminating in the final event in Philadelphia. The experience was co-authored by Ogden in the 1964 book, “Electing the President.” He taught at WSU after earning his bachelor’s degree here in political science in 1944.

More about Ogden’s distinguished career and service.

Feb. 3-March 7: German resistance is topic of exhibit, films, talks

Bust of Sophie Scholl
Bust of Sophie Scholl

They were college students with lives like WSU students might have today. Some studied medicine and did military service. One had a fiancé. One was a married father of three.

But for the unpardonable crime of speaking out, considered treason in Nazi Germany, the University of Munich students and a sympathetic professor were executed. Their story is the subject of a traveling exhibit, “Die Weisse Rose: The White Rose,” at WSU Libraries’ Terrell Atrium, Feb. 3-March 7, on the Pullman campus.

“Very normal people can undertake very major resistance,” said Rachel Halverson, associate professor of German and Marianna Merritt and Donald S. Matteson Distinguished Professor in Foreign Languages and Cultures. “It’s really ordinary people who can make change happen, believing in doing the right thing.”

Find out more about the White Rose movement educational events at WSU.


Philosophy forum to explore free will Jan. 23-24

Alfred Mele
Alfred Mele

Recent discoveries in neuroscience are challenging long-held beliefs about conscious decision making, or “free will.” Alfred Mele, an expert in action theory, will examine this critical intersection of science and philosophy in two free, public events Jan. 23-24 at WSU Pullman.

On Thursday, Mele will deliver the 52nd Frank Fraser Potter Memorial Lecture in Philosophy, “Free Will and Neuroscience: What Do Old-School and New-Wave Studies Show?” at 7 p.m. in the Compton Union Building (CUB) Auditorium.

On Friday, he will present the Potter Talk, “The Power of Situations, People and Education,” at noon in Bryan Hall 308.

More about the Potter philosophy events

Jan. 27-31: Humanities Week looks at scholarship, influence

Three free, public presentations will highlight Humanities Week presented by the WSU Humanities Planning Group.

Guest speakers from Duke and Michigan State universities will join WSU faculty in covering a range of topics, including:

  • “Is a Little Pollution Good for You? How the Humanities Can Contribute to Science and Policy”
  • “Four Glimpses of Scholarship in the Humanities: A Roundtable”
  • “Cosmopolitan Humanities”
  • “Empathy and Religious Diversity”

Get more details and a list of events