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Epigenetic Disease Inheritance Linked to Plastics and Jet Fuel

WSU researchers have lengthened their list of environmental toxicants that can negatively affect as many as three generations of an exposed animal’s offspring.

Michael Skinner portraitWriting in the online journal PLOS ONE, scientists led by WSU molecular biologist Michael Skinner document reproductive disease and obesity in the descendants of rats exposed to various plastic compounds (including BPA). In a separate article in the journal Reproductive Toxicology, they report the first observation of cross-generation disease from a widely used hydrocarbon jet fuel mixture the military refers to as JP8.

Both studies are the first of their kind to see obesity stemming from the process of “epigenetic transgenerational inheritance.

Read more →

Former Secretary of State Honored with Alumni Achievement Award

Sam Smith, Sam Reed, and Elson Floyd with awardSam Reed, former Washington secretary of state and WSU social studies and political science graduate, was honored recently with the highest honor bestowed by the WSU Alumni Association.

Presented at the “Sam Reed Roast and Toast” retirement celebration on Jan. 10 in Seattle, the Alumni Achievement Award recognized his outstanding accomplishments and leadership during his 35 years in elected office.

Read more about the WSU endowed professorship created in his name →

Psychology Senior Wins MLK Service Award

MLK student winner imageAs a freshman, Nick Montanari spent part of his spring break in Morton, Wash., helping people he had never met clean up and rebuild after severe flooding damaged their community earlier in the year. The five-day “Spring to Action, Break for Change” program, organized by the WSU Center for Civic Engagement, was a turning point for Montanari.

Read more about his 1,000-plus hours of service and being selected for the 2013 MLK Distinguished Service Award at WSU. →

Campus Speaker Series on Culture, Race

The Department of Critical Culture, Gender & Race Studies (CCGRS) spring speaker series begins tomorrow.

“With speakers discussing literature, art, the Black Panther party, health care, science, religion and hip-hop, the series will offer a range of interests and backgrounds that will underscore the many approaches to studying race, gender and sexuality,” said David Leonard, department chair. “These speakers represent a broad range of experts and brilliant practitioners within their respective fields.”

The series includes:

Jan. 23: “An Evening with Adam Mansbach”

Feb. 19: “Temporal displacements and spatial constellations: An overview of the work of Jin-me Yoon”

Feb. 25: “Henrietta Lacks in Context: African American Responses to Medical Discrimination in the 20th Century” by Alondra Nelson

April 16: “Beyond Belief: The search for more (and less) in material culture” by Monica Miller

Click for details  →

Professor’€™s expertise informs public about Mali invasion

Peter Chilson
Peter Chilson

Months of onsite investigative journalism by Washington State University English professor Peter Chilson into al-Qaeda’s takeover of northern Mali last spring have recently put him in high demand with the national and international media.

The flurry began when France intervened in the Malian crisis last week in an attempt to halt a further incursion by Islamists to gain control of Bamako, Mali’s capital city, and the rest of the country. The French intervention has received support from the international community, including the United States and several European nations.

The incursion coincided with the release of Chilson’s e-book, “We Never Knew Exactly Where: Dispatches from the Lost Country of Mali,” published by Foreign Policy magazine and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a media clearinghouse supporting writers who cover global conflicts for the U.S. media. The e-book, announced in Foreign Policy’s January/February issue, examines the implications of al-Qaeda’s newest base of operation and decries their devastation of ancient cultural icons. Links to selected Chilson radio interviews and to the e-book are available below.

“Peter Chilson’s work in Mali is some of the finest crisis reporting we’ve seen in a long time,” said Tom Hundley, senior editor, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. “Peter’s graceful writing, his deep knowledge of the subject, his gift for storytelling and willingness to go to where the real story was unfolding – all of this has made for a very rewarding piece of journalism…that will inevitably inform policy discussions on the future of Mali.”

Read more about Chilson’s work