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Psychology prof to lecture on public project success, failure

Craig Parks
Craig Parks
Psychology Professor Craig Parks will present “Build the Skate Park and Kill the Swimming Pool: Why People Want Some Societal Projects to Succeed and Others to Fail” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, in the Honors Hall Lounge. His presentation will explore the reasons some public projects succeed or fail.

Parks is the inaugural program speaker in the Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series. A branch of his research examines the conditions under which people will work for the common good or actively oppose a collectively beneficial endeavor, and the ways cooperation is affected by individuals’ personality and influence.

“We are pleased that Dr. Parks will be our first guest speaker. His research into human cooperation is ground-breaking,” said M. Grant Norton, dean.

Learn more about the Honors College distinguished speaker

Work, stress and health

Tahira Probst
Tahira Probst

Psychology Professor Tahira Probst studies both job insecurity and the safety climate of organizations. She presented results of a recent study investigating the intersection of those two interests during the 10th International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health.

Three million work-related injuries and illnesses are reported in the United States each year, Probst said, but some studies have found more than three-quarters of workplace injuries go unreported. She hypothesized that when workers feel their jobs are insecure, they are less likely to report accidents and injuries.

Read more about mental health in the workplace

Criminologist shares good lessons from bad times

Aug. 27 Common Reading Tuesday

Bryan Vila
Bryan Vila

Scores of missteps as a soldier and cop in hazardous places have prepared Bryan Vila, professor of criminal justice and criminology, to make a career of studying deadly errors in his criminology lab at WSU Spokane.

His free, public presentation, “Mistaken Adventures around the Globe,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, in Smith CUE 203 will kick off the WSU Pullman Common Reading Program’s guest expert series for the 2013-14 academic year.

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Collaborations enhance addiction therapy research

Brendan Walker

A faculty member is one of about 25 scientists selected to participate in a prestigious international symposium this week, where he will discuss his work on drug and alcohol addiction and upcoming collaboration with WSU Spokane addiction researchers. This collaboration is expected to lead to combined behavioral and pharmaceutical therapies.

Brendan Walker, Washington State University associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, attended the fifth Indo-American “Frontiers of Science” symposium, sponsored by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the Kavli Foundation, in Agra, India. “Frontiers of Science” facilitates collaboration between nationally and internationally recognized young scientists in the physical and life sciences. Some previous participants have gone on to become NAS members and Nobel Prize recipients.

“I was very surprised when the invitation from the president of the NAS came. It’s definitely an honor,” he said.

Read more about the research at WSU News >>

Art and Nuclear Technology

Columbia River Near Hanford, Late Afternoon
Columbia River Near Hanford, Late Afternoon painting by Dianne Dickeman

“Particles on the Wall,” a multidisciplinary art exhibit examining how nuclear technology has affected humanity, opened today at the Washington State University Tri-Cities Art Center.

It interweaves visual art, poems and science with history and memorabilia to address issues of radioactive contamination, nuclear weapons and technology in Washington State — and the role of nuclear technology in southeastern Washington’s desert landscape.

“As a curator invested in local culture and education, I am particularly interested in the varied narratives and diverse depictions of the history of Hanford and the Columbia River nuclear era,” said Peter Christenson, assistant professor of fine arts and Art Center curator. “‘Particles on the Wall’ is truly an interdisciplinary approach to community-based education and is an impressive example of inspired artistic expression.”

Uniquely, it is a growing exhibit: it is different each time it is displayed. For the WSU Tri-Cities show, it includes nearly 50 pieces of art.

The WSU Tri-Cities Art Center is located inside the Consolidated Information Center at 2770 Crimson Way, Richland. Admission is free. Center hours are noon-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday. The exhibit ends April 4.

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