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CAS in the Media Arts and Sciences Media Headlines

High tech ‘hearts’ humanities: Market values creativity, communication, critical thinking

In this time of intense focus on technology, what good is a degree in the humanities?

Plenty, say not only Washington State University professors but leading high-tech companies too. And WSU humanities alumni are proving it.

Only weeks before collecting her bachelor of arts degree through the WSU Department of English last December, Allison Hartinger walked right past a job-fair booth seeking software engineers: “I just didn’t see myself with that title,” she said.

Read more about graduating into gainful employment

Powering cultural preservation: 2 new grants expand archiving of indigenous treasures

Kim Christen
Kim Christen

Just thinking about the box of fragile cassette tapes gives Kim Christen chills. Recorded on the thin ribbons was the last-known speaker of the Kiksht language, yet another vanishing treasure of Native American culture.

“I was so afraid the tapes would be accidentally damaged before they could be more safely archived,” said Christen, associate professor of English and associate director of the Digital Technology and Culture Program. Her intense drive to help tribal people protect their heritage materials and increase their accessibility and use – while respecting the communities’ limits in terms of resources and cultural sensitivities – has led to two new, federally funded grants totaling almost $1 million.

Read more about cultural preservation

Officials learn new rules for chat on social media

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Political timesaver

Michael Rabby, an instructor in digital technology and culture at WSU Vancouver and a specialist in social media, says social media is a timesaver for politicians. “At the local level, it’s an easier means of communicating than going door to door… And it’s certainly less invasive.”

But the rise in politicized social media also creates what’s known as a silo effect. People take partisan sides from which they don’t deviate and follow only politicians with whom they agree, Rabby says.

Social media pitfalls

Saving early digital works

Electronic literature lives on through the WSUV ‘Pathfinders’ project—saving early digital works of the late 20th century.

An ambitious effort is under way in Vancouver to preserve electronic literature from the past. The project, “Pathfinders: Documenting the Experience of Early Digital Literature,” debuted at WSU Vancouver this week. The project is led by Dene Grigar, director and associate professor in the digital technology and culture program at WSU Vancouver, and Stuart Moulthrop, an English professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

With constant changes in technology, electronic artists face a continuous demand to preserve and update their work. Read more about the project

Maturity enables graduating veteran to adjust, succeed

Vicente Mariscal
Vicente Mariscal

By Joanna Steward, College of Arts and Sciences

Digital technology and culture senior Vicente Mariscal has been selected to carry the College of Arts and Sciences gonfalon during Saturday’s commencement ceremony in Beasley Coliseum.

With more than 10 years of active military service under his belt before he even stepped on campus, Mariscal wasn’t your average college student.

“His sense of humor, along with his amazing work ethic and his determination to work through his war injuries, has made him a role model,” said Kristin Arola, a digital technology professor who nominated Mariscal for the program’s Outstanding Senior of the Year award last spring.

Mariscal served two tours in Iraq with the Army’s 1st Infantry Division and led an infantry squad in numerous high-profile forays. He experienced eight IED (improvised explosive device) or rocket-propelled grenade explosions that left him with migraines and memory loss. » More …