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History department newsletter, June 2017

Screen shot image of history newsletter2017 has been a year of growth and accolades for the Department of History. The summer newsletter highlights the Roots of Contemporary Issues Program, directed by Professors Jesse Spohnholz and Clif Stratton, which has become a center for transformative learning across the University, plus curriculum innovations, faculty and student awards, alumni updates, and more.

Read the full newsletter on the Department of History website >>

 

 

Grad student nabs $103,938 NIH research fellowship

Smiling grad studentA Washington State University graduate student turned the unexpected results from a laboratory experiment into a prestigious National Institutes of Health predoctoral fellowship.

Chemistry Ph.D. student Jacob Day is the recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for the accidental discovery and subsequent development of a compound that enables scientists to investigate the protective role that sulfur dioxide plays in the heart.

The highly selective fellowship is awarded annually to top U.S. graduate students in health science-related fields. » More …

WSU researchers find wealth of fish at deep Hawaiian reef

dozens of fish around coral reefWashington State University marine biologists for the first time have documented a wealth of fish in the “vastly underexplored” deep coral reefs off Hawaii Island.

The study gives fishery managers a more complete picture of fish species and habitat around the Big Island, home to a thriving aquarium fish trade, as well as other deep waters around the globe, said Cori Kane, a doctoral student at WSU Vancouver.

» More …

Ensemble premieres ‘Drive’ in honor of WSU president

PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble premiered “Drive” at a campus concert April 13, music written to honor the appointment of Kirk Schulz as WSU’s 11th president.

Greg Yasinitsky, Regents professor and director of the WSU School of Music, composed “Drive” to capture the optimism of the university community about the beginning of Schulz’s presidency. » More …

Time, Place, and the River

River and students-WSUVA research project led by scientists at WSU Vancouver is working to understand how increasing human activity affects the Columbia River, upstream and down. Called CRESCENDO, the Columbia River Scientific Education and Outreach program is a partnership between five Washington high schools along the river and WSU Vancouver that integrates scientific and educational research. CRESCENDO has received $213,496 for this two-year project from Washington Sea Grant, a state entity set up to manage funds from the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Read more on page 19 in WSU Vancouver’s Crimson and Gray magazine >>

The matter of antimatter

Deep in the bowels of a large brick building on the WSU campus is a laboratory guarded by red flashing lights and warning signs. A tiny window in the door offers glimpses of stainless steel machinery while a low pulsating hum emanates through thick concrete walls.

Inside the W. M. Keck Antimatter Laboratory, a deuteron accelerator produces up to 120 billion positrons per second—about 10 trillion positrons per day, more than any other university or small laboratory in the nation.

Read the full story in Washington State Magazine >> 

Tree growth model assists breeding for more wood

Trees at edge of a lakeA meeting in a forest between a biologist and a mathematician could lead to thicker, faster growing trees.

“Mathematicians like translating biological processes into numbers,” said Andrei Smertenko, assistant professor in Washington State University’s Institute of Biological Chemistry. “I’m a biologist, and I want to help grow stronger, better trees.”

Breeding trees is a time-consuming and imprecise field, with breeders relying on a few genetic markers and what they can see. It takes years before they see the traits they’re looking for in a young tree. To help speed things up, » More …

WSU among top 10 innovative schools for foreign language study

WSU recently was recognized among colleges and universities nationwide for its pioneering approach to teaching foreign languages. TheBestColleges.org, a national reviewer of online education, lists WSU among the 10 Most Innovative Colleges for Foreign Language Study.

Read the full story at WSU News >> 

WSU research highlights deforestation threat to jaguars

PULLMAN, Wash. – Accelerating deforestation of jaguar habitat, especially in corridors connecting conservation areas, threatens the long-term survival of the iconic predator, according to new research by Dan Thornton, an assistant professor in the Washington State University School of the Environment.

He and colleague Peter Olsoy, a WSU environmental sciences doctoral student, suggest conservation groups and scientists focus efforts on working with local communities and elected officials to protect these vital forest corridors. » More …