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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Faculty, Staff

Student, faculty serve on artist jury

Artwork by Troy Riley Miles, I am human.Mikayla Makle, an English major and president of the WSU Black Student Union—and a College of Arts and Sciences student ambassador—served alongside three CAS faculty to help select recipients of the recent Black Lives Matter Artist Grant program offered by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. » More …

How scientists tracked down a mass killer (of salmon)

Every fall, more than half of the coho salmon that return to Puget Sound’s urban streams die before they can spawn. In some streams, all of them die. But scientists didn’t know why.

Now, a team led by researchers at Washington State University and the University of Washington has discovered the answer. When it rains, stormwater flushes bits of aging vehicle tires on roads into neighboring streams. The killer is in the mix of chemicals that leach from tire wear particles: a molecule related to a preservative that keeps tires from breaking down too quickly. » More …

Dr. Universe: How does stained glass get its colors?

Dr. Universe: a cat in a lab coatEver since humans discovered they could use sand to make glass, they’ve been experimenting with it. They even learned how to control the colors.

My friend Dustin Regul is a stained glass artist and painter who teaches fine arts at Washington State University. He told me more about where glass gets its color. » More …

Wine and fungi: The perfect pairing?

Students on Tanya Cheeke's research team plant wine grape plants for their fungi experiment at WSU Tri-Cities.A team at WSU Tri-Cities is researching the impact that a type of fungus could have on vineyard growth and associated nutrient uptake, which could lead to less watering and less fertilizer required for a successful grape crop.

Tanya Cheeke, assistant professor of biology, was awarded a two-year $40,000 grant to support a field experiment from the BIOAg program of » More …

New faculty spotlight: Vivienne Baldassare

Vivienne Baldasare.After finishing up an Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University, Vivienne Baldassare’s career options were as vast as the galaxies she studies. The supportive environment in WSU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy won her over, and she joined the faculty as an assistant professor in August.

“I wanted to be somewhere I could make a difference. The faculty here wanted to hear my perspective, and were enthusiastic about my ideas. I got an incredible vibe from my whole visit here and was really charmed by » More …

Savage honored for safety, security impact

coughead. As the only facility of its kind in Eastern Washington, WSU’s Technical Services instrumentation and electronics shop is well-versed in meeting special design requests for everything from vacuum chambers to surgical devices to ion current circuitry. During the COVID-!9 health crisis, the shop’s highly skilled staff have stepped up to provide another valuable service: designing and building protective barriers to help safeguard the WSU community and help slow the spread of the virus.

In November, Technical Services supervisor Dave Savage was honored with the WSU Presidential Security Award in recognition of the impact of his vision and his prototyping and engineering skills on the creation of custom barriers for » More …

International workshop aims to boost number, success of women in STEM

Elissa Schwartz.Elissa Schwartz, an associate professor with faculty appointments in both the School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and an affiliate faculty member of the Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS), is committed to increasing the participation and success of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

In addition to a number of domestic and international activities in recent years, Schwartz recently organized a three-part, interactive forum featuring live mentoring by women scientists, mathematicians and » More …

How to be a poet

Illustration of a student working at a desk.Poetry is art: uniting words with “a form to hold anything you want to say.”

“[We all] have a unique way of seeing the work and being in it. I’m intrigued by how different our perceptions are,” said Cameron McGill, teaching assistant professor in the Department of English and assistant editor for the online journal Blood Orange Review.

McGill had been a full-time musician when he began writing poetry in the early 2000s. His passion for the genre grew and, at the age of 39, he decided » More …

Creating a plague journal

Intrigued by the dramatic uptick in online discussions of plague literature in spring 2020, and inspired by Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year, published in 1722, nearly 60 years after the bubonic plague swept through London, ethnic studies associate professor John Streamas decided to write a plague journal for the current coronavirus health crisis.

Instead of looking back, he wrote from the middle of the pandemic, embracing the flux of facts, theories, false claims, and shifting ethical ground. » More …