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College of Arts and Sciences Covid-19

International Cougs: distanced but connected

An abstract map of the Americas.Washington State Magazine reached out to Washington State University international alumni to see how they were holding up during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With an email questionnaire and interviews conducted by Zoom, phone, and Skype, the responses came in from ten countries on six different continents. Many reported using the skills and knowledge gained while studying at WSU to help » More …

Similar values, different views

A face mask with one half blue with white stars, the other side red with white stars.When it comes to wearing masks, partying, or just going to work at the office, Americans react a little differently based on which side of the political aisle they sit on.

In a nationwide survey, WSU sociologists found both liberal and conservatives in the U.S. disapprove of individuals putting the health of their community at risk, but conservatives cared more about why those individuals were taking the risks in the first place. » More …

Breastfeeding while COVID‑19 positive

An infant.Breastfeeding women who have COVID-19 transfer milk-borne antibodies to their babies without passing along the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a new study.

“The results indicate that it is safe for moms to continue to breastfeed during a COVID-19 infection with proper precautions,” said Courtney Meehan, a WSU anthropology professor and co-author on the study published » More …

Standing by for testing surge

Sylena Harper, Hannah Wilson, and Victoria Fitzpatrick.Inside the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL) on the WSU Pullman campus, three recent Coug alumae—Victoria Fitzpatrick (biology), Sylena Harper (chemistry and biochemistry), and Hannah Wilson (genetics and cell biology)—are busy providing laboratory results that could save lives.

Since last July, the three have been working in shifts to process COVID-19 tests from throughout the Palouse and eastern Washington. To date, the lab has tested over 55,000 samples. » 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 …

Data analytics games provide education, professional opportunities, fun

Mathew Jockers at his computer.Working to build community among students learning remotely this fall, expert problem solvers in the WSU data analytics (DA) program created course-related games to stimulate interaction while providing some educational fun and valuable professional networking opportunities.

In collaboration with academic advisors for the WSU Pullman, Everett, Vancouver, and Global campuses, the program director and statistics professor Nairanjana “Jan” Dasgupta brought together students from across » More …

More economic worries mean less caution about COVID‑19

Hands and hand sanitizer.Workers experiencing job and financial insecurity are less likely to follow the CDC’s guidelines for COVID-19, such as physical distancing, limiting trips from home and washing hands, according to a study led by WSU Vancouver psychology professor Tahira Probst.

“We all have a finite set of resources at our disposal, whether it’s money, time or social support, and individuals who have fewer of those resources appear » More …

History alumnus leads virtual vacations from Bolivia

Llama Me!Derren Patterson (’07 History) wanted to see the world.

After stops in China and Korea, he landed in Bolivia—and made the landlocked South American country his home. The ecotourism adventurer has been sharing his passion for the place—part mountain range, part desert, part rainforest—for twelve years now.

“I’ve guided Hollywood movie stars, princes and princesses, backpackers, even my mom,” he says. “I’ve done all sorts of crazy stuff. But one of my favorite things » More …

Can’t stop the music

Joel Lininger wears a mask while playing piano.A combination of innovative technology and careful use of practice and performance spaces will enable Washington State University musicians to play together virtually this fall.

The University’s music groups, including jazz bands, choir, orchestra and of course, the Cougar Marching Band, all plan on recording and sharing virtual performances with the Cougar community in place of live concerts and halftime shows. » More …

Pandemic makes teaching abroad ‘surreal experience’

Preston with Romanian psych students.Thomas Preston, a political science professor and expert in international security policy, had just begun a four-month, Fulbright-sponsored teaching stint in Constanta, Romania, when the entire country was placed in lockdown and martial law was declared.

It was early March, the coronavirus was threatening to become a global pandemic and the Romanian government was having as little of that as possible, so officials quickly imposed strict » More …