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College of Arts and Sciences Grand Challenges

The puzzle of pediatric pain

A subject in the Fales lab viewing the “pain scale".Early in her academic career, Jessica Fales realized that hardly anyone had studied what she most wanted to learn about—the relationship between chronic pain and social development in children and adolescents. There was little research and a wide-open field.

“The main thread that ties my research together is trying to understand why rates of chronic pain increase in adolescence, why girls are disproportionately affected, and how to prevent them from turning into adults with chronic pain. And for those with chronic pain, how can we » More …

Distinguished sociology professor brings expertise in health disparities

Denney portrait, outsideWhen Justin Denney was still an aspiring, young sociologist, he strove to understand the dynamic forces that shape and perpetuate social inequality. Then, in graduate school, he came across the signal texts of renowned sociologist and Washington State University alumnus William Julius Wilson.

“Those classic works illuminated a central tenet and contribution of sociological inquiry that had eluded me to some degree,” Denney said. “It was an important moment for me and has influenced my career in a profound way.” » More …

WSU-led cultural preservation initiative wins exemplary service award

The Society of American Archivists conferred its Council Exemplary Service Award to the Sustainable Heritage Network, a WSU-led project for digital preservation of cultural heritage managed by the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation.

Read more at WSU News >>

WSU developing innovative technology to improve policing, public safety

As the nation grapples with policing and security issues, criminal justice experts at WSU are developing innovative technology to improve police–community relations, officer training and public safety.

Researchers in the new Complex Social Interaction laboratory at WSU are using body-worn cameras and advanced scientific tools and techniques—such as data analytics, biometrics and machine learning—to examine the complex factors that shape interactions between police and community members. » More …

WSU professor turns world travel into art, education, research, service

Malaysia to Morocco, New Mexico to the Netherlands—WSU fine arts professor Dennis DeHart is globetrotting with a purpose, weaving his world travels into art, education, research and community service.

An interdisciplinary artist and photographer, DeHart is on one-year sabbatical from teaching at WSU to work on three distinct projects, including an innovative, arts-based examination of water rights issues in the U.S. and abroad. Discrete aspects of place and time figure prominently into each project. » More …