Politics & Society

Carla Peperzak’s story and honors have one goal: never again

Carla Olman Peperzak has told her story of helping Jews during World War II many times. She’s been honored for her heroism, including receiving an honorary doctoral degree from Washington State University that will be conferred at commencement in May. On this cold February day, however, she has something else on her mind. “Germany before the war […]

Carla Peperzak.

Pagan-Christian trade supplied horses for sacrifices overseas

Horses crossed the Baltic Sea in ships during the Late Viking Age and were sacrificed for funeral rituals, according to a study led by Cardiff University and Washington State University researchers. Published in the journal Science Advances, the study on the remains of horses found at ancient burial sites in Russia and Lithuania show that they were […]

A painting of a white horse curled up with soil around it like it is in a grave.

Cross-campus graduate course addresses infrastructural racism in east Pasco

A new cross-campus course between Washington State University Pullman and WSU Tri-Cities is enabling history and architecture graduate students to bring rarely told stories about east Pasco’s racial history to life. The spring 2024 course “Issues in Architecture” (Architecture 542) examines infrastructural racism by studying how the built environment shapes communities in relationship with discrimination. […]

Students touring historical sites in east Pasco.

Growth mindset messages can close grade gap for first-generation students

Just two emails, at the right time with the right message, can make a big difference for students who are the first in their families to go to college.      A recent Washington State University study highlighted the power of an instructors’ growth mindset — the belief that abilities are not innate but can be […]

Over the Shoulder Footage of a Female Student Taking Down Notes in a Notebook, Sitting in College Auditorium on a Lecture. Young Woman with Short Hair Wearing Glasses and Studying in University

Colombian women’s rights pioneer got her start in Pullman

When Paulina Gómez Vega traveled to Pullman to study at Washington State College in 1921, it was because women in her country, Colombia, were barred from a university education. Gómez Vega’s experience in Pullman set her on a path that made her an education leader and an influential voice for women’s rights back home. “Everything […]

Teachers’ growth mindset appears more important than warmth

Students tend to like friendly teachers, but they like those who believe they can improve even more, new research indicates. Students in a study still responded positively to instructors described as being cold but who also had a growth mindset, meaning they felt students’ ability in a subject could improve by working hard and trying […]

Back view of male professor with white hair and beard giving lecture to large group of college students in a classroom.

Documentary film explores Richland, Washington’s complex heritage

In her award-winning documentary “Richland,” Irene Lusztig drew heavily upon the expertise of Robert Franklin, history professor at WSU Tri-Cities and assistant director and archivist for the Hanford History Project. The film, which investigates a community that created an identity, and future, on a type of “nuclear origin story,” opened at the Tribeca film festival in New York […]

A paper model of a bomb, someone putting on a radiation suit, and a statue of a young family.

Exposure to soft robots decreases human fears about working with them

Seeing robots made with soft, flexible parts in action appears to lower people’s anxiety about working with them or even being replaced by them. A Washington State University study found that watching videos of a soft robot working with a person at picking and placing tasks lowered the viewers’ safety concerns and feelings of job […]

Two doctoral students demonstrate the use of a soft robot in their lab.

Aging societies more vulnerable to collapse

Societies and political structures, like the humans they serve, appear to become more fragile as they age, according to an analysis of hundreds of pre-modern societies. The study, which holds implications for the modern world, provides the first quantitative support for the theory that resilience of political states decreases over time. Triggers of societal collapse […]

A painting of a Roman style city being sacked.

Foley Institute focuses on election integrity

Washington State University’s Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service is joining more than three dozen nonpartisan political institutes nationwide in helping promote election integrity and civic understanding as the United States prepares for next year’s presidential races. “The deeply concerning rise in threats of violence and harassment directed at election administrators and […]

A group of people standing on steps in Washington D.C.