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What's new in CLA

American studies
  • American studies graduate student Kirsten Dyck has been selected to be an Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellow this summer. The three-week program fosters academic and personal growth and community activism as participants study the universal implications of the Holocaust. Dyck's doctoral research is about white-power music from an international perspective. More »
  • Colin Grier, assistant professor of anthropology, has been awarded a $188,065 grant from the National Science Foundation's Division of Cognitive & Behavioral Sciences to study "Long-Term Economic Change and the Development of Complexity in the Coast Salish Region of the Northwest Coast of North America." Through his investigation of ancient resource intensification practices, Grier hopes to explain how and why the Coast Salish transitioned from nomadic life to a complex society where people lived together in permanent communities, jobs became specialized, and a social class system emerged. More »
  • William D. Lipe, professor emeritus of anthropology, was awarded the 2011 WSU Emeritus Society Legacy of Excellence Award at WSU's annual Showcase celebration on March 25. The award is given for outstanding contributions while in retirement to academia, the University, the community, and mankind. More »
  • Timothy Kohler, regents professor of anthropology, was selected to give the 2011 Distinguished Faculty Address for his outstanding service as a "complete land-grant university faculty member." He spoke March 25 as part of the annual Showcase celebration of WSU employees and their research, scholarship, and creative work. More »
Criminal justice
  • Bryan Vila, professor of criminal justice at WSU Spokane, was awarded $294,000 from the California Department of Justice to examine the impact of fatigue and distractions on law enforcement officer driving performance. Vila's study may help explain why the rates of fatalities and career-ending injuries among California police officers have increased over the past 13 years, whereas similar rates in the general population have decreased. More »
       A two-year, $244,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research, an agency within the Department of Defense, has nearly doubled the funding for and expanded the scope of Vila's study. Defense funding will allow his team to examine the effects of fatigue on deadly force judgment and decision making in potentially threatening circumstances and on reporting and communications tasks. In addition, it expands the number of subjects studied from 46 to 80. More »
Comparative ethnic studies
  • Kimberly Christen, assistant professor of comparative ethnic studies, was featured on the BBC radio program "Digital Planet" February 22. Her work creating digital cultural archives has enabled indigenous communities around the world to access and manage virtual cultural materials in a manner consistent with their own customs, conventions, and protocols. More »
The Foley Institute
  • The Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, in partnership with Humanities Washington and the Idaho Humanities Council and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, presented "Civility and Democracy in America," a public forum examining the state of civility in American democracy, March 3–5 in Spokane. More »
Foreign languages and cultures
  • Christopher Lupke, associate professor of Chinese, and W. Puck Brecher, assistant professor of Japanese, have been awarded a two-year, $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program to expand and enrich WSU's curriculum in Chinese and Japanese language and culture. One of their primary goals is to address the need for advanced Asian language proficiency, including mastery of field-specific vocabulary, for students in business, engineering and architecture, and other professional programs at WSU. The grant will also support scholarships for study abroad, cultural events on campus, faculty travel grants, expansion of library holdings, and a second tenure-track faculty line in Chinese. More »
  • Matthew Avery Sutton, associate professor of history, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship for his book project American Evangelicals and the Politics of Apocalypse (forthcoming, Harvard University Press, 2012). This exhaustively researched book, Sutton's second, will focus on the global and racial contexts that shaped the apocalyptic culture of the evangelical movement. Sutton's first book, Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America, was the basis for the documentary "Sister Aimee," part of the "American Experience" series on PBS. More »
  • History major Ryan Scott was one of only 10 students in the nation selected for the 2011 Gilder Lehrman History Scholars Program, a five-week intensive history research program in New York City. More »
  • Keri McCarthy, assistant professor of music, will travel to Thailand this summer as a Fulbright Scholar to teach oboe performance, reed making, and literature courses, as well as a music history course on the development of the American musical language. McCarthy will also collaborate with four internationally recognized Bangkok composers in the creation of a new repertoire for oboe duo based on Thai musical traditions and western performance practices.
  • Gregory W. Yasinitsky, regents professor of music and coordinator of jazz studies, received WSU's 2011 Eminent Faculty Award during the annual Showcase celebration of excellence on March 25. The award honors career-long excellence at WSU. More »
  • Ted King-Smith, a master's degree candidate in the School of Music, won the Sinfonian Saxes Saxophone Quartet Composition Competition. More »
Political science
  • Nicholas Lovrich, regents professor of political science, received a 2011 Outstanding Mentor Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences for his "substantial contributions to the academic/professional growth and development of students and other colleagues in the field of criminal justice." He was nominated by two former students: Mary K. Stohr, professor of criminal justice at Boise State University, and Craig Curtis, associate professor and chair of political science at Bradley University. More »
  • Brendan Walker, assistant professor of psychology, has been awarded a $1.65 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to study the "Role of Dynorphin/Kappa-Opioid Systems in Alcohol Dependence." Alcohol-induced depression and anxiety can persist long after a person has ceased drinking, and many alcoholics eventually seek relief from these symptoms by resuming the habit. Walker's research focuses on dynorphin as a factor in this vicious cycle of temperance and relapse, with the long-term goal of enabling the development of new pharmacotherapies for the treatment of alcohol dependence. More »
  • Led by computer scientist Diane Cook and neuropsychologist Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, a team of WSU researchers will study approximately 10 to 20 residents of Horizon House, a Seattle-based retirement community, for three years as part of a pilot project to develop better aging-in-place technologies. The project, which got under way in June, is one of the largest studies ever done on the use of such technologies. It is supported by the Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund as well as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. More »
  • Psychology professors John Hinson and Paul Whitney are teaming with Melinda Jackson, Hans Van Dongen, and Gregory Belenky of the Sleep and Performance Research Center in Spokane to study the effects of sleep deprivation on decision-making. The project will receive more than $1.1 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health over the next three years. The study may have implications for individuals with medical conditions and for decision-making performance in a variety of safety-critical settings, such as transportation and law enforcement. More »

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