WSU Tri-Cities Tag

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities will host a brunch fundraiser on Jan. 27 at Anthony’s at Columbia Point in Richland, Wash., that will support the Carson College of Business.

Ryan Leaf

Ryan Leaf

The Point to Success Brunch will begin at 10 a.m. and will feature WSU football great Ryan Leaf who will present “Lying to Myself: The Ryan Leaf Story – My journey from the very top to the very bottom and back and what it takes to stay there.” The event will also include a wine grab, live and silent auctions featuring prizes ranging from a stay at a penthouse condo for eight in Mexico, to a round of golf with Leaf, to two nights for four on a Lake Union houseboat, in addition to an excellent meal presented by Anthony’s.

“All proceeds from the event make a direct and immediate impact on the success of business education and students at the WSU Tri-Cities campus,” said Robert Harrington, academic director of the Carson College of Business at WSU Tri-Cities. “This investment in quality business education in the Tri-Cities allows us to support innovations in the classroom, services and activities for student and academic career success and faculty development of research that provides business insights.”

Tickets cost $100 per person and may be purchased at http://gocougs.wsufoundation.wsu.edu/s/1613/index.aspx?sid=1613&pgid=3506&gid=3&cid=5657&ecid=5657&post_id=0.

For more information, contact Darcie Bagott at darcie.bagott@wsu.edu or 509-335-6387.

 

Contacts:

Darcie Bagott, 509-335-6387, darcie.bagott@wsu.edu

Robert Harrington, WSU Tri-Cities academic director for Carson College of Business, 509-372-7487, rharrington@wsu.edu

Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations specialist, 509-372-7333, maegan_murray@wsu.edu

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

Susana Butterworth
Butterworth

RICHLAND, Wash. – The emotionally powerful, poignant “Empty Photo Project,” created by Washington State University Tri-Cities student Susana Butterworth, that details the tragic and emotional experience of what it is like to lose a child, will be on display from Jan. 12-Feb. 8 in the WSU Tri-Cities Art Gallery.

The exhibition, which Butterworth began in a fine arts course at WSU Tri-Cities after losing her own son in utero, tells the story of 25 parents who have lost a child, and the physical and emotional impact it has had on their lives and their relationships with family, friends and even strangers. In addition to the written stories of each parent featured, each features a photo of the parent taken by Butterworth, which represents both the physical and mental hole left in the parents’ lives after the child’s passing.

The Empty Photo Project offers insights into the emotional stories of 25 parents, like Miriam, who have lost a child.
The Empty Photo Project offers insights into the emotional stories of 25 parents, like Miriam, who have lost a child.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12, in the WSU Tri-Cities Art Gallery.

Butterworth lost her son Walter in March 2017. Butterworth’s son suffered from a rare condition known as Trisomy 18 where the baby develops with an extra chromosome. The condition disrupts the normal pattern of development in significant ways and leads to death in approximately 50 percent of cases. Butterworth’s son passed away at 36 weeks in utero.

“After losing Walter, I was experiencing a lot of grief, but there was also this disconnection with people that I was feeling,” she said. “I wanted to explore this realm of capturing emotions that people go through, but I also wanted to make it relevant to what I was going through. Coming out of the hospital, I want to show that losing a baby is a big deal. Some people don’t realize that or know what to say.”

The Empty Photo Project has now been viewed by thousands after being featured by a variety of platforms, some of which include Babble (a parenting website operated by Disney), the Huffington Post and Pop Sugar. Butterworth said she plans to continue the project as long as there are people who want to contribute their stories to the project.

“Child loss is not going to stop,” Butterworth said. “One out of four women experience miscarriage and approximately 26,000 pregnancies result in stillbirth. I think that so often as child death happens, there is always going to be a need to talk about it. As long as people want to share their story, there is always going to be a need for this project.”

For more information on Butterworth’s project, visit https://emptyphotoproject.com/ or her Facebook and Instagram pages.

 

Contact:

  • Susana Butterworth, WSU Tri-Cities student, susana.vidrio@tricity.wsu.edu
  • Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations specialist, 509-372-7333,maegan_murray@wsu.edu

By Maegan Murray

During the couple of weeks that artist and urban planner Sarah Kavage was at Washington State University Tri-Cities this fall, she had quite the busy schedule.

She met with students about her life as an artist and urban planner, provided an in-depth and hands-on look at her works and presented about her efforts in improving communities by introducing art and culture.

Artist Sarah Kavage lectures to students during her residency at WSU Tri-Cities

Artist Sarah Kavage presents to students about an art project she completed in recent years involving the uses of thousands of pounds of flour she had purchased and the discussions she was able to bring about on access to food and other related areas through the project.

But in addition to what she was able to bring to the students and community of the Tri-Cities through her artistic experience, she also had the opportunity to gain some cultural knowledge of the area and explore possible future art installations as part of her own professional repertoire.

Kavage’s visit was part of the new Cultural Capital Residency Program at WSU Tri-Cities, which is the brain child of Peter Christenson, artist and WSU Tri-Cities fine arts and digital technology and culture professor.

An enhanced scholastic experience

Christenson said his goal with the residency program, which kicked off this fall, is to introduce artists and other scholars to the Tri-Cities community with the goal of expanding upon traditional learning opportunities typically held in a university setting. Through the program, scholars with backgrounds ranging from the arts, to engineering, to urban planning, to social work, temporarily live in a living learning community among WSU Tri-Cities students, which is located adjacent to campus.

At the living learning community, the scholars participate in community dinners, discussion sessions and generally interact with the students in the living learning communities. Additionally, the scholars hold open informational office hours at WSU Tri-Cities where they welcome interaction with students on campus, complete art and other creative projects with classes at WSU Tri-Cities, present guest lectures to the students and Tri-Cities community, in addition to using the experience as a means to explore and learn more about the Tri-Cities.

Visiting scholar Sarah Kavage talks to students about a recent art project she completed that involved vegetation braiding. The students then had the chance to try out the technique for themselves.

Visiting scholar Sarah Kavage talks to students about an eco-art project she completed. The students then had the chance to try out some of the techniques for the project, themselves.

“With the Cultural Capital Scholar Residency program, we wanted to enhance the educational model,” Christenson said. “We want to give exposure to a variety of research agendas and forms of scholarship. Through this program, we get to pick from an international scope of scholars. This way, students get access to a broad range of scholarship.”

Giving back, giving forward

Kavage marked the second scholar to participate in the residency program at WSU Tri-Cities. Her work centers around place, history and ecology. The first scholar was multimedia artist and communicator Laurel Terlesky, whose work examines the use of technology to communicate and build relationships.

Kavage said she had participated in residency programs prior to completing her experience at WSU Tri-Cities, but that this was the first time she had the opportunity to have in-depth interactions with university students.

“It is always wonderful to have people to pass your knowledge on to who are interested in sharing and learning about your work,” she said. “I appreciated the dialogue that we had. Some of what I did in Allison Matthews’ environmental psychology class was asking students about their perceptions of this area, given its history with Hanford. I also had the opportunity to work with students on an eco-art project. It’s been an awesome experience.”

Kavage said one of the things that drew her to the residency program at WSU Tri-Cities was the Tri-Cities’ cultural and historical ties to the Hanford Site.

“Being here and doing the tours of the B Reactor and Hanford site has given me a much better insight into this area,” she said. “There is a lot here. It is a really complex place with a lot of big history. It provides great opportunity, artistically.”

As part of the residency experience at WSU Tri-Cities, every scholar is required to submit an art piece or other works back to the university that becomes part of a collection hosted by WSU Tri-Cities. The piece can consist of something they created while they were at WSU, or it could consist of something they had created, prior. Kavage submitted some sketches about possible art installations that could one-day take shape at the Hanford site.

Diversity of scholars and benefit to students

Christenson has a selection of scholars that will participate in the residency program in the coming year. Those individuals include photographer June Tay Sanders, sculptor and multimedia artist John Henry, multimedia artist Tra Bouscaren and milliner Jean Hicks.

The variety and diversity of the artists and scholars selected for the program is important, Christenson said, as it encourages diversity of thought, opinion and sharing of ideas among WSU Tri-Cities students and overall Tri-Cities community.

“The students in our community are really diverse,” he said. “Part of a role of a university is to expose our students to a diversity of views, opinions and ideas. Bringing these folks here gives us all an opportunity to think about the world differently, projects differently and our place and community from a different paradigm.”

Student Jessica Roth said the experience of having a visiting scholar, particularly in the arts, proved to be a major benefit to her academic experience at WSU Tri-Cities. She said she enjoys the fact that the artists come to campus, from not only around the country, but from around the world, and that it adds diversity to their studies.

“This exchange of ideas and exposure to different types of successful working artists and their practice is a huge benefit to students because it helps them navigate their own career paths by exploring many creative professional options,” Roth said.

“The diversity in the resident artists, their works and the creative paths that their careers took helps to expand the artistic perspective of our students and lend insight into the endless ways an artist’s work can be culturally informed, unique and successful,” she said.

For more information on the Cultural Capital Scholar Residency Program at WSU Tri-Cities, contact Christenson at peter.christenson@wsu.edu.

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. – An elementary statistics in psychology course at Washington State University Tri-Cities partnered with Grace Clinic, a free health clinic in the Tri-Cities, to assess the mental health of its diabetic patients. The clinic now plans to use the data to maintain and improve its methods in meeting patient resources and health needs.

WSU Tri-Cities students talk with Grace Clinic leadership about the resources they offer through the clinic

WSU Tri-Cities students talk with Grace Clinic leadership about the resources they offer through the clinic.

Throughout the fall semester course, the students analyzed the clinic’s diabetic patient A1C score data, which indicates the degree to which patients have their diabetes under control, and used a range of statistical assessments to determine the mental health of patients based on several potential barriers to treatment – some of which include age, race, language spoken and gender. They presented their results this month to Mark Brault, Grace Clinic’s chief executive officer, and clinic director Avonte Jackson.

The experience proved beneficial to both the clinic and the students.

“I believe that the students gained a lot of insight from this project –  into themselves, the field and their community,” said Janet Peters, clinical assistant professor of psychology and instructor of the course. “The project also gave them a very marketable skillset related to quantitative literacy, social responsibility and communication skills.”

For the Grace Clinic, the main benefit is that the data provides support for some of the patterns they had been informally observing and the leg work to accomplish the analysis of that data, Peters said.

“Larger health organizations have people to do this kind of thing,” Brault said. “We have limited resources for this kind of in-depth analysis. We plan to use this data as we move forward.”

Student findings

Through their analysis, the students found that the clinic was doing an excellent job of creating access to health care. They determined that there was no definitive statistical differences in the observed mental health of their patients based on potential barriers to treatment such as primary language spoken and race.

Grace Clinic CEO Mark Brault takes WSU Tri-Cities students on a tour of the clinic

Grace Clinic CEO Mark Brault takes WSU Tri-Cities students on a tour of the clinic.

The students did find, however, that there was a slight negative correlation between age and mental health, meaning that older patients reported slightly lower levels of mental health than younger patients, overall.

During her presentation, student Lindsay Bernesky recommended that the clinic leaders dedicate additional time to educating patients about the mental health services offered.

Impact on Grace Clinic

Both Brault and Jackson said the student presentations were informative and confirmed many of the things that their staff had suspected, but hadn’t had the time to dive into and assess.

“It is nice to have some statistical analysis to confirm many of these things,” Jackson said.

Grace Clinic CEO Mark Brault presents to WSU Tri-Cities psychology students about the clinic and the services they offer

Grace Clinic CEO Mark Brault presents to WSU Tri-Cities psychology students about the clinic and the services they offer.

She also said the clinic plans to follow up on the mental health gap for their elderly patients, and that it has already started to introduce some additional services for that population.

“One of the gaps we recently discovered is that there is limited access to mental health services for Medicare patients,” she told the students. “We recently added patients with Medicare to our mental health area,” which affirms some of the student findings.

Brault said the clinic also is adding additional safety nets and services to support patient mental health throughout their clinic. In addition to seeing a physician, a scheduled health visit might also include seeing a mental health professional.

“It was good to hear that a lot of what we’re doing is working, and that a lot of what we’re putting in place will serve the needs of our patients,” Brault said.

Real-world benefit to students

Many of the students said they enjoyed the real-world aspect of the course and that it provided a greater understanding of statistical analysis in psychology research.

“I can read through a case study and understand all of the terminology and be able to fully understand the results,” student Nagat Deng said.

“To know that we took a burden off of them and that we are giving back in that way is amazing,” student Caitlyn Carroll said.

Student Martha Herrera said she appreciated that the real-world experience was interwoven with regular course material, which allowed students to work as a team.

“Dr. Peters gave us this opportunity to do something that would be beneficial for the community,” she said. “I think it is awesome that we have that opportunity here at WSU.”

By Maegan Murray

RICHLAND, Wash. – Students in a computer science capstone course at Washington State University Tri-Cities have partnered with Cypherpath, a local software company, to develop a platform that will help companies, both large and small, easily set-up, safeguard and better monitor their online business network.

Cypherpath logoAs the world of technology moves into a more cloud-based platform, information technology departments and companies are looking for ways to better convert, safeguard and maintain their cyber security infrastructure. Ways of capturing their online information and turning it into a completely digital platform, however, can be difficult, as it may require a lot of manpower, time, equipment and funds.

What the students are helping Cypherpath achieve is a platform that would allow companies to seamlessly capture their network information, which would then be used to autonomously create a company network. In the case of a cyber attack, the user could then go back and see exactly what happened, and if disrupted, seamlessly recreate the infrastructure that was damaged or lost.

Scope of the project

The group working with Cypherpath on the project includes students Logan Wickham, Andrew Tolman and Matthew Harris, all of which are completing the project as part of a senior design computer science course at WSU Tri-Cities. Cypherpath’s Chief Technology Officer Steve Silva and Philip Tilton, the company’s chief engineer, are both mentoring the students for the project.

Computer science students post with their project poster during the undergraduate research symposium

Computer science students (from left) Logan Wickham, Andrew Tolman and Matthew Harris post for a photo with their poster on the project they are completing in partnership with Cypherpath, a local software company in the Tri-Cities.

“We wanted the students to focus on a real customer problem that could be mentored in parallel to our development teams,” Tilton said. “We scoped the project in such a way that they could demonstrably show success with an initial end-to-end solution.”

Tolman said the ability to recreate a network has big potential for many organizations that have and deal with cybersecurity.

“In IT, there is a great demand to virtualize infrastructure to reduce the costs,” he said. “You can pay people to do this, or you can pay to have a system do it for you.”

Creating and refining the platform

Wickham said with their system, instead of having individuals to physically go in and create the network from scratch, their system would accomplish the same feat seamlessly and autonomously.

“It is all digitized and automated,” he said. “With cyber security, it also allows us to see when a cyber attack is happening and also allows us to feel out a dangerous area and seamlessly copy a system.”

The group is in the first phase of the project. They spent this fall semester building the program and will spend the following semester refining and adding other elements to complete the software.

“A viable network is what we intend as we move forward,” Harris said. “Anybody running large-scale networks would be interested in this technology.”

A partnership that prepares students for success in computer science

The partnership with Cyperpath resulted out of Brian Lamarche, the instructor for the course, reaching out to local industry members about possible real-world projects for their students to complete as a senior design final project.

“I reached out to a few colleagues I’ve worked with and many agreed to provide us with a project and also be the technical mentors for the project,” he said.

Lamarche said what is exiting about the group’s project is that it will be viable for companies ranging from small to large.

“This company provides a simplified system that cuts costs for many companies,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for our students because they’re a local organization and their project could have a large impact.”

The software the students are completing is an entirely new platform, but one that will exist between two existing systems for Cypherpath, aiding in their overall efforts to meet regional, state and national company networking needs.

“The students’ project will enable our customers to discover and bring existing infrastructure definitions directly into Cypherpath’s Software Defined Infrastructure Operating System, where they can provision, copy, share and management infrastructure on-demand,” Silva said. “This project has also introduced us to talented individuals who could someday join Cypherpath’s mission.”

The students will present their project to Cypherpath in April. The goal with their software, Tolman said, is to hopefully open it up through Cypherpath as an open source so that anybody can use it.

By Maegan Murray

RICHLAND, Wash. – Neon rainbow pathways, smoldering ember-lit caves, eerie forests and bridges that lead to mystical lands, are just some of what individuals experience in virtual reality environments created by students as part of a fine arts sculpture course at Washington State University Tri-Cities this semester.

Student experiments with sculpting in virtual reality

WSU Tri-Cities student Alana Ahquin sculpts an environment in virtual reality.

Jonah Firestone, assistant professor of education and director of the Simulation and Integrated Media for Instruction Assessment and Neurocognition (SIMIAN) Lab, first approached Sena Clara Creston, clinical assistant professor of fine arts and digital technology and culture, this semester about using the virtual reality technology in the lab as a means for student course work in the arts.

Creston decided to have her students explore the medium to create 3-D settings that can then be enjoyed and explored by others.

She said typically with art, students are limited in what they can create, as it has physical and monetary limitations. Using Google’s Tilt Brush program in virtual reality, however, students can create 3-D masterful creations that extend beyond what is physically available in the traditional art sphere.

Students created three environments using virtual reality software

Students created three different, but detailed, environments using virtual reality software as part of a sculpting class at WSU Tri-Cities.

“It’s an opportunity for students to create within the parameters of their imagination, rather than within their physical parameters,” she said.

Using imagination to explore beyond physical limits

Students worked in three teams, each group intricately designing and planning for what they would include in their environments. Using basic tools, much similar in scope and style of the Paint program on the Microsoft operating system, the students created complex worlds, each with their own flare and style that encompassed 360-degree views of colorful landscapes.

Student Athena Marquez said even though the parameters of the program were simple in concept, it forced them to use their imaginations to bring scenes and objects to life.

“It’s really freeing,” she said. “You had to use your imagination to create a whole environment.”

One of the teams created a world featuring neon and bright pulsating lights, rainbow paths, banana peels and monsters, inspired by that of Nintendo Mario Kart’s rainbow road. Another group created an enigmatic world that featured a dark and mysterious cloud-like environment featuring archways of trees that led to a cave that showcased flickering golden embers. The last group created an extravagantly detailed dual environment that first welcomes the viewer into a cloud-like nebula that then encourages the viewer to enter into a fantastical forest featuring rich trees, waterfalls, pools and other features.

The students were required to spend a minimum of 20 hours in the lab, but many ended up spending more than 30 hours working on their environments.

A hands-on, enriching experience

“I didn’t know what to think about it, at first,” fine arts student Audrey Danielson said. “But as soon as you started doing it, you become crazy about it. It definitely gave me a great perspective on what is possible with art. There is so much space and you’re free to create these large environments that other people can then explore.”

Experimenting with virtual reality environments

WSU Tri-Cities student Adam Whittier logs into a virtual reality environment that he created with a group of students in a sculpture course at WSU Tri-Cities before putting on the VR headset to immerse himself into that environment.

Student Adriana Iturbe said what she enjoyed most about the project was the fact that it blends elements of art with elements of technology and engineering.

“I think this is something that many more students should experience,” she said. “As an engineering major, what I like is seeing and exploring the connections between disciplines and using those different disciplines to bring a project to life. This project really does open your mind to other experiences.”

Student Adam Whittier said he hopes the opportunity is extended to students from a variety of different backgrounds, as it provides a learning experience like no-other that is useful to the students’ diverse academic tenure.

“There are so many capabilities,” he said.

Creston is now partnering with Bob Lewis, associate professor of computer science, and his graduate student Antonio Ledesma, on an interactive virtual reality art environment. Lewis is planning on teaching a course to program interactive environments. Creston plans to partner with him and his students to conceptualize, design and program these interactive environments.

“We want to make these environments interactive, instead of just static,” she said.

For more information on the SIMIAN Lab at WSU Tri-Cities, contact Firestone at jonah.firestone@wsu.edu. For more information on the digital technology and culture program at WSU Tri-Cities, visit https://tricities.wsu.edu/cas/undergraduate/fine-arts/.

By John Sutherland, University Communications

Sandra Haynes
Haynes

RICHLAND, Wash. – Sandra Haynes, a senior administrator at Metropolitan State University of Denver, is the new chancellor of Washington State University Tri-Cities.

WSU President Kirk Schulz announced Haynes’ hiring Monday, Dec. 18. She will begin her duties on March 1.

As chancellor, Haynes will function as the chief executive officer, representing the campus in the community, guiding campus growth and advocating for WSU Tri-Cities within the WSU statewide system of campuses.

Haynes currently is deputy provost and vice president of academic affairs and a professor in the Department of Human Services at MSU Denver. She oversees all academic affairs units. Previously she was dean of the university’s College of Professional Studies for 13 years.

Ideal skills to advance goals

“Sandra’s leadership skills and collaborative approach to building innovative partnerships promises an exciting future for WSU Tri-Cities as we continue to grow enrollment, academic programs and facilities,” Schulz said. “Her expertise also will shape the pivotal role WSU Tri-Cities will play in achieving our systemwide goal of becoming a top 25 public research university by 2030.”

Expanding WSU’s partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, as well as continuing to ensure access to higher education for residents of eastern Washington, are among the priorities the president has identified for the new chancellor.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected as chancellor of WSU Tri-Cities,” Haynes said. “I look forward to playing a role in the important contributions the campus makes in the Columbia Basin area through quality instruction and the advancement of life-changing research. I am also excited to join the vibrant and engaged Tri-Cities community.”

Haynes’ achievements at Metropolitan State University Denver include identifying alternative sources of funding for the university by creating public-private partnerships and interdisciplinary programs to meet community and workforce needs. She also established best practices for the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty.

Haynes is a licensed psychologist and has authored several articles and book chapters. Her research interests range from topics in neuropsychology to philosophical issues regarding punishment to applied topics in human services and psychology and in higher education. She earned her doctorate and master’s degrees in experimental neuropsychology at Colorado State University, where she also competed a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Haynes was one of four finalists for the chancellorship following a nationwide search. The finalists recently visited the WSU Tri-Cities and Pullman campuses, where they met students, faculty, staff and members of the community. Haynes replaces H. Keith Moo-Young, who served as chancellor for more than four years.

WSU Tri-Cities

WSU Tri-Cities enrolls 1,937 students, more than 70 percent of whom study STEM-related academic disciplines. The campus offers 20 undergraduate and 33 graduate degrees.

WSU Tri-Cities student body is the most diverse among the university’s six campuses, with 38.9 percent of students identifying as minorities. WSU Tri-Cities hosts six university colleges, including Nursing, Medicine, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Agricultural, Human and Natural Sciences, as well as the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The campus is home to the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory, a WSU-PNNL managed research and teaching laboratory.

In 2015, the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center, one of the most technologically advanced wine science centers in the world, opened at WSU Tri-Cities.

Construction of on-campus housing recently began and is expected to open next August.

The campus is also home to the region’s largest alternative teaching certification program and the Hanford History Project.

 

Contacts:

  • Phil Weiler, vice president for marketing and communication, 509-335-4742, weiler@wsu.edu
  • Jeffrey Dennison, director of marketing and communication, WSU Tri-Cities, 509-372-7319, jeffrey.dennison@wsu.edu.

By C. Brandon Chapman, College of Education

PULLMAN, Wash. – Thanks to a state grant, Washington State University is providing greater access for paraprofessionals to become state-certified teachers.

The grant comes from the state’s Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB), which is responsible for oversight of the state’s teacher preparation, certification and continuing education. While there is a traditional route to becoming a teacher, such as through the College of Education’s teacher preparation program, PESB also has four alternative routes.

The award is for $140,000 at WSU Tri-Cities and is giving paraprofessionals in the area an alternative route to becoming certified teachers. It’s a second grant award to this project, which was successfully implemented two years ago. It’s been especially important in high-needs areas where teaching shortages have been prevalent, such as bilingual education, English Language Learner and special education. Additionally, there are some geographic areas of the state that have struggled to recruit and retain teachers. The Tri-Cities area is one of them.

Using past experience toward certification

For paraprofessionals, there’s a common denominator in what they lack to become state-certified teachers: course work and theory.

In a traditional teacher preparation program, the college students complete their course work, which includes vast amounts of theory in teaching practice, curriculum, classroom management and cultural-responsiveness. They are then placed in a school for practicum and student teaching.

These paraprofessionals already have varying experiences in the classroom, including instruction with small groups of students. However, they don’t have the theoretical background that students with traditional training have.

Lindsay Lightner, coordinator of the Tri-Cities alternative route project, said their project helps resolve that issue.

“A project such as ours gives them the opportunity to take classes and get that theoretical background,” Lightner said. “It’s been beneficial for paraprofessionals to understand why they have been doing X, Y and Z in the classroom.”

Many paraprofessionals have taken some college classes, including teacher preparation classes, but weren’t able to continue and get the full state certification.

“This program has been nice for those who haven’t been able to make that jump toward being a teacher yet,” Lightner said. “It gives them that little boost to make it past the finish line.”

No placement needed

Many paraprofessionals don’t require placement into a teacher preparation program, since they’re already in their home communities.

“We don’t have to go out and recruit people to move to the area,” Lightner said, “instead we’re helping those who already have roots in the schools to progress toward state-approved certification.”

By promoting paraprofessionals to teachers, Tri-Cities project co-director Judy Morrison said, it has made things easier on those districts.

“The districts have had to do less recruiting to try and find certified teachers,” she said.

But there’s one component that might be more important — relationships.

Traditionally, once preservice teachers finish with their teacher preparation program and student teaching, the interaction between the program and the school districts end.

“This has really strengthened our partnerships with multiple school districts,” Morrison said. “The way the grant is set up, not only do we get money to support the project, but districts get money, as well. We depend on their support in the schools, which has led to really important conversations, and has led to stronger relationships and stronger partnerships.”

 

 

Media Contact:

  • Brandon Chapman, communications director, College of Education, 509-335-6850, b.chapman@wsu.edu

Wine industry professionals seeking to advance their position or learn more about wine science may benefit from Washington State University’s online wine business management certificate. 

Registration for fundamentals of the wine business, the first of six modules offered by the Carson College of Business at WSU Tri-Cities, is open until  midnight, January 1,  at http://bit.ly/2A4nTgG. Students may register for individual modules or the entire one-year certificate.

Instructors include wine-industry experts, business and law professionals, and hospitality professors. Because the wine business management program is taught online, students can complete studies at their own pace within each module.

One unique aspect of the certificate is the wine business resident experiences. Students enrolled in the full certificate participate in two, off-site, hands-on wine experiences. The first introduces the strategic management wine project in Richland. Its proximity to the Red Mountain AVA, a designated American viticultural area in Benton County, Washington, exposes students to an agricultural region that distinctly makes Washington wine unique. The second residency at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in Woodinville aims to immerse students in Washington’s wine business hub.

For more information about the wine business management certificate, call the Wine Beverage Business Management program at 509-335-5766 or email darcie.bagott@wsu.edu.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Students will present on their research, course projects and art from noon – 1 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, Dec. 12-14, as part of the Undergraduate Research Symposium and Art Exhibition at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

Undergraduate Research Symposium and Art Exhibition - Spring 2017Members of the public are invited to attend the student presentations. The sessions will be in Consolidated Information Center room 120, with Thursday’s presentations also in the Art Gallery and SIMIAN Lab, located on the second floor of the library.

Allison L. Matthews, WSU Tri-Cities clinical assistant professor of psychology, said that the symposium provides students with the opportunity to showcase their research designs and findings, in addition to providing them with the public experience of communicating those results to a wide audience.

“This event is a great way for our students to present their scholarship, creative works and real-world research that has the potential for advancing discovery and knowledge in a range of academic subjects,” she said. “The Undergraduate Research Symposium and Art Exhibition allows our students to showcase these projects and highlight their accomplishments.”

Academic areas highlighted during the symposium include: biology, computer science, English, fine arts, history, political science and psychology.

Some of the projects include:

  • Partnering with PNNL to write software that helps advance informatics and instrumentation to help understand fundamental biology, including aiding cancer research.
  • Evaluating the composition of macroinvertebrate samples from the Tucannon River.
  • Exploring how dystopian literature reflects the culture and social anxieties of a given time period.
  • Using quantitative analysis to help establish patient demographics and to assess the relationship between mental health and blood sugar levels – a partnership with the Grace Clinic in Kennewick.
  • Creating virtual reality environments through the use of the Simian Lab on campus.
  • Partnering with CypherPath to write software that can analyze network traffic, which can be used for cyber security.

 

Contacts:

Allison L. Matthews, WSU Tri-Cities clinical assistant professor of psychology, 509-372-7146, almatthews@wsu.edu

Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations spe