WSU Tri-Cities Tag

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

art-from-last-year-detailRICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities is accepting art submissions for the annual Night with the Arts, which will take place 5-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28.

This cultural and artistic event features the Chancellor’s Art Exhibition Series, WSU Tri-Cities student and community exhibits and live performances.

Art from the 2015 show.

Artists may submit their work in two categories:
• Chancellor’s Exhibit: A jury will select one or more artists to feature in the exhibition space and in the administration corridor of the East Building. One work will be chosen for the Chancellor’s Award. The recipient is encouraged to donate the work to WSU Tri-Cities as part of its permanent collection. Those not selected for the Chancellor’s Exhibit will be placed in a community gallery for the event.
• WSU Tri-Cities student exhibit: Open only to WSU Tri-Cities students.

Because Night with the Arts is open to all ages, artists are asked to consider the audience when submitting pieces.

The event is an opportunity to showcase a range of artwork from throughout the regional community, said Amber Eubanks, WSU Tri-Cities community engagement specialist.

“We’re trying to bring the community of the arts together, showcasing everything from musical performances to the best of two- and three-dimensional art pieces,” she said. “It’s a great event for the whole family.”

To submit an art piece, fill out the submission forms at


Amber Eubanks, WSU Tri-Cities community engagement specialist, 372-7106,
Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations specialist, 509-372-7333,

RICHLAND, Wash. – More than 60 employers will participate in the Washington State University Tri-Cities annual career fair 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in the Consolidated Information Center (CIC).

The fair will be open to WSU Tri-Cities students only 9:30-11 a.m. It will open to the public at 11 a.m.

The career fair attracts not only students, but also alumni and community job seekers. It offers employers an opportunity to seek staff while allowing WSU Tri-Cities students to search for and connect with employment and internships.

The fair will include a job posting board, interview room and student spotlight breakfast where select students give a 60-second resume pitch to employers. Parking will be free.

For more information, visit or contact Eadie Balint, WSU Tri-Cities career fair coordinator, at 509-372-7214 or


Eadie Balint, WSU Tri-Cities career development, 509-372-7214,
Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations, 509-372-7333,

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities continues to set enrollment records with 17 percent growth from last fall, according to official numbers released Friday.

Enrolled students, which includes undergraduate, transfer and graduate students, total 1,868 – an increase of 275 students compared to last fall. Included in that growth, WSU Tri-Cities welcomed 284 transfer students, which marks a 35.2 percent increase in that category from last fall.

enrollment-2“We couldn’t be more pleased with the rate at which WSU Tri-Cities is growing, while not compromising on the preparedness of our students, as well as the diversity of our student body,” WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Keith Moo-Young said. “Our growth is truly a reflection of the excellent programs, career opportunities and volunteer experiences our students observe.”

WSU Tri-Cities is recognized as having a very diverse student population, with 33.5 percent of students identifying as minorities, 58.5 percent female and 38.4 percent first generation college students. Of the new freshman on campus, 58.8 percent identify as first generation, which is 21.2 percent higher than the average first generation new freshmen in the WSU system.

Moo-Young said through the construction of WSU Tri-Cities’ first student union building, in addition to the construction of the student housing complex, the university continues to grow the resources available to students, which has also had an impact on the positive enrollment trajectory.

“As we continue to grow in numbers, we also continue to grow in programs available to students and in physical infrastructure,” he said. “These university improvements will continue to have a positive effect on our growth as a campus and in our ability to meet the industry needs by supplying career-ready graduates in the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics fields.”

Learn more about WSU Tri-Cities and its commitment to dynamic student engagement, dynamic research experiences and dynamic community engagement at

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

amy-roth-mcduffie-detailRICHLAND, Wash. – A Washington State University Tri-Cities professor is part of a project awarded $1.5 million from the National Science Foundation to teach mathematical modeling in elementary school as it applies to real-world cultural and community contexts.

The goal is to determine strategies that teachers across the nation may use in their own classrooms.

“We are connecting math to kids’ own community and culture so they can use it to make sense of their world,” said Amy Roth McDuffie, professor of mathematics education in the College of Education. “It’s not enough that they answer a math problem. It is the whole process of problem solving that is important.”

Mathematical modeling for younger grades

Amy Roth McDuffie

Mathematical modeling – using graphs, diagrams, equations and more to predict patterns and provide solutions to real-world issues – historically has been taught in high school and college. But recent Common Core State Standards require elementary students to meet benchmarks too.

Unlike upper level mathematical modeling, such as weather predicting, students will use grade-level appropriate math tools, such as counting, multiplying, dividing and making graphs.

“One example is having students use data from a family business,” said Roth McDuffie. “With an inventory model, we can collect data on what sells, then generate formulas for how to guide purchasing in the future.”

Teachers recruited across regions

Elementary teachers recruited in the Northwest and Southwest will meet monthly to use existing research to refine established strategies and develop new ones. They will apply the strategies in their own classrooms, then revise and refine them to achieve what works best.

Throughout the process, teachers will collect data through classroom observation and tests, as well as state testing, to determine student comprehension and retention. Findings will be published so other teachers can implement the ideas.

Grant funds will support stipends for the university researchers and graduate students, elementary teachers and for compilation and review of project data.

Joining Roth McDuffie in the study are: Erin Turner, associate professor of teaching, learning and sociocultural studies at the University of Arizona; Julia Aguirre, associate professor of mathematics education at the University of Washington Tacoma; and Mary Foote, professor of mathematics education at Queens College, City University of New York.


Amy Roth McDuffie, WSU Tri-Cities mathematics education, 509-372-7384,
Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations, 509-372-7333,

RICHLAND, Wash. – Khalida Brohi was named a Forbes “30 Under 30” top young world leader in social entrepreneurship for her work in women’s rights in Pakistan in 2014. On Sept. 28, she will lead a presentation on her work at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

Brohi will speak on two separate occasions on Sept. 28 at WSU Tri-Cities. Her first presentation will be open only to the WSU Tri-Cities campus community and will begin at 3:10 p.m. in the East Auditorium. Her second presentation at WSU Tri-Cities will begin at 7 p.m. in the East Auditorium and will be open to the public.

Brohi will also speak at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 in Compton Union Building’s senior ballroom at WSU Pullman.

Summit Eden

Khalida Brohi

“(During my presentation at WSU), I will be talking about the constant emphasis everyone puts on changing policies in countries like Pakistan,” Brohi said. “I come from a rural background there and I have seen the huge gap between the way tribal communities operate and the country … (Sometimes) no law can protect a woman unless the tribal men and women are educated.”

Brohi’s presentation is part of WSU’s common reading program, where thousands of first-year students in the WSU system read a book focusing on an issue that sparks discussion, highlights research across disciplines and introduces different ways of understanding complex issues. This year, students are reading New York Times Best Seller “I Am Malala,” which focuses on Pakistani teenager and author Malala Yousafzai who survived a 2012 attack by the Taliban and launched a campaign for education.

“Much of Brohi’s life parallels that of her fellow Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai,” said Susan Poch, WSU common reading program co-director.

As a teenager in Pakistan, Brohi witnessed the honor killing of a friend who had married for love instead of a family-approved choice. The experience inspired her to rally on the issue, which led her to found the Sughar Empowerment Society, a nonprofit organization that supports rural and tribal women in Pakistan by empowering them socioeconomically, emotionally and intellectually.

Kate McAteer, WSU Tri-Cities assistant vice chancellor of academic affairs, said WSU Tri-Cities is honored to welcome Brohi to speak to both campuses as her personal experience will shed light on topics that are important to the modern world.

i-am-malala“What is great about the common reading program at WSU is that it brings together the campus and regional community for healthy discussion on complex topics that impact the world,” she said. “Students spend their first year examining and discussing these topics through their coursework. The community is then invited to join that conversation by bringing their outside experiences and perspectives to light through the public presentation and discussion.”

WSU Vancouver selected a different book for their common reading program. Students are reading “Integration Nation: Immigrants, Refugees and America at Its Best,” By Susan E. Easton. The author will deliver a lecture Oct. 26 at WSU Vancouver.

The two-year leadership and social justice theme of the WSU common reading program is in line with WSU aiming to solve some of the world’s Grand Challenges, with specific relevance to the challenge of advancing opportunity and equity.

For more information on the lecture and common reading program at WSU Tri-Cities, visit

By Kyla Emme, College of Education intern

sarah-newcomerRICHLAND, Wash. – Sarah Newcomer, an assistant professor of literacy education at Washington State University Tri-Cities, recently earned a national award for her work to increase opportunity and equity in education.

The Concha Delgado Gaitan Early Career Presidential Fellowship is presented by the national Council of Anthropology and Education (CAE) to a maximum of eight recipients each year.

Newcomer’s recent publications include studies about using wordless books for immigrant students in the classroom and the transition to teaching “world” languages rather than “foreign” languages.

“My research corresponds to CAE’s mission through examining practices supporting family engagement and school-community partnerships,” she said, as well as promoting “racial and social justice in all settings where learning takes place.”

She completed a B.A. in Spanish at Northern Arizona University in 1995 and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction, language and literacy from Arizona State University in 2012. She teaches undergraduate courses at WSU Tri-Cities that focus on literacy in students from fourth grade to middle school.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Kayla Stark, a student at Washington State University Tri-Cities, has performed for venues ranging from hundreds to thousands around Tri-Cities, Wash. But last week, on Aug. 18, she performed at her largest venue yet: at a Seattle Seahawks game at CenturyLink Field.

Stark has sung the national anthem a number of times throughout the last three years at various events around the Tri-Cities. She said singing has always been a passion of hers, allowing her to venture outside of her comfort zone and develop her talent as an artist.Kayla Stark 1

“I performed for the Tri-City Dust Devils, at Tri-City Americans games, at the Benton Franklin Fair and then at my husband’s graduation for WSU Tri-Cities this May,” she said. “But I never thought I’d be singing at a Seahawks game.”

Stark’s father, Tom Oleson, has encouraged her to perform for larger venues because he knew it was something she was passionate about. This year, he sent a video to the Seattle Mariners as an audition for singing the national anthem during one of their season games, but they sent a nice letter back stating essentially, “thanks, but no thanks,” she said. That letter, however, didn’t discourage her dad for trying for other large venues.

“He told me he wanted to send something in to the Seahawks, and expecting the same response, I was like ‘OK Dad, knock yourself out,” she said. “But then, while I was at work, I got the email. I was like ‘Oh my gosh, they are serious. This is real. This is really happening.’”

Three weeks later, Stark found herself driving with her father, husband and brother-in-law to CenturyLink Field in Seattle: the home of the Super Bowl XLVIII champions. She had three practice tries at “The Star-Spangled Banner” during her sound check prior to performing it live shortly before the Seahawks took on the Minnesota Vikings.

Stark said the friendly and welcoming staff at the stadium, as well sound check practices, were what helped calm her nerves.

“I just closed my eyes and went for it,” she said. “It wasn’t my best, vocally, but it was still an amazing experience. Everyone I came in contact with at the stadium were also so amazing. They were all so nice and so helpful.”

Stark said it is still sinking in that she got to perform the nation’s song at one of the Northwest’s largest athletic venues.

Kayla Stark and family[2]“I was just so happy to honor our country and the people that have served it,” she said. “I am so grateful to my dad for helping me pursue my dreams. Performing is something I really enjoy and I feel like it challenges me in a good way. It is kind of an adrenaline rush. I like anything that tests my boundaries. I feel like singing is that kind of thing for me.”

Stark is studying elementary education at WSU Tri-Cities and is set to begin her student teaching this year. She said while she enjoys singing, she isn’t sure if she wants to pursue it professionally as she doesn’t want the job aspect to ruin her love for the art.

Stark said in her career as a teacher, however, she will use the experience to encourage her students to follow their dreams.

“I plan to use this experience to encourage my students to pursue anything they are interested in or passionate about,” she said. “I want my students to understand that the things that challenge them the most are the things that help them grow the most. Anything that takes practice and hard work will be worth it in the end – this goes for faith, talents, hopes, ideas and so much more.”

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

PASCO, Wash. – After a year of planning, thousands of volunteer hours and a whole lot of hard work, Tri-County Partners Habitat for Humanity and Washington State University Tri-Cities are set to present a Burmese family with the keys to their first home.

WSU Tri-Cities students work on construction of the home.

Members of the community are invited to attend a dedication of the Tri-Cities Coug House at noon Saturday, Aug. 27, at the home’s site, 304 N. Charles St., Pasco.

“It’s been great seeing how we’ve all come together as a community to make this family’s first home a reality,” said Brent Ellis, the WSU Tri-Cities student volunteer coordinator who led construction. “In addition to the volunteer efforts, students got to put their skills from the classroom to work on the house.”

WSU Tri-Cities signed a partnership agreement with Tri-County Partners Habitat for Humanity to build the home in August 2015. The house is one of 24 constructed as part of Habitat’s Whitehouse Addition.

The dedication will include comments by Ellis and Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Lisa Godwin, followed by lunch provided by the family and a self-guided tour of the home.

The homeowners, who escaped their home country of Burma during war, include Mah Thu Sha La, his wife Lu Dee Na and their three children. They lived for years in a Thailand refugee camp before getting green cards in 2011. Last year, they were approved for a home in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

The new homeowners, the Sha La family.

The family has dedicated 500 hours of sweat equity, which is required for them to purchase the home with a no-interest 20-year mortgage. More than 150 volunteers from WSU Tri-Cities and the Tri-Cities community contributed to the construction.

“Everyone benefited from this first-of-its kind partnership,” Ellis said, adding that it generated partnerships among many groups around the Tri-Cities community.

For more information, contact Amber Eubanks, WSU Tri-Cities community engagement specialist, at, or Roddie Shanley, Habitat family services and site coordinator, at

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities signed a land lease agreement this week with Corporate Pointe Developers, LLC, out of Pullman, Wash., to build an 800-bed complex for student housing.

WSU Tri Cities student housingThe facility will be located on the north end of the WSU Tri-Cities campus and will encompass approximately 15 acres. The first of seven phases, which will include 165 beds, is expected to be ready for the academic year in fall 2017.

A formal groundbreaking is anticipated in late August or early September. The complex will be owned, operated and maintained by Corporate Pointe Developers.

“It has been a two-year journey pursuing a housing solution for WSU Tri-Cities,” Chancellor Keith Moo-Young said. “We are excited about the opportunities for the WSU Tri-Cities campus to draw students from outside the region and to provide a comprehensive campus feel.”

The effort marks the end of a request for qualifications process pursued by WSU Tri-Cities to bring student housing to campus. In November 2014, the Port of Benton issued a request for proposals for using port land that yielded a single interested party. Discussions ceased after the parties did not reach an agreement.WSU Tri-Cities student housing

WSU Tri-Cities reopened the process last fall and Corporate Pointe Developers won against two other finalists for the bid.

To learn more about WSU Tri-Cities and its commitment to dynamic student engagement, dynamic research experiences and dynamic community engagement based in a polytechnic approach to learning, visit


Contact: Jeffrey Dennison, WSU Tri-Cities director of communications, 509-372-7319,

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. – Pacific Northwest wineries and vineyards are exploring a new, specific way to promote their wines: “terroir tourism.”

Marketing terroir – an area’s environmental characteristics such as soil, topography, climate and farming practice – has increased in states like Washington and Oregon, said Byron Marlowe, instructor of hospitality and wine business management at Washington State University Tri-Cities. It presents a new and growing opportunity that can further the Northwest’s name and brand as a wine destination for the world.WSU Tri-Cities news

Marlowe recently completed a literature review regarding terroir tourism for Oregon wine publications. He presented his paper at the International Terroir Congress, which for the first time was held in the United States.

Locations ideal for best wine grapes

Locations in Washington and Oregon present ideal conditions for Vitis vinifera grape varieties, which encompass many preferred and prominent grape types in the western United States wine market and in most of the world, Marlowe said.

“The terroir in the Pacific Northwest, and more specifically the mid-Columbia region, is a major reason for the quality of wines you see across the state,” he said. “Great wine starts in the vineyard, and you can’t have a great vineyard without the ideal soil, climate amount of sunshine and geology.”

Much like producers in California’s Napa Valley and locations in France and Italy, Washington and Oregon wineries are starting to promote these conditions as elemental to the region’s generally high quality wines.

“It would make sense that terroir would be a determining factor in wine tourism in the Northwest,” Marlowe said.

Wineries promote AVA differences

Two examples of producers using terroir to market their wines are Badger Mountain Vineyard/Powers Winery and Dubrul Vineyard/Côte Bonneville.

More tourists are seeking out wine that is grown in particular American viticulture areas (AVAs) in the Northwest, said Mickey Dunne, owner and sales director for Badger Mountain Vineyard and Powers Winery in Kennewick, Wash.

WSU Tri-Cities news“There is growing knowledge of some of the smaller and newer AVAs,” he said. “We have crafted our reserve wine program around single vineyard cabernet sauvignon from four different AVAs, giving us an opportunity to show consumers a mini-tour of Washington terroir.”

Côte Bonneville, in Sunnyside, Wash., produces and promotes wines based on the vineyard’s farming practices, climate and unique soil elements, said Kathy Shiels, owner of Côte Bonneville and DuBrul Vineyard.

“Our vision was a classic Burgundian model, where small areas of the estate were bottled separately to showcase the terroir,” she said. “It has become much more common in the industry today to differentiate yourself by a sense of place.”

Organic and state line distinctives

Marlowe said in Oregon, particularly, the popularity of organic wine has increased, with wine enthusiasts focusing more on farming practices. Nearly 50 percent of Oregon vineyards are sustainable or organic, according to Oregon Organic Wine.

“Oregon has been able to recognize and attract the wine tourist who has high levels of place attachment to its unique terroir through sustainable and organic growing practices,” he said.

Badger Mountain in Washington realized the value of an organic wine operation when it created the state’s first organic vineyard and winery in 1990 and 1996, respectively.

“With the climate in Washington so conducive to low input, I think we have a substantial advantage over many, if not most, growing regions,” Dunne said.

Marlowe is working with regional organizations to generate additional interest in terroir tourism, as well as examining whether it may lead to wine enthusiasts crossing state lines.

“Vines don’t recognize state borders and neither do geographical features, soil types and climate,” he said. “What I’m looking into is whether these state borders have an impact on terroir tourism and whether state lines matter when wine enthusiasts visit wineries in a particular region.”