IN THIS ISSUE
- WWAMI Program Keeps Recent Graduate in Spokane
- Collaborative Research Makes Sense of the Tired Brain
- Untapped Market: Disabled Nurses Part of the Team
- Team Focuses on Design for Parkinson's Residents
- Research Brings Hope to Injured Veterans
- Roll Honored at WSU Spokane for Faculty Excellence
- WSU Chooses Potential Developer for Pine Street Property
- Assistant Supports Student Learning
- Commencement 2008 Photos
- Nursing Building Preview
- New Banners to Mark the University District
- Community Connections
- Personnel and Staffing Changes
- Way to Go!
- Find It on the Web
By Judith Van Dongen
Commencement is a time of joy, with perhaps a touch of sadness. Armed with new skills, knowledge, and insights, “our” graduates are leaving us, spreading out into the wider world and moving on to the next phase of their lives.
But the road to success doesn't always lead out of town—just ask Katherine Mackay, who earned her master of health policy and administration degree this past month. The Kent, Washington, native has called WSU Spokane home for the past three years and will continue to do so through the next year.
Katie McKay with husband Jason, surrounded
This fall, Mackay will join 19 other students in the inaugural Spokane class of the WWAMI Medical Education Program, an enduring partnership between the University of Washington School of Medicine and the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho to provide access to publicly supported medical education.
“To me, it's a perfect fit. I know some of the instructors and I know the campus. I've positioned myself as someone who could potentially be a resource on campus, for incoming students and others,” Mackay said.
Her acceptance into the WWAMI Medical Education Program at WSU Spokane marks the achievement of a long-time dream of Mackay's. As a young child she already had a distinct interest in biology and human physiology. Her career choice really started to solidify after her sister Melissa badly smashed her hand in a heavy door. Her parents were so distraught over the accident and the severity of her injuries that they were unable to offer much support, and it was Katie who sat by Melissa's side as the doctor took care of her.
“It was one of those moments where I went, ‘Maybe I could really do this. Maybe this is what I'm supposed to do,'” said Mackay, who mentioned the ability to truly help people as one the aspects of medicine that especially appeals to her. She also loves that medicine's changing nature requires you to constantly learn.
Having made her resolve to study medicine, Mackay was unwavered by an initial rejection from the University of Washington's highly competitive medical school, to which she applied shortly after graduating from WSU with a bachelor's degree in biology and creative writing. Instead, Mackay set out to build up her resume.
She got a position at WSU Spokane as a research technician working in the lab of genetics researchers Lisa Shaffer and Bassem Bejjani. Under Marzena Gajecka, she studied monosomy 1P36, a chromosome deletion syndrome that causes developmental delays, learning disabilities, and a host of other symptoms. The same year, she applied—and was accepted—into the health policy and administration program at WSU Spokane.
She continued the genetics work for another year while in the program, then became a graduate assistant to HPA faculty member Jae Kennedy, whom she helped with policy research on disability and Medicare.
Her hard work and patience finally paid off this spring, as she got the green light from the University of Washington's School of Medicine. Mackay credits her research and academic experiences at WSU Spokane for making her a much stronger candidate for medical school.
“I'm glad things happened the way they did,” she said.
By Judith Van Dongen
The human brain is a mystery. Despite efforts to probe its depths, researchers have only scratched the surface.
Last year, the Sleep and Performance Research Center at WSU Spokane examined the effects of sleep deprivation on executive functions, those high-level cognitive abilities that regulate more basic abilities and behaviors.
Hans Van Dongen and Greg Belenky in the observation room of
the Sleep and
Center director Gregory Belenky and assistant director Hans Van Dongen worked with professors of psychology John Hinson and Paul Whitney to design the study, which was managed by doctoral psychology student Adrienne Tucker. Participants spent a week in the lab under continuous monitoring while performing tasks that measured different aspects of executive function. One group was kept awake for two consecutive nights (62 hours); the other group was on a normal sleep schedule.
Results of earlier studies had been mixed: some researchers suggested that executive functions are especially vulnerable to sleep loss, while others indicated they are relatively resilient. The WSU study found that neither was completely true.
“It's much more complicated,” said Van Dongen. “Certain aspects of working memory appeared to be resilient, even through 62 hours of sleep deprivation, but this wasn't true for all aspects of working memory. And that can have peculiar consequences.”
When people are sleep deprived they have trouble remembering things. This includes information that is no longer relevant for them. However, failure to remember information that is no longer relevant can be an advantage. People who are not sleep deprived sometimes face difficulties in making decisions because of irrelevant information that comes to mind. Perhaps because they more readily forgot irrelevant information, subjects who were sleep deprived actually performed better on certain decision tasks.
Yet it's not clear whether this advantage transfers to real-life scenarios. “It depends on what you're asked to do under what type of circumstances,” said Van Dongen, who emphasized that this study is the first of a line of research that he and Belenky hope will lead to a better understanding of how sleep loss affects people in daily life.
The researchers plan to tackle this issue from many different perspectives through externally funded collaborations with other WSU researchers. For example, they are interested in studying whether sleep deprivation is involved in how people with chronic illness make health-care decisions.
“Many people who are otherwise perfectly capable of making the right decisions on how to take care of themselves don't always do that. This may be because they are fatigued, causing their decision-making capabilities to be impaired,” said Van Dongen. He and Belenky plan to partner with associate professor John Roll, an expert on substance abuse, to examine the effects of fatigue on decision making in patient populations.
Other collaborators include professor of criminal justice Bryan Vila, who investigates the role fatigue plays in executive decisions made by police officers, and Regents professor James Krueger and associate professor David Rector, who study the effects of fatigue at the level of neurons. With Hinson and Whitney, Belenky and Van Dongen will dig deeper into the theoretical constructs of how the brain works and why fatigue affects different components of cognition in different ways.
Ultimately, the researchers hope to study the effect of sleep deprivation on executive functions in a field environment, so they can examine how the lab research translates into the real world.
By Becky Phillips, WSU Today
When Susan Fleming first applied to nursing school she was turned down. Instructors questioned whether the young woman—who was born without a left hand and uses a prosthesis—could provide the competent care patients would require. Instead, they thought she might endanger them. Thanks to the encouragement of mentors, however, Fleming persevered and became a registered nurse in 1983.
Today, as a clinical instructor at the WSU College of Nursing, she and her colleagues have produced a DVD aimed at encouraging others with disabilities. Within a few short months, “Nursing with the Hand you are Given: A message of hope for nursing students with disabilities” has reached a large audience throughout the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia. Fleming said the program—produced in 2008—has no formal marketing plan but stimulated intense interest via the Internet and e-mail.
“It has all been by word of mouth. We were shocked—we didn't realize the giant untapped market for these kinds of videos,” she said.
The response to the DVD has been so favorable that the team is planning a second DVD intended as a guide for nursing faculty. Carol Allen, clinical associate professor at ICN, has been asked to present the program to faculty at the California state nursing meeting.
At a time when nurses are in short supply nationally, the DVD is especially relevant as a recruiting tool. Not only is the intent to recruit students with disabilities but also to retain those nurses who become disabled while working.
“It used to be that they would get rid of disabled nurses,” said Fleming. “Now the thought is to keep them — and even if they can't do everything, let them keep doing what they can.” For example, Fleming mentioned a blind nurse who works in an emergency room.
“The biggest disabilities I have seen in nursing
“He starts IVs and does a lot of palpation,” she said. “He has acute listening skills. He may only do 90 percent of what is required of him, but he does it so well that he's really a part of the team. He gives more than he needs—and the staff loves him.”
Fleming also has seen deaf nurses working in operating rooms equipped with special voice-activated reader boards. And one student who used a wheelchair went on to become director of an organ-donor center.
“The key is to know your strengths,” she said. “In this nursing shortage, you need to be a team player.”
Fleming said inspiration for the DVD came from online collaborations with Donna Maheady, who co-produced the video. Both serve on the board of directors of Exceptionalnurse.com (a nursing advocacy site) and have provided assistance to disabled nurses and nursing students across the country for more than five years.
“The students kept asking if I could travel to their areas,” said Fleming. “They'd say ‘could you make a video or something?' ”
To order the DVD, contact the WSU College of Nursing Multimedia Laboratory at 509-324-7321 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Barb Chamberlain
Privacy. Authority. Options. When Dorothy longed for Kansas on the silver screen, most of us probably didn't think of these as aspects of “home.” When design doctoral student Maryam Afshar began a project for people with Parkinson's disease, though, she asked some important questions: “Why do we say the goal is a ‘homelike' atmosphere? What does ‘home' mean?”
Her questions offered key insights that guided an interdisciplinary design studio last fall, said Bob Scarfo, associate professor of landscape architecture at the Interdisciplinary Design Institute at WSU Spokane.
Bob Scarfo and Maryam Afshar examine a model from the
Parkinson's Design Project.
A diverse group—WSU undergraduate students from interior design, architecture and landscape architecture; master's students in nursing; doctor of design students, and business students from Eastern Washington University — tackled the assignment: create a warm, healthy and supportive environment for residents in mid- to late stage Parkinson's disease whose needs often are not met in assisted living facilities designed for a general aging population.
Projects reflecting both design and health and other health professions are a special focus at the Design Institute, where students work side by side with students in nursing, pharmacy and other health professions. Students learned from their client, Puget Sound Housing for Parkinson's Disease (PuSH for PD), and from members of a Spokane support group about medical issues such as “freezing:” People with Parkinson's confronted with a doorway or other confining design element may not be able to move forward and may need design cues in the environment to help them break free.
Students also learned that the authority to decide who enters your living space is one of those aspects of “home” we may not realize until we stop to think about it. Design solutions included elements such as separate suite entrances, enabling residents to receive guests directly rather than routing them through institutional hallways.
“Working with real clients, we're doing something that will be built,” Afshar said. “We need to be responsible because our work will affect so many lives.”
Approximately 30,000 people in Washington have Parkinson's disease, as do more than 1.5 million people nationwide. The studio goal was to develop a conceptual set of design features that can be used no matter where this and similar projects ultimately are built.
By Judith Van Dongen
Fighting a war is a life-changing experience in itself, but even more so for those who return suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI).
It is estimated that more than one-fifth of surviving soldiers wounded in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have TBI, a condition that occurs when physical trauma causes brain damage. Facing cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and personality problems, survivors often struggle to live productive lives and reintegrate into the community. Their family members face challenges, too, in dealing with the changes in their loved ones.
Dennis Dyck and Diane Norell discuss
Building on the idea that patients' family circles may be the key to their recovery, researchers in the federal Veterans Affairs (VA) health-care system are collaborating with WSU researchers to test the multifamily group treatment model on returning veterans with TBI.
Developed by New England psychiatrist William McFarlane to treat schizophrenia, multifamily group treatment provides patients and their family members with education, support and problem-solving skills. Dennis Dyck—professor of psychology in neurosciences and former director of the Washington Institute of Mental Health Research and Training (WIMHRT) at WSU Spokane—stumbled on the model years ago and found it intriguing.
“In contrast with what typically happened in psychiatric illness, this model treated the family as a partner and made them part of the solution,” said Dyck.
He developed a relationship with McFarlane that led to several collaborative projects. After an initial schizophrenia study that took the model from an inpatient to an outpatient setting, they worked with Bruce Becker from St. Luke's Rehabilitation Center in Spokane to adapt it for treatment of TBI and spinal cord injury patients.
Benefits reported in that last study included a decrease in depressive symptoms and anger expression by patients and a significant reduction in burden by caregivers. Other mental health professionals took notice, including Claire Henderson, associate director for evaluation and health services at James J. Peters VA Medical Center in New York, who had been looking for an intervention that would engage family members in the treatment of TBI patients. She and VA colleague Deborah Perlick approached Dyck to find out more.
Now, Dyck and WIMHRT research associate Diane Norell, who also was involved in the earlier studies, are collaborators on a two-year project headed by Henderson and funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. The study will examine the feasibility of using multifamily group treatment within the VA system on TBI-affected soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Last fall, Dyck and Norell trained clinicians from the study's three treatment sites, VA medical centers in New Jersey, New York and North Carolina. Norell will provide supervision to the clinicians for the next year and will supervise the therapy of the 32 study participants. Both will assist with the development of a treatment manual, and Dyck will help write up the research findings.
Dyck considers his exploration of the merits of multifamily group treatment far from over. With WSU professor of psychology Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, he is looking to adapt the model for early-stage Alzheimer's patients. He also hopes the study with Henderson will lead to even bigger projects.
“My dream is for this to develop into a multisite clinical trial,” he said.
By Becki Meehan
Amidst the celebration at Washington State University Spokane's Commencement, John Roll, current director of the Washington Institute for Mental Health Research and Training (WIMHRT), received a big round of applause for being named the 2008 WSU Spokane Faculty Excellence Award winner. Roll received this award in recognition of his outstanding teaching, research, leadership and community service.
Roll, who has been with WSU Spokane since 2004, is a nationally recognized leader in substance abuse research. Noted by his faculty colleagues as one of the nation's most productive scholars in the field, he has a publication record that includes ten book chapters, 57 journal articles, and more than 75 abstracts on substance abuse. He has received funding from federal, state, and local sources, in addition to industry and foundation support.
As a teacher, he is frequently pursued as an advisor and mentor both at WSU and other universities. He lectures to psychiatry residents throughout the country. Roll is a fellow and president-elect of the American Psychological Association's Division of Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse. He was appointed in 2006 by Governor Gregoire to serve on two Washington State committees, including as executive commissioner of the Eastern State Hospital Advisory Board and vice-chair of the Governor's Council on Substance Abuse.
Roll holds a doctoral degree in experimental psychology from WSU. He has held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Vermont Human Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory and the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center. Prior to joining WSU Spokane, he held faculty positions at Wayne State University's Research Division on Substance Abuse and the University of California Los Angeles, where he eventually became the director of behavioral pharmacology in UCLA's Integrated Substance Abuse Programs.
Roll received an engraved pewter medallion and a check for $1,000 sponsored by Spokane Teachers Credit Union.
By Barb Chamberlain
Washington State University has selected NexCore Group of Denver to enter into negotiations for possible development of the Pine Street Project at the Riverpoint Campus, the subject of a request for proposals the university published in late March.
The proposals were reviewed by the WSU real estate committee and an independent consultant. Their consensus was that the NexCore Group proposal best met the goals outlined in the RFP for several reasons:
The financial proposal was strong (lease term, future lease payments, reappraisal provisions). They have secured a “flagship” tenant for the project that supports the health sciences focus of the Riverpoint campus. Their conceptual development plan provides a phased approach that can be developed over time. Their proposal has meaningful programmatic benefits to the university and the community. Proposals from four developers were received and reviewed by the university: Amidi Group, Redwood City, CA; GVD Commercial, Spokane, WA; NexCore Group, Denver, CO; and Wells and Company, Spokane, WA.
In the second phase of negotiations, the university and NexCore will work toward a letter of intent and ultimately a ground lease.
NexCore has identified one tenant already. Arthritis Northwest, a five-physician clinic currently located in the Sacred Heart Doctors Building, would move its offices to the site and bring a "Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence" to the project, according to NexCore representative Jarrod Daddis.
By Jordy Byrd, WSU Today intern
Professor of pharmacotherapy Bill Fassett sings
Terri Rothwell is proud to represent one piece of the larger picture.
As an office assistant in pharmacotherapy at WSU Spokane, she supports students who are going to impact others, so “through them, I'm able to help people."
Rothwell, who has been with WSU four years, is one of two assistants who support the 28 faculty members and 197 third- and fourth-year pharmacy students in pharmacotherapy. Support includes anything from making copies to posting information to making lab handouts. “Just about everything falls under our umbrella,” she said. “My job is multitasking to the extreme.”
The hard work, endless support and friendly environment Rothwell helps provide have received more than common appreciation. She recently was awarded a Staff Excellence Award from the College of Pharmacy...
If you haven't seen it yet, the Commencement 2008 Photo Album is now live on the WSU Spokane Web site. Click here to see the album, or access it from the What's New area of the WSU Spokane homepage.
Staff from the College of Nursing and various WSU Spokane offices toured the new Nursing Building this week and last. They got a first look at the classrooms, offices, labs, and lounge spaces that will soon be enjoyed by nursing students, faculty, and staff—and with these photos, so do you!
Above left: Nursing staff member Margaret Ruby and construction engineer Steve Hall listen as tour guide Bob Pringle explains the different laboratory spaces on the second floor. Above right: The tour group admires the lounge space (and its view) on the second floor. (Photos by Judith Van Dongen)
New Banners to Mark the University District
A University District celebration will be held Wednesday, May 21, at noon on the bridge at Trent and Hamilton to celebrate new University District banners going up on that bridge and the Division Street bridge at Spokane Falls Blvd.
The public is invited to hear remarks from Spokane Mayor Mary Verner and members of the University District Development Advisory Board.
Amy Bender, polysomnographic technologist for the Sleep and Performance Research Center, recently passed her board exams, earning credentialing as a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT).
Chancellor's Awards for Excellence were given to the following Spokane students/graduates: Sharon Becker '08 (Doctor of Education), Jason Doss '09 (Doctor of Pharmacy), John Laing '08 (BA in Leadership & Professional Studies), Mary Kate Martin '08 (BA in Leadership & Professional Studies), Marissa Nichols '08 (Master in Teaching), Mark Oswalt '08 (BS in Exercise Physiology and Metabolism), Jesse Peck '08 (MA in Interior Design), Jennifer Rasmussen '08 (BA in Leadership & Professional Studies), Laird Rasmussen '08 (MA in Health Policy & Administration), Mike Richards '08 (MA in Health Policy & Administration), Rebecca Scott '08 (BA in Interior Design), and Meng-Yun Wu '08 (MA in Health Policy & Administration).
The WSU Spokane 2007-08 Student Choice Award for Excellence in Teaching went to Kerry Brooks, associate professor of landscape architecture in the Interdisciplinary Design Institute.
The Communications Office at WSU Spokane won an excellence award and four merit awards in the Spokane Regional MarCom Association's 2008 Spark Awards. The excellence award went to the WSU Spokane Web site, which won in the “Internet sites – external” category. The merit awards were given for the following projects:
- 2007 Holiday Card, with a cover illustration by Bob Krikac (“Print Publications – Special Publications” and “Design – Illustrations” categories)
- WSU Spokane Campus Bulletin (“Electronic and Interactive Communications – E-zines, E-Newsletters, E-etc.” category)
- WSU Spokane Graduate Viewbook, produced in collaboration with the WSU Office of Marketing Communications (“Print Publications – brochures” category).
Student pharmacists Jason Doss, Corinne Gavrun, and David Villeneuve presented their “Flash Forward” business plan and placed third in the 2007-2008 Gonzaga University Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program Business Plan Competition, held in April. They received a $2,500 prize.
Members of the Sleep and Performance Research Center won national awards for abstracts from the Sleep Research Society. Devon Grant, study coordinator, and Adrienne Tucker, graduate student, won meritorious abstract awards. Lindsey Tompkins, research assistant, won an honorable mention abstract award.
College of Pharmacy faculty members Jon Reynolds and Ray Quock were recipients of the college's 2008 Teacher of the Year at the annual College of Pharmacy commencement brunch on May 2.
Two recent graduates from the Interdisciplinary Design Institute won awards from the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS). Rebecca Scott, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design, was named CAHNRS Outstanding Senior in Interior Design. Bachelor of Landscape Architecture graduate Joshua Bernsen was named CAHNRS Outstanding Senior in Landscape Architecture (see June 2007 Bulletin Issue for more on Bernsen).
Amber Smith, research assistant at the Sleep and Performance Research Center and a doctoral student in mathematics, was recently honored with a WSU Graduate and Professional Student Association excellence award in the research assistant category.
If you or one of your colleagues or students has received a special honor or award, or reached another professional milestone, please e-mail the information to Judith Van Dongen at email@example.com.
- Spokane Public Radio: String Span - From violin
virtuosos to champion fiddlers...
Spokane Public Radio celebrates its underwriters and volunteers on June 11 at the Bing Crosby Theater with an evening of live music featuring classical string quartet Tedesca, teen violin virtuosos Michael and Briana Woodruff, champion fiddlers Andrea Good and Dustin Horn, and Dead Fiddler's Society playing American roots music. The performances start at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $10 for SPR members or $12 for the general public. Call 1-800-328-5729 for more information.
- Please look for updates in the next issue of the Campus Bulletin.
- “I would like to extend a big “Way to Go” to Dennis Snider, from Facilities. I was on foot from the Convention Center to try and retrieve a commencement robe for one of the members of the platform party, 15 minutes before the ceremony was to begin. Dennis showed up at just the right time, and transported me between locations, so I made it back just in time for the faculty procession. Thank you, Dennis! I would also like to thank Annette Simons and Craig from the Bookie for their assistance in getting the robe out to the curb for a quick fly by.” (Dori Roberts, Secretary Senior/Program Support, Interdisciplinary Design Institute)
- A great big Way to Go to Dori Roberts for dashing out the door at the last minute to get a robe for one of our platform party members. I really appreciate all of her help. I'd also like to thank Joan Menzies and Liz West for their collaboration to make Commencement go smoothly this year, especially in times of change. I really enjoyed working with both of you. (Becki Meehan, Communications & Events Manager, Communications)
- "I would like to say thank you to Bob Scharff for the speed with which he responded to my latest request for help with metalwork. He came by much more quickly than I could have hoped for, took my request for help with the stand for our card reader at the copy machine and improved on what I wanted (as he always seems to), and had it done and back by the end of the day. Great service, and Bob is always a pleasure to work with. “ (Bob Pringle, Director of Nursing and Riverpoint Campus Library Services)
- “I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to Lonny Waddle for his assistance with the videotaping of our student reviews on Friday, April 18. The reviews support our accreditation process, and are a very important part of the interior design program. Lonny always manages to be there at just the right time, and has the best attitude. Thank you, Lonny.” (Dori Roberts, Secretary Senior/Program Support, Interdisciplinary Design Institute)
- Thank you to Hans Van Dongen, Greg Belenky, Devon Grant, Amy Bender, Sylvia Oliver, Libby Blossom, Judy Theodorson, Hergen Eilers, Frank Ferris, and Atakan Peker for making yourselves and your lab spaces available on short notice for a quick video shoot and research tour to some of our community partners. I appreciate all the great things you do to help showcase WSU Spokane. (Becki Meehan, Communications & Events Manager, Communications)
Here's where you make someone's day a little brighter by extending your thanks for a job well done. Send your “Way to Go!” comments to Cinda Romans, and watch for your thanks to be published in an upcoming issue of the Campus Bulletin!
- WSU Research News: The latest on research news from WSU.
- News at WSU Spokane: Recent news releases and links to news releases organized by subject for WSU Spokane.
- WSU News Service: Breaking news from WSU, links to all news releases, and other information sources.
- WSU Today online: Links to past print editions, plus breaking news briefs
- Bulletin archives: Links to past issues of the Campus Bulletin from Oct. 2003 forward.
- In the News: Media coverage of campus programs and people
- Events Calendar: What's going on around here, anyway?
The Bulletin is a monthly publication that is usually published on the second Wednesday of each month. The exact publication date may shift due to holidays. If you have an item that you'd like us to include, send it to us by Friday in the week before publication.
The Bulletin covers news of interest to the faculty, staff, and friends of Washington State University Spokane, and associates on other WSU campuses and on the Riverpoint Campus.
Regular columns cover professional accomplishments, opportunities for involvement in the campus community and the Spokane community, notices of new developments on campus, upcoming events, personnel changes, and other news.
The Bulletin also serves as a source of information for external communications directed to alumni, future and current students, and friends of Washington State University Spokane. You'll read it here first!
Subscribers welcome! To subscribe, go to http://lists.wsu.edu/join.php, enter your e-mail address, type "wsusb" in the List Name field, and click on "Join List."
- Judith Van Dongen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 509-358-7524
- Barb Chamberlain, email@example.com, 509-358-7527
- Holly George, firstname.lastname@example.org, 509-358-7864
- Becki Meehan, email@example.com, 509-358-7528
- Cinda Romans, firstname.lastname@example.org, 509-358-7540