Issue 2010-12 (December 8, 2010)


WSU Promotes Hands-on K-12 Biomedical Education

By Doug Nadvornick

Mead High School students Marissa McBride and
Grayson Miller look at the information generated
by an EKG measuring McBride's heart activity.
(Photo by Doug Nadvornick)

Mead High School freshman Caressa Leymao recently delivered this bad news to her biology teacher: "No offense, but biology class is boring."

Leymao made her declaration at a November conference at WSU Spokane's Riverpoint campus. It wasn't meant as a slap in the face to her teacher, who was sitting in the audience. It was more an enthusiastic endorsement for a new hands-on biomedical class. She and 300 other students at Mead and Mt. Spokane High Schools are bypassing traditional elective courses like wood shop and jewelry-making for the chance to study the human body.

It's the first in a four-course program developed by Project Lead The Way. For 12 years the New York non-profit has sold to school districts a curriculum designed to lure high school students to engineering careers.

Now the company is turning its attention to biomedicine. It has enlisted WSU to help Northwest school districts incorporate Project Lead The Way's lessons into their own science programs. Sylvia Oliver, the director of WSU Spokane CityLab who is administering the program, calls the curriculum "stellar."

"This is the end of my 17-year search for a program that will help teachers teach science," she says. "It's much like Montessori classes in that it involves a lot of hands on and engages multiple senses. Students with difficulties in math and science tend to do better in these classes."

WSU is the first institution on the West Coast (and only the fourth in the nation) to be designated as a Project Lead The Way affiliate.

For now, Mead is the only school district in the Inland Northwest to teach the company's biomedical curriculum, but Oliver says others, from as far away as Alaska and Montana, are looking into offering the first-year course in the fall of 2011.

"We actually do stuff in this class."

One recent morning at Mt. Spokane High School, biology teacher Raeleen Epperson's biomedical students paired up and looked at microscope slides of human blood cells. They did research on new iPad computers as they calculated the ratios of red blood cells to white blood cells.  

"We actually do stuff in this class," said one Mt. Spokane freshman as her partner adjusted the focus on their microscope. She and others prefer this to traditional biology courses that they say rely too much on lectures and boring experiments.  

One early Project Lead The Way project requires students to solve a mysterious death. In a hypothetical scenario, they learn that a woman's body was found. Over the next few weeks, they get more clues about her and discover why she died. Later, the students dissect sheep hearts, learn how to take an EKG, and cultivate a love for science.

In Mead senior Dianne Figueroa's case, the class is good preparation for college. "I want to be a forensic scientist."

Her lab partner, senior Jill McKenney, plans to study to be a nurse and hopes to attend WSU. "I thought this would be a good start for what I'll have to do in college."

Mead science teacher Carol Dever says the biomedical course draws students who are motivated to learn. She says that has rekindled her love of teaching. "This class is the most fun I've had in my career. It has relevant content and good teacher tools and support."

Dever says she was the only teacher at Mead to volunteer to lead the district's first biomedical class. Now she says her science teacher colleagues want in on the action. But first, they'll have to go through a two-week boot camp next summer on the WSU Spokane campus. Dever, meanwhile, will travel somewhere else next summer to learn how to teach the second of the four Project Lead The Way biomedical courses.

At WSU, Sylvia Oliver says her job is to help school districts that want to adopt the new program find ways to afford it. She says districts spend between $15,000 and $24,000 to stock a biomedical lab. After that, she says the cost of running the program is around $500 a year. For small districts with tight budgets, that may be too much. Oliver says WSU will try to raise money from private sources to help poor districts.

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Sleep Scientists Contribute to Proposed New Aviation Safety Rules

By Judith Van Dongen

Comfort is everything, especially in air travel. Cushy seats and soft fuzzy blankets help make flights to any destination more relaxing, but the ultimate comfort is in knowing that those who are manning the cockpit are well-rested and alert.

To promote safety in commercial air transportation, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has set limitations on duty period and flight time and adopted rest requirements for pilots and other flight crewmembers. These rules are now being revisited, and the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center (SPRC) plays a key role in the process.

Last year, SPRC director Gregory Belenky was one of two sleep scientists who briefed the Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) on the science of sleep, sleep loss, and performance and the potential for fatigue risk management. Comprised of labor, industry, and FAA personnel, the ARC was charged with providing advice to the FAA, which was preparing to issue a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on new duty time regulations for commercial aviation. It was the first time an ARC received scientific input as the first step in its deliberations.

After studying the ARC's recommendations, the FAA issued its new NPRM this September. What's different in these new proposed rules is an increase in the required rest period before duty to nine hours—up from eight hours currently—as well as a 25 percent increase in the required minimum off-duty time per week (to 30 consecutive hours).

Other changes include a single, unified rule for domestic, international, and unscheduled flights; a new way to measure rest periods to guarantee a sleep opportunity of eight hours; and a variation in requirements based on such variables as time of day, time zones, the number of flight segments flown, and the likelihood that a pilot can sleep under different circumstances. Finally, the new proposal gives pilots the right to decline a flight assignment based on fatigue.

To an extent, the new proposed rules are an improvement over the old ones, Belenky said. He is happy about the fact that they take into account circadian rhythms, the 24-hour cycle we are all on that makes us naturally sleepy at night and alert by day. But he emphasized that more flexibility is still needed.

"This NPRM puts less emphasis on fatigue risk management and flexible management in the event and more on prescriptive rule," he said. "But fatigue—the interaction between sleep loss, circadian rhythm and workload—is a complex concept that is not easily handled with a one-size-fits-all prescriptive rule."

In the 60-day public comment period that ended on November 15, Belenky and SPRC assistant director Hans Van Dongen assisted several air transport organizations in making a case for a more flexible, science-based approach.  In fact, Van Dongen is under contract with one of those, the Regional Airline Association (RAA), to further explore one of the issues brought up in response to the NPRM. Earlier this fall, he and postdoctoral fellow Pete McCauley developed a mathematical model of the effect of multiple take-offs and landings on pilot fatigue. They used it to help the RAA determine whether the portion of the FAA proposal related to pilots flying multiple short-haul flights makes sense.

"It turns out that in certain cases, the model predicted that the FAA's recommendations were too restrictive and that flying longer days—even with multiple takeoffs and landings—really shouldn't be more fatiguing, because of the biological increase in alertness during the afternoon," Van Dongen said. He pointed out that a rule that is too restrictive in certain cases and too permissive in others does not help to manage fatigue well, may hurt productivity, and loses credibility over time.

This coming year, Van Dongen will test the validity of the model predictions through a series of experiments that make use of flight simulators to compare an eight-hour duty period involving multiple shorter flight segments to one consisting of a single long-haul flight. The study will make available the first scientific data on this topic, Van Dongen said.

In the meantime, the FAA is considering comments submitted in response to the NPRM, after which it will likely modify its proposal and seek to get it written into law. Van Dongen and Belenky hope that the science-based approach they are advocating—with the help of the air transport organizations—will lead to an improved new rule and safer skies for many years to come.

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$250K Gates Foundation Grant to Ensure More Children Succeed in School

By Judith Van Dongen

A $250,000 grant awarded to Washington State University by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will help elementary schools in Eastern Washington deal with students affected by trauma, improving their chances of academic success.

The grant, which is part of the foundation's Pacific Northwest Community Grants program, will fund a project led by the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) of Eastern Washington, a unit of WSU Extension, to implement a school-based intervention model for students who have experienced multiple stressful disruptions, also referred to as complex trauma. Adverse events that contribute to complex trauma include homelessness, parents' divorce or separation, substance abuse by a family member, and witnessing or being exposed to violence, among others.

"Based on results from a survey we conducted among school professionals, we estimate that one in four children in Spokane elementary schools have experienced two or more traumas," said Christopher Blodgett, director of AHEC and the principal investigator on the project. "We also know that these children are much more likely to fail academically, or experience attendance or other school behavior problems."

Nationwide, complex trauma affects an estimated 25 to 30 percent of all children, a number that by far exceeds the capacity of the formal social and health services delivery system. 

"Given the large amount of time children spend in schools, the public school system is essential in helping our children overcome complex trauma so they can develop into emotionally balanced and well-educated adults." said Blodgett. He pointed to the key role that teachers, especially, should play.

As part of the new model that will be developed under the grant, AHEC will work with several partners to integrate trauma identification and response, as well as social-emotional learning, into the elementary school curriculum. The project will be rolled out over a period of two and a half years, ending in June 2013. Partners on the project include four Spokane-area school districts, the Spokane Regional Health District, and the Boston-based Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute.

"We know that teachers matter more to student achievement than any other factor inside schools. But many teachers do not receive the training they need on managing students' social and emotional challenges," said David Bley, director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Pacific Northwest initiative. "By helping schools better identify and support trauma-impacted students, we can ensure they get the mentoring and support they need to succeed in school and in life."

Schools participating in this project are Whitman, Longfellow, and Bemis Elementary (Spokane Public Schools), Otis Orchards Elementary (East Valley School District), Broadway Elementary (Central Valley School District), and Farwell Elementary (Mead School District). Teachers and administrators in these schools have already received complex trauma training as part of a public health awareness campaign conducted by AHEC during the past three years. As part of this project, they will receive further training in trauma-sensitive instructional and classroom management practices.

The six participating schools serve an estimated 2,600 students every year. Blodgett says he expects that, in these schools, 400 to 600 children with complex trauma will be identified annually and provided access to services designed to build the resiliency and confidence they need to concentrate and perform at their best. 

The project is part of a concerted effort by AHEC and its community partners to mitigate the long-term effects of complex trauma on children. Just last month, AHEC received funds from the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a similar project in public early learning programs in Spokane County.

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Speech & Hearing Sciences Student Pioneers Use of Simulation in Endoscopy Training

By Judith Van Dongen

If you could take three minutes out of your day to help a student become a better health professional, would you? What if this involved having an inexperienced student pass a small video camera down your nose to assess your swallowing? Would you still be up for it?

I didn't think so…

Yet this is the dilemma the speech and hearing sciences program faces every year. As part of assistant professor Nancy Potter's Dysphagia (swallowing disorders) class, graduate students need hands-on practice performing transnasal endoscopy to meet guidelines set by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Until last year, only a few students each year received this practice, typically scoping each other or Potter, a less than ideal situation for the person being scoped.

Elise Benadom scoping "Martin the manikin"
(Photo by Nancy Potter)

So when then-first-year graduate student Elise Benadom consulted with Potter in fall 2008 on a swallowing-related topic for her thesis, they decided to explore the use of simulation in training graduate students to perform transnasal endoscopy.

"We wanted to see whether we could train students without compromising people's noses, because it can be rather uncomfortable," Benadom laughed.

The study design used by Benadom, who graduated last May, compared the effect of two different forms of simulation training—training that used a human patient simulator versus training on a non-lifelike simulator. The process to identify the human patient simulator led Benadom and Potter on an extensive search that started at the Nursing Simulation Lab.

"They kindly let us scope all of their manikins, but none had realistic nasal passages with nasal turbinates," Potter said. "What's challenging in this procedure is passing the scope along the nasal floor below the nasal turbinates without touching them, so it’s crucial that a manikin has realistic nasal anatomy."

Benadom and Potter eventually decided to rebuild an aging manikin found in a closet on the Pullman campus. They separated the manikin into halves, gutted his nose, and used $10 worth of craft supplies to create a nasal structure that would look realistic as seen through the endoscope. The non-lifelike simulator—a glovebox—was more quickly identified.

Benadom's study, which was published last week in the journal Dysphagia, took place over two days in September 2009. Eighteen graduate student clinicians from the speech and hearing sciences program were randomly assigned to groups that either used the manikin or the glovebox to complete seven training passes with the flexible nasal endoscope on day one. On the second day, each clinician performed one pass on two different volunteers. Each volunteer was scoped twice: once by a clinician who trained on the manikin and once by a clinician who used the glovebox for training. 

Surprisingly, study results showed no difference in pass times on human volunteers between clinicians trained on the manikin as compared with the glovebox. Both groups were faster and more confident on the second endoscopy on a volunteer than on the first.

For Benadom, the research project solidified her interest in research. She is currently completing her clinical fellowship year at a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in Dallas, Texas, while considering going back to school for a PhD.

Meanwhile, Potter is working with one of her current students on a follow-up study. She said this study and the one conducted by Benadom are part of a series of studies aimed at determining what would be optimal simulation training prior to performing endoscopy on a human. The intended outcome is a training protocol that could be used by speech-language pathology programs across the nation.

Using simulation for endoscopy training is common sense, Potter emphasized. "Students should know how to use the equipment prior to scoping a volunteer or real patient, just as pilots should know how to use their equipment before flying a plane."

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Pharmacy Move to Spokane to Enhance Collaborative Learning, Research

By Lorraine Nelson, College of Pharmacy

2010 was the year conversation in the College of Pharmacy became about "when" the rest of the college would move from Pullman to WSU Spokane, instead of "whether" the college would consolidate there.

"The consolidation of our College of Pharmacy at WSU Spokane is an integral part of our strategy to make that campus the health sciences campus for our university, as recently designated by the Board of Regents," said WSU president Elson S. Floyd.

The Washington Legislature approved funding in February for the design of a new building for pharmacy and other health sciences in Spokane. It was the second consecutive year state legislators allocated money—during tough economic times—to WSU's top construction priority.

"WSU Spokane will be the site of a new Biomedical/Health Sciences Building, our university's top capital funding priority for the upcoming legislative session," Floyd said.

The decision to relocate the remaining half of the college from Pullman has been in the works for the past few years. It is necessary to meet national standards for pharmacy education that require students to get more hands-on education with real patients.

"Spokane is home to large and growing medical centers that will provide our pharmacy students with outstanding internship and patient care opportunities," Floyd said.

In addition, the college curriculum calls for a few classes where pharmacy students learn alongside students from nursing, medicine and other health sciences. It is easier to do that at WSU Spokane, where a high percentage of students is enrolled in one of the many health sciences disciplines offered on campus by WSU or Eastern Washington University. These interprofessional lessons are recommended by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

With other health sciences disciplines in close proximity, it is a unique opportunity to create a new model not only for health sciences education but also research and service, said Bill Campbell, who served as interim pharmacy dean for the year. The college will share the new building with WSU medical sciences and the University of Washington's medical education program.

"As the health care sector continues to evolve and change, so too must our system of educating the professionals who will be practitioners and leaders in this new era," Floyd said.

Tentative timeline for the move

If all goes according to plan without delays, this could be the timeline for progression of the College of Pharmacy relocation from Pullman to Spokane:
January-March: Legislature considers funding request.
Summer 2011: If construction funds approved, building begins.

December: Building may be ready for occupation; moving begins.

August: School year begins. All pharmacy classes together in Spokane for first time.

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Architecture Student's Project to Reconnect Fairgoers with Agriculture

By Becki Meehan

 Bartels poses in front of a computer rendering of the lower level of one of the mounds created in her design.
(Photo by Becki Meehan)

The connection with agriculture at the fair is always present. However, Valerie Bartels, a master of architecture student at WSU Spokane noticed that commercial exhibits have become a more dominant feature. The interaction between the fairgoer and agriculture is less hands-on and sometimes just mere simulation, such as milking demonstrations using plastic cows.

In an effort to weave a more hands-on agricultural experience back into this environment, Bartels developed a master plan of the Puyallup Fairgrounds—a 160-acre site located in the downtown core of Puyallup, Washington—for her final project.

The proposed plan creates the entire agricultural cycle on site, including animal grazing, crop production, harvesting, storage, and composting. At the same time, it maintains the amusement and commercial functions necessary for the fairground's profitability.

"I've had the experience of connecting with agriculture and knowing where my food comes from," said Bartels. "I know many people have never had that experience based on the way we've constructed our built environment. I am hopeful that my design will help inspire bringing that experience back so people can reconnect with agriculture."

In her plan, Bartels utilizes some of the existing structures on the grounds, but also creates "mounds" or buildings that lift up the landscape and place program facilities beneath. This type of structure allows the use of both top and bottom areas for agriculture and commercial programming, ultimately providing a two-level experience at the fairgrounds and nearly doubling the usable square footage. The space below the mounds allows for a large variety of functions throughout the year, such as interactive animal and plant experiences, community functions, additional parking space, and even storage.

 A model of Bartels' master plan for
the Puyallup Fairgrounds.

Sustainability is a key component of the design. The mounds are created from pervious surfaces such as Geofoam—a lightweight cellular concrete—wire mesh cubes filled with recyclables, allowing for natural water flow on the site. This makes it possible to rely on natural irrigation and saves on the cost of bringing in soil.

Facilities were designed with the animals' comfort in mind as well, by adding ventilation, natural light, natural flooring, and views in and out. This way, barriers between the animals and the public are removed, allowing for more interaction and essentially moving from a "don’t touch" to a "please touch" type of environment.

"Valerie's project is bold, original, and tackles complex issues such as loss of farmland and the role of agriculture in an increasingly suburbanized part of the state," said Matt Cohen, associate professor of Architecture at WSU Spokane.

A bold and daunting task—yes—but, born and raised in the area, this project is near and dear to Bartels' heart. As a visitor to the fair every year and a participant in 4H growing up, the project is truly personal with proposed changes she hopes will come to fruition.

"My hope is that the experiences of agriculture and sustainability introduced in my master plan will inspire not only the city of Puyallup, but more communities throughout the state to find ways of adding the agricultural experience to their urban environments," said Bartels.

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Mental Health, Addiction Research Aids Rural Patients

By Katherine Traczyk, College of Nursing intern

For every dollar spent on costs related to evidence-based treatments for alcohol, drug and mental health disorder, Washington State sees $3.77 in benefits, according to a report from the Washington Institute for Public Policy (WISPP 2006).

A major proponent for the proper care of mental health and substance abuse patients, John Roll is working alongside colleagues to develop a strong line of scientific inquiry into this arena. As the associate dean of research in the College of Nursing, Roll has been awarded grants and contracts to continue his objectives to better the lives of those afflicted with substance abuse and/or mental health concerns.

In particular, a recent multi-million dollar grant from the state Life Sciences Discovery Fund has enabled Roll and his extended team to focus on developing the Program of Excellence in Rural Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment (RMHSAT). The major goal of the project is to develop a center focused on creating and disseminating evidence-based care for mental health and substance use concerns in rural areas.

As the majority of substance abuse treatment research has concentrated its efforts on urban areas, Roll and his team find a discrepancy towards the care of rural patients.

Almost 60 percent of Washington counties are rural (fewer than 50 people per square mile) or frontier (defined as fewer than seven people per square mile). Relative to urban areas, rural or frontier areas generally have higher levels of poverty and chronic disease, a lack of medical and behavioral health care providers, less health insurance, more natural barriers (such as longer travel distances to health care provider and extreme weather), lower levels of cultural diversity within the community, and older populations.

Because of these characteristics and other issues, evidence-based treatments for substance abuse and mental health problems developed for treating urban populations often do not translate well to rural settings.

Ultimately, the team would like to obliterate the disparity in health care that exists between rural and urban areas.

"Recovery from mental health and substance abuse disorders is not the exception; rather an expectation," Roll said. "We should expect it no matter where we live."

An overarching goal of the program is to adopt state of the art technology transfer methods so that treatments developed and found to be effective can be distributed to impact communities in a sustainable fashion. RMHSAT will serve as a standard for the state of Washington, with hopes that it will become a model for the nation.

Partnering with the University of Washington, Group Health, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, and the Department of Health, the project has extended to a number of seeding projects. It uses an interdisciplinary team approach with expert faculty from nursing, medicine, pharmacology, psychology, health policy and administration, biostatistics, health economics, and sociology.

The program also serves as a training site for future researchers and clinicians. Both undergraduate and graduate nursing students participate, as do graduate students in experimental and clinical psychology, social work, health economics, health policy, and medicine.

With the funding, Roll also has been able to support administrative staff, two new tenure-track faculty members in nursing, three postdoctoral fellows, and a visiting scholar from the United Kingdom.

Surveying the practices in rural as well as urban areas in Washington has provided more accurate outlooks on the issue. Certain barriers, facilitators, and cultural issues impacting the delivery and reception of evidence-based treatment have been recorded.

Paralleling prior research, Roll and his team also have found interesting data linking evidence-based treatment and the potential cost offsets. Through the treatment of mental health and substance abuse patients emerges a reduction in healthcare costs and criminal activity, as well as increased economic potential.

Research efforts in the RMHSAT program include treatment for the abuse of prescription opiates, development of an electronic community of care for mental health consumers and their families, evaluation of evidence-based protocols for treating depression, documentation of barriers to the receipt and delivery of evidence-based treatment in rural areas, and extensive coordination between the RMHSAT program and the Program of Excellence in the Addiction (also directed by Roll), which is conducting trials to develop enhanced substance abuse treatment protocols.

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Diabetes Patients, Children with Autism Sought for Research Studies

Researchers from the WSU Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences and the WSU College of Pharmacy are currently recruiting participants for several studies under way at the Riverpoint Campus.

Assistant professor of speech and hearing sciences Teresa Cardon is looking for children with autism to participate in a research study on gestural imitation and video modeling. Children with autism between the ages of 18 months and four years who like to watch videos or television may qualify to participate in these free intervention sessions. The sessions will last for up to 10 weeks and will take place during the spring of 2011, with varying session dates. Those interested in having their child participate should contact Cardon at 509-358-7590.

The WSU College of Pharmacy's Clinical Trials Research Team is looking for persons with type 2 diabetes and risk factors for cardiovascular disease to participate in one of several studies they are conducting. All studies are under the direction of Spokane physician and College of Pharmacy research professor Carol Wysham and assistant professor of pharmacotherapy Joshua Neumiller. Participants in these clinical trials may be compensated for time and travel and benefit from frequent contact with health care professionals, guidance on nutrition and physical activity, and access to newly approved or investigational medications. Those interested in participating may call Debra Weeks at 509-358-7733 or Shannon Yedinak at 509-358-7729.

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  • John Turpin, associate professor and chair of the Department of Interior Design, has been named by DesignIntelligence as one of 25 "educators and education administrators who exemplify excellence in design education leadership." A bimonthly journal for architecture and design professionals, DesignIntelligence publishes the list annually, based on input from hundreds of design professionals, academic department heads, and students. Read more about this in the news release.
  • The first in a two-part book series co-edited by research professor Hans Van Dongen, Sleep and Performance Research Center, was published last month. Part of Elsevier's Progress in Brain Research series, "Human Sleep and Cognition" (Parts 1 and 2) brings together cutting-edge research on the relationship between sleep and cognition, drawn from the basic, clinical, and applied sciences. Part 1, which focuses on basic research, contains contributions from scholars from around the world, including a chapter by WSU psychology professors Paul Whitney and John Hinson.
  • Another cohort of students in WSU's executive MBA program will graduate on Saturday, December 11. The 2010 cohort consists of 12 students (pictured below, from left to right): Eveline Bisson, director of Northwest MedStar and a registered nurse; Patrick Bisson, who works in business development at SNAP Financial Access; Patrick Burch, business manager and co-owner of Neurotherapy Northwest; PJ Carlson-Hafner, controller/HR manager at the Factory Company International; Michael Ebinger, director of the Innovation Assessment Center at the WSU College of Business and contract scientist for Los Alamos National Laboratory; Erin Gilmour, manager information services for Energy Northwest; James Kensok, vice president and CIO for Avista Corporation; Stephanie Link, Sirti client services business consultant; Bryce McKeirnan, electrical engineer and capital projects manager in the metals industry, Tim McMaster, project engineer/manager for the Pend Oreille County Public Utility District; Reginald Wainwright, work week manager at Energy Northwest Richland; and Melanie Whalen, vice president for lending support systems and reporting manager at Sterling Savings Bank.

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

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Community Connections

  • Saturday, Dec. 18 - KPBX Kids' Concert: Countdown to the Holidays
    Welcome the season with KPBX's Countdown to the Holidays, on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W Sprague Ave! The choirs of the Spokane Area Children's Chorus will present a wide-ranging program of traditional and modern carols and seasonal songs. Free admission. For more information, see the KPBX event Web page.
  • Now through Dec. 23 - Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery's Santa Express
    At Santa Express, children ages 4 through 12 can find inexpensive gifts for everyone on their shopping list. Volunteer elves are on hand to help the children select and wrap their gifts, with the net proceeds going to benefit the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery. And while the kids enjoy shopping at Santa Express, adults can stop by Vanessa’s Village, a boutique of reasonably-priced, specialty items perfect for stocking stuffers, gifts for family and friends or secret Santas! Santa Express is located downtown on the skywalk level of the Crescent Building, 707 W. Main Avenue. Store hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Gifts are limited, so plan to shop early for the best selection!

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Personnel and Staffing Changes    


  • Jennifer Lane, Research Study Manager, College of Nursing/National Children's Study in Grant County (Moses Lake), effective November 9, 2010.
  • Alana Tebow, Coordinator, College of Nursing/National Children's Study in Grant County (Moses Lake), effective November 16, 2010.
  • Robert Garza, Student Services Specialist, College of Nursing at Tri-Cities, effective November 29, 2010.


  • Bethany Fruci, Coordinator, WIMHRT to College of Nursing, effective December 1, 2010.


  • Traci Darnton, Office Assistant 3, College of Nursing, effective November 29, 2010.

Recruitment & Searches:

  • District Director, WSU Extension Spokane County, screening began November 1, 2010.
  • Research Intern, Shock Physics, offer pending.
  • Research Intern, WWAMI, screening began November 15, 2010.
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Way to Go!

"Way to Go" to the two Riverpoint Campus Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) members who were winners in the Wheel Options campaign back in October. Bus rider Mark French (Facilities Operations) received a snowshoe rental for two and carpooler/telecommuter Jaime Rice (Interdisciplinary Design Institute) won big with a $100 Starbucks gift card. Also, congratulations to the Riverpoint Campus Most Valuable Commuters for this quarter: carpooler Devon Kelley, Nursing (October); walker Mary Wood, Library (November), and bus rider Martin Losada, Applied Sciences Lab (December).
(from Norene Phillipson, Facilities Operations)

After struggling over icy sidewalks piled high with unshoveled snow in front of adjacent properties it's a huge relief to get to campus property and have bare sidewalks that are much safer to walk on. Thank you to everyone working on the grounds and custodial crews for taking such good care of us all.
(from Barb Chamberlain, 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 Judith Van Dongen and watch for your thanks to be published in an upcoming issue of the Campus Bulletin!

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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.

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