Issue 2011-05 (May 11, 2011)



WSU Awarded $1M NIH Grant for Research on Sleep and Decision Making

By Judith Van Dongen

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have awarded researchers at Washington State University more than $1.1 million in grant funding over a three-year period to study the effects of sleep deprivation on decision-making.

Through a series of experiments that will start this summer, the researchers will look at what goes wrong with cognitive functioning when a person is sleep deprived. To pinpoint the exact processes implicated in decision-making error, they will examine separately the different components of cognition, including information intake, information processing in working memory, and decision execution. This will be achieved through specially designed decision-making tasks administered to study participants before, during, and after a period of 62 hours of sleep deprivation.

"This research is relevant for individuals with medical conditions, many of whom face sleep problems," said Gregory Belenky, director of the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center and co-investigator on the grant. "Sleepy patients are more likely to make health care decisions that are not in their best interest, and the experiments will reveal what goes wrong in the brain when that happens." The study will also have implications for decision-making performance in a variety of safety-critical settings, such as transportation and law enforcement.

The funding stems from a collaboration spanning two WSU campuses, involving research professors Hans Van Dongen and Gregory Belenky of the Sleep and Performance Research Center in Spokane and professors Paul Whitney and John Hinson of the Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts in Pullman.
Principal investigator on the grant is postdoctoral research fellow Melinda Jackson, also with the Sleep and Performance Research Center in Spokane.
"This grant award exemplifies the supportive research environment at Washington State University," said WSU provost Warwick Bayly. "Few other institutions have senior scientists who give a junior researcher the opportunity to bring in a project of this caliber."

The study builds on NIH-funded work on the cognitive effects of sleep deprivation, brought to WSU by Van Dongen in 2005, which was also the basis for a recent collaborative study by Van Dongen, Belenky, Whitney and Hinson on the effects of sleep deprivation on executive functioning.
"Obtaining NIH funding is considered very prestigious among researchers seeking fundamental knowledge relevant to health and disease," said Bryan Slinker, vice provost for health sciences. "With this grant, WSU faculty step up their contributions to a thriving research environment and a solid basis for expanding medical education in Spokane."

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Study Expands Time Window for Facial Nerve Rehabilitation

By Judith Van Dongen

A research study conducted at Washington State University Spokane offers hope to those suffering from facial nerve damage. According to the study, which was published online today in the journal Developmental Neurohabilitation, muscle weakness resulting from facial nerve damage incurred during childhood can improve with intensive facial exercise, years after injury.

"Our study shows that there isn't just a one-year window for facial rehabilitation, which has commonly been assumed in the field," said Nancy Potter, an author on the study and an assistant professor of speech and hearing sciences at WSU Spokane.

The article, "Effects of Strength Training on Neuromuscular Facial Rehabilitation," was authored by Emily Perry, a former graduate student of Potter's, who served both as a researcher and as the study's single subject.

Perry (left) and Potter at the 2010 International Conference on Motor Speech. Photo courtesy of Emily Perry.

As a child, Perry had been involved in a serious motorcycle accident that left her with serious injuries. Among them was facial nerve damage, which resulted in a right-side facial droop that was not treated at the time as it did not negatively affect her speech.

Thirteen years after her accident, Perry worked with Potter and others to design a facial exercise program that involved seven weeks of intensive strength exercises (Phase I) followed by a moderately intense 16-week strength training program (Phase II). The program targeted four different muscle regions in her face, using a device normally associated with increasing and measuring tongue strength in patients with swallowing disorders.

Another tool used to measure progress was the Perry Appliance, a custom-designed device consisting of a tape measure attached to a dental whitening tray. It served as a visual aid to several volunteer graders in scoring photos and video footage that showed the extent of facial movement throughout the exercise program.

The results showed a significant increase in strength in all four impaired muscle regions throughout the seven-week intensive exercise program in Phase I. Strength was maintained, though not increased, during a subsequent two-week rest period and during and after Phase II of the treatment. Though the authors chose to include strengthening exercises only—excluding those focused on increasing range of motion—they also observed an increase in lip raise, making Perry's smile more symmetrical.

"I'm very excited about these results and the prospects they offer for others affected by facial nerve damage," said Perry.

Preliminary results of the study were also presented at the 2010 International Conference on Motor Speech. As a result of that presentation, several leading rehabilitation hospitals are currently looking into adopting the study protocol.

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Study to Examine Fatigue and Distraction in Police Driving

By Judith Van Dongen

As a growing number of states impose bans on drivers' use of cell phones and warn them of the dangers of distracted driving and fatigue, those enforcing the bans are exempt from them—and forced to be some of the worst offenders.

"Back in the old days, police officers would patrol in teams of two, with one person driving and the other talking on the radio," said Bryan Vila, a professor of criminal justice and a researcher associated with the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center (SPRC) in Spokane. "Now, they travel solo in a patrol car equipped with two or more radios, a laptop, cell phones, GPS, radar equipment, and cameras and other recording devices."

Add to that fatigue caused by long hours, shift work and night work, and you have a potentially lethal combination, he added.

To find out exactly how lethal, Vila and his team will be conducting a laboratory study to examine the impact of fatigue and distractions on law enforcement officer driving performance, comparing collision risk for those who work day shifts with those who work night shifts. The work will be done under a new, two-year contract with the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). 

The study is part of a continuing line of research related to police officer performance, safety, and health spearheaded by Vila, who heads up a simulation laboratory located in the SPRC that is designed to mimic police officers' work environments.

Vila hopes the outcome of the study will help explain results from a preliminary analysis done by POST on data from all traffic collisions involving on- and off-duty California police officers over the past 13 years. Those data, he says, show that the rates of fatalities and career-ending injuries among California police officers have increased, whereas similar rates in the general population have decreased. Although the analysis identified excessive speed and failure to yield as the two major accident causes, Vila believes fatigue and distraction may be the underlying causes.

A pilot study conducted last fall served as input into the experimental design for the study, which will start this summer and will be conducted in the simulation laboratory. Volunteers drawn from local law enforcement will come into the lab twice—once at the end of a long work week and a second time at the end of a three-day period off work. Each time, they will go through a series of tasks that measure attention and driving performance. They will complete different driving scenarios on a simulator that can be outfitted as a patrol car or a regular passenger car to simulate work-related driving or the commute home from a shift. Eye-tracking devices enable the research team to examine the subjects’ level of distraction while driving.

"Despite significant improvements in automotive safety technology in the past 20 years, U.S. police officers are still more likely to die from traffic accidents than from felonious acts such shootouts and fights," said Vila. "We hope this study will contribute to our understanding of this issue, so we can get closer to identifying appropriate remedies."

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SLIDESHOW: Photos of 2011 Commencement Ceremony

Photos by Judith Van Dongen and Cori Vaughn

[Press "Play" button to start slideshow. Click "Expand" button on bottom right for a full-screen view of these images.]

About 430 Washington State University Spokane students collected diplomas during the May 6 Commencement ceremony at the INB Performing Arts Center. About half of the students collected bachelor's degrees; the other half were split between doctoral and master's students. WSU President Elson Floyd gave the keynote address. Chancellor Brian Pitcher highlighted four students who overcame significant obstacles to finish their degree programs. Deborah Napier, the first recipient of a doctorate in design, also spoke.

The slideshow above provides a visual impression of the day. To see all photos taken by campus staff that at Commencement, including photos of Commencement Breakfast, go to the Commencement photo albums at

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Passion for Latino Learning: Friends Earn Education Doctorates Together

By Julie Titone, College of Education

Ismael Vivanco might not have gone to college if his father hadn't heard there were strawberries "as big as apples" in Washington's Skagit River Valley.

And Miguel Villarreal might have become a police officer were it not for an invitation to visit a kindergarten classroom.

Vivanco (left) and Villarreal
(Photo by Judith Van Dongen)

Ish and Mike, as everyone calls them, are experts in Latino education who graduated Friday from Washington State University Spokane with doctor of education degrees. Their accomplishments illustrate the roles that fate and mentoring play in life - and the value of a friend who pesters you.

"Ish finished his doctoral work last August. We were both on track to do so," said Villarreal, assistant superintendent for the Othello School District. "But a person in my office left, plus we're remodeling all of our schools, and work pulled at me. So Ish called me once or twice a week since August, pushing me to get done."

Vivanco couldn't imagine going through commencement without Villarreal.

"I had to wait for my buddy," he said. "He and I have definitely supported each other."

Both men are 42. Over the past four years, they worked their way together through WSU’s superintendent certification program, followed by the doctoral program in educational leadership.

They balanced their course work, internships and research with their family obligations - Villareal has five children - and demanding jobs. Vivanco is associate executive director of the North Central Educational Service District, based in Wenatchee....

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SLIDESHOW: White Coat Ceremony

Photos by Doug Nadvornick

[Press "Play" button to start slideshow. Click "Expand" button on bottom right for a full-screen view of these images.]

Just a day after finishing their last final exam, Spokane's 2010-11 first-year medical students capped their academic year with the annual White Coat Ceremony. The students’ professors and preceptors honored them for their hard work by giving the students the white coats that they'll wear when they do their clinical work. Some students are working in rural clinics around the Northwest this summer. Others are working on research projects. In the fall, the group of 20 will join about 200 other medical students in Seattle for their second year of study.

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Phone Coaching Tried for Rural Diabetes Patients

By Lorraine A. Nelson, College of Pharmacy

Would it improve the health of diabetes patients in rural areas if student pharmacists phoned them weekly, using motivational interviewing techniques in their conversations? And what kind of impact would the phone calls have on the students?

Those are questions faculty in the WSU College of Pharmacy and WSU Extension are trying to answer.

Ten pharmacy students voluntarily trained to be telephone coaches. Through the use of motivational interviewing and telephone coaching, they were trained to coach patients in goal setting to modify their lifestyles to better manage their diabetes.

Pharmacy student phone coaches with, in front left to right,
Megan N. Wilson and
Jennifer D. Robinson, assistant professors,
and Linda Garrelts MacLean, associate
dean for professional
education and outreach, all in the College of Pharmacy.
(Photo by Lorraine Nelson)

Following the training, each of the students called four to five patients a week for eight consecutive weeks. All calls were recorded and, in addition, students completed a three-page checklist after every call. They identified the various topics of conversation, such as whether they helped the patient plan for coping with a difficult situation or setting and achieving a goal.

"It is too early to determine if there are positive results for our patients, but we can say that, anecdotally, the coaches and some patients are providing very positive feedback," said Linda Garrelts MacLean, an associate dean in the College of Pharmacy and one of two principal investigators on the project.

For example, one week a patient reported she had made an appointment to see her doctor—a positive step—and the doctor found her blood sugar was down. When the student coach asked the patient what influenced her behavior, she replied she knew the coach would be calling to talk with her and so she got on her bicycle and rode it. The patient thanked the coach for checking on her.

Another patient who was at first resistant to any form of exercise except water aerobics reported she was starting to feel better because of improved nutrition and had enough energy to consider adding walking once a week to her exercise routine.

"Cost effective strategies are desperately needed to improve self-management of diabetes," MacLean said. This could reduce costly and painful diabetic complications in rural areas where the rates of diabetes are unusually high, she said.

MacLean and other faculty are now studying the information gathered during the telephoning phase. In addition, they will also conduct a post-calling questionnaire among patients to assess their perception of their ability to take care of their diabetes; how they plan to handle any depression; whether they can practice good eating; and whether they are willing to seek out a health care provider when they have questions, among other aspects. The researchers will also look at patients’ blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and weight before and after the coaching sessions.

The 50 patients who are participating in the study were identified through a WSU Extension community education project known as "On the Road to Living Well with Diabetes." Extension has been educating underserved populations around the state with “On the Road” since 2001. Funding for On the Road, as well as the telephone coaching study, comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Shirley M. Broughton, a faculty member at the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center, is the other co-principal investigator on the project.

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WSU Researcher Studies Female War Veteran Transition To Civilian Life

By Doug Nadvornick

Assistant professor of nursing Cindy Fitzgerald is drawn to stories about women in the middle of major life transitions.

"I'm interested in, for example, what happens to women when they have a child," she said. "Then, what happens to women when that child starts school?"

Now, the Spokane researcher and longtime nurse is studying a relatively new type of transition: how do female soldiers who served in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan adjust to life back in the U.S.? The answer? Sometimes not too well.

During the last two years, Fitzgerald has interviewed 39 female veterans, 24 of whom served in dangerous roles "outside the wire."

"A lot of women I've talked to wonder if they're crazy or normal," she said.

Fitzgerald says she's learning that women who return from overseas deployments have a variety of health problems that, while not unique, occur in greater numbers among their group: traumatic brain injuries, depression, menstrual irregularities, difficulty conceiving children and gastrointestinal distress.

Among her other findings: "I haven't run into as much substance abuse and addictive behavior as I thought I would," said Fitzgerald. "Most of the women I've met have retained their military discipline about their body habits and their diets."

She says the health-related facts are interesting. But she's more interested in the stories behind the statistics and she's finding people who want to talk.

"I haven't had to look for women yet," since word has spread about Fitzgerald’s research. "I think they know they have an important story, and I think they want to tell it to someone who gets it, someone who will listen," like a nurse, she said.

Fitzgerald says, other than a small group from the Veterans' Administration, few, if any, researchers in the U.S. are paying attention to the returning female veterans.

That's one reason why WSU Spokane awarded her a $3,750 Faculty Seed Grant to give her a start on her research.

"Her focus on women with brain injuries is less written about, but it's promising and important," said vice chancellor of research Dennis Dyck. "Her approach is unique and in-depth. She's going out of her way to identify issues and problems."

Now, Fitzgerald is looking for other grants to continue her work. She would love to follow some of these women for a longer period of time.

"I would love to work in a team to explore other aspects of these women to give a fuller understanding of them," she said. "There's so much we don’t know about what we don't know. I think if this work is done well, it can help make a lot of things clearer and I'd like to be part of that."

One of the problems, Fitzgerald says, is identifying the women who need help.

"These women who come back, they look like Debbie next door, they go to college," she said. "You can turn on the TV every night and hear a story about veterans, but you just don't hear the focus on this population that is really at risk for being lost."

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Tribal Students Encouraged to Pursue College Education via STEM Pipeline

By Doug Nadvornick

Washington State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are laying the groundwork for what they hope will someday be a steady stream of math and science students from the Colville Confederated Tribes.

For the last five years, WSU and the U.S.D.A. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have sponsored the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) outreach program, "Pumping-Up the Math and Science Pipeline." The Colville Confederated Tribes is one of the program's contributors.

"We're trying to get students interested in math and science careers at a young age,” said Kathleen Parker, ARS program assistant, based at WSU Pullman. "If we wait to get to them in high school, that's too late."

Each month, WSU professors, students and ARS scientists visit students at the Nespelem School, on the Colville Indian Reservation in northeast Washington. They teach math and science-related lessons to fifth-through-eighth graders.

WSU intercultural communications students
hold up name signs to guide the Nespelem
students they mentored at WSU Spokane.
(Photo by Doug Nadvornick)

Last month, for the first time, about 50 students from Nespelem returned the visit, though not to Pullman because it would have been an almost 200-mile trip each way. Instead they met a group of WSU intercultural communications students at the WSU Spokane campus. About a month earlier, the two sets of students had been paired up and began exchanging letters.

When the Nespelem kids got off the bus in Spokane, they were greeted by smiling WSU students.

"It was so awesome 'cause all of our pen pals raised up a piece of paper and it said one or two of our names on it," a student with the pseudonym Pepernos wrote after the visit.

After a pizza lunch, the paired-up students spent the afternoon playing games and doing science experiments.

"When we were in the science project room, her excitement radiated from her eyes," said WSU student Nicole Hicks, who mentored a fifth-grade girl. "She seemed to be interested in forensics. Just like me at that age."

That's good news to Robbie Paul, a Nez Perce who directs Native American Health Sciences at the WSU Spokane. She told the students that her father used to accurately forecast the weather just by listening to the calls of nearby birds. She encouraged the Nespelem children to consider, when they get older, leaving the comfort zone of their reservation to go to college.

"I flunked out of college twice," Paul told them. "But my father told me never to give up. He encouraged me. And so I encourage you. Stay in school. We need you."

Organizers of the pipeline program hope that message carries more clout when it's delivered by WSU students such as Nicole Hicks.

"After we got to sit in the auditorium for a few minutes, I told her many stories about myself when I was her age. That started to get her to talk because she realized she and I were much alike," said Hicks. "I hope she sees me as someone she could be down the road."

The WSU/ARS Pipeline Program offers a broad spectrum of STEM activities, and participation by the WSU's Center for Civic Engagement adds an exciting new dimension to the program. The center's Vernette Doty says that they will collect feedback about the Spokane field trip to improve its impact in the future.

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Jensen-Byrd Warehouse Offered for Sale—Proceeds to Benefit Medical Expansion

By Barb Chamberlain

WSU began efforts in fall of 2005 to find an appropriate development partner for the Jensen-Byrd Warehouse and adjacent properties and conducted a facility assessment and economic development analysis of the building's potential for redevelopment.

After multiple rounds of negotiation with two different potential developers, no project has come to fruition on the property.

With the pending completion of Martin Luther King, Jr. Way (Riverside Extension) the activity around the property makes it a more attractive prospect for development than has been the case for some time. Campus and university leadership want to see a project move forward to accelerate overall development of the campus.

At their May 5 meeting, the WSU Board of Regents voted to authorize WSU administration to offer the property for sale. Proceeds from the sale would fund medical education and research expansion at WSU Spokane. Proposed terms of the sale will come back to the Board of Regents for approval before any sale is finalized.

About the Jensen-Byrd Building

The Jensen-Byrd Building property includes three structures: a 1909 six-story brick structure, a two-story 1910 addition, and a 1970s-era 6000-square-foot metal storage shed. The property is located just east of Pine Street and south of Spokane Falls Boulevard.

The six-story building was built in 1909 for the Marshall-Wells Hardware Company of Duluth, Portland and Winnipeg. The Jensen-Byrd Company, founded in 1883 and a longtime Spokane hardware distributor, absorbed Marshall-Wells in the 1950s and based its business at the building until 2004. The buildings are now vacant.

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Mary Sánchez Lanier to Lead Pre-Health Sciences, STEM Education

By Beverly Makhani, University College

Mary Sánchez Lanier has assumed new leadership positions within the University College at Washington State University, serving as associate dean of the college.

She will lead pre-health sciences Advising and STEM education, part of the University College since this spring, following budget cuts and reorganizations in the College of Sciences and the College of Nursing. The unit will include liaisons with the College of Veterinary Medicine as well.

The pre-health advising team supports all undergraduates from many majors who intend to go to professional programs in health-related areas such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, nursing, physical therapy, dental hygiene, and physician assisting. The team also carries out many roles in support of undergraduate STEM education.

Sánchez Lanier will also continue as clinical associate professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine, teaching courses and conducting research into her field of virology. She is the recipient of the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award in the category of leadership, awarded in 2010.

Sánchez Lanier earned both her B.S. in biology with a minor in chemistry, and her Ph.D. in medical sciences from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. She joined WSU in fall 1990 as an assistant professor in the departments of microbiology and basic medical science. She went on to serve in numerous administrative roles in the College of Sciences, including associate dean, 2002-2010.

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  • The recipient of the 2011 WSU Spokane Faculty Excellence Award is David Brody, professor and campus academic director for the criminal justice program. Brody was honored for his efforts in "building our criminal justice program and guiding it into a full-fledged department on three campuses—all the while fulfilling all of his duties as a mentor, teacher, researcher, and public servant." He received the award during the May 6 commencement ceremony.
  • Chancellor's Awards for Excellence were given to the following 2011 Spokane graduates: Susan Fleming (PhD in Nursing), Deborah Napier (Doctor of Design), Dylan Jones (MS in Human Nutrition), Andrew Helm (Doctor of Pharmacy), Makanani Hirayama (Doctor of Pharmacy), Jessica Moore (Doctor of Pharmacy), Kayla Simons (Doctor of Pharmacy), Amanda Acuff (BS in Nursing), Brad Demmert (BS in Nursing), and Todd Keatts (BS in Nursing).
  • The 2011 WSU Spokane Student Choice Award for Excellence in Teaching went to Rena Klein, an instructor at the Interdisciplinary Design Institute. Klein was nominated for her “professionalism, intellect, and true spirit for teaching by instilling value, ethics, and concern for the world around us.” Nominees for the award also included Sandy Bassett (Speech & Hearing Sciences), Madeline Houghton (Nutrition and Exercise Physiology), William Fassett (Pharmacy), Angela Maldonado (Pharmacy), Nancy Potter (Speech & Hearing Sciences), Leslie Power (Speech & Hearing Sciences), Lorna Schumann (Nursing), Gary Smith (Health Policy & Administration), John Turpin (Interdisciplinary Design Institute), and Laura Wintersteen-Arleth (Nursing).
  • The College of Nursing presented faculty awards to two of its faculty members. The Spokane Teachers Credit Union Undergraduate Faculty Award went to graduate teaching assistant Lynette Vehrs.  Associate professor Jackie Banasik received the Spokane Teachers Credit Union Graduate Faculty Award.
  • The College of Pharmacy presented Pharmacy Teacher of the Year Awards to Cathy Elstad, clinical associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences and associate dean of students (Pullman); David Sclar, professor of pharmacotherapy (Spokane); Mark Garrison, associate professor of of pharmacotherapy and assistant dean of student services (Spokane); and John White, professor of pharmacotherapy and interim department chair (Spokane).
  • The newly chartered WSU Gamma Upsilon Chapter of Phi Lambda Sigma, the national Pharmacy Leadership Society, inducted its first initiates on May 1 in Spokane: Andrew Helm, Darren Shimanuki, Janice Louie, Jessica Moore, Kayla Simons, Matthew Pokrifchak, Renae Hamilton Buchholtz, Sandy Chan, Sherry Whitley, Crystal Little, Cyrus Tumbaga, James Fischer, Jennifer Utigard,
    Kevin Walker, Maylee Luc, Patrick Tabon,
    and Sandra Hong. Members are recognized for their leadership roles in the college as well as the community.
  • Professor of education Gail Furman recently received one of several Faculty Funding Awards given out by the College of Education each year. These grants—of up to $5,000 for a faculty member or $9,000 for a faculty team—are used to develop research programs and generate journal publications or proposals for external funding.
  • Associate professor of education Gordon Gates has been awarded the 2011 College of Education award for collaboration and networking for the Spokane Campus.
  • Angela Maldonado, a clinical assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy, has been elected to the American Society of Transplantation's Transplant Pharmacy Community of Practice Executive Committee. She will serve the committee as a member-at-large for a period of two years. The executive committee focuses on fostering transplant pharmacists as active members of the society via interactions with other communities of practice, participation in public policy directives, and society committees and councils.
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Community Connections

  • Sunday, May 15-21 – Bike to Work Week with Spokane Public Radio
    May is the month to get moving. Listen in this week and learn more about the benefits of a bicycle-based commute. What's your excuse for not biking to work? For more information, go to Spokane Public Radio or register for events at SPOKANEBIKES.ORG
  • Saturday, May 21 – 73rd Armed Forces Torch Light Parade—Spokane Lilac Festival 2011
    Join the 2011 Grand Marshall, Major General Randy Fullhart for the Spokane Lilac Festival's Armed Forces Torchlight Parade at 7:45 p.m. in downtown Spokane. For more information visit the Spokane Lilac Festival Association site.
  • Friday, June 17 – KPBX Kids’ Concert:  Music from the Time of Leonardo daVinci
    Join host Jim Tevenan at The Bing Crosby Theater from noon to 1 p.m. for a free concert followed by a special display at the MAC. For more information, go to the KPBX event page.
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Personnel and Staffing Changes    


  • Catherine Bugayong, Secretary Senior, Small Business Development Center – Seattle, effective April 11, 2011. 


  • Sandra Baldwin, Facility Operations, effective June 1, 2011.
  • Bettie Rundlett, Area Health Education Coordinator, effective June 30, 2011.

Recruitment & Searches:

  • Professor and Chair, Pharmacotherapy, College of Pharmacy, screening began 5/1/11.
  • Assistant Technician 1, WWAMI, summer position, work study preferred. Contact Kim Noe at to apply.

Retirement Celebration for Sandi Baldwin - Wednesday, June 1

Who do you call when you discover a toilet that is not functioning well, your office is too hot or too cold, you need a new key, or you need just about anything else done on campus? Who is always there to answer 358-7994? That would be Sandi Baldwin, principal assistant for the WSU Spokane Facilities Operations Office, who is prepared to deal with just about anything with her calming voice, winning smile, and great laugh.

Sandi is retiring on Wednesday, June 1. She plans to hit the open road with her hubby and the RV, something she has talked about for years. In honor of all of Sandi's dedication and service to WSU Spokane over the past nine years, the FacOps office is planning a BBQ luncheon of hot dogs, etc., for Wednesday, June 1, noon – 2:00pm in the South Campus Facility Court. All Riverpoint Campus employees are invited to come on over and celebrate Sandi's service to the campus. Hope to see you there!

Sandi Baldwin portrait

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Way to Go!

A BIG thank you to the 45 Commencement volunteers who made Friday's celebrations a success! From the set-up crew, the breakfast crew, and everyone who helped before, during and after the ceremony at the Convention Center—you helped make the day a memorable one for all of our graduates. Thank you for spending your day with us!
(Becki Meehan, Communications)

A special thank you to Judy Zeiger, Liz West, and Lisa Hoveskeland for the long hours and hard work on Commencement! It was a pleasure working with you on this great event!
(Becki Meehan, Communications)

Thank you to my colleagues Judith Van Dongen and Cori Vaughn for their excellent photographs of the breakfast celebration and the Commencement celebration. You did a great job capturing the joy and happiness of our graduates, their families and all the faculty and staff!
(Becki Meehan, 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.

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!

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Editorial staff