Issue 2012-08 (August 15, 2012)



Health Sciences Students Learn to Work Together in Othello

By Doug Nadvornick

WSU pharmacy students Amy Pham and Mark Petersen weren't sure what to expect when they committed to a two-week project that would run during their summer rotation at a clinic in Othello, Washington.

They knew they would be working with four students from other health sciences disciplines as part of an interprofessional project funded by Spokane's Empire Health Foundation. The goal was to let them work with students they probably wouldn't see in the classroom, but might encounter in a clinical setting.

The interdisciplinary student team and their mentors. From left
to right, front row:
Dr. Veronica Idrogo, DDS; chief medical
officer Dr. Hung Miu, Dr. Sarah Hale; students Libby Pascucci
Jo-Eun Gilliland, Barb Richardson; and dental staff
supervisor Sarah Salsbury. Back row: Pharmacist Nathan
Spinelli; and students Travis Henderson, Amy Pham, Mark
Petersen, and Justin Brandler. (Photo by Steve Meltzer)

Besides Pham and Petersen, the participants were Justin Brandler (UW/WSU, medicine), Libby Pascucci (UW/EWU, dentistry), Jo-Eun Gilliland (WSU, family nurse practitioner), and Travis Henderson (UW, physician assistant), who were also in Othello for clinical rotations.

"We got the six students together to do a community survey, a 'windshield assessment' if you will, to determine how they could make a difference during their time together," said Barb Richardson, the director of Riverpoint Interprofessional Education and Research and coordinator of the project.

Pham, Petersen, and their peers tackled two of Othello's most difficult public health problems: domestic violence and teen pregnancy. The best way to do that, they determined, would be to meet with young women who visited the clinics of their sponsoring organization, the Columbia Basin Health Association.

"We wanted to reach out to girls aged 15 to 25 to provide contraception and relationship safety information and deliver it in a non-confrontational way," said Pham.

To attract young clinic goers, the health sciences students created what they called "summer survival kits." They bought recyclable bags and filled them with items such as Frisbees, beach balls, personal hygiene products, and cards with information about contraception and healthy relationships. Along with the bags they distributed to young women they met in the clinic, students offered information and individualized guidance.

Signs of success

Pham and Petersen say they were pleased by the reception they received. While most of the group met one-on-one with the young women, the two pharmacy students worked as a team. Petersen says Pham's gender helped when conversations drifted to sensitive topics.

Travis Henderson says one tangible benefit of the project was that five girls opted to be vaccinated for the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is spread through sexual contact.

But Henderson also counts other, less concrete, victories. He tells a story about how clinic nurses quietly arranged for one young woman whom they suspected was a victim of partner abuse to be pulled away from her boyfriend's family to talk with Henderson about her options for improving her situation.

Students grade the project

Henderson, Pham and Petersen all say they appreciated the chance to meet with their peers in other health sciences disciplines and learn about how they're trained. The students' main complaint was that they had only two weeks to devise a project and carry it out.

Barb Richardson says that in surveys completed after their experience, the students expressed feeling like they made progress during their stint in Othello and wishing they could have more interprofessional opportunities. But unless more funding can be found, she says future projects will probably be smaller and less structured. Many faculty members are open to these types of projects, she says.

Greg Brandenburg, the CEO for Columbia Basin Health Association, says his organization was pleased with its role in the Othello project, which "fit well with our mission and vision. It gave many students the opportunity to view firsthand what quality interprofessional rural health care is all about."

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First in Spokane: WSU Scientist Named to State Science Academy

By Judith Van Dongen

Neuroscientist James Krueger has been elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences, the scientific organization established to offer advice on science policy in the state.

Krueger is now one of 184 active academy members, and is the first member from Spokane. He will join 35 other scientists from around the state—including four from WSU Pullman—for the induction at the academy's fifth annual meeting next month in Seattle.


Krueger is a Regents Professor in the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center and the WWAMI medical education program. His research interests include the biochemical regulation of sleep and the interaction between sleep and infectious disease.

In 2010, he discovered the biochemical mechanism by which the brain switches from a wakeful to a sleeping state, which was mentioned in Discover Magazine as one of the top 100 stories for the year. The finding supports the view developed by Krueger and his colleagues that sleep is a "local" phenomenon—i.e., parts of the brain sleep while others remain in a waking state.

Krueger has a prolific publication record that includes more than 350 peer-reviewed papers. He has been with Washington State University since 1997 and was previously on the faculty at the University of Tennessee and Harvard Medical School.

Krueger holds a PhD in physiology from the University of Pennsylvania and an honorary MD degree from the University of Szeged in Hungary.

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Doctoral Student Examines Barriers to Fitness After Birth for Military Moms

By Doug Nadvornick

New mothers who serve as active duty military members share many of the same issues as new mothers in civilian life. But there is one difference: within a certain time period after giving birth—usually six months—military mothers are required to take fitness tests. Those who don't pass the tests face negative consequences, such as unsatisfactory job evaluations or even discharge from the service.

The burden of having to take a fitness test causes plenty of stress for some new moms, says Nicole Armitage, a PhD student in the WSU College of Nursing. Armitage recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense's TriService Nursing Research Program to study why some new mothers in the Air Force struggle to regain the fitness levels needed to stay in the military.

"There's been very little research done in this area," Armitage said. "I wonder how integrating preparation for the fitness test into the postpartum experience affects health."

Armitage is a lieutenant colonel and women's health nurse practitioner in the Air Force. She's finishing her doctorate and is assigned to the Air Force ROTC detachment at WSU Pullman.

As part of her preliminary study, she interviewed three active duty Airmen who gave birth within the past year. Overall, she expects to interview between 10 and 15 women based at Fairchild and Travis Air Force Base in California. Some are training for their first fitness tests since giving birth.

"I want to know how they're dealing with their situations," Armitage said. "The goal is to develop ways that we as nurses can help these women handle all of the stresses that they face as they work to get back into shape."

Military fitness standards have changed

The Air Force fitness test is required periodically of all Airmen. It has four parts: a timed mile-and-a-half run, timed sit-up and push-up tests, and an abdomen circumference measurement. The pass/fail threshold varies according to age and gender. The better the performance, the more points are awarded.

Armitage says it used to be that participants could pass their fitness test even if they failed one of the segments as long as they racked up enough points in the other categories. That's no longer true. She says Airmen must now reach a certain threshold in every event.

For women recovering from cesarean sections, the sit-up requirement can be very difficult to meet, says WSU assistant professor of nursing Denise Smart. Smart is Armitage's advisor and a maternal-child health researcher who recently retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard.

Smart believes the Air Force fitness requirements are not always an indication of fitness or health. She says some argue the fitness tests should be job or task specific.

"They need to look at the whole package of fitness versus just a standard physical test that measures how many push-ups and sit-ups a woman can do," Smart said.

Nicole Armitage will spend the rest of the summer recruiting more servicewomen for her study and then record interviews in the fall. Then she and a team of College of Nursing researchers, including Smart, will analyze the data.

Armitage hopes to publish findings from her research next year. She's due to finish her PhD in May and then become a health care researcher in the Air Force.

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Texas Firm Cancels Purchase of Spokane's Jensen-Byrd Building

By Darin Watkins, WSU News Service

An Austin, Texas-based company has withdrawn its offer to purchase the Jensen-Byrd building in Spokane from Washington State University. Representatives of Campus Advantage have notified the university the company will not exercise its option to purchase the property located adjacent to the Riverpoint campus.

Proceeds of the sale were to be dedicated to WSU's health sciences programs in Spokane. Last December, the WSU Board of Regents approved the sale of the 1.48-acre complex for the purchase price of $2.85 million. Campus Advantage had earlier agreed to a May 31, 2013 closing date.

"The buyer had agreed to a closing date when we negotiated the contract last year," said Mel Taylor, WSU's executive director of real estate and local relations. "Due to the opposition of this project, Campus Advantage could not meet that closing date."

WSU has no immediate plans to relist the property for sale.

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New Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree Launched

By Alli Benjamin, College of Nursing

This fall, the WSU College of Nursing is welcoming its first cohort of 40 students in its second doctorate program, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

The DNP is a practice-oriented degree that prepares nurses to work in leadership positions in clinical settings, incorporating the most current evidence from nursing, medicine, and allied health sciences into health care practice and promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and communication.

"WSU's DNP program is an engaging, rigorous program that will graduate expert clinicians and experts in innovating health care," said college dean Patricia Butterfield. "It will enable nurses to lead the way in creating a patient-centered health care system."

WSU's DNP program will be taught on the Spokane and Vancouver campuses and offers three program tracks: advanced population health, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and family nurse practitioner. The program uses a hybrid model that requires students to be on campus at least twice per semester. The remainder of the course work can be completed on campus or online, by watching classes via live and/or archived videostreams.   

"I'm pursuing advanced practice because I want the ability to function independently," said Bart Brinkmann, a Spokane area nurse who is part of the first DNP cohort. "I've been practicing nursing for just over five years now, and my goal is to work in a more outlying area after receiving my degree."

Assistant professor Cindy Fitzgerald, a family nurse practitioner and leader in the program, says the DNP program addresses the need to supply better educated practitioners in rural areas, in addition to the primary care shortage and the increased complexity of patient care.  

"To meet the need for nurses and primary care providers in the future, nursing education programs today must prepare advanced practice nurses to lead and provide primary care for individuals and communities," said Fitzgerald.

According to a survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in September 2008, only 2 percent of fourth-year medical students plan to work in primary care after graduation. In contrast, the demand for primary care physicians in the U.S. is projected to rise by 40 percent by the year 2020. Advanced practice nurses are expected to meet much of the primary care needs while providing cost savings for patients, health care organizations, and insurance providers. 

For more information on the DNP program, go to the College of Nursing Web site. Fall 2012 admission is closed. Students interested in applying for the fall 2013 cohort may do so by January 10, 2013.

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Street Construction Starts on Spokane Falls Boulevard

By Doug Nadvornick

The city of Spokane has begun a new phase of the project that is intended to transform the stretch of Spokane Falls Boulevard running through the Riverpoint Campus into a lower-speed, pedestrian-friendly street.

Street workers tear up the asphalt on Spokane Falls Blvd
to begin construction. (Photo by Doug Nadvornick

The three-month project will add a center landscaped median to create a new boulevard from Division Street east to the Biomedical and Health Sciences Building construction site. Crews will install new utility lines, street lighting, parking meters, trees, and other landscaping amenities along the street.

For the project's duration, drivers, buses, and pedestrians will be routed around the construction. Details for pedestrian and automobile access are available at /communications/riverpointcampus/. Be on the lookout for construction activities and always obey traffic flaggers and signage.

Spokane Transit has adjusted the three routes (26, 28 and 29) that serve the Riverpoint Campus.

Heading to campus from downtown, the 29 bus turns right from Division Street onto Olive—a block north of Spokane Falls Boulevard—to access most of the stops on Riverpoint Boulevard.  (The stop between the Nursing and Health Sciences Buildings will be closed during construction.) From Riverpoint, the 29 bus turns right onto Olive, right onto Division, left onto North River Drive, and left onto Washington on its trip back to the Plaza.  

Fred Nelson from STA says the 26 (Lidgerwood) and 28 (Nevada) routes now detour onto Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, around the construction, forcing the closure of only one stop around campus.

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New Student Leadership to Focus on Community, Teamwork

By Judith Van Dongen

A weekly on-campus farmer's market; free bus transit for students; and more fitness options, both on campus and off—these are just a few initiatives being planned by the new leaders of the Associated Students of WSU Spokane.

Schaffer (left) and Garza
Schaffer (left) and Garza. (Photo by Judith Van Dongen)

"One of our main goals for this year is to connect the campus with the community as much as possible-to bring some variety, community presence, and life to campus," said Lindsey Schaffer, ASWU Spokane's new president.

Schaffer and vice president Lisa Garza—both third-year pharmacy students—recently took the helm and are full of ideas on how to make things better. They are supported by a team of directors consisting of health policy and administration student Dana Dweik (legislative affairs and community outreach); nursing student Annalise Nelson (programming and events); and fellow pharmacy students Jay Liu (programs and finance); Yara Nouisser (graduate affairs and campus outreach); and Dan Tran (communications).

Schaffer is a Tri-Cities native who completed undergraduate coursework in general medical sciences at WSU Pullman before moving into the pharmacy program. She is particularly interested in the intersection between counseling and pharmacy and wants to pursue a career as an oncology pharmacist after she graduates from WSU. It was her role as a student representative on the Pharmacy Student Advisory Council that prompted her to run for student government in Spokane.

"I love being a support and a voice for my classmates and when I saw this opportunity come up, I felt that I could do this for the whole campus," said Schaffer.

Born and raised in Spokane, Garza completed bachelor's degrees in biology and chemistry at Gonzaga University before moving to Pullman for the doctor of pharmacy program. She eventually wants to practice pharmacy in a community setting, and has been actively involved in state and national pharmacy associations, the Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, and the Cougar Health Awareness Team. She considers her new role as ASWSU Spokane vice president a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and hopes to bring the different health care professions on campus closer together to collaborate and practice as an interdisciplinary team.

"Each one has worked independently in the past and been very successful at it," said Garza. "If we start building relationships and working together, there is no telling how much we can accomplish as a team."

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Science Teachers Practice Skills They Will Teach in the Fall

By Doug Nadvornick; Photos by Doug Nadvornick & Judith Van Dongen

On the third floor of the Innovate Washington building on Spokane's Riverpoint Campus, about 15 high school science teachers in casual summer clothes are playing DNA detectives. They're learning how to separate strands of DNA by piping enzymes and DNA into tiny test tubes, then transferring the cut DNA to gels, where they're separated by an electrical current.

This is just one in a two-week series of labs and lessons about basic principles of the human body. The experiments and curricula were designed by Project Lead The Way, a nonprofit that created biomedical and engineering programs that help high school students prepare for science and technical careers. WSU Spokane is a PLTW affiliate; Sylvia Oliver is the director. It's the second summer the university has hosted groups of PLTW teachers from around the nation.

During two two-week sessions in July, master teachers from Spokane, Toppenish, Alabama, and Ohio led their colleagues through hands-on experiments. More than 70 teachers from Washington, Kansas, California, and Montana learned a variety of science skills, such as building simple pumps that emulate beating hearts. They dissected hearts and kidneys to better understand their functions. They also learned how to take their own blood pressure and perform EKG tests to measure their hearts' electrical activities.

In the fall, the teachers will go back to their home districts and teach the skills they learned in Spokane.

About a dozen high schools in the Spokane area and several others around Washington offer at least one year of the four-year PLTW biomedical and engineering courses.

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Riverpoint Campus Parking Services Update

By Becki Meehan

This fall, Parking Services will introduce a few changes to simplify processes and provide more flexibility. This includes a facelift for the one-day permit, which will now be available as a pre-printed option only through Parking Services. The new system will eliminate the need for you or your campus guests to remember to write down the date, or write it down in the proper format.


Another change is the retirement of the 10-day permit, which is no longer available for purchase. If you still have a 10-day permit, it will be valid until it is used up. Don't worry if this was a favored option for you. There are many options for your choosing. For more information stop by and visit the friendly staff at the Parking Services office, or refer to the Parking Services Web page for all permit processes, options, and costs.

Continued efforts to provide more flexibility in parking will also bring two more "pay and display" kiosks to campus later this fall. One will be located in the Green 1 lot and the other will be in the Green 2 lot—see campus map for lot locations. Each of these new kiosks will have designated spaces for their patrons. As with the existing kiosk in the Yellow 6 lot, the method of payment will remain the same—cash, coin, debit, or credit. Stay tuned! More information will be provided as these new systems are installed.

Finally, if you have not purchased your permit for the upcoming academic year, they are now available. Check out the latest Riverpoint Campus Events Notice for more information on how to purchase your annual permit.

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  • Research professor Hans Van Dongen of the Sleep and Performance Research Center has been promoted to deputy editor of SLEEP, the leading international journal in the area of sleep research. The new title honors his contributions as an associate editor of the journal over the past five years.

  • A research team that includes professor of criminal justice Bryan Vila and PhD in criminal justice student Steve James won an award for its work promoting safe driving among law enforcement officers. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) awarded the 2012 Excellence in Law Enforcement Research Award to the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training SAFE (situation-appropriate, focused, and educated) driving research team. The team investigates causes and interventions related to traffic collisions involving law enforcement officers and has set the goal to reduce fatal law enforcement collisions by 15 percent in 2015.

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Community Connections

  • Sept. 24-25, Northwest Medical Informatics Symposium
    Strategies for confronting the challenges of health information technology will be presented at the Northwest Medical Informatics Symposium (NMIS) to be held Sept. 24-25, 2012, in Spokane. The symposium is being presented by Inland Northwest Health Services in partnership with eHealth Initiative and HIMMS Washington Chapter. For more information and to register, go to the NMIS Web site or call 509-232-8142.
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Personnel and Staffing Changes


  • Ruth Zschoche, Research Associate/Postdoctoral Fellow, Criminal Justice and Criminology Department, effective July 16, 2012
  • John Grewell, Campus Security Officer, Facilities Operations, effective August 1, 2012
  • Amanda Lamp, Research Intern, Sleep and Performance Research Center (SPRC)/Occupational Sleep Medicine Laboratory (OSML), effective August 1, 2012
  • Molly Altman, Graduate Research Assistant, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Tim Blanscett, Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing-Tri-Cities, effective August 16, 2012
  • Lori Brown, Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Ruth Bryant, Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Tricia Carlton, Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Lori Cox, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Rebecca Doughty, Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Kalista Dubiel, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Diane Griffin, Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing-Tri-Cities, effective August 16, 2012
  • Jolene Haskins, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Miranda Hennes, Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Valerie Hennessey, Instructor, College of Nursing-Yakima, effective August 16, 2012
  • Carrie Holliday, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Sheala Johnson, Instructor, College of Nursing-Yakima, effective August 16, 2012
  • Brooke Jordan, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Brianne Ozaki, Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Loretta Parisot, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Stella Raulston, Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Victoria Sattler, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Debra Schieb, Instructor, College of Nursing-Yakima, effective August 16, 2012
  • Taylor Schraudner, Graduate Project Assistant, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Suzanna Smith, Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Donna Tuning, Instructor, College of Nursing-Yakima, effective August 16, 2012
  • Janet Willhaus, Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Michael Winser, Research Assistant, Sleep and Performance Research Center (SPRC)/Human Sleep and Cognition Laboratory (HSCL), effective August 16, 2012
  • Phil Young, Instructor, College of Nursing-Yakima, effective August 16, 2012


  • Katrina Butler, Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing, effective May 15, 2012
  • Cari Cowin, Instructor-Yakima, College of Nursing, effective May 15, 2012
  • Yi-Hsiu Liu, Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing, effective May 15, 2012
  • Kathy Ormbsy, Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing, effective May 15, 2012
  • Leslie Randall, Graduate Research Assistant, College of Nursing, effective May 15, 2012
  • Greg Schimke, Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing, effective May 15, 2012
  • Melanie Tran, Graduate Project Assistant, College of Nursing, effective May 15, 2012
  • Lana Young, Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing, effective May 15, 2012
  • Robin Whybrow, Operations Manager, College of Nursing, effective August 6, 2012
  • Martha West, Office Assistant 3, Human Resources/Student Affairs, effective August 10, 2012
  • Claudine Richardson, Manager, Upward Bound, Student Affairs, effective August 15, 2012
  • Suzie Kardong-Edgren, Associate Professor, College of Nursing, effective August 17, 2012
  • William Harris, Maintenance Mechanic 2, Facilities Operations, Retirement, effective September 1, 2012
  • Kaarin Appel, Extension Coordinator Specialist, Area Health Education Center, effective September 7, 2012.


  • Leah Berry, from Graduate Teaching Assistant to Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Susan Fleming, from Clinical Assistant Professor to Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Alison Houchin, from Graduate Teaching Assistant to Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012
  • Meghan Sahlberg, from Graduate Teaching Assistant to Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2012

Recruitments & Searches:

  • Area Extension Educator, WSU Extension, position closed July 22, 2012, applications under review
  • Assistant/Associate Professor, College of Pharmacology, open until filled, apply at
  • Clinical Assistant/Clinical Associate/Clinical Professor, WWAMI, open until filled, apply at
  • Development Assistant Director (Director of Philanthropy), Development, closes August 24, 2012, apply at
  • IT Technology 2, IT, position closed August 7, 2012, applications under review
  • Library & Archives Paraprofessional 4, Riverpoint Library, position closed July 23, 2012, applications under review
  • Office Assistant 3, Human Resource Services, position closed July 30, 2012, applications under review
  • Office Assistant 3, Student Affairs, position closed August 6, 2012, applications under review
  • Operations Engineer (Chemistry), Shock Physics, open until filled, apply at
  • Program Coordinator (Student Data Coordinator), College of Nursing, position closes August 19, 2012, apply at
  • Research Project Engineer, Shock Physics, open until filled, apply at


Retirement Celebration for Ruth Bindler - Friday, Sept. 16

After 37 years working for the College of Nursing, Ruth Bindler is preparing to begin a new adventure in life: Retirement!

The College of Nursing is planning a celebration to honor Ruth. A reception will be held on Friday, September 14 at 4 p.m. in the Nursing Building, Room 105 and in the garden patio/lower level area. An optional walk and talk is also being coordinated just before the event. If you are interested in participating in the walk, find out more information on the RSVP site.

Because of Ruth's unwavering commitment to the college and students, the college is proud to announce that it is creating an endowment for graduate students: the College of Nursing PhD Student Scholar Endowment. Consider making a gift to help us launch this much-needed support for students! Created to honor Bindler, this fund provides stipends to be used by PhD students to foster and sustain scholarly activities. It may be used for subsistence, research expenses, travel, and other scholarly pursuits. Specifically, distributions from this fund shall be used to provide dissertation research support.

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Way to Go!

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!

Subscribers welcome! To subscribe, go to, enter your e-mail address, type "wsusb" in the List Name field, and click on "Join List."

Editorial staff