Issue 2013-02 (February 20, 2013)



Rest for the Weary: WSU Graduate Helps Navy Identify Better Watch Schedules

By Judith Van Dongen

When Lauren Waggoner started her PhD in Criminal Justice at WSU Spokane, she had no idea that a few years later she would find herself doing research aboard a US Navy guided-missile destroyer in the Arabian Sea.

Lauren Waggoner prepares actigraphs and smart phones for use in the study. In the background, sailors fill out their daily activity logs.
Waggoner prepares actigraphs and smart phones for issue
to sailors as part of the sleep study aboard the USS Jason
(US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist
2nd Class Deven B. King)

Waggoner boarded the USS Jason Dunham this past December to study the effects of different watch-standing schedules on the sleep and performance of Navy sailors.

The project is one of several she has worked on since starting a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at the Naval Postgraduate School's Operations Research Department in Monterey, California, last July. The goal: find ways to keep sailors healthy and safe in a demanding 24-hour-a-day work environment in which they are required to stand watches in addition to fulfilling their normal work responsibilities.

"Often times, on bigger vessels—and even the mid-size destroyer we were on—sailors don't get adequate sleep. They also don't get outside much and so they don't get much exposure to environmental factors that would help them regulate their sleep and wake cycles," said Waggoner. "Based on earlier research, we can assume that, in combination with other factors, this can lead to performance deficits."

Over a period of three weeks, she collected data on the sleep and performance of 122 sailors working a variety of watch schedules. Some sailors were on more traditional 5/10 or 5/15 rotations (five hours on watch followed by 10 or 15 hours off watch). Others followed the recently introduced 3/9 or 4/8 schedules that Waggoner and her supervisor, Nita Lewis Shattuck, believe to be healthier because they provide for a 24-hour daily rhythm.

"The new schedules allow the sailors to structure their work and rest in a way that is consistent each day," Waggoner said. "It makes their sleep and their wake more predictable, and the same should be true for their performance. Once we've analyzed the data we'll know whether we can confirm this."

Improving shift workers' lives

Waggoner's interest in shiftwork and sleep was first piqued when she worked as a graduate research assistant in the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center. She assisted research professors Greg Belenky and Hans Van Dongen with a pair of studies that looked at fatigue in truck drivers working different schedules.

She also helped professor of criminal justice Bryan Vila set up his simulated hazardous occupational tasks lab and run the lab's first study: an experiment in which they used the lab's driving simulators and deadly force judgment and decision making simulators to look at the impact of night shift work on the operational performance of police officers. The results from that study formed the basis for her PhD dissertation.

Waggoner says her lab research experiences at WSU have made her a better researcher in the field.

"In my dissertation research, I learned to apply techniques that are normally used in the lab in a controlled manner in the field," she said. "My education at WSU really prepared me for going into these messy environments that require you to do a little flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, but do it in a way that ensures that the outcome measurements are going to be controlled enough to compare and use."

Waggoner wants to continue working with shift workers to help them better schedule their time to balance sleep, work, and other daily activities. She is specifically interested in working to refine existing mathematical models that can predict levels of fatigue and performance among shift workers, making it possible to prevent fatigue-related errors and accidents.

In addition to the schedule, sleep. and performance data, Waggoner came away with a new respect for shift workers in general and Navy sailors specifically.

"It was very eye-opening," she said. "Once the ship leaves port, it's like a microcosm out there—working 24 hours a day with the same people living on top of each other. They are making a lot of sacrifices and the work out there is very difficult."

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From C-Sections to Amputations: Medical Students Explore Rural Medicine

By Doug Nadvornick

Spokane's first-year medical students slog through a routine of lectures, labs, and quizzes. Every couple of weeks they break it up with visits to the offices of their preceptors, or mentor doctors, and some community service work.

When they get a chance to break the academic cycle, even for just a little while, many jump at it. That's why a dozen students climbed aboard a van recently for a day trip to Colville.

The Stevens County town located 70 miles north of Spokane has become a health care center for residents in the northeastern corner of Washington who don't want to make the long drive south to Spokane to see their doctors.

UW School of Medicine assistant regional dean Dr. John McCarthy, who practiced for many years in Tonasket in north central Washington, arranged the trip. He wanted the students to see for themselves that rural physicians provide a high level of care.

"I want them to appreciate the broad spectrum of medicine available in rural areas and introduce them to what I think is the most fun and meaningful type of medicine there is," McCarthy said.

Learning from their peers

The students toured Providence Mount Carmel Hospital, Colville's new state-of-the-art medical center, and met with some of its doctors and administrators.

Group photo of medical students with Mount Carmel Hospital staff
Visiting medical students from Spokane gather for a group shot with staff from
Carmel Hospital in Colville. (Photo by Doug Nadvornick)

But for most of them, the highlight of the day was the lunch they shared with three new physicians, the medical residents who are part of Colville's rural family medicine training track program, the oldest in the nation. The newly graduated doctors spend their first year in Spokane, then two in Colville before applying for the licenses they need to practice on their own.

Third-year resident Katrina Gardner—a native of North Dakota—praised her Colville experience for its variety.

"Last week I delivered two babies, one by C-section. The week before I amputated a man's leg because it had contracted gangrene," she told the students. "This is a perfect fit for me. I get to work in intensive care, in OB, and our clinic."

In her off-hours, Gardner makes house calls to see mothers and their newborn children.

She works in Colville with second-year resident Matt Kaiser, a Kansas native. First-year resident Paul Gloe from Sitka, Alaska, said he can't wait to move from Spokane to Stevens County later this year with his family.

"I really wanted to do family medicine in a rural place and be like the general practitioner of old," Gloe said. "I fell in love with the idea of being part of a community with people who are real and accountable to each other."

The medical students surveyed afterward called the trip a valuable experience. Several said they’ll consider applying for a rural residency.

"Often in rural settings primary care providers are asked to perform more and higher-specialized procedures when compared with city settings already saturated with specialists," said Scott Hippe. "I like the thought of being a jack-of-all-trades physician and the rural training track option is a very good start."

"Rural medicine is absolutely something I want to pursue," said Kameron Firouzi. "I grew up in Moses Lake and would love to one day go back and practice there or in a small community like it."

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SLIDESHOW: Education Partnership Strengthens Riverpoint Academy, WSU Spokane

By Julie Titone, College of Education

Bogged down in a boring high school class 15 years ago, student Sarah Pooler perked up when asked to use pipe cleaners to demonstrate cell division.

"It was a light-bulb moment," recalled Pooler. "I thought, 'What if all science could be as interesting as this?'"

At Riverpoint Academy, exciting lessons go far beyond pipe cleaners, and Pooler is smack-dab in the middle of the action. She teaches biosciences at the new high school, where juniors are pondering how to stop rampaging leukemia cells and improve drug-resistant antibiotics. Pooler is also a doctoral candidate in the WSU College of Education, which has strong ties to the innovative academy.

Riverpoint Academy opened in September. It is operated by Mead School District, which describes it as a place where students take on real-world challenges.

University buy-in and tie-in

While the arts, humanities and business are integral to the curriculum, Riverpoint Academy is known as one of Washington's newest STEM high schools—short for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. That's why the Mead District located the academy nine miles away in the Innovate Washington building, across the street from WSU Spokane, with its wealth of health science programs and laboratories.

University faculty and students are mentoring and collaborating with Riverpoint Academy students, Pooler said. For example, WSU College of Pharmacy students are intrigued with engaging them in a research project.

For the WSU College of Education, the academy serves as a lab for improving high school teaching. The college will work with the academy to evaluate its instruction and design a math curriculum, said clinical associate professor Joan Kingrey. The college and academy also are partners in Project Lead the Way (PTLW), which trains teachers to give hands-on biomedical science instruction.

Kingrey serves on the Riverpoint Academy board of advisers, which includes business people as well as educators from area schools and universities. They see the academy as a way to get more students into the pipeline toward higher education and, ultimately, jobs in the growing technology and health science fields.

The goal: career readiness

There are 75 juniors at Riverpoint Academy. Next year, when they are seniors, a second class of juniors will be enrolled. Getting those teenagers ready for careers is a prime directive of Pooler and her three fellow teachers.

The students create electronic portfolios. They visit local businesses, writing letters of introduction beforehand and thank-you letters afterward. They research college programs.

When they work on projects, they switch roles—serving, for example, as the coach who keeps the group on track or the one who evaluates the quality of work. On exhibition nights, they dress professionally and present their projects to the community.

The path to science teaching

When Pooler was a Mead High School student, her career goal was teaching. The pipe-cleaner lesson put her on a science path. She attended WSU in Pullman, earning a biology degree with a chemistry minor and a teaching certificate in 2002.

From there, she taught science in Nine Mile Falls and was a science education specialist for the NorthEast Washington Educational Service District. Along the way, she taught science teaching methods at Whitworth University and was a science curriculum consultant.

By 2011, Pooler was director of education and outreach at Spokane’s Mobius Science Center. That's when she learned about plans to launch Riverpoint Academy and jumped at the chance to work there.

Just normal geniuses

In her own doctoral work at WSU, Pooler plans to research the best ways to apply business-world design thinking to teaching.

Her Riverpoint Academy classroom looks like a laboratory. There are no textbooks. Students use school-provided laptops and iPads. They sit or stand at high tables designed for small-group collaboration. They talk a lot.

Those teens chatting about green technology and negatively charged antibiotics were chosen for the academy because of their interest in the program, not because of grades. According to Mead officials, the student body reflects that of the district as a whole: 30 to 40 percent come from low income families and 10 percent have special needs. There’s the usual mix of "A" students and those who struggle with school work.

"They're just normal-looking kids," said Janet Frost, a WSU faculty member who will help the academy develop a math curriculum next year. "But then you talk to them, and they all sound like geniuses."

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Nursing Students Educate Wellpinit Residents on the Dangers of Mold

By Alli Benjamin, College of Nursing

The small, two-story home in rural Wellpinit, Wash., is the only place 15-year-old Robert has ever called home. He has spent countless nights falling asleep to the sound of creaking floors and crackling wood burning in the fireplace, unaware that the air he was breathing was full of tiny, silent, hazardous mold spores.

Photo of Nappen and Johnson in a bathroom pointing at ceiling
Nappen and Johnson look for mold in a bathroom.

Robert has asthma. He has had asthma most of his life, and his family had not made the connection between his respiratory issues and the black mold blanketing the ceiling of the upstairs bathroom.

Mold in homes isn't a problem limited to Wellpinit; it's an issue any homeowner across the nation could face. Recent Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates Cody Nappen '12 and Jihye Johnson '12, selected Wellpinit to complete their community health clinical, but they weren't sure what public health issue they would be called to address.

Working with local health care partners, Nappen and Johnson began by conducting a community windshield assessment to gather information about public health issues, barriers, and concerns. During the assessment, the students evaluated the area and its resources and identified where they felt they could assist local providers to improve the health of the community. Based on the findings, they opted to create an outreach campaign addressing health hazards associated with mold and provide residents with tips and resources to address the safe removal of mold.

"We jumped right in and met with the local health clinic, the housing department, and the community’s environmental specialist," said Johnson. "Based on our discussions, we chose to focus our service on this widespread issue."

Providing education, resources

Nappen agreed that the issue of mold in housing was a legitimate concern and an area that nurses could provide education around.

"Many local residents are either unaware they have a mold problem, are unsure of how to clean it up, or are uneducated about the effects it can have on their health," Nappen said.

Exposure to mold indoors is associated with upper respiratory symptoms, coughing, wheezing, and asthma symptoms. Some molds produce toxins, called mycotoxins, which can cause disease or even death.

Following the windshield assessment, Nappen and Johnson worked with the Spokane Indian Housing Authority to develop an educational brochure, Household Mold: How it's impacting your health and why you should care. The brochure includes information on detecting mold, health consequences, and removal resources and tips. It will continue to be distributed by the health department, who will mail it to residents every six months in an effort to keep raising awareness.

"There are organizations in northeastern Washington committed to improving the health of residents," said Johnson. "Some families are unaware of the resources available to them. Our goal is to not only provide education about mold, but to connect residents with people and groups who can help."

"Health care delivery in underserved areas can be challenging. It requires using resources in a way that will positively impact the most people," said Nappen. "It's a balancing act and fortunately we've been able to provide services that wouldn't normally be offered."

Cody Nappen and Jihye Johnson graduated from the WSU College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in December 2012. Both plan to work in a hospital emergency room setting before continuing their nursing education.


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SLIDESHOW: WSU Helps Engage Students, Parents at Elementary School Science Fair

By Doug Nadvornick

Spokane medical student Kelli Geiger is engaged in conversation with two young school-age girls holding cans of strawberry soda. The setting is an evening science fair at the gym in the Longfellow Elementary School in northeast Spokane.

Geiger is explaining to the girls how a cow's eye works. As she speaks, her plastic-gloved hands caress the eyeball and then the cavity where it would normally sit.

The girls listen intently and nod and smile as Geiger explains how our brain turns an image that our eyes see into something that makes sense to us. The girls giggle as they turn to leave for another table. "Pretty cool, but pretty gross," one said.

The medical students' table at the science fair is one of about 20 displays with some aspect of science as a centerpiece. For example, students learn about air pollution at the Spokane Clean Air Agency table and about the planets at the Spokane Astronomical Society display.

At the Spokane MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) table, Joanna Moznette wears a handmade prosthetic arm that looks like a giant clothes pin. The prosthetic arm is the project MESA students nationwide are making for the next three years. Last year, students made windmills, and Moznette has one of the student models of those too, but the thing she says children at the fair are most interested in is a small microscope.

"Students and parents alike were eager to look at the slides I brought," Moznette said later. Some of the dozen slides feature things like sand and sugar particles. Students who correctly guess what they see win prizes, such as temporary WSU cougar tattoos.

A few tables away, WSU Extension's Food Sense table touts nutrition and exercise. There are visual panels about portion control and the amount of sugar in soda. Students can look at models of glasses of milk that show how much fat exists in different milk products.

A fascination with anatomy

If you want to get students interested in science, it helps to give them something to hold. Medical student Lisa Grove hands blue plastic gloves to three students so they can handle a sheep's brain. One girl picks it up, shifts it around in her hand, turns her head to see it from different angles, scrunches up her face, and then puts it down.

At the adjoining table, medical students Kramer Wahlberg and Sean Bernfeld give lessons about pig hearts.

"When I told my kids there would be pig hearts and sheep brains, their eyes just lit up," said Longfellow first-grade teacher Kelly Barnett. "They've been looking forward to this."

For the medical students, the science fair represents an evening away from their own studies and a chance to have fun with the children. They say the fair helps them regain some perspective about their own work.

"For us, studying about anatomy and body parts can get so mundane. It's what we do every day," Kelli Geiger said. "But to see these kids get so excited here reminds me that what we do is pretty cool."

In some cases, the parents are more excited than their children. Some stay at the body parts stations for several minutes—especially the one with the cow's eye—to listen and ask questions about how it works.

As she gets up to follow her daughter to another table, one mom thanks Geiger. "You helped us learn so much."

Across the gym, Joanna Moznette says the educators enjoy the school science fairs as well.

"They help keep our staff inspired," she said.

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Early-Career Honor: Pharmacy Professor Named Editor of Diabetes Journal

By Lorraine Nelson, College of Pharmacy

The new editor-in-chief of an American Diabetes Association professional journal is a faculty member at Washington State University in Spokane.

Photo of Josh Neumiller

Joshua Neumiller has been appointed to a three-year term as editor of Diabetes Spectrum, a quarterly publication with 5,500 subscribers, and one of four professional journals published by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). He has served as associate editor for a department of the publication since 2010.

Neumiller's appointment "is quite amazing when you consider how early he is in his career," said John White, chair of the Department of Pharmacotherapy at WSU, where Neumiller is an assistant professor. "It is much deserved, and is a testament to his prolific, well-respected work in the field of diabetes as well as to his prior service to the journal as associate editor," White said.

Diabetes Spectrum is a medical journal that presents comprehensive, peer-reviewed original research and review articles on topics in diabetes prevention and medical management, care innovations, professional and patient education, medical nutrition therapy, and pharmacy and therapeutics, among others.

Neumiller is the first pharmacist to serve as editor-in-chief, said Christian Kohler, managing director of scholarly journal publishing for the American Diabetes Association in Alexandria, Virginia. Past top editors have been physicians, nurses, and registered dietitians.

Neumiller officially begins his three-year term as journal editor on Jan. 1, 2014 and will be eligible for a two-year extension at the end of his term. It is a position that allows him to continue as faculty member at WSU.

As editor-in-chief, he will be responsible for determining the editorial direction and focus of each issue of Diabetes Spectrum; overseeing the peer-review process; and working with the associate editors, editorial board members, and the ADA to develop new issue features, departments, and publication policies.

Neumiller is a certified diabetes educator, a certified geriatric pharmacist, a fellow of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, and a member of the WSU Clinical Trials Research Team in the College of Pharmacy. His research interests focus on issues involving the management of chronic diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

He received a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from WSU in 2005. He went on to complete a one-year residency in geriatric pharmacy followed by a one-year clinical research fellowship with an emphasis in endocrinology, both at WSU.

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In the News

  • PhD in Nursing student Becky Doughty was featured in a Spokesman-Review article describing her graduate school project, the Northwest Transitional Respite Program. The program, which started with a single bed at the House of Charity, provides a place for homeless people to rest and recover after being treated in the Emergency Room. It will soon be expanded by two beds at Catholic Charities of Spokane and two at Hope House. Read the article here (subscription required to access full article).
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  • Norene Phillipson, program coordinator with Facilities Operations, is one of five WSU staff members to be honored with a 2012-13 President's Employee Excellence Award. The awards recognize civil service and adminstrative professional staff for outstanding contributions in the area of work quality, productivity, problem solving, work relations, and community service. In her nomination, Phillipson was credited for being a "hardworking, positive, professional, and pleasant ambassador for WSU Spokane" and someone who "consolidates and coordinates an 'unbelievable workload' while remaining attentive to detail and responsive to the inquiries and needs of others." She will receive her award during the Celebrating Excellence Recognition Banquet to be held on the Pullman Campus on March 29.
  • A journal article authored by research professor Hans Van Dongen of the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center reached the 1,000-citation mark earlier this month. The paper, "The cumulative cost of additional wakefulness: dose-response effects on neurobehavioral functions and sleep physiology from chronic sleep restriction and total sleep deprivation," was published in the journal SLEEP in 2003. According to Google Scholar, the work has been cited 1,006 times since its publication.
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Community Connections

  • Mar. 2, KPBX Kids' Concert: Swing Time Sock Hop
    Come to KPBX's annual dance party with the big band sounds of the Spokane Jazz Orchestra and the moves of the Silver Spurs Youth Folk Dancers in the Spokane Falls Community College (SFCC) Gymnasium, Saturday, March 2, at 1 p.m. The 17-piece Spokane Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Tom Molter, will play classics from the big band era including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, the Dorsey Brothers, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra. For our Sock Hop. SFCC has asked we only dance in our soft slippers or socks to protect their gym floor. A prize will be awarded for the silliest slippers or socks! For more information, see the Spokane Public Radio Events Web site.
  • Mar. 8, The Magic in Hope - a Benefit for HOPE Preschool
    The Spokane Magic Club is hosting a magic show to benefit Spokane HOPE School (Hearing Oral Program of Excellence), a nonprofit preschool program for children with hearing aids and cochlear implants to learn to listen and talk for mainstream success. Come enjoy the mystery and illusions of great magic tricks while supporting a valuable local charity, Friday, March 8 from 6:30 to 8: p.m. at the Phase One Building Auditorium (Rm. 133) on the Riverpoint Campus. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children (age 3-12). Treats available at intermission. For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, contact Kim Schafer 509-863-7097 or kim@spokanehopeschool.
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Personnel and Staffing Changes


  • Qing "Vivian" Zhou, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Office Assistant 3, WWAMI, effective January 31, 2013
  • Mary Lee, Student Data Coordinator, College of Nursing, effective March 1, 2013


  • Tim Mildren, Director of Finance and Administrative Services, College of Nursing, effective March 1, 2013

Recruitments & Searches:

  • Academic Coordinator, College of Pharmacy, closes February 28, 2013, apply at
  • Assistant/Associate Professor, Speech & Hearing Sciences, open until filled, apply at
  • Assistant/Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, open until filled, apply at
  • Assistant/Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy, open until filled, apply at
  • Assistant/Associate/Full Professor, College of Nursing, open until filled, apply at
  • Assistant/Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Vancouver, open until filled, apply at
  • Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Faculty Scholar in Residence, open until filled, apply at
  • Clinical Assistant Professor (2 positions), Pharmacotherapy Department, College of Pharmacy, open until filled, apply at
  • Electrician, Facilities Operations, closes February 28, 2013,
  • Extension Regional Specialist, Community and Economic Development Program, WSU Extension, open until filled, apply at
  • Extension Regional Specialist, Regional Extension Horticulture Specialist, WSU Extension, open until filled, apply at
  • Fiscal Specialist 2, Office of Research/Grants and Contracts, closed January 29, 2013, pending interviews
  • Office Assistant 2, College of Pharmacy, closes February 24, 2013, apply at
  • Office Assistant 3, Chancellor's Office, closed February 18, 2013, screening applicants
  • Network Engineer, Information Technology Services, closed February 10, 2013, screening applicants
  • Program Assistant, College of Pharmacy, closes February 24, 2013, apply at
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Way to Go!

Way to go to the EWU/WSU Riverpoint Campus Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Committee for winning the "All Star Team" award at the Spokane County Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) program's annual "Way to Go" awards luncheon earlier this month. 2012 CTR Committee members Teresa Kruger, Susan Lopez (EWU), Susan Lyons, Cy Parker (EWU), Norene Phillipson, and Katerine Roberge received the award for their hard work to promote commute alternatives and their creative ways of supplementing the limited CTR budget. Teresa Kruger also received a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of her 10 years of service and dedication as the employee transportation coordinator for the Riverpoint CTR program. Keep up the good work!
(from Diane Wick, Human Resources)

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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Editorial staff