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Inland Northwest Research Symposium Shows Off Impressive Work

WSU Spokane Inland Northwest Research Symposium

WSU Spokane Inland Northwest Research Symposium

The 2015 Inland Northwest Research Symposium hit the WSU Spokane campus today and allowed area researchers the chance to present their work.

The featured research covered a wide array of work, from diabetes research, to sleep affects in the Navy, to whether fish in the Columbia River swimming upstream have a poor diet.

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Police Decision-Making Research Featured on the Today Show

The Today Show WSU Spokane
The Today Show WSU Spokane
Today Show Screen Shot


The Today Show visited our campus once to take a look at our research on distracted driving.

The popular morning show recently returned to take a look at our research on the decisions police officers have to make, sometimes life or death decisions made in a fraction of a second.

You can watch the feature here.

WSU Spokane Research Gaining Worldwide Attention

Lois James WSU Spokane

Lois James WSU Spokane

Lois James is a Research Assistant Professor in our Sleep and Performance Research Center. The Center and our Criminal Justice program have worked with the Spokane Police Department on a number of studies and trainings.

James conducted research last year that showed racial disparities in police confrontations. Her research showed that participants in the study hesitated longer to shoot when confronted with black suspects compared to white and hispanic suspects.

This research was timely, since the nation is currently in an ongoing debate regarding police shootings in the wake of the deadly shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

As one might expect, this research has received considerable attention from around the world. Here’s a rundown of some of the coverage James’ research has garnered so far:

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CNN’s Don Lemon References WSU Spokane Research

Bryan Vila WSU Spokane

Bryan Vila WSU Spokane

Our research on police and deadly encounters has received attention in a number of places.

Dr. Lois James’ research shows that police officers hesitate longer when encountering black suspects in deadly situations than they do with white suspects.

Dr. Bryan Vila’s research on police fatigue and decision making shows that police officers have an extremely difficult job and was featured on Anderson Cooper 360.

Last night, CNN’s Don Lemon hosted a town hall called “Cops Under Fire” and referenced the research happening on our campus.

Watch the Video


WSU Spokane Criminal Justice Professor Gives TEDx Spokane Talk on Police Decision Making


Bryan Vila is a Criminal Justice professor and a researcher on our campus. His research on police work has received attention in a number of media outlets, including the New York Times, NPR and CNN.

Recently, Vila presented at TEDx Spokane, an event independent of TED Talks but with a similar mission: to share ideas.

Vila talked about the various factors that impact police officers’ decision making processes, including fatigue, too much work and too little sleep, distractions in the squad car and more. Vila attributes some of this to insufficient funding in many police departments around the country. Vila’s suggested solutions to these problems boil down to increasing staffing and improving how the challenges of shift work are managed.

Watch the presentation: