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Washington State University

Modeling leadership, sharing stories

Talk about power couples.   Paula Groves Price and Cedric Price channel the energy of 39 teenagers for every waking hour, five June days in a row,  then invite them back to WSU Pullman for another week in August.

The two dynamic directors of the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Leadership Development Camp give much credit to other camp faculty and counselors. It wouldn’t happen without the tribe, which has sponsored the event for six years in a row. The Prices also give high-fives to the teens, who learned a lot about storytelling at the first session of the 2010 camp.  Their biggest assignment: tell a story about yourself with pictures you choose and a script you’ve written and recorded.

In August, the teens will use their storytelling skills on a research project. They’ll interview adults in their community, then analyze why they did, or didn’t, continue their education.  Camp faculty will followup this fall by teaching monthly classes at Plummer’s Lakeside High School. Their audience: ninth graders.  That’s because most kids who drop out of Lakeside have done so after freshman year, says Paula.

Focused on storytelling

In their own audiovisual stories, the leadership campers chronicled the passions and pains of the modern teenager.  Of basketball and buddies, of grownups who let them down and others who hold them up. The backdrop they used was a beautiful Idaho landscape — woods for hunting, rivers for fishing — at the crossroads, it seems, of the whole country.  Teens told of moving in and out of the Coeur d’Alene Reservation from Boston and Los Angeles, from Arizona and Alaska.  Of struggling to adjust to rural life, then missing it.   Most of all, they told about their families.  Dad as best friend. Sister as sidekick.  Grandma who is gone but far from forgotten.

The teens shared their stories with each other and with family members.  The very personal “movies about me” aren’t posted online, but you can read more about them in  WSU Today.

Sport Management update, success story

A year ago, supporters  rallied to protect the College of Education’s Sport Management Program from state budget cuts. That started a round of conversations about the future of the program. What’s the latest news?

One possibility is the creation of a new program in concert with the University of Idaho’s Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, says Sport Management director Cathryn Claussen. Writing in the program’s 2010 alumni newsletter, she explains what it will take to make a bi-state merger happen.

Jeff Griffin on the job

The newsletter includes the success story of Jeff Griffin (’05), general manager of sales and marketing for the Missoula Osprey Professional Baseball Club. Jeff explains that, to score with the public, a sports team needs to do a lot of work outside the ballpark.

“I preach on a daily basis both in my office and at a national level that one of the most important things to operating my ballclub is taking a genuine interest in improving my community. I or someone on my staff is on nearly every community board in town (and that’s saying a lot because Missoula has more non-profits per capita than any city in the country).”

Jeff’s staff includes another WSU Sport Management grad, Byron Dike (’08), director of stadium operations.

Weighing in on the hottest sports topic

Faculty member John Wong is an expert on the subject of building fan bases. So he was the go-to guy when a Washington State Magazine blogger got to wondering if the World Cup will usher in a golden age of soccer in the United States.

“What is encouraging is that European top leagues are taking notice of American players and some even play overseas now. This development is similar to what is going on in other lesser leagues around the world where talent is moving out of the country in search of better competition and paycheck,” John said. “This is a double-edged sword however. One the one hand, the U.S. is beginning to produce skillful players. The down side is that they are not here to promote the game locally.”

You can read John’s complete answer on Larry’s Clark’s Discovery blog.

She’s not abandoning science, she’s improving it

Briana Keafer, left, and Professor Kelly Ward

Science and engineering programs could do more to prepare students to be ethical, creative, and insightful professionals. That’s how Briana Keafer sees it.  Which is why, with a masters in microbiology under her belt, Briana switched career paths and started work on a Ph.D. in education at WSU Pullman.

Her goal is to be a consultant who focuses on the development of university-level science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum and instruction.   She wants to help faculty develop programs that appeal to more women and minorities, and that produce graduates who make a positive difference in the world.

Briana is the graduate assistant for WSU’s $5 million, five-year ADVANCE grant, part of a National Science Foundation program aimed at recruiting and retaining women in university science and engineering careers. Specifically,  she’s researching how Washington State can better attract, keep and promote women in the STEM disciplines.

Briana donned a familiar lab coat for the above photo in her former workplace with her College of Education advisor, Kelly Ward. She works closely with Professor Ward (see “Researcher looks for ways to boost women’s academic careers“).  She says she also connects with administrators, faculty and staff from the colleges of Science, Engineering and Architecture, and Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resources Sciences.  “My responsibilities include collecting indicator information for NSF, interviewing faculty and department chairs, meeting with department liaisons, and reviewing literature and universities’ practices to find recommendations for WSU.”

As for the future, Briana says her ideal job would take her overseas. In that case, the best academic practices that she’s helping to define at WSU would have an even broader impact.

Taking their leave

Social justice in the classroom. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.  Some weighty research topics are on the agendas of eight education faculty  as they plan sabbaticals (aka battery recharging) during the coming year. Bruce Romanish is unique among them in that his time away will serve as a transition from administration back to the teaching ranks. Now vice chancellor at WSU Vancouver, he’ll join colleagues in the Department of Teaching and Learning starting in fall 2011.

Here’s the lowdown on education faculty approved for professional leave, excerpted from the university-wide list published by WSU Today.

June Canty

June Canty, Department of Teaching and Learning (T&L), Vancouver,  Aug. 16 – Dec. 31, to study the support new teachers are given by their school district and/or the state during their first two years of teaching. Will follow four beginning teachers in four schools in Southwest Washington.

Gail Furman

Gail Furman, Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling Psychology (ELCP),  Spokane,  Aug. 16 – Dec. 31, to complete the analysis of a large data set from the Stuart Foundation funded project, Leadership for Learning, conducted with the Spokane School District; complete a comprehensive literature review related to leadership for social justice in K-12 schools; and develop a book proposal.

Steven Kucer

Stephen Kucer, T&L,  Vancouver, Aug. 16 – Dec. 31, to explore the relationship between how scientific expository text is processed in terms of fluency – speed, prosody, miscues – and what is recalled by 35 proficient fourth grade readers.

Lali McCubbin

Laurie “Lali” McCubbin, ELCP, Pullman, Aug. 16 – May 15, to continue a Kauai study that began with 698 participants who were all born in 1955. This study is the only prospective longitudinal study of the baby boomer generation with a sample that consists of predominantly racial and ethnic minorities.

Darcy Miller

Darcy Miller, T&L, Pullman, Aug. 16 – Dec. 31, to conduct analyses/syntheses of clinical data and research related to students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, adolescent females with behavior/emotional disorders, and juvenile offenders; to produce book draft, submit three manuscripts for journal articles and three to four proposals for international/national presentations; and write two grant proposals. Pullman, the University of Washington, Seattle, and a possible trip to Drake University.

Judith Morrison

Judith Morrison, T&L, Tri-Cities, Aug. 16 – May 15, to complete research projects including writing and submitting journal articles; to submit a proposal for an edited book on the role of scientists in the professional development of science teachers; and to submit a proposal for external funding to extend and develop current research.

Bruce Romanish

Bruce Romanish,  Vancouver, Aug. 16. – May 15, to prepare to return to T&L’s Vancouver faculty in fall 2011 and recharge research and writing. Research foci are critical thinking and societal views/treatment of children and their relationship to public education policies and practices.

Richard Sawyer

Richard Sawyer, T&L, Vancouver, Aug. 16 – Dec. 31, to complete two book projects, both accepted by publishers, on the research methodology of duoethnography, a relatively new qualitative research methodology which promotes critical self-change and praxis in relation to educational and societal issues. Portland,with trips to Brock University, Ontario, Canada.