First, let’s pause to acknowledge A.G. Rud‘s first day as our dean.  To welcome him to Cougar land, here is the WSU fight song like you’ve never heard it before:  a banjo rendition by Don Peckham, ’74.

A.G. Rud

As A.G. tackles a new administrative role, the journal Teachers College Record is highlighting his scholarship with a review of a book he co-edited, John Dewey at 150: Reflections for a New Century.   Coincidentally, TCR is also headlining an opinion piece by WSU Associate Professor Jason Margolis titled “Why Teacher Quality is a Local Issue (And Why Race to the Top is a Misguided Flop).

Jason wrote the commentary with a passion fueled by his experiences as a teacher and researcher.   It may be just coincidence that Dewey is among  the educational philosophers cited in one of five comments that were quickly posted regarding Jason’s article.  (Such comments in the journal are rare, says Jason, who was tickled that his opinions had stirred things up.)

Jason’s perspective on Race to the Top is the subject of a “Tip Sheet” sent out by WSU News Service, titled “Education Expert: Demand for ‘Teacher Quality’ Could Doom U.S. Schools.” Earlier in August, the expertise of Professor Phyllis Erdman was likewise featured in “Your Parents or Me! Book Explores How Culture Impacts Relationships.”

Phyllis and buddy Beau

Phyllis was busy this summer as she went into the home stretch of her stint as interim dean.   As she explains in an article she wrote for the journal Animal Human Interaction, she’s been working with two WSU colleagues on an equine-assisted growth and learning program for kids called PATH to Success.  The trio spent a week participating in the Horse Warriors program in Jackson, Wyoming, where they were mentored by nationally known specialists in the field of equine mental health and learning programs.  That’s also where Phyllis was smitten with a horse named Beau.

In other faculty news: Professor Brian McNeill has been elected a fellow for Division 45 Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues of the American Psychological Association.  Brian’s expertise is Latino healing traditions, and he is co-editor of the book Intersections of Multiple Identities: A Casebook of Evidence-based Practices with Diverse Populations (Routledge, 2009).

And Associate Professor David Greenwood is saying his farewells. After nine years on the Pullman campus, he’s heading up to Lakehead University on the shore of Lake Superior, where he will swat black flies, hear wolves … and hold the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Education.