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Washington State University

A pair of winners!

A pair of doctoral students in Washington State University’s College of Education have taken two top spots in the annual GPSA Research Expo.

The tandem finished back-to-back in the Arts and Education Sciences division, with Educational Psychology student Rachel Wong finishing first and Language, Literacy, and Technology student Intissar Yahia finishing second.

The Graduate & Professional Student Association (GPSA) holds the research expo every year (formerly known as The Wiley Research Exposition). This time around, the expo had 192 total submissions with 80 research projects accepted for the event. A crew of 70 judges helped grade poster presentations, and each poster was evaluated by multiple judges.

In addition to the Arts and Education Sciences division, there are six other categories:

  • Administrative and Information Sciences
  • Agriculture and Natural Sciences
  • Arts, Humanities, and Design
  • Engineering, Physical Sciences and Environmental Science
  • Medical and Life Sciences
  • Social Sciences

The winner of each category is awarded $700, while the second place gets $500. They also had the chance to attend a special awards luncheon.

Intissar Yahia is on the top row, far left. Standing to her left is Rachel Wong.
Rachel Wong’s research

Title: Emotional Designs in Multimedia Learning: A Meta-Analysis.

Research Summary: Research on multimedia learning has focused predominantly on the cognitive processes to select, organize, and integrate information while also taking into consideration the impact of cognitive demands on these learning processes. In recent years, multimedia learning research has expanded to examine the influence of learners’ affect and motivation on learning, suggesting that affective factors may be as important as cognitive factors on learning.

This meta-analysis examines the effects of emotional designs versus neutral designs on learners’ affective, cognitive and learning outcomes. Results provide a comprehensive understanding of conditions in which emotional designs are effective for enhancing affective, cognitive and learning outcomes. Results from the study provide empirical support for the emotions-as-a-facilitator-of-learning hypothesis and the Cognitive Affective Theory of Learning with Media (CATLM).

Results Summary: Results of this meta-analysis suggest emotional designs may be effective for enhancing learning outcomes, investment of mental effort, positive affect, intrinsic motivation and satisfaction across a wide array of educational levels, settings, testing formats and procedures.

Intissar Yahia’s research

Title: Supporting Equity for International Students at U.S. Universities through Research on Plagiarism

Research Summary: Plagiarism can be defined as taking someone’s else work and claiming it as one’s own.   International students in the U.S., particularly those from cultures that do not have the concept of “plagiarism,” are often not aware of the Western idea of plagiarism or how to avoid it. These international students, as Dougan (2018) reported, are more likely to commit unintentional plagiarism compared with their American peers. In other words, plagiarism is prevalent amongst international students” (Bamford & Sergiou, 2005, p.17). However, plagiarism policies in U.S. universities view unintentional and intentional plagiarism equally, and the serious sequences of committing plagiarism could make international students fail a class or even get them expelled from an academic program. Further, faculty in many disciplines are unaware of both why these students might plagiarize and ways to help these students learn strategies to avoid doing so.

I am very honored to be selected as a recipient for the Second Place prestigious GPSA Research Exposition Scholarship for my research on paraphrasing with English Language Learners . My research focus is understanding and developing effective methodology for teaching paraphrasing, which is an effective way to help international students avoid plagiarism. The goals of this research are: 1) to raise faculty awareness of international students’ challenges with paraphrasing/ plagiarism; 2) to develop systematic pedagogic paraphrasing strategies; 3) to test and disseminate these strategies with faculty across the disciplines; and, 4) to promote equity for international students through creating reliable and valid assessment rubrics for paraphrasing. — Intissar Yahia


2019 Faculty/Staff Excellence Awards

PULLMAN, Wash. – The College of Education announced its annual faculty and staff excellence awards on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

This year, College dean Mike Trevisan announced that there would be two staff awards. The awards are as follows:

Faculty Excellence in Diversity: Katherine Rodela – Educational Leadership

Katherine Rodela

Faculty Excellence in Teaching: Kristin Courtney – Educational Leadership

Kristin Courtney

Faculty Excellence in Research: Yulia Ardasheva – Language, Literacy, and Technology

Faculty Excellence in Service: Judy Schultz– Kinesiology

Staff Excellence: Kelly McGovern – Director of the Office of Graduate Studies


Staff Excellence: Lindsay Lightner – Coordinator, Alternate Route Teacher Certification

Lindsay Lightner