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Washington State University
College of Education

WSU College of Education COVID-19 response

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Still going strong

One of our college Values is: “Quality and Excellence: We are committed to providing quality and excellence in all our endeavors.” This doesn’t stop simply because of the novel coronavirus. Just like you, COVID-19 has altered what our daily tasks look like. And just like you, we’ve adapted.

Some early successes

Here are just a few of the things we’ve already done – and done well – in spite of COVID-19.

Providing Lesson Plans

As part of the Teaching and Learning 330 (TL 330), preservice teachers who would normally teach lessons in the Pullman schools as part of practicums, are designing lesson plans that can be used by educators during this time of COVID-19.

Mindfulness and virtual yoga

Associate professor of Kinesiology Anne Cox is offering two online mindfulness sessions for week for students, as well as teaching yoga online for Moscow Kula Yoga. This will soon be part of additional mindfulness initiatives that will be available to all at WSU and part of the Office of the Provost’s faculty development initiatives. More information on this will be available soon.

The bond between humans and dogs

Phyllis Erdman, a professor in the WSU College of Education, and a team of collaborators from Colorado State University, the University of San Francisco and Palo Alto University, conducted a large survey of dog owners to find out how social isolation and other stressors associated with COVID-19 are influencing the bond between people and their pets.

Of the 4,105 dog owners surveyed, the vast majority reported their pets are playing a critical role in helping reduce feelings of depression, anxiety and loneliness. Many of the respondents also reported their pets were helping them maintain a regular schedule, cope with uncertainty, be compassionate towards themselves and find purpose in their lives.

Bruya-Wood Conference moved online

Since it began in 1995, the Bruya-Wood Undergraduate Research Conference has taken place twice a year, giving students the chance to present academic research, participate in a professional conference, and highlight the kinesiology program.

Traditionally, that has a typical academic presentation portion to it, in the form of a poster session, as well as a video presentation. The judge’s scores determine awards such as best presentation, most creative topic, most innovative poster design, and best professional attire.

However, due to the novel coronavirus, this year, all the presentations will be video recorded and uploaded to an online resource, after which judging will occur throughout finals week.

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Virtual 5K

Due to the novel coronavirus, a group of sport management students kept their annual fundraiser alive by going virtual, and ended up raising $2,247 for the Lauren McCluskey Foundation.

The group, as part of the Sport Management 489 capstone class, turned their planned 5K run into a “virtual 5K.” Each of the 69 participants tracked their runs on the UA MapMyRun mobile app between April 4-11. All money gathered by the project team was from runner entrance fees and a corresponding auction.

“Since everyone has been social distancing or in quarantine, we thought we could market this event as a way for people to get outside and exercise, while also supporting a great organization and cause,” said Claire Smith, a student in the class and one of the group leaders. “We also encouraged our participants to follow CDC guidelines while completing their 5Ks.”

Each year, hosting a fundraiser is a fundamental component of the Sport Management 489 capstone class. The students use all the management, marketing, legal, communication, and operations skills they’ve learned about over the course of their time in the program and put that to the test through some sort of event.

“We simply choose to do charity events because it’s who we are and it furthers the philanthropic mission of the university and our college,” clinical assistant professor Chris Lebens said.



A group of doctoral students, led by Jose Riera and Priya Panday Shukla, have created a weekly get-together with others on Zoom. The initial spark was started when Priya noticed how some of her classmates looked lonely and dispirited during their Zoom classes. Besides the inherint lack of personal (human) interaction in the classroom, many of the students in her Language, Literacy, and Technology classes are international students and are forced to stay in their apartments, without nearby loved ones to go to.

The dean Mike Trevisan joined the group on April 16 and was impressed. He committed to join regularly. At that meeting, he said: “I really appreciate the opportunity to be here and see people. I miss being in the office and seeing people there. You just take it for granted. When it’s taken away you learn to appreciate it more. I’m interested in hearing people stories and their extended family situations.”

Low-Tech Options

In a complex world that grows more high tech every year, education faculty at Washington State University Tri-Cities are finding a way to provide outreach to parents with tips and tricks they don’t always get right now.

There’s a lot more to education right now than simply logging in, seeing what online assignments are required, then doing them.

And unfortunately, many of the helpful hints for learning online that are given to parents include things like, finding a quiet place in the home to study or do homework. Not everyone has that.

More on this coming soon.

Three Minute Thesis via Zoom

In a vastly different delivery method than normal, the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) event still took place.

Since its inception at WSU six years ago, the College of Education has been the one to administer the program.

Each competitor must present their research in no more than three minutes. Judges rate their performance on ability to connect with the audience, as well as present the technical details of their research in a way non-specialized audiences can understand.

Traditionally, each college hosts its own in-person event. The winner of each meets up in the university’s final. This year, things initially moved along as normal. Colleges hosted their respective events. But when the novel coronavirus altered in-person meetings, all competitors had to adapt and record their presentation on Zoom with the 3MT administrator. They each still only got one take. They each still only got three minutes.

Judges then received a copy of each person’s video and had about a week to watch them and judge them in a closed ballot online form.

WSU president Kirk Schulz lauded competitors and organizers for a job well done in adapting to the difficult circumstances.

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Worth repeating…

Thanks Molly Kelton


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