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Q&A with ROAR student about internship with WSU Football.

First year ROAR student, Richard Roloff had the opportunity to intern with the WSU Football media team. We wanted to ask him a few questions about his position.


Q: What did you do with the football team this past semester?
A: I did photos and media for the football team. My friend, Dallas, helped me out. I got to be with the team for the last three home games.

Q: What did you do on the field during games?
A: I would take pictures of the football team down on the field during pre-game and during the game. I also got to go up to the press box with Dallas and had some really nice food up there.

Q: What was your favorite part of this internship?
A: The jersey reveals. We got to take the photos and videos on Mondays and we would post them on Wednesdays. We had one jersey reveal photo shoot for the Colorado game that was at 11 o’clock at night which was really cool. We were at Gesa Field and it was really cloudy outside. We had all of the stadium lights off while keeping all of the LED lights on red and that looked really cool on the field. They wore all gray with the “WAZZU” helmets that week which I really liked.

Q: What got you interested in this role?
I played football during my freshman year of high school. My sophomore year, I wasn’t interested in playing anymore, so I became an equipment manager for my high school team. That made me realize how much fun working for a football team can be. I also took a photography class in high school which helped me prepare for taking pictures for football and running social media.

Q: Can you tell us about a fun time during your internship?
A: I got to go to the tailgates with Dallas before some of the games. At the tailgates, I got to meet Brennan Jackson’s mom, meet a lot of the football fans, and eat a lot of yummy food. Another fun memory was walking into the locker room with the team. I got to shake hands and introduce myself to a lot of the team. That is a memory that I will have for a very long time.

Q: What would you be interested in doing for a career 10 years from now
A: Someday, I would love to work for the Spokane Chiefs in the Western Hockey League. I would like to run their social media or be an equipment manager.

CRESCENT Shakes: Unearthing Earthquake Science in the Pacific Northwest

Stephany RunningHawk Johnson is helping advance earthquake preparedness in the Pacific Northwest through the Cascadia Region Earthquake Science Center (CRESCENT)


The Pacific Northwest is no stranger to the looming threat of earthquakes. With the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) running along its coastline, the region faces the potential for devastating seismic events.

Subduction zones, such as the CSZ, are renowned for hosting the largest and most destructive earthquakes on the planet. The complex interplay of geological and geophysical factors within these zones gives rise to a wide range of cascading hazards, including tsunamis, landslides, and liquefaction. The CSZ has been a focal point for scientific investigation, leading to significant breakthroughs in earthquake physics and impact assessment. The proposed CRESCENT seeks to bring together a diverse community of researchers and stakeholders, leveraging existing knowledge and cutting-edge technologies to develop comprehensive models of earthquake systems.

But, thanks to a groundbreaking research initiative, the PNW is taking a significant step forward in earthquake preparedness. WSU College of Education faculty member Stephany RunningHawk Johnson is part of a team of researchers, fronted by the University of Oregon and Oregon State University, leading the Cascadia Region Earthquake Science Center (CRESCENT). It’s aim is clear: Consolidating decades of research data and developing a comprehensive understanding of subduction zone earthquakes.

Stephany RunningHawk Johnson smiling at camera while standing in front of some trees blocking the way to the Education Addition building.
Stephany RunningHawk Johnson is part of the CRESCENT team helping bolster the regions earthquake resiliency.
The Need for a Dedicated Center

The existing body of research on earthquakes has predominantly focused on transform fault systems like the San Andreas fault. However, subduction zones operate under fundamentally different conditions and exhibit unique earthquake processes. The CSZ offers a distinct opportunity for studying these processes due to its low-angle geometry and vast seismogenic fault area. By establishing CRESCENT, researchers aim to bridge the gap in understanding subduction zones and make significant strides in earthquake science.

Regional Importance and the Call for Resilience

The Pacific Northwest region, spanning three states and two countries, faces a host of cascading hazards in the aftermath of a large earthquake. While public awareness of these risks has grown, the region’s earthquake culture is still developing. Challenges such as unreinforced masonry, evacuation distances, and fragile infrastructure pose unresolved issues that undermine public safety and resilience. The CRESCENT project recognizes the urgent need to address these challenges and ensure the region’s preparedness for future events.

Education and Workforce Development

A key aspect of CRESCENT’s mission is to cultivate a diverse future geoscience workforce. Recognizing the imperative of social justice, the center will collaborate with minority-serving institutions in the Pacific Northwest, national pedagogical institutions, and ancestral inhabitants to foster inclusivity in geoscience education. The center will also employ state-of-the-art methods, including data science, artificial intelligence, fiber-optic sensing, and high-rate geodesy, to train the next generation of researchers and practitioners in earthquake hazards.

Collaboration and Stakeholder Engagement

CRESCENT aims to build strong partnerships with regional tribal nation organizations, federal, state, and local governments, agencies, utilities, civil organizations, and non-governmental organizations. These collaborations will ensure that the center’s research aligns with the interests and needs of stakeholders. By integrating the knowledge and expertise of various entities, CRESCENT strives to create a cohesive earthquake science community that works towards a common goal of enhancing resilience.


The establishment of the Cascadia Region Earthquake Science Center (CRESCENT) marks a significant milestone in earthquake preparedness for the Pacific Northwest. By consolidating research efforts, fostering collaboration, and addressing critical knowledge gaps, CRESCENT will drive advancements in subduction zone earthquake science. The center’s comprehensive approach, encompassing research, education, and stakeholder engagement, will not only benefit the region but also provide transferable knowledge applicable to other subduction zones globally. Through CRESCENT’s efforts, the Pacific Northwest can work towards a safer, more resilient future in the face of seismic events.

  • Daniell, J. E., et al. (2011). Subduction earthquakes. Nature Education Knowledge, 3(10), 48.
  • Walton, M. A. L., Staisch, L. M., et al. (2021). Insights into the Cascadia Subduction Zone from the Eocene Siletz River Volcanics. Geosphere, 17(5), 1381-1395.
  • Belenky, V., et al. (2014). Economic analysis of seismic hazards in the Pacific Northwest. The Earthquake Engineering Online Archive, 21(6), 1-21.
  • NASEM (2020). A Vision for NSF Earth Sciences 2020-2030: Earth in Time.
  • Petersen, M. D., et al. (2020). The 2018 USGS National Seismic Hazard Model: Overview of improvements and implications for future seismic hazard assessments. Seismological Research Letters, 91(3), 1213-1229.

Kathryn Sheridan-Stiefel earns fellowship

Special Education doctoral candidate Kathryn Sheridan-Stiefel was awarded a graduate student fellowship from the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service. In addition to the aid it will give Kathryn in continuing her research, it also comes with a $1,500 award.

The Foley fellowships are open to currently enrolled WSU graduate students, in any discipline. The fellowships are aimed at students who are in the later stages of their graduate education, to enable completion of research projects. The summer fellowships will be awarded to graduate students that apply to at least one of the following categories:

  • Conducting research in the area of just and sustainable societies and policies.
  • Seeking to enhance their public policy research skills and pursue a research agenda focusing on major policy issues.
  • Conducting research in the area of political institutions and democracy.
Kathryn’s research

Kathryn said she was “extremely grateful for the support to complete this research project!”

We had the chance to sit down with her and ask her about some of the specifics.

We had the chance to sit down with Kathryn and ask her some questions about the fellowship and what it will help her do.

Question: What is the focus of your research?

Answer: My research focuses on evidence-based practices for increasing and optimizing the inclusion of students with intellectual and developmental (IDD) disabilities in both K-12 and postsecondary education settings. Because students with these types of disabilities are the most likely to receive their education in a segregated setting, my research also focuses on how special education and disability policy (such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Every Student Succeeds Act) currently contribute to the continued exclusion of children with complex support needs in community schools. At this time, the research literature that examines the implementation, outcomes and perceptions of special education policy very rarely considers the viewpoints of students with IDD–whose lived experience is integral to understanding how inclusive systems can be improved.

Question: How will the fellowship help you in your research?

Answer: The Foley Fellowship will help me complete a retrospective interpretive phenomenological analysis that allows for young adults with disabilities to provide critical insight regarding how special education policy is implemented and perceived by students for whom these policies are designed.

Question: Specifically, what part of the fellowship will help with what components of the research?

Answer: The fellowship will allow me to purchase transcription software, equipment, and compensation gifts for 10-12 participants, as well as provide compensation for additional coders. These tools and resources will allow for me to complete a comprehensive and rigorous study within an efficient timeframe. The use of transcription software and equipment will provide me with the tools to record and transcribe interviews, becoming fully immersed in the data. Additionally, funds for compensation gifts and hiring additional coders will allow me to work with and appropriately compensate a team of participants and co-researchers.

The fellowship is available thanks to the generous gifts of Scott and Betty Lukins, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Foundation, and Alice O. Rice.

WSU Kinesiology Program hosting semester long drop-in wellness sessions

By: David Blehm

In an effort to support wellness and help build community in the College of Education, Washington State University’s Kinesiology Program is happy to host two weekly wellness opportunities this semester in Smith Gym 215, or via zoom.

The college invites staff and faculty to move, rest, and be in community through these sessions. The college also encourages those not on the Pullman campus to zoom into these events or create their own shared space on their campus and zoom in as a group. The zoom option will remain open throughout the semester.

The sessions will run from 12:10- 12:40 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the remainder of the spring semester. Tuesdays will be dedicated to yoga, while Thursdays will focus on meditation. Yoga mats will be available, but attendees may also bring their own.

The provided link is access to the zoom meeting, for those interested.


M&S Ed student wins travel scholarship

By C. Brandon Chapman – College of Education
January 11, 2022

Doctoral student Johana Thomas Zapata has received a travel scholarship to the annual Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) conference.

The conference will be held Feb. 10-12 in Henderson, Nevada and Thomas Zapata, who is in the college’s Mathematics and Science Education program, is one of only four across the world to receive the Susan Gay Graduate Student Conference Travel Scholarship.

The scholarship covers the cost of graduate student early registration and provides addition money to offset the cost of attending the conference. Thomas Zapata said she’s excited to attend and to continue being part of the organization.

“Being part of the AMTE community allows me to share with peers my interest in mathematics educations and expands the spectrum of my access to materials and expert in the field,” she said.

In the application, Thomas Zapata had to talk about her background, her future goals as a mathematics teacher educator, and her progress within the doctoral program. In another paragraph, she expressed her teaching and research interests and the current direction of her work.

Thomas Zapata said WSU and the College of Education has helped that work.

“WSU has helped me learn more about the theories in teaching and learning and think of ideas to improve mathematics education equitably,” she said. “The courses I have taken in the last two years encompass different perspectives that encourage to look at mathematics as an inclusive subject that students should be eager to learn.

Professor Amy Roth McDuffie said  she cannot think of anyone more deserving of the scholarship than Zapata.

“I was delighted, but not at all surprised,” she said. “Johana embodies many of the goals of AMTE including focusing on educational research that informs practice, aiming to improve the way we prepare and support teachers, and emphasizing the importance and value of equity and diversity in teaching and learning.

Roth McDuffie said Thomas Zapata’s experience teaching in her home country of Honduras and graduate studies in Ireland and the U.S. support her multi-cultural and multi-lingual perspectives.

“Johana’s experiences and perspectives have enriched our college, and I’m sure that AMTE attendees will appreciate her views and participation, as well,” Roth McDuffie said.”

The scholarship is named after Susan Gay in honor of her extraordinary service to AMTE over many years as conference director, president, secretary, and board member-at-large.


COE Ph.D. student nationally recognized for science video

Melissa Pearcy is a winner.

And even if the video she recently submitted to a national competition didn’t actually win, she’d still be a winner, just for the truths about STEM education that she believes in and her desire to share those with others.

But she did win an award so perhaps she could be called a double-winner.

Each year, The Science Coalition (TSC), which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group of more than 50 research universities, hosts a video challenge for students like Melissa to tell their stories and help spread the word about why science matters.

As the TSC says: “The power of a great story can change the world.”

We agree.

Melissa’s video won Honorable Mention.

Read Full WSU Insider story

Ph.D. student wins WSECU award

By C. Brandon Chapman

Jose Riera says WSECU is like family, so it only makes sense that the credit union wants to help one of its favorite sons.

Riera is a doctoral student in Washington State University’s College of Education and is part of a small handful of individuals who have won WSECU scholarships in the amount of $3,000.Jose Riera smiling at camera while in front of some trees with their fall leaves.

“WSECU has played an essential part of my life since I moved to Pullman,” Riera said. “They provided me with my first and only banking relationship in Washington and their staff at the WSU campus branch has always treated me like family.”

And, just like a big family reunion, where everybody knows one another, Riera said this award has a little extra significance due to its proximity.

“It is not often that a scholarship recipient gets to meet their donors in person, so getting this recognition from a community-based organization where I know my donors personally is particularly meaningful.”

Timely help; overarching benefits

Riera is studying Language, Literacy and Technology. While worth it, education can cost a lot. Riera said he’s grateful for his graduate assistantship but also appreciative of this award which helped him complete his summer research under the guidance of professors Sola Adesope and Joy Egbert.

“This scholarship provided very timely financial assistance for my summer schooling and living expenses, as my graduate assistantship does not cover the summer months,” Riera said. “Thanks to this financial peace of mind, I was able to dedicate myself fully, furthering my research studies.”

These studies include effective ways of enhancing language instruction for immigrant learners, and individuals with verbal impairments.

Always one to share the spotlight and give credit where it’s due, Riera is excited as what this research can potentially mean for WSU, in general, and the College of Education specifically.

“While I am grateful for the honor, the WSECU award truly belongs to the College of Education, as the college provided me with the opportunities and support that made it possible,” Riera said. “As a proud College of Education student, I trust that this award will generate attention to our program’s instructional excellence, so that WSECU and other caring institutions may help other students to benefit from the college’s superb program, just like I have.”


Jose expresses gratitude…
I would like to express how grateful I am for the blessings I have received, particularly during these challenging times when the lives of so many millions of people have been devastated by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis and racism. I am grateful for WSECU and for the support and recognition that they provided me. I am grateful for the unwavering support that I receive from my advisors Yuliya Ardasheva, Tom Salsbury, and Don McMahon, and for the opportunities that Sola Adesope and Joy Egbert have granted me. I am grateful for those who wrote letters of support for this award (Ardasheva and Dr. Carmen Lugo-Lugo at the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race, and Ms. Davi Kallman from the Access Center). I am grateful for the support that I receive from the COE, the Access Center, and the entire Pullman community. And most importantly, I am grateful for having been blessed with my beautiful daughters Natalia & Marilyn, for whose love and respect I strive every moment of my life.

Our recommitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice

Dear WSU College of Education community,

I am deeply saddened by the killing of Mr. George Floyd, a Black American, at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. We have witnessed several killings of Black and Brown people in America in recent years, and tragically, in recent months. The video and sound of Mr. Floyd’s killing is shocking. I grieve for his family, the Minneapolis community, and our country. It’s clear to me that while this country has made progress with respect to civil rights, when it comes to race, we continue to fail. We have much work to do.

I very much appreciate President Kirk Schulz acknowledging this tragedy, and brutal racism, at the start of Friday’s COVID-19 Town Hall meeting. He promised that the WSU community would continue to work toward a safer and more inclusive environment. Indeed.

In my lifetime, I have witnessed this nation struggle through many protests and uprisings across the country. From the Vietnam War protests to the cause for civil rights. Many of these protest demonstrations (though not all) boiled over into violence and the destruction of property, as we’ve seen the last couple of days in cities across the country.

The TV images illustrate many of the emotions being felt in the U.S., spanning from sadness, fear, and enormous frustration, to sheer anger. It is palpable. And while I don’t condone the violent behavior in some of these protests, I certainly understand it. To be accurate, some of the violence and property destruction is likely to be fueled by fringe groups with alternate agendas. Most importantly, we must not let these fringe actions distract us from the central issue of racism. This isn’t a political issue. It is a moral issue. No person should fear being chased while jogging and eventually gunned down, simply because of the color of their skin, as Ahmaud Arbery was recently. No one should fear having their door knocked in, and shot and killed in their own home, as happened to Breonna Taylor just weeks ago. No one should fear police brutality and the threat of being killed, simply based on the color of their skin. Yet, sadly, it’s clear in our communities this fear is far too real and the stakes are high.

My first reaction when learning of this most recent tragedy was thinking: I must do something. That was followed by: What can I possibly do? I am just a college dean and this is a national issue that has been here for centuries. Racism unfortunately, is deeply embedded in the historic fabric of our U.S. culture.  We have outstanding scholar activists in the College of Education who understand that they are privileged members of the academy that have a duty to serve those in racialized communities. The conversations we have with them help us increase the value we put on diversity, inclusion, and social justice. My thought came to this: We all can – and must – do something to address racism.

In the days and weeks to come, know that the college Leadership Team will discuss this issue and work toward a path forward for the college. We will be consulting others in the college as things unfold.

This college has done great work with respect to the principles of diversity, inclusion, and social justice, but that work is far from complete and its importance is more obvious now than it has ever been. Thus, I am re-committing the college to the central principles of diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

This is our moral imperative.

Mike Trevisan
Dean, College of Education


UPDATE (12/09/2020): The College of Education has formed a new Equity and Inclusion Committee. The committee’s new website is under construction but contains some good information already.

Creativity combats COVID

MIT Students at WSU Vancouver get creative with digital lesson plans in response in COVID-19

By: Hannah Schneider – College of Education

Recently graduated students in the Master in Teaching (MIT) program at the WSU Vancouver campus didn’t leave before making their mark with some new coronavirus-induced program changes. And they got creative doing it.

The program focuses on connecting MIT students with soon to be high school students in the Camas School District. Their work this year was focused on eco-justice by having fifth-grade students work on collective garden projects. However, when the COVID-19 outbreak occurred things took a digital shift.

The MIT students were determined to adapt their projects. They wanted to create problem-based projects relating to the ongoing crisis. The MIT students work in small groups to develop new one-week lessons for the middle school students.

Robert Mattson leads students in a planning session. He's standing in front of a white board with a lot of writing.
Robert Mattson leads students in a planning session.

Their lessons include having their students develop PPE gear (personal protective equipment), design a fitness school, and develop a resource bank of examples of empathy and reflection during the crisis. During the fourth-week capstone lesson, the students go back and research their own work and find examples of where they found hope. The fourth lesson especially builds on a goal of project-based learning as an opportunity to understand and engage in self-directed leaning.

For the MIT students, they originally were to learn and examine “regular” project-based learning in the school with students working hands on with them. However, they now are examining online project-based learning and the importance of learning in that context.

On the last day of the semester, both groups of students shared their learning portfolios together on an online platform. Examining their strengths and weaknesses of their own self-regulated learning strategies the MIT students collectively highlighted their own growth as new teachers.

Finally, Richard Sawyer, the chair of the MIT Program, has been conducting formal research on the overall partnership. He is focusing on the different meanings of project-based learning, and now online project-based learning, to teaching interns.

“These MIT students not only adapted their initial engagement and work in the school, but, remarkably, began to observe and study the change in teaching environment from actual to virtual as a complex, real-world laboratory of practice,” Sawyer said.


Alumna recognized as finalist for prestigious award

By: Hannah Schneider – College of Education

College of Education alumni Kathy Garneau has been announced as a finalist for the 2020 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching in the state of Illinois.

Garneau started like so many WSU Elementary Education students. She was a freshman in the class of 1990 and knew right from the start she was going to be an elementary school teacher. She graduated as an Elementary Education major with an emphasis in reading. But it didn’t take long before her calling and national recognition would come from work in the STEM field.

When she graduated from WSU, she found her way to Chicago, where she now has been for the past 20 years. She joined the Bannockburn School District in 2003. She said the community there has embraced all 165 students that are taught in the district. This small school district gave Garneau the opportunity to wear many different hats. She is the STEM specialist where she teaches students from kindergarten through 8th grade. She also is an instructional coach and is one of the technology coaches that teaches teachers how to use technology in the classroom. On top of that she is also the librarian.

What made Garneau stand out among so many other teachers was her unique approach to her curriculum development. She said part of that started when she took part in a small webinar that opened her eyes to the concept of teaching students empathy. This inspiration was the first snowflake in the snowball of her success.

She wanted the idea of empathy to be woven into everything she was having her students do. She knew that creating this mindset in young students would have positive long term effects.

“Given that the students I teach, for the most part, have the resources and support from their parents to go to college, I find it even more important to teach them that what they are learning can have an impact on the world in a positive way,” she said.

Things began to snowball when she was creating a 3D printing focused curriculum. She asked herself: how can 3D printing small things teach empathy? How can she go further than just teaching them the skill but also teach them to apply it in a way that betters their community?

She started with teaching her third- and fourth-grade students how to 3D print pieces to fix broken toys. Once they mastered that, she moved them on to Beanie Babies. She taught them how to 3D print braces for all different types of stuffed animals to put over their beaks, legs, and feet.

However, the highlight for Garneau, was when the students finished their projects. She connected her students with engineers who do this as a profession via facetime. The students asked if they could give them their projects to them so they could be given out to the kids who need them.

“It was such a beautiful moment as a teacher. It was deep learning that was connected to their community,” Garneau said. “It is one of those moments where the students understood that STEM is not about them and how it’s about ways, they can improve the world. That is a huge message to give to an 8 year old. And I hope it is something that sticks with them throughout their life.”

When word spread about her work, she was nominated by her principal Adam Mihelbergel for the Golden Apple Award. She soon was asked by the Golden Apple Organization to submit a series of essays. The process continued when they came to observe her teaching, and interviewed parents, students, and other faculty. She then got the call that she was a finalist. Which meant that out of 730 teachers who applied in the state of Illinois, she was recognized as part of the top 30.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this award ceremony, which announces the 10 winners, has been postponed.  However, that hasn’t damped Garneau’s attitude.

“I am so honored to make the top 30. Being in my position as a STEM specialist in the school district, people don’t always recognize what you are doing,” Garneau said. “To have my principal acknowledge me just through the nomination was amazing and it was so humbling. But then to have the Gold Apple Award organization recognize me was amazing because they even don’t know me.”

So, what is next for Garneau? She plans on continuing working with her students in full force. She wants to continue her learning, growing, and training. She also will be presenting her work at other conferences at the end of the year.

Garneau’s passion for teaching STEM is the core of this recognition.

“One of the very cool things about teaching STEM is that the kids who really excel and shine are sometimes the ones that really struggle in other areas,” she said. “As a teacher part of my job is to find those students and love them for that. To give them that unconditional encouragement. Because doing that gives them the mindset that they can do great things. When you have someone, who believes in you like that, it gives you the motivation to be better.

“That’s what being a teacher is all about.”