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College of Education


Art Integration: Students visit JSMOA.

On a brisk February day on the Palouse, education students at WSU in the K-8 Art Methods Integration class visited the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMOA) to learn the effectiveness of art in the classroom.

TchLrn 390 equips future educators with the tools to seamlessly integrate art into the curriculum. This course operates on the belief that learning through the arts enriches experiences, extends learning, and deepens understanding across subjects. During the museum tour, students engaged with art and exhibits firsthand, guided by Kristen Becker, Curator of Education at JSMOA. The tour provided practical examples and resources for integrating art into the classroom, emphasizing its potential to enhance learning outcomes across various subjects.

In a landscape of standardized testing, classes like TchLrn 390 emphasize non-traditional learning experiences. Art isn’t just another subject; it’s a tool for fostering creativity, critical thinking, and empathy among students.

As educators, we must recognize the profound impact of art integration in education. Initiatives like TchLrn 390 class inspire future educators to embrace the transformative power of the arts.

The College of Education remains committed to providing students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences to become visionary education leaders. We actively advocate for the integration of art into teaching and learning through initiatives like TchLrn 390 and partnerships with institutions like the JSMOA.

Two doctoral students receive national scholar award

We are pleased to share the accomplishments of two of our doctoral students, Elise Wilson and Pranjali Upadhyay, who have recently been accepted into distinguished programs showcasing their dedication to educational leadership and policy studies at the 2024 American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting. 

Elise Wilson (left) Pranjali Upadhyay (right)

Elise has been accepted to the prestigious David L. Clark Seminar which is part of our major educational leadership research organization, the University Council of Educational Administration. Her research topic is, “Student Voice and Teacher Learning: An Action Research Study of a Youth-Adult Learning Community in a Rural High School.”

Pranjali has been accepted into the seminar as a Jackson Scholar, aligning with her ongoing commitment to educational equity and social justice. Her research topic is, “Counternarratives of Global Majority Leaders in the field of Educational Leadership”. 

Pranjali has been a dedicated representative of WSU since Fall 2022. This AERA meeting marks her final conference as part of the two-year Jackson Scholar Program, highlighting her significant contributions to the field of educational leadership and policy studies.

Ths AERA meeting is scheduled to be held in Philadelphia this spring. It provides a valuable platform for emerging scholars like Elise and Patanjali to engage in mentoring sessions, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. 

We extend our sincere congratulations to Elise and Pranjali for their notable achievements. We look forward to their continued contributions in the realm of educational leadership as they represent WSU.

Four take home MLK awards

A faculty member and two doctoral students were honored by Washington State University with system awards as part of the university’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations.

Shameem Rakha, from WSU Vancouver, an associate professor in Teaching and Learning, was honored for her inclusion and justice efforts.

Students Johana Thomas Zapata (Mathematics and Science Education), Golrokh “Rose” Maleki (Language, Literacy, and Technology), and Oluwasola Samuel Oni (Educational Psychology), were also recognized.


As part of the weeklong festivities, WSU hosted an awards banquet on Thursday, January 18 in the Comption Union Building Senior Ballroom. In addition to the poetry, dance, and singing performances, the MLK Spirit Awards, as they are known, were given out.

Recipients of the awards were notified by Obie Ford III, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
Katherine Rodela, Rakha’s colleague at WSU Vancouver, says she has seen the work Rakha has done first hand.
“It’s so well deserved for all the hard work enacting justice, equity, and belonging in our college and campus.”
Congratulations to Dr. Rakha, Johana, Rose, and Samuel.

Ask away: Richard Roloff


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.

Richard on the sidelines before the WSU vs. Colorado football game.

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.