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Washington State University
College of Education

Research Conversations

We love research. And conversation. Now they’re combined.

We’re not the first folks to engage in dialogue about our research endeavors. We just perfected it!

A handful of times each semester, we give some time to a faculty to share their research with the rest of us. These one-hour (max!) sessions are always very compelling.

Upcoming schedule

The following individuals have agreed to present in Fall 2021 as part of this series: Anne Cox, Johnny Lupinacci, and Yong Chae Rhee. When each faculty has their day and time set, we’ll give that information, along with a synopsis of their expected presentation.

September 30, 2021
12:10-1:00 p.m. — Zoom

Johnny Lupinacci (Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education)

Scholar-Activism: Research as Praxis in Support of Democracy in Dangerous Times

Description: In this presentation, Lupinacci asserts that all research is political. Given the global challenges for social and environmental justice educators and researchers, he will discuss the importance of scholar-activism in education research in relationship to diversity, creative democracy, and sustainability. He draws from an ecocritical framework in education influenced by anarchism, ecofeminisms, critical animal studies, and abolitionist teaching. He emphasizes the need for scholar-activist research and teaching to expose human supremacy’s connection with hierarchized rationalization and justification of racism, sexism, ableism, and classism as cultural rather than given by nature. The stakes are high, and the capacity of the planet for sustaining life with respect to cultural and biological diversity depends upon future generations learning to live creatively, democratically, and at peace with diverse ecosystems. Offering more than just a critique of anthropocentrism and a discussion to better understand scholar-activism and research as radical praxis, Dr. Lupinacci will invite participants to discuss these very real threats and dangers, as well as the need for rigorous, thoughtful, respectful scholar-activism in solidarity with a myriad of ways folkx build communities. Together we can recognize, resist, and reconstitute education to include our more-than-human cohabitants and creatively reclaim democracies in favor of multispecies inclusion, equity, and justice.

Bio: John Lupinacci is an Associate Professor at WSU. He conducts research and teaches in the Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education (CSSTE) program using an approach that advocates for the development of scholar-activist educators. His interdisciplinary ecocritical work in education draws from critical social theory through anarchist philosophy, critical animal studies, ecofeminist philosophy and ecojustice education, while recognizing that many Western frameworks are entangled with colonial cultures and thus ought not take precedence over—or appropriate—diverse indigenous knowledges. Drawing from critical conceptions of environmental education and abolitionist teaching, Dr. Lupinacci’s research focuses on how educators, educational leaders, and educational researchers learn to identify and examine destructive habits of Western industrial human culture, and how those habits are taught and learned in schools. His experiences as a high school teacher, outdoor environmental educator, and community activist-artist-scholar contribute to his research, teaching, and development of interdisciplinary research projects that are open to the possibilities of unexpected spaces within education and educational research. He is co-author of the book EcoJustice Education (Routledge), co-editor of a scholar-activist zine Major Threat, co-host of talk radio show Bust-ED Pencils, and is on editorial boards for Educational Studies, Critical Education, and Journal for Critical Media Literacy. He was recognized by the Washington Education Research Association (WERA) with the Research Award in 2018.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 975 3802 4178
Passcode: 914400

October 29, 2021
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. — Zoom

Anne Cox (Kinesiology)

[Summary and bio coming soon]

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 952 8744 7875
Passcode: 328382

December 01, 2021
12:10-1:00 p.m. — Zoom

Yong Chae Rhee (Sport Management)

[Summary and bio coming soon]

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 945 5179 8970
Passcode: 530049


Recent presentations

April 07, 2021

Jeff Walls (Educational Leadership)

District Leaders’ Support for Caring Schools: A Normative Institutional Approach

Increasingly, school district leaders face a policy environment that measures school quality and success in more multifaceted ways than performance on high stakes tests. Increasing attention to social and emotional growth, equity, and reducing exclusionary discipline place new demands on district leaders’ emphases in support schools. This study engages with how district leaders support caring school from a normative institutional perspective. Specifically, it asks in what respects district leaders adhere to a logic of appropriateness (following social rules and expectations for their positions), and in what ways they adopt a logic of consequence (acting to achieve desired outcomes).

Jeff Walls is an assistant professor of Educational Leadership at Washington State University – Spokane. His research focuses on caring leadership, and the organizational dimensions of care and support in educational settings.

Watch Video  View presentation slides

March 08, 2021

Jessica Masterson (Teacher Education)

“You Can’t Just Throw a Book at Me”: Minoritized Students’ Experiences of School-Based Literacy Instruction

Despite the sociocultural turn of literacy research in recent decades, school-based approaches to literacy instruction remain entrenched in an autonomous model of literacy acquisition. This positions literacy as a series of discrete skills rather than a contextually-embedded social practice. Students representing racially, socioeconomically, and/or linguistically minoritized communities are more likely to encounter this autonomous model in their school-based literacy instruction. This further contributes to the “education debt” owed them. We’ll discuss multiple, creative ways that minoritized youth respond to the literacy ideologies in their remedial reading classes, as well as the surprising ways their responses, or tactics, help pave the way toward educational equality.

Jessica Masterson is an assistant professor in the department of Teaching and Learning at Washington State University Vancouver. Her research focuses on the various intersections of secondary literacy instruction, youth agency, and democratic education.

Watch Video  View presentation slides

December 03, 2020

Scott Jedlicka (Sport Management)

Measuring Return on Investment in Intercollegiate Athletics

Many major universities invest significantly in intercollegiate athletics. The prevailing logic that justifies these expenditures assumes, in part, that the success of athletic programs can be leveraged to augment other revenue streams, such as undergraduate tuition and alumni donations. Working from the premise that the most immediate return on universities’ investment in athletics can be defined in terms of athletic success, this research advances a method for measuring the efficiency with which such success is produced by NCAA Division I university athletic departments. This measure is then used to assess athletic department return on investment from 2003-2019.

Scott R. Jedlicka is an assistant professor in the Sport Management program at Washington State University. His research focuses on issues of governance and policy in sport, including the use of power and authority in sport organizations, and the relationship between sport and other sociopolitical institutions.

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October 28, 2020

Shikha Prashad (Kinesiology)

Learning Motor Skills: Insights from Parkinson’s disease and cannabis use

Motor skill learning is critical for activities of daily living and those that bring our lives meaning and joy (e.g., sports, hobbies). Brain networks that underlie motor learning can be altered across the lifespan as dopamine (a neurotransmitter critical for modulating motor behavior) levels fluctuate due to aging or disorders. We will discuss how changes in dopamine can affect motor learning in two seemingly dissimilar populations: patients with Parkinson’s disease and individuals who use cannabis. From a neural perspective, they have more in common than you may think!

Shikha Prashad is an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at WSU Pullman. She studies brain networks that underlie motor behavior in typical and clinical (e.g., movement disorders, substance use) populations across the lifespan. She primarily uses behavioral methods and electroencephalography (EEG) to examine patterns in behavior and brain activity and how they are disrupted with age and in disorders.

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September 29, 2020

Yun-Ju Hsiao (Special Education)

Fostering Successful Inclusion: Teachers and Families Working Together

Establishing positive partnerships between families and professionals optimizes the competence of all children, with and without disabilities These partnerships help students achieve equal opportunity, independent living, full participation, and economic self-sufficiency later in life, and also benefit families and professionals. We’ll discuss a series of projects on teachers’ attitudes and knowledge related to students with disabilities and their families.

Yun-Ju Hsiao is an associate professor of Special Education at WSU Tri-Cities. Her research interests include families of students with disabilities, evidence-based instructional strategies for students with autism spectrum disorders, inclusive practices in general education classrooms, and culturally responsive teaching preparation and practices in special education.

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Photo and Video Archive

Jeff Walls
April 07, 2021

Jessica Masterson
March 09, 2021

Scott Jedlicka
December 03, 2020

Shikha Prashad
October 28, 2020

Yun-Ju Hsiao
September 29, 2020

Jonah Firestone
April 07, 2020

Photos: Language Learner Task Engagement — Nov. 20, 2019