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May 2014

Barbara and Walt Shields at EWU football game

It is finally spring! The beautiful Pacific Northwest is blooming, the sun is shining and the students (and faculty) are itching for the quarter to end and commencement to come! I wanted to share with you a multitude of wonderful news about alums, faculty, students and special events that the college has undertaken since we last were in touch. Please excuse the length. There is just so much good news to share it doesn’t fit on one page. Enjoy!

Dean Vickie Shields

Spotlight on Alums

Barbara Shields with her scholarship studentsDedication of The Barbara Shields Student Practice Lab

On March 7, 2014, Dean Vickie Shields and the faculty of the Department of Communication Studies surprised generous donor Barbara Shields with the dedication of a remodeled state-of-the-art classroom and media presentation practice lab for communication students named in her honor.

After a successful 34-year career with Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone, Barbara Shields fulfilled a lifetime dream by receiving a four-year degree from Eastern Washington University at the age of 62. In order to inspire and support other students to pursue their dreams, in 2008, Barbara established two separate endowments in her name – to provide two undergraduate and two graduate scholarships.

The Communication Student Practice Lab is a technologically enhanced audio-visual presentation and conference room that will enable undergraduate and graduate students to succeed at the highest levels by enabling them to become stronger, more proficient and skilled communicators. Communication students must be particularly adept at mastering current technology to communicate ideas. Students will use the lab to prepare, practice, fine-tune and receive peer and faculty feedback on their classroom or professional presentations.

Brig. Gen. Gary Volesky with Dean Vickie ShieldsExalted Guest Speaker at Military Ball

On March 14, 2014, EWU held its military ball and Lt. Col. Jason Pape hosted one of our most decorated and accomplished alums, Brig. Gen. Gary Volesky, who provided an inspiring keynote address to our cadets, cadre and distinguished guests. The general soon will be taking command of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), known as the "Screaming Eagles" (how cool is that for EWU). The 101st is one of just 10 active divisions in the Army. As the commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division, Brig. Gen. Volesky will be in charge of one of the Army’s most prestigious and storied units (think Band of Brothers). While EWU (and EWSC) Army ROTC has produced several generals during the past 50 years, and a couple of them rose to 2-stars, we’ve never had one take command of a division. Prior to this latest assignment, Volesky was the Chief Communications Officer for the U.S. Army.

Alums on Prestigious State Board

Three graduates of the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Social Work currently sit on the board for the Arizona Association of School Psychologists:

Diane Brennan, 1974 BA psychology; PhD school psychology, Immaculata University, Philadelphia
Shannon Lee Blair, 1997 MS school psychology
Mark Hedges, 2000 MS school psychology

Congratulations on your appointments and thank you for the important work you do for the Board.


The Daniel and Margaret Carper Foundation and EWU’s College of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Social Work presented an evening with Robert Saplolsky, PhD, on April 24, 2014.

Sapolsky delivered a thought-provoking and timely lecture on the effects of stress based on his book Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers. Dean Vickie Shields, and professor Georgia Bonny Bazemore introduced Sapolsky to a crowd of approximately 1,400 at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.

Additionally, Sapolsky engaged more than 100 EWU students on campus earlier in the day and discussed his book, A Primate’s Memoir, his account of his early years as a field biologist.

Sapolsky is a MacArthur Fellow, a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University, and a research associate with the Institute of Primate Research at the National Museum of Kenya.

The college is very fortunate to have support from Daniel and Margaret Carper, who through their foundation, sponsor not only the Carper International Speaker Series, but also 10 scholarships for students with a CSBSSW declared major, the Jeffers S. Chertok Endowed Professorship and cutting-edge courses.

Practicum in Community Involvement

We had another successful year with the Practicum in Community Involvement (PICI) Program, a partnership between EWU and Lewis and Clark High School established in Spokane in 1994. The students visited the Cheney Campus in winter and spring quarters to meet with our faculty to receive feedback on their research projects. About 75 LC students and 25 EWU faculty members participated in the program this year.

Faculty Spotlight


Sally Winkle, PhD, director of women’s and gender studies, received the Timm Ormsby Faculty Citizenship Award for her work in women’s issues and the LGBT community. The award was designed to recognize faculty who demonstrate a strong sense of civic activism and community engagement, especially those whose work and service has statewide implications.

Barbara Culler, coordinator of our children's studies program at Bellevue College, received the Community Champion Award for Excellence in Service to Early Childhood Education from Bright Horizons Family Solutions. Culler was noted for her relationship with Bright Horizons during the past 20 years, providing students as interns, mentoring many of their employees in their education and career goals, and even helping several of their centers in Washington achieve national accreditation. Culler also provided ongoing professional training and scholarships through her Childhood Matters conference, and has tirelessly given of her time and talents in multiple roles within the early childhood community.

Faculty News

Vandana Asthana, PhD, is an associate professor at Eastern and a well-respected scholar in the area of water policy, governance and challenges of human security.

Asthana recently completed her coauthored book that outlines a comprehensive water plan in India that addresses both concerns of national security and the human environment. To assist in the preparation of this manuscript, she traveled to Dundee, Scotland, where she worked as a visiting professor at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science at Dundee University. More recently, she completed a stint as a senior research fellow at the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs (CUSA) at UC, Irvine. The book, Water Security in India: Hope, Despair and Challenges of Human Development, is scheduled for release in October 2014. CUSA Director, Richard Matthew, wrote the foreword.

Currently, she is in India studying indigenous water management practices and is visiting with think tanks and nonprofit organizations working in the area of indigenous water management.

Phil Watkins, PhD, professor of psychology, recently presented at the Western Psychological Association conference as a distinguished speaker on Recent Progress in the Science of Gratitude: Exploring How Gratitude Trains Your Brain for Happiness. Watkins has also published a textbook on the subject titled Gratitude and the Good Life: Toward a Psychology of Appreciation, by Springer Science Books in 2014.

Kim Stansbury, PhD, associate professor of social work and director of aging studies, is a nationally recognized expert on gambling among the elderly. She was recently invited to talk at the Southern Gerontological Society’s annual conference held in Little Rock, Arkansas, and gave guest lectures at the University of Binghamton and the University of Louisville. Locally, she has shared her expertise at the EWU Retirees Association’s and Spokane Lion Club’s events.

Student Spotlight

In 2013-14, the college has provided funding to more than 55 students to attend conferences such as Western Psychological Association Conference, Northwest Anthropological Association Conference, and others.

Betty Craipo, a pre-law major, and Nambi Gamet, an anthropology major, were this year's Library Award recipients! This award provided each student travel expenses to the 2014 National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Lexington, Kentucky, as well as a $250 cash prize. At this conference, Gamet presented his paper titled The Effects of Intentional Cranial Deformation on Closure of the Sphenoid Fontanelle. Craipo presented her paper titled Consequential Interventions for the Casualties of Neoliberal Globalization. Craipo was recently accepted into Gonzaga University’s School of Law and awarded the prestigious Thomas More Scholarship.

PR Club Gains Official Recognition from National Organization

EWU’s Public Relation Club has recently granted official status from the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) as a result of the joint efforts by communication studies and journalism programs and the support of local public relations community.

Jeff Stafford, PhD, professor of communication studies, and Maggie Crabtree, lecturer of English and journalism, serve as co-advisors of the newly formed EWU Chapter of PRSSA. They sponsored 13 students to attend Trivia Game Night hosted by the Greater Spokane Chapter of Public Relations Society of America on May 1, to raise funds for scholarships for PR students.

Most of the core members are public relations students majoring in either journalism or communication studies, but the organization is open to all interested students. The establishment of EWU’s own chapter of PRSSA will provide valuable experiences for our students to interact with local professionals.

EWU Students Heading to Grad School in Fall 2014

Grace Cooper (anthropology and Spanish, 2014) has been accepted by multiple graduate programs. She will be attending the doctoral program in anthropology at Temple University. Cooper is a McNair scholar and an active member of the Anthropological Society at EWU, serving as the club’s public relations officer in 2013.

Jose Mendez (sociology and criminal justice, 2014) has been accepted by the master’s program in criminal justice at Washington State University. He was selected as the Carper Foundation Scholarship recipient in 2012 and 2013. Mendez has served as an associate justice for the ASEWU since 2012.

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College of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Social Work
Eastern Washington University
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