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Janurary 30, 2012 • Issue 4 • Volume 17 Features

Students from Japan visit campus Page 6

Campus News

Sales competition winners head out of state Page 4

VECS now open for learning Engineering and Computer Science building expands opportunities for WSU Vancouver faculty and students by Ken Lowe, The VanCougar

Classes and research commenced this semester in WSU Vancouver’s new Engineering and Computer Science building (VECS). Dick Lang, clinical associate professor and coordinator of computer science, has been involved with the building since its inception. “The University has two missions, one to engage in funded research, and two, to further its educational goals. We want to have a facility where we can propose and engage in cutting-edge microtechnology and where students can take part in design and processes,” said Lang. Lang said the building was six years in planning and construction. “It took roughly two years to get preliminary obstacles out of the way, two years to design the building in detail, and two years to complete its construction in detail,” said Lang. The building houses 30 faculty members and is used primarily by students studying computer science, electrical and mechanical

engineering. For now, these are the only engineering programs offered on the WSU Vancouver campus. The building is equipped with 32 offices, five classrooms, a computer lab, an antenna room, teaching and research labs, and three “class 100” clean rooms. The clean rooms are specifically constructed for the precise lithography and fabrication involved in building integrated circuits. Built atop independent

The VECS building, designed by LMN Architects and built by Hoffman Construction, received a “LEED Silver” environmental rating. This designation, bestowed by the U.S. Green Building Council, is based on ratings in six categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, material and resource, indoor environment quality and design. VECS qualified for a silver rating because it scored between 50 and 59 points out of 100. Several features enhance the building’s visual appeal. Views of Mount St. Helens are framed in many north-facing windows. Acoustic wall tiles control sound, but also serve an artistic purpose. They are impressed with a series of holes that mimic digital sequences. A vibrant red tribute to science and engineering adorns the wall near the stairs that lead down to the parking lot (see back page). Lang says with a smile, “Some of the equations on the wall are actually correct.”

Spring semester marked the beginning of classes in VECS

Photo by Ken Lowe | VanCougar Staff

VECS classrooms showcase digitally inspired acoustic tiles

three-foot thick slabs of concrete, they negate vibrations from the rest of the building and campus. A new student computer lab in Room 123 has 20 new PC computers and 10 new iMacs. It also offers a student laptop collaboration area where students can bring their laptops, plug them in and view them on the same screen. “The new computer lab is great for group projects,” said Joshua Wagner, a senior DTC major. The lab is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Photo by Ken Lowe | VanCougar Staff

Electrical engineering lab in VECS

DARPA recipient fosters creativity

$300,000 grant supports Jie Xu’s research on hearing and hearing loss by Ken Lowe, The VanCougar

On the first floor of the new WSU Vancouver Engineering and Life Sciences building, Jie Xu, assistant professor in the school of engineering and computer science, can be found working away most days of the week, pursuing award-winning research in the field of microfluidics. In a space that looks more like the bay of an automotive shop than what one would expect of a laboratory, Xu and his students are studying the mechanisms of hearing and hearing loss. Xu was among 39 researchers across the U.S. to receive grant support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award program in October for his work in the field of microfluidics. DARPA, an organization funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, has an interest in Xu’s research involving auditory hair cells because hearing loss is the number one disability found in returning servicemen and the number three disability among Americans. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs,

nearly 70,000 of the more than 1.3 million troops who served in Iraq or Afghanistan are collecting disability for tinnitus, a potentially debilitating ringing in the ears, and another 58,000 are on disability for hearing loss. The VA attributes the cause, in part, to powerful roadside bombs. DARPA’s stated objective in recognizing untenured faculty is to offer funding, mentoring and contacts within both the Department of Defense and the chosen industry. The grant provided $300,000 to help Xu and his research team screen drugs that might protect hearing or even cure hearing loss. In the long run, Xu hopes such a system can be developed into a prosthetic device for human beings or artificial sensory organs for future neuronbased devices, such as neural computers or robots. “The long-term goal of my research is to create a prosthetic ear. However, it is likely unrealistic within the next five or 10 years,” said Xu. Xu mentors four graduate students and 14 undergraduate

students in his lab. “We’re trying to reverse-engineer the ear,” said graduate student, Garret Haiman, who works with Xu. With Xu’s guidance, students conduct experiments to stimulate hair cells in Zebrafish where results are more visible due to the fish’s translucency. Other students assault tiny worms with a variety of noise frequencies to determine how this impacts their motion. Another group observes the damage caused to Zebrafish hair cells in response to chemicals delivered by a variety of delivery systems. These delivery systems might someday be used in the fields of biological diagnostics and drug testing. A vibrant and friendly man, Xu speaks highly of the students in the lab. “Working with undergrads is fun, they’re motivated and creative. Most of the students I work with are mechanical engineers. This research helps them when applying for grad school and jobs,” said Xu. Not all research in Xu’s lab is focused on hair cells. Xu said he is proud of the accomplishments of two students working on what has

been dubbed “liquid marbles.” These droplets of water, covered with chemical microparticles, are stable under superheated conditions. Xu calls this study “highimpact” because of potential applications to accelerometers, gas and pH sensors, water pollution indicators and the storage and transportation of chemical reagents and bio-samples. Xu said he enjoys working with research collaborators on this campus. “Drs. Coffin and Cooper

provide me with fish and valuable biological insights,” said Xu. Xu earned both his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Columbia University. He has authored more than 40 journal and conference publications, including one “Best Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering” paper in 2008. Xu participated on the editorial board of the Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal and has reviewed for several professional journals and conferences.

Photo by Ken Lowe | VanCougar Staff

Researchers take a break to pose for The VanCougar.|From left: Yu Hao, Mark Lewis, Jie Xu, Yu Gan, Garrett Heiman, Ly Ho

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Campus News

WSU Vancouver searches for a new leader

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Chancellor search and selection process on track for decision this spring by Cyndie Meyer, The VanCougar

The WSU Vancouver chancellor search committee has been hard at work since fall semester. According to Gay Selby, committee chairperson and clinical professor in the college of education, the search process is progressing. The committee’s focus is transitioning to the selection phase which will culminate later this spring. Chancellor’s role and challenges “The chancellor position plays a pivotal role in setting the vision, defining the culture and ensuring the institution meets the needs of students,” said Selby. A number of challenges face the new chancellor. According to Selby, a top priority will be to carefully manage campus resources until the economy improves and the state can restore budget cuts to higher education. “The WSU Vancouver chancellor also plays an important role as leader and partner in the economic development of the area. We want our students to go on and find jobs,” said Selby. “To this end, the chancellor must find the best education programs and activities to fit student needs for this campus and hire the best faculty.” Selby added that a unique challenge to WSU Vancouver is the fact that our campus is part of a multi-campus system. The new chancellor must consider how WSU Vancouver fits with the larger system’s overall operation. Chancellor search committee A 17-member search committee formed fall semester after founding Chancellor Hal Dengerink retired in August. “The committee has a strong

commitment to hire the very best person for the job,” said Selby. “We appreciate the legacy of our founding chancellor and want to honor that in the selection of new leadership. WSU Vancouver has only had one chancellor in its history, which is unique. Ours is the only campus in the WSU system that can say that,” Selby said. Nine committee members are WSU Vancouver faculty or staff, four represent the community, three hold positions at other WSU campuses, and one, AWSUV President, Audrey Miller, represents the student body. “Audrey [Miller] has been on the committee from the beginning. She has been a great advocate for student interest,” said Selby. Candidate qualifications The committee began the search process by reviewing the position description. The committee reached out to faculty, staff, students and the community for input as they developed a list of qualifications for the new chancellor. The list of qualifications can be viewed at http://admin.vancouver. and includes skills in leadership, fiscal management, fundraising and others. “We would prefer a person with a background in higher education, but we will look at all the people who apply,” said Selby. “From a faculty perspective, we are seeking a person who understands academics, teaching, research and service. For students, we want someone who is approachable, visible and who listens to the students’ voice. And for the community, we are looking for

The VanCougar Staff Editor-in-chief Cyndie Meyer

Managing Editor Emily Uhde

Layout and Design Louise Tollisen

Copy Editor Christine Watson

Team Editors Sarah Cusanelli Haley Sharp Margarita Topal Joshua Wagner Writers Adam Baldwin, Ryan Burke, Inahlee Bauer, Sarah Cusanelli, Hailey Hanson, Teresa Lane, Kenneth Lowe, Kaitlyn McClain, Emily Ostrowski, Alex Smith, Emily Smith, Kelsey Smith, Kylo Stever, Nicole Tolmie, Joshua Wagner Contact Information: VanCougar Office Phone 360-546-9524 Editor-in-chief Managing Editor Advertising Manager Advisors Brenda Alling, Director of Marketing and Communications Casey Payseno, Student Involvement Advisor

The VanCougar’s Valentine’s Day issue will feature love notes from our readers to our readers.

someone who is comfortable having a partnership with the community to achieve the goals of the institution,” Selby said. The committee completed the search phase by hiring a consulting firm to advertise the position and recruit quality candidates. The committee screened a large pool of candidates and narrowed it to a smaller group for closer consideration.

Email reader-appropriate personal messages of 25 words or less to by February 3.


The VanCougar is a student-run newspaper serving the students, faculty and staff of WSU Vancouver. Copies of The VanCougar are available on campus free of charge. Location Classroom building (VCLS) Room 212 14024 NW Salmon Creek Ave. Vancouver, WA 98686 Phone: (360) 546-9524

Selection process The selection process is now underway. The identity of candidates is highly confidential at this time. Search consultants are checking the background and references of candidates. This additional information will help the search committee narrow the pool of semi-finalists further. From this group, several finalists will be invited to campus to meet with faculty, staff, students and community members. Feedback from these meetings will be considered in the final decision process. Selby is unable to say how many finalists will be invited to campus. During campus visits, candidates will meet with university leadership, faculty, support staff, students and the community. Selby said it is most likely that candidates will have an opportunity to publicly address the WSU Vancouver community and answer questions. The process will continue until the committee presents its final recommendation to WSU President Elson Floyd. The committee anticipates that President Floyd will make a final selection later this year.

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VanCougar Letters Policy The VanCougar welcomes brief letters (250 words or fewer) from members of the WSU Vancouver community on current issues. Letters must include the author’s full name, contact information and WSU affiliation, year and major/department for students, department for faculty and staff, or degree and year graduated for alumni. The VanCougar does not publish anonymous letters. Priority is given to letters that relate directly to stories printed in The VanCougar. The VanCougar also welcomes guest commentaries of 550 words or fewer addressing issues of general interest to the WSU Vancouver community. Letters and commentaries should focus on issues, not personalities. Personal attacks will not be considered for publication. The VanCougar reserves the right to edit for space, libel, obscene material and clarity. The views expressed are solely those of the individual authors.

Wednesday, Feb. 1 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 1 2:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 1 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 2 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 2 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 2 9:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 3 12:00 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 6 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 8 2:30 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 9 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 15 3:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 16 3:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 20

Friday, Feb. 24 – Sunday, Feb. 26

Blood drive for Southwest Washington Blood Program Closed 12 to 1:30 Classroom building (VCLS) Room 14 Free snacks

WSU Vancouver Public Affairs Lecture Series “From Public Good to Personal Gain” Firstenburg Student Commons Free

A-Z of Financial Aid & Scholarships Workshop Student Services Center Room 101 Free

ASWSUV Candidate filings due Office of Student Involvement

First ASWSUV candidate orientation Firstenburg Student Commons Room 104

Career and Internship Fair General Business Firstenburg Student Commons Room 104 Deadline for Travel Café photo submissions

WSU Vancouver Public Affairs Lecture “Uncovering the Dreamers” Dengerink Administration building Room 129 Free

Blood drive for Southwest Washington Blood Program Closed 12 to 1:30 Classroom building (VCLS) Room 14 Free snacks

Cosmic Bowling Allen’s Crosley Lanes Free

John Galt Club - “How to live before you die” Library building Room 264 Free

Second ASWSUV candidate orientation Firstenburg Student Commons Room 104

Career and Internship Fair Non-Profit, Science, and Engineering Firstenburg Student Commons Room 104 Mt. Bachelor Ski & Snowboarding Trip Sign up at the Recreation Office $130 for students and $174 for non-students

Get involved and in shape this semester Fun fitness options offered by campus Fitness Center and Recreation Office

Campus News

DTC program builds community through technology

Successful digital training program offered again in February for students and community

by Sarah Cusanelli, The VanCougar

by Kylo Stevers, The VanCougar

Fun, fitness and friends - that’s what WSU Vancouver students will find this semester at a variety of events and classes offered by the Recreation Office and Fitness Center. Non-students are welcome to join some Cougar adventures at additional cost but cannot carpool with the school.

When Dene Grigar, associate professor and director of the creative media and digital culture program at WSU Vancouver, initiated a free workshop series titled “Technology 101” in the fall of 2010, she had no idea how popular it would become. The workshops had a waiting list last semester, and the project has become a team effort, involving every member of the CMDC faculty. When the workshops began, Grigar had only four or five participants. She is delighted that the program now draws 30 people for hands-on learning. The workshops offer a much-needed service for both students and community members. In the past, the series consisted of up to 10 weekly sessions. To meet increased demand, and to better accommodate the schedules of participants and faculty, the program will be offered as two full-day workshops this spring. The workshops will take place in the Multi-media Classroom building computer lab (VMMC 111) on March 2–3. There will be four sessions each day, two in the morning and two in the afternoon.

Recreation events and sports The fun begins with two winter wonderland trips in February. Snowshoe fans can explore Worm Flows, a section of lava on the side of Mount St. Helens during an overnight snowshoe trip on Feb. 4 – 5. Snowshoers will build and sleep in igloos. Camping gear, snow shoes and transportation are included in the $10 fee. Sign up at the Recreation Office by Feb. 1. Skibowl claims to be America’s largest night-ski area. WSU Vancouver students can judge for themselves by participating in the Skibowl night-skiing event on Feb. 9. Skiiers and snowboard enthusiasts will leave campus around 1:30 p.m. and enjoy the afternoon and evening on the mountain. Return transportation will depart from the mountain at 10 p.m. Get more information and sign up at the Recreation Office by Feb. 8. A fee of $10 includes transportation, equipment rental and lift ticket. For those who prefer warmer activities, rock climbing is scheduled at The Source, an indoor Vancouver rock-climbing facility, on Feb. 19. Sign up at the Recreation Office by Feb. 15. Students pay $5 for climbing and $10 if they do not have personal climbing gear. Planning your own activity this semester, but don’t have all the gear? The Recreation Office rents a variety of equipment for all adventures including camping, backpacking and winter sports. WSU Vancouver students pay only $15 per day for skis or snowboards and boots. There is a charge of $5 for each additional day. Snowshoes and poles cost $5 for one day and $2 for additional days and snow tubes are $3 for one day and $2 for additional days. The Recreation Office at WSU Vancouver also offers intramural sports. A co-ed indoor soccer league starts on Feb. 18. Sign up in the Recreation Office by Feb. 10. The cost is $25. Teams consist of six guys, six girls and a goalie of either gender (three guys, three girls and the goal tender are on the field during play). Games will be played on Saturday evenings at Salmon Creek Indoor Sports Arena. Each game consists of two, 22-minute halves. The WSU Vancouver team record last session was four wins, four losses. Casey Martschinske, a student who participated in indoor soccer last semester said he enjoyed the experience. “I’m glad to have been a part of a team that surpassed the expectations they were given and came out with a successful season. We ran through a problem with subs and lack of communication because we were a new team, but we rose above that with good results,” said Martschinske. A flag football league may be forming, if enough participants are interested and willing to pay the fee

required to offset the cost of registering a team. Last semester, the flag football intramurals culminated with the Vancouver Bowl against Clark College. Looking ahead to March, free outdoor soccer and ultimate disc intramurals will start up on the WSU Vancouver sports fields. Capture the Flag game days are scheduled as well. Campus Fitness Center For a day-to-day workout, the Fitness Center can’t be beat. The center is located below the library and is free to WSU Vancouver students, staff and faculty. Use your student ID to sign up for an identification number at the center’s front desk. The center is equipped with five treadmills, four elliptical machines, two rowing machines, a sit-down bike, free weights, leg machines and more. Fitness classes are taught in an adjacent gym area equipped with spin bikes, balance balls and mats. Lockers and showers are also available. Rick Strange, a junior in clinical psychology, uses the center four times a week. “I started using the center 36 pounds ago,” said Strange while working out on an elliptical machine. He credits the center for his weight loss because of its easy access between classes. The center also offers free classes several times per week. Most sessions are 50 minutes in length and participants should sign up ahead of time as space is limited. This spring, the center offers Pilates classes at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Pilates/yoga fusion classes at 8 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. Pilates is an approach to fitness that focuses on strengthening and stabilizing muscles in the body’s inner core. Yoga provides stretching and strengthening. Circuit training is offered at 12:10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Circuit training participants rotate through 15 exercise stations, performing a prescribed number of repetitions at each. The variety and camaraderie make the session fun. There are only 15 slots available in this class so sign up ahead of time. Spin (or stationary group cycling) class is offered at 12:10 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. The center has 11 spin bikes, so sign up early for these sessions. The center opens every weekday at 6:30 a.m. It closes at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at 6 p.m. on Fridays. Marcus Dupont, a WSU Vancouver junior majoring in business administration and Fitness Center leader says the center is busiest 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center is least crowded from 7 – 9 a.m. and 6 – 9 p.m. The center is closed weekends and holidays. Dupont says there will be a number of job openings at the Fitness Center at the end of spring semester. “A lot of our staff is graduating,” he said. “It’s a great job with flexible hours.” Watch for notices later this spring.


The Friday session will focus on web development, content management systems, WordPress, Google and web markup. Saturday’s session will cover an array of social media tools, tips and optimization. Those interested in the workshops can sign up for one or both days. Thirty spots are available each day, and registration is on a first-come-first-served basis. If students cannot get in, Grigar will offer the program again. Grigar said there were a lot of reasons why the CMDC program elected to invest in the workshops. Community involvement and empowering others to achieve their own potential are her main reasons. “Technology is power. If we give program participants some of that ‘superpower,’ then it’s going to help them,” said Grigar. “And I love teaching. I love to see people learn.” The program also comes in reaction to the current economic situation. As the daughter of a small business owner, Grigar said she understands how hard it is for small businesses to stay afloat nowadays. She hopes to fill the gap by offering help with web issues,

social media knowledge and tips for optimizing internet search results. Grigar ties the challenges faced by small businesses to rising tuition. “When small businesses go down the tube, our students can’t afford tuition and they can’t get a job,” said Grigar. “One reason tuition is going up is because our tax base is drying up. If small businesses can’t maintain, gain advantage and earn money, then they can’t pay taxes. To me, it’s a big-picture issue. I want to help the community. I want to help my students,” said Grigar. “This is giving to the community.” Although the fall sessions were sold out, Grigar noted there were a number of no-shows. To help prevent this from happening again, non-students will be charged $10 per session. The program is still free of charge to WSU Vancouver students. Grigar needs student volunteers who are experienced in the area in which they wish to teach to help at the workshop. Those interested in attending or who want to volunteer may email Grigar at for more information.

Photo by Cyndie Meyer | VanCougar Staff

Above: Marcus Dupont, Fitness Center lead, enrolls Ashley Pirrone, a junior humanities major. Right: Dylan Petersen, freshman in electrical engineering, pumps iron between classes.

Got Questions? Ask @ the Library How to contact us During the library’s open hours you can Come in,            Call: 360.546.9680 Circulation desk 360.546.9686 Reference desk Email: IM chat:


Campus News

Bonnie Hewlett is enamored with anthropology

Visiting professor and Fulbright scholar, Bonnie Hewlett, discusses her experiences in Ethiopia by Nicole Tolmie, The VanCougar

Fulbright scholar, Bonnie Hewlett, a visiting professor to the anthropology and liberal arts departments of WSU Vancouver, recently completed 10 months in Ethiopia where she and her husband, Barry Hewlett, WSU Vancouver professor of anthropology, taught and conducted research at Hawassa University. There, over two semesters in the Great Rift Valley, they taught courses in medicine, social and natural sciences, natural resources and forestry, business and agriculture. Hewlett’s teaching experience at Hawassa differed from her experiences teaching in the United States. Of 50 students in her anthropology class, only four or five were female. Electricity and textbooks were rare. “The textbook selection was poor with only one bookshelf containing outdated books,” said Hewlett. “That was an eye-opening experience.” “The most profound outcome from the Fulbright experience was being able to build that connection and bridge between Hawassa and Washington State University,” said Hewlett. She remains in touch with Hawassa through email. While in Ethiopia, Hewlett

studied the experiences of orphaned children and the perspectives of birth mothers using an ethnographic approach, meaning she studied them in their own environment using methods such as participant observation and face-to-face interviews. She hopes to continue this research in future. Other areas of Hewlett’s research include the anthropology of adolescents with a focus on grief, loss and social-emotional development and the anthropology of infectious and parasitic diseases. Hewlett also recorded the life stories of Central African women from a cultural perspective through formal and informal interviews that traced their life events over a span of seven years. The results are soon to be published by Oxford University Press in the book “Listen, Here is a Story: Ethnographic Life Narratives from Aka and Ngandu Women of the Congo Basin.” Hewlett is also working on a book about adolescent identity for Rutledge Publishing. Fulbright scholarships for the 2010–2011 academic year afforded Hewlett and her husband the opportunity to teach and study in Ethiopia. The Fulbright program

provides competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists. Since it was founded by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946, more than 310,000 Fulbright scholarships — 114,000 from the United States — have been awarded. Recipients are expected to spend 80 percent of their time teaching and 20 percent pursuing independent research. Hewlett did not start out to be an anthropologist. She was pursuing a master of science degree in nursing when she took her first medial anthropology course at WSU. She fell in love with the field because it drew on her background in biology, 10 years of work experience as a registered nurse in neonatal intensive care, and opened a new avenue of cultural awareness through anthropology. Hewlett earned her Ph.D. in anthropology in 2004 from WSU, but not before she and her husband conducted research in the Congo during the Ebola outbreak. There, she gained first-hand knowledge about the importance of understanding and applying cultural models of illness.

“That’s what I love about medical anthropology — it can be an applied science,” said Hewlett. Hewlett’s research on adolescence in hunter-gatherer societies closes a gap in the literature she encountered as a student. Her dissertation, “Aka and Ngandu Adolescents of the Central African Republic,” is the basis of several publications including the book “Ebola, Culture and Politics: The Anthropology of an Emerging Disease,” which she and her

husband published in 2008. Hewlett teaches anthropology courses at WSU Vancouver on the topics of childhood and culture, African culture, medical anthropology and world problems from an anthropological perspective. This semester Hewlett is teaching two courses: Anthropology 395, “Cultures and Adolescents: Identity, Risk and Sex” and Anthropology 316, “Gender in Cross Cultural Perspective.”

Photo by Nicole Tolmie | VanCougar Staff

Fulbright scholar Bonnie Hewlett in her office at WSU Vancouver.

Winners of WSU Vancouver sales competition are bound for glory Top performers will represent WSU Vancouver in Georgia and California by Cyndie Meyer, The VanCougar

Last semester, students from the WSU Vancouver professional sales program did their best to sell a complex software system to local representatives of international businesses. The customers did not mind that they would never receive the products they ordered. They were all volunteers playing a role in WSU Vancouver’s seventh professional sales competition. During the Dec. 2 event, each of 23 WSU Vancouver student competitors was allotted 20 minutes to role play a sales presentation before an audience of judges who rated them on their sales ability, enthusiasm, communication skills and confidence. The competition’s top performers, WSU Vancouver students Shaynne Goodwin and Marc Jackson, will represent the university at the National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC) in Kennesaw, Ga. in March. They will

vie for top honors against competitors from approximately 62 of the top sales-training programs across the country. This will be the sixth year that a WSU Vancouver team will compete in the NCSC. In 2007 a WSU Vancouver team took first place, and in 2011 the team reached the quarter finals. In April, four more top competitors, Alina Ciot, Kilen Murphy, Carrie Shinn and Chad Van Dyke, will compete in the Western States Collegiate Sales Competition in Chico, Calif. This competition usually draws six to eight of the top sales programs from Arizona, California and Washington. WSU Vancouver participated in the WSCSC for the first time last year, taking second place in the team competition and first place in the individual competition. Travel and lodging expenses for students competing in the national

and western states competitions are covered by competition sponsors. Students participating in the WSU Vancouver event learned that things don’t always go perfectly in a sales presentation. Winner Carrie Shinn was hampered by a computer malfunction, but her audience congratulated her for maintaining her poise under stress. Shinn, a WSU Vancouver senior majoring in marketing, said she enjoyed the reassuring feedback from local business people. “The sales program has taught me techniques and tools that have given me confidence,” said Shinn, president of the WSU Vancouver chapter of collegiate DECA. The DECA club will also participate in an out-of-state competition this year. Event participants are either enrolled in the WSU Vancouver professional sales program or are pursuing a professional sales

Photo by Cyndie Meyer | VanCougar Staff

WSU Vancouver senior, Carrie Shinn, sells a software program to William Vinson, regional sales executive for Evolve Guest Controls.

certificate through the WSU Vancouver College of Business. The professional sales certificate was introduced to campus in 2005 to help prepare students for careers in marketing, sales and customer account management. Ron Pimentel, clinical assistant professor of marketing and associate director of the professional sales program, said 57 students are currently enrolled in the certificate program. “Students do not need to be business majors [to enroll in the certificate program]. We accept students from any major,” said Pimentel. “Samantha Goelze, a member of last year’s WSCSC team, was a digital technology and culture major. She met Airgas at last year’s competition and was hired by Airgas as part of their sales force. This year, Samantha came back to the competition as a judge.” According to the college of business, sales and marketing careers span a wide variety of industries and provide graduates with high-paying jobs, diverse duties and excellent long-term career prospects. The WSU Vancouver sales competition was sponsored by Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Workplace Resource of Oregon (Herman Miller) and Zones, Inc. Sales executives from Enterprise Holdings, Evolve Guest Controls, Geary Pacific Supply, Pedigo, Pfizer, Inc. and Workplace Resource of Oregon (Herman Miller) served as buyers. The competition was judged by

executives from ADP, Airgas-NorPac, Inc., CampusPoint, Cintas Corp., Comcast Spotlight, Conway Multimodal, Country Financial, Fastenal, First Command Financial Planning, FritoLay (a division of Pepsico), Mass Mutual Financial Group, Nautilus, Inc., Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, Pinpoint Sales Group and Safetec Compliance Systems. Following the competition, the companies also participated in the third annual “Meet the Firms” career fair. Keith Hill, senior executive with Enterprise Holdings, said he and a fellow executive in charge of recruitment both participate in the WSU Vancouver event. “We come here to look for new talent,” said Hill. Last year, Enterprise Holdings hired Kristen Kadow, the 2010 second-place winner. “Kristen was just promoted yesterday,” said Hill. Enterprise Holdings has been involved since the competition first started and has hired several employees as a result of the event. Competitor Carrie Shinn agrees the event is a good way to find a job. She was hired by American Family Insurance at last year’s competition. For more information about the WSU Vancouver professional sales certificate program or the sales competition, contact the WSU Vancouver College of Business at 360-546-9750.

Campus News


Learning at all stages of life

Non-traditional student, Rick Strange, returned to school with 30 years of life experience by Nicole Tolmie, The VanCougar

Many non-traditional students are returning to college to pursue new careers. One such student, Rick Strange, finds that returning to school later in life has provided some aspects of “conceptual finality” to gaps in his life experience. Strange is a junior studying clinical psychology at WSU Vancouver. Because he is older than the stereotypical college student, Strange is classified as non-traditional. “There is a certain amount of worry over how people will perceive you because of your age. You often have your defenses up,” said Strange. “I walked out of my first class with feelings of age discrimination.” Following a discussion with his professor, Strange said he realized it’s a two-way street between professors who may have hesitations about teaching highly experienced students and nontraditional students who may have insecurities about going back to school. Ultimately, Strange said he did not take the strife personally and found the exchange to be beneficial for both parties. “There are times when your point of view [as an older student] may redirect what the professor is trying to teach. It’s not your job to teach the class with your life experience. But you can be

beneficial to the class by offering [your life experience] and let the professor use it or not,” said Strange. Strange recalls a professor discussing jobs that students could get following graduation. “You realize very quickly that all classes are not geared for your particular age,” said Strange, who has had jobs in various fields. Strange owned a construction company for 30 years before going back to school. “Construction made sense,” said Strange. He entered the construction field following a seven-year career in the music industry. He said the music industry was laden with uncertainties and driven by trends and gimmicks. “I was too idealistic. I thought good music would always prevail over business. But it doesn’t,” said Strange. He found financial security in construction and lived and worked in the same area for 30 years. “Building a barn is a tangible and socially acceptable piece of art — and it’s definitely more financially dependable,” said Strange. Since enrolling at WSU Vancouver, Strange has experienced a growing process. “Going back to school was such a dramatic difference,” said Strange. “I was only responsible for me.”

In his construction business, Strange supervised 13 employees. “One of the things I noticed while in construction was the anger and disconnection between people and their actions,” said Strange. Strange is now studying the biological and social factors that lead to impulsive anger, specifically in young males. Through his research, he hopes to understand the common thread of personality traits he noticed while working in construction. “I think WSU Vancouver is seeking to create students who pursue the subject matter with a research mentality that encourages us to critically look at the subject matter,” said Strange. “I didn’t realize how different a researchbased university is from another type of college. You don’t just go away with information, but the science of how the information can lead to greater things.” Strange is in the WSU Vancouver Honor’s Program where he mentors under Karen Schmaling, a clinical psychologist and vice chancellor of academic affairs. Following college, Strange hopes to develop intervention techniques that will help people who experience sudden anger s to gain personal control. He plans to pursue graduate school in Pullman or at Oregon Health and Science University.

Photo by Nicole Tolmie| VanCougar Staff

WSU Vancouver student, Rick Strange, brings life experience to campus.

Are you listening?

KOUG radio offers students broadcasting experience and listening enjoyment by Inahlee Bauer, The VanCougar

How many schools do you know of that have a dedicated student radio stations? At WSU Vancouver, KOUG Radio is operated solely by students. KOUG’s offices and broadcast equipment are located in the math lab in the undergraduate classroom building, and it broadcasts from a space in the facilities and operations building. Jimmy Kramer, WSU Vancouver senior in management information systems and manager of KOUG Radio, said the station struggled at first to get off the ground and nearly shut down due to staffing issues and a lack of quality music. When Kramer became station manager in 2011, he took immedi-

ate action to keep the station alive. He addressed technical issues by purchasing equipment that would produce better sound quality. Then he rebuilt the radio’s website, reloaded the software and recreated the music library. Kramer, who graduates next winter, hopes the next station manager will continue to improve the station. KOUG Radio is an internetbased station and does not broadcast over AM or FM airwaves. KOUG broadcasts are played at several locations on campus including the Bookie and Fitness Center. Expanding broadcast reception to more areas on campus is Kramer’s biggest goal. Kramer says listenership is steadily growing. “Until recently,

the station did not advertise in any way other than by word-of-mouth,” said Kramer. He acknowledges this made it difficult for students to become aware of the radio station. “We are expanding publicity to Facebook and will be advertising in The VanCougar. We hope that will attract new listeners,” said Kramer. Although finding local listeners is challenging, Kramer occasionally receives email from listeners in Great Britain and Scandinavia. A staff of paid and volunteer DJs run hour-long shows on KOUG Radio each week. “The station is free-form and each DJ selects his or her own songs for their show,” said Kramer. Listeners will find that DJs play

Photo by Inahlee Bauer | VanCougar Staff

Jimmy Kramer, KOUG Radio station manager

a variety of music genres, but most stick with local music and top 40s during the day and classical music at night. Kramer encourages others to take part. “We always need more DJs,” said Kramer.” Everyone who has volunteered as a DJ in the past has thoroughly enjoyed it.” KOUG Radio has hosted some well-known performers, including performer/rock-star LIGHTS whom Kramer interviewed last semester. Kramer is hoping to host more performers in the near future, playing on-air once or twice weekly. He anticipates this will enhance the overall listening experience. For now, the radio station is limited to broadcasting pre-recorded music, but Kramer hopes it will advance to broader media capabilities soon. Student activity fees are the sole source of support for KOUG Radio. The station’s annual operating costs are less than $50,000 including payroll, royalties and equipment - a small budget compared to commercial radio stations. Kramer said he has enjoyed his work as station manager. “It’s great to have a vision and see it carried out by an enthusiastic staff,” said Kramer. “It’s great to have people who are motivated to put out a high-quality product that we can all be proud of, and it feels good to see your ideas become a reality.”

Anybody can be a DJ for KOUG radio. No experience is needed. The job requires about an hour a week plus prep time. All paid positions are currently filled, but some will open at the end of spring or beginning of fall semesters. Contact the station through Love a song you heard on KOUG? KOUG’s awesome website is a source for music that was recently played on KOUG radio. If listeners want to know about songs played less recently, DJs will go through their history list and track down the song. Tours of KOUG radio station are also available. To learn more about KOUG Radio, visit


Arts, Culture, and Entertainment

Viewing our lives through new eyes

Two Japanese college students visit WSU Vancouver during their first visit to the U.S. by Nicole Tolmie, The VanCougar

Over Thanksgiving break, Saki Fujimura and Yuki Kiyama, cultural anthropology students at the University of Toyama in Japan, experienced their first visit to the United States and a visit to WSU Vancouver. The students live in Kanazawa, Japan, about 250 miles northwest of Tokyo, bordering the Sea of Japan. “We wanted to experience the life of American students, so we decided to visit the U.S.,” said Kiyama. WSU Vancouver has an established relationship with Toyama through conferences on hunter-gatherer topics, according to Bonnie Hewlett, WSU Vancouver visiting professor in anthropology and liberal arts. “Barry [Hewlett] was invited to lecture at Kyoto University and the relationship built from there,” said Hewlett. Hewlett hosted Kiyama and Fujimura for a tradional Thanksgiving dinner. Kiyama said former classmates from Toyama visited WSU Vancouver through the River Cities Anthropological Society (RCAS). RCAS helped the girls find a host home where they stayed for the week. The cost of the flight from Japan was their main expense. Once on campus, Fujimura and Kiyama attended a lecture in Hewlett’s medical anthropology class. The lecture was “hard to understand,” said Fujimura. Both girls improved their English skills during their stay, but their struggle emphasized the challenge of living in a culture that speaks a language different from one’s own. Fujimura noticed cultural

differences and more age diversity in American classrooms than in Japan. “In my class in Japan, professors talk and students listen and few [students] raise their hands to ask questions,” said Fujimura. “More people use laptops [here] than in Japanese universities where most students take notes on paper.” When asked about differences between Japan and America, Kiyama said, “Americans wear shoes all the time.” In Japan, shoes are customarily removed at the entrance of the home. Fujimura described Americans as more assertive than Japanese. “Japanese cannot say ‘no,’” she said. According to Fujimura, the Japanese have learned to say no “softly” because saying no is tantamount to scorning someone. “In Japan people are more reserved,” said Fujimura. Kiyama agrees. “It takes longer to move past the ‘stranger phase’ in Japan. The first time you meet someone, you are not friends. But, once friendships are established, they are deep friendships that do not separate easily,” says Fujimura. During their stay, the visitors had a chance to see Seattle. “Each day was exciting and special,” said Kiyama, whose favorite part of the trip included visiting the shops at Seattle’s Pike Place Market. “There were stores from many different countries,” said Kiyama, who visited The Chocolate Market and Le Panier, a French bakery. “There isn’t such a place in Japan..I was very surprised,” said

Photo by Nicole Tolmie | VanCougar Staff

Saki Fujimura, Yuki Kiyama and friend Tom Anderson enjoy a rainy visit to Seattle’s Pike Place Market .

Fujimura after posing for pictures in front of Seattle’s gum wall. Fujimura said her favorite experiences included a friend’s holiday party, dancing at the FX club in Portland and the day trip to Seattle. Fujimura and Kiyama are currently juniors at Toyama. Both live with their families while attending school and plan to search for jobs in Japan after graduation. Fujimura hopes to work as a tour guide or pursue an international career. “I was inspired from American students who have so many ways or paths,” said Fujimura. “I want to decide my life for myself.” The students described the WSU Vancouver campus as

“beautiful, clean and big with many forests.” Both Fujimura and Kiyama were impressed by the library’s selection of anthropology textbooks. “If I can, I want to come here again,” said Fujimura. Bonnie Hewlett is a supporter of international exchange. “[Studying or visiting abroad as students] should be encouraged and embraced because the opportunities for learning from and about other people are immense. You just can’t get that from the classroom,” said Hewlett. “I think it should be a requirement for students to study abroad every year or to join the Peace Corps.”

Students on a tour of Vancouver and Portland landmarks. | Back row, from left: WSU Vancouver international graduate students from China: Zhao Jiheng, Nan Lei, Yuhao Xu, Fan Yang Visiting students from Japan, from left: Yuki Kiyama and Saki Fujimura .

A reflection from American host, Nicole Tolmie As a first-time host to foreign students and an American who has never left the country, this reporter felt it was a gift to experience such a direct and personal connection to a culture so diverse, yet similar to my own. I was able to appreciate what they saw as new and foreign and see my own culture through new eyes. As a student of anthropology, I appreciated the opportunity to abandon the preconception that I know everything about life: how to do things, what to say and how to act. I was humbled by my ignorance as I learned about an unfamiliar culture. Yuki and Saki became teachers to me, and in return, I became a teacher to them. The opportunity to host foreign visitors should not be passed up by anyone who wishes to see their lives in new light or to be humbled by the ignorance we develop when we grow too comfortable with our own lives.

Arts, Culture and Entertainment


Vancouver art galleries showcase local creativity The community gathers on First Fridays to celebrate artistic innovation by Teresa Lane, The VanCougar

The downtown Vancouver art scene is thriving thanks to Angst and the North Bank Artists Galleries. These galleries’ creativity and innovation has helped educate citizens on the power of visual art and has encouraged artistic growth for more than a decade. These benefits can be seen at the First Friday Artwalk that occurs monthly on Main Street in downtown Vancouver. During this event, art galleries are open to the public. Gallery owners, exhibiting artists and the community come together to view the latest shows and discuss art. “The Vancouver art community is a good thing to have. It’s a good pulse for progressive thinking, ” said Kathi Rick, North Bank

member and WSU Vancouver art teacher. January’s Artwalk included Angst Gallery’s Male Form Show, a depiction of the male body as beautiful and art worthy. Leah Jackson, owner of Angst and Niche Art and Wine Bar, described the show as “a celebration,” giving artists an opportunity to explore a subject that often goes unnoticed. In January, North Bank Gallery exhibited works by young artists from the Vancouver area. The pieces on display were created by students who attend Columbia River High School, The Gardner School, Mountain View and Union High Schools, the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics and others. Their works include

paintings, collages, sculptures and pencil drawings. Crystal Zeller, a teacher at the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics and an artist herself, organized the show and expects to have more of these student shows at North Bank in the future. “It is important for visual-art students, even at the elementary and middle-school level, to have the honoring experience of showcasing their work publicly,” said Zeller. The importance of the art community is evident through the eyes of students. Hannah Swanson, 19, displayed a body of her work and interned at the Angst Gallery last summer. She said First Friday and Portland’s First Thursday are

imperative to the Northwest art scene. These events provide artistic education to new or student artists and encourage artistic innovation through internships and community involvement. “Art defines generations and changes history. It’s vital to have art in the community for these reasons,” said Swanson. In February, North Bank Gallery will exhibit the work of Michael Smith. Angst Gallery will feature the art of Vancouver artist, Kelly Keigwin and Chris Haberman of Portland, Ore. The Kiggins Theater, located on the same block as the galleries, is currently hanging works of art by Portland artist Anne John.

Are you an aspiring artist? If you are interested in getting involved in the Vancouver art community, Jackson suggests approaching one of the galleries about opportunities for new artists and volunteers. If you would like to show your own work, look for juried shows open to the public (North Bank’s next juried show takes place in August). Every Thursday, North Bank Gallery hosts life-drawing sessions during which artists may sketch live, nude models. There is a small fee for these sessions. For more information about North Bank, contact Kathi Rick at katecrackernuts@comcast. net. For more information about Angst Gallery, contact Leah Jackson at Leah.AngstGallery@

Vancouver First Friday Participating Galleries The next First Friday event will take place Feb. 3. Most galleries are open from 5 – 9 p.m. Niche, an art and wine bar that changes its art exhibit monthly, is regularly open until 10 p.m.

Photos by Teresa Lane | VanCougar Staff

First Friday Artwal in downtown Vancouver showcases the diverse work of various local artists.

Aurora Gallery 1004 Main Street Angst Gallery 1015 Main Street Art on the Boulevard 210 W. Evergreen Blvd. Firehouse Glass 518 Main Street Gallery 360 111 W Ninth Street Hidden Gallery 400 E Evergreen Blvd. Kiggins Theater 1011 Main Street North Bank Artists Gallery 1005 Main Street

Performing arts club steals the stage at WSU Vancouver WSU Vancouver students express their passion for all things theater by Kaitlin MC Clain, The VanCougar

Campus clubs are one way to stay connected to school while spending time doing what you love and meeting new people. The performing arts club (PAC) provides a unique experience for WSU Vancouver students looking to express their inner theatrics. “[The PAC] isn’t just a theater club. We incorporate dance, plays, film and other media” said club member Daniel Nguyen, a junior biology major. The performing arts club’s 18 registered members hold formal bi-monthly meetings in addition to weekly script readings and improv socials. As the only theater club on campus, it attracts theater buffs, movie gurus and art enthusiasts

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with diverse events and activities. The club encourages members to participate as much as possible and rewards high levels of involvement with increased input in club decisions, performance credits, etc. The club not only connects students to activities on campus, but also encourages involvement in community events. In November, members attended the student production of the play “Arms and the Man,” a romantic satire by George Bernard Shaw performed at University of Portland. The PAC continues to find new ways of expanding activities. Currently, the club’s main project is an end-of-year film that they hope to present on campus the week


prior to finals. The project ties in the club concepts of film production, acting and script reading. So far, a cast for the film has been designated and rehearsals are under way. A request for new equipment and materials to improve the film’s quality was recently denied funding by the campus diversity council. “Situations like this are not uncommon with finances continuing to be a serious struggle, not only for academics but for extracurricular activities such as this,” said Nguyen. The PAC’s next step is to apply for the Coug Parent Grant, a funding source outside of campus student activity fees. That particu-

lar grant will not be open until spring of this year, which could potentially be too late for the project. The club’s only other alternative is to make-do with the lower-quality equipment they already have. Club members still hold out hope and say they will look to the community for donations to help keep their project afloat. If you are interested in getting more information or becoming a member, contact the club at pac. or like their Facebook page, “Performing Arts Club at WSU Vancouver.” A meeting schedule is in the works and will be made available soon.

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Photo courtesy of Daniel Nguyen

Derick Lock, a freshman in the performing arts club, strikes a pose



Green professionals to meet in Portland Annual conference provides opportunities for job seekers and students by Cyndie Meyer, The VanCougar

If you are interested in a green career, mark your calendar for the Green Professionals Conference. It is for people who work, or would like to work, in fields related to sustainability and renewable energy and resources. “Green careers are still growing,” said Conference Coordinator Summer Lewis. “The area of energy efficiency is a particularly hot area.” The conference, launched in 2008 as a job fair with only 250 participants, now draws close to 1,000 attendees and focuses on sharing information and growing the environmental protection and sustainability industries. The conference will take place from 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore. This year’s keynote speaker is economist Jared Bernstein, senior fellow for the Center on Budget

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and Policy Priorities. Bernstein served as chief economist and economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, executive director of the White House task force on the middle class and a member of President Obama’s economic team. He is the author and co-author of numerous books for both popular and academic audiences, including “Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed?” and nine editions of “The State of Working America.” Conference participants may choose from 15 different educational tracks taught by more than 75 regional and national experts on renewable energy and resources or sustainability. Conference topics will include wind and solar energy, biofuels, wave energy, electric cars, sustainable software, job-skill training and professional portfolio creation. Visitors to the exhibit hall will have the opportunity to meet with

more than 40 organizations including universities that offer “green” educational programs, consulting agencies and companies specializing in environmentally conscious products and services. A career services booth will provide professional career counseling for job-seekers. The exhibits and keynote address are free and open to the public. Registration for the educational track is $70 for students with school I.D., $135 for participants from non-profit organizations and $170 for the general public. Registration includes all sessions, lunch and a networking event from 5 – 6:30 p.m. For more information or to register, go to or contact Conference Coordinator Summer Lewis at 503-699-1562.

The VanCougar is hiring! We are on the prowl for more good journalists. Interested? Contact

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Popularizing Romani music: Are gypsies victims again?

RCAS Lecture Series brings Professor Carol Silverman to lecture on Romani music and culture by Nicole Tolmie, The VanCougar

WSU Vancouver River Cities Anthropological Society (RCAS) introduced their new lecture series in January with a presentation by Carol Silverman, cultural anthropologist and professor at University of Oregon. Silverman spoke about the “Global Gypsy: Romani music in Circulation.” Silverman’s expertise in the field of Balkan music and culture stems from 20 years as a researcher, teacher, activist and performer. Silverman’s research explores the relationship between politics, ethnicity, ritual and gender among Romani immigrants from Bulgaria, Macedonia and the Balkans. Silverman advises using the word “Roma” to avoid the negative connotations associated with the word “gypsy.” The prejudice that gypsies are thieves appeals to their negative connotation. “To ‘gyp someone’ means to rob them,” said Silverman, The Roma people, a subgroup of the Romani people, have ethnic origins in India and have settled throughout Eastern Europe. Throughout history, the nomadic Roma people have been persecuted or held as slaves. Six hundred thousand to one million Romas were persecuted by the Nazis during World War II. Today, the Roma people are still victims of discrimination throughout the world, including the United States. Police brutality and physical violence to Romas still exists in Europe where they constitute the largest minority group, numbering 12 million people within the European Union. They hold the lowest rates of education, political participation and social integration while suffering from prejudice and discrimination.

“Roma music is revered but the Roma are still reviled as people,” said Silverman. Romani immigrants retain a strong tie to their European ancestry. This is demonstrated through their attachment to performing arts, especially wedding music and dance, which Silverman calls “a changing genre.” Roma-inspired festivals and music are growing in popularity throughout Europe and the U.S. It is now performed by many non-Roma musicians in the Roma-inspired club scene where most bands, dancers and clubgoers are not of Roma origin. “Poverty, marginality, youth and beauty are on display in these clubs,” said Silverman. Silverman’s research questions whether the popularizing of Roma music by non-Roma musicians is properly representing the Roma people or further marginalizing them. “A few non-Roma bands are benefiting from the world-wide recognition of Roma music while hundreds of [true] Roma bands are sitting at home without jobs,” said Silverman. “Social economic status and class contexts must be kept in mind when looking at music popularization,” said Silverman. She cited American jazz, blues and Native American music to emphasize how music movements are embedded within a culture. “The hybridization of music may be seen as playful, but it deals with some very sensitive areas,” said Silverman. Silverman concluded the lecture with footage she personally filmed at Roma-inspired clubs. Her soon-to-be-released book, “Romani Routes: Cultural Politics and Balkan Music in Diaspora,” explores these topics further.

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Carol Silverman’s upcoming book, “Romani Routes.”


Carol Silverman lectured on Roma gypsy music and its cultural importance at the RCAS lecture series.


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

–Martin Luther King, Jr.

Features / Opinion

Review of “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates” Is it fate or choice that determines who we become? by Emily Ostrowski, The VanCougar

In his best-selling book, “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates” (2010), first-time author Wes Moore tells the tale of two men who share the same name and similar backgrounds. They end up experiencing two vastly different fates. In one of the book’s first lines, Moore writes: “The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his.” The power of our choices and the tendency to wonder how our lives would be different had we chosen another path is universal and is one of the many reasons “The Other Wes Moore” is an insightful and worthwhile read. The book’s main character, and author of the memoir, first hears of the “other” Wes Moore while he is a college student spending a semester in South Africa. He optimistically plans to return to Baltimore and graduate Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University, then go on to study at Oxford in England as a distinguished Rhodes Scholar. While he savors his final days abroad, Moore’s mother calls to relay an odd story of another man named Wes Moore who grew up in the same neighborhood, but who is wanted for the murder of a police officer.

Years later, curiosity compels him to write the other Wes Moore a letter. A correspondence begins which spans several years and includes face-to-face meetings between the two Wes Moore’s. Moore discovers that the men share similarities that go beyond their names and hometowns. Both were raised in poverty by single mothers and had fathers who were absent for the majority of their lives. This leads Moore to question why he became an accomplished scholar and decorated veteran, while the other Moore ended up in a prison cell for the rest of his life. Each man’s story is played out across the pages of Moore’s illuminating memoir as Moore searches for an answer to this question. Moore weaves the two men’s stories together seamlessly using

snippets of their conversations to introduce the beginning of each section. Moore is thoughtful in his prose and paints a vivid picture of life as an impoverished, inner-city kid in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He deftly evokes empathy and even fondness for the other Wes Moore without ever excusing or condoning his crimes. Moore does not seek to place blame or point fingers. Instead, he attempts to objectively inquire what factors led two men with relatively similar upbringings down such divergent paths. The question is never directly answered. Rather, in 180 pages, Moore offers up a relatively quick but powerful read that raises more questions, in the way that excellent literature often does. “The Other Wes Moore” is about the debilitating effects of poverty, the shortcomings of the public school system, the value of education and the undeniable importance of having people in your life who believe in you. Beyond all that, the memoir is really about choices: the choices we make, the choices we do not and the ones fate makes for us. “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates,”, is currently available at Amazon in paperback ($15) or on Kindle ($11.99).

IT newsletter answers troubling tech questions

“IT Happens” provides WSU Vancouver with information about technology by Kaitlyn McClain, The VanCougar

With the growth of technology comes a constant surge of new questions. How do I use this? Why isn’t this working? What does this code mean? Luckily for WSU Vancouver students, staff and faculty, there is an accessible and helpful resource: “IT Happens,” a monthly newsletter produced by Vancouver information technology department (VIT) at WSU Vancouver. VIT staff members are specialists in specific areas of technology and software. They assist with day-today issues as well as emergency situations such as power outages. The VIT department provides technical support via online chat and help guides. At the helm is department director, Grisha Alpernas who joined WSU Vancouver last winter, bringing extensive experience from positions he held in local govern-

ment and international organizations. Within two months on the job, Alpernas had the VIT newsletter up and running. “Wherever I have worked, there has always been a common thread that information technology isn’t known for communicating well,”

archive of the newsletters can be found at http://inside.vancouver. On the newsletter’s homepage, readers have the option to submit questions and feedback that could end up as the topic of a feature article in the next newsletter. Topics specific to WSU Vancouver’s technology, such as the campus learning system, ANGEL, and student computer labs are a main focus. Campus technology is also covered. Topics recently featured include email phishing, effective cell phone use and lecture-capture tips. The VIT newsletter is well organized, colorful and very insightful. Processes are often mapped out step-by-step with images. Featured topics are always relevant and interesting and often have a humorous twist or photos.

“I want VIT to be a partner, to have other departments know and understand what we are doing,” - Grisha Alpernas said Alpernas. “I want to make sure that is not the case here. I want VIT to be a partner, to have other departments know and understand what we are doing, and to give them a vehicle for providing feedback.” The VIT newsletter is posted at the beginning of each month on the WSU Vancouver website. An


Opinion: New piracy laws miss the point Why SOPA/PIPA are not the right solution to online piracy by Alexander Smith, The VanCougar

In times past, I have expressed my opinion on the matter of online piracy right here in this very column. I will not be rewriting that column again. I will, however, remind my readers that I firmly believe illegal downloads are inexcusable, even if they do not result in the direct loss of a purchase or physical item. In other words, whatever your excuse is, it’s invalid. Piracy is a slap in the face to the hardworking developers and artists who invest heavily of their time to bring us the software, movies and songs we enjoy today. That said, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bill making its way through the U.S. House of Representatives and its related Senate bill, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), are together possibly the worst way we could go about actually stopping piracy. These bills are worded in such a way that they can be applied far more broadly than their stated purposes. As such, they are potentially dangerous to the Internet as we know it. As of this writing, SOPA and PIPA have been shelved indefinitely due to public backlash. While that is good news for now, it is likely that the people who want to pass these bills will try to do so again, possibly under a different name. Therefore, we need to be aware and concerned about the impact this type of legislation could have. If you are interested in reading the bill, it was filed as H.R. 3261. The bill opens by stating that its purpose is “To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.” This sounds all well and good so far. The bill attempts to take on foreign websites dedicated to piracy by cutting off various services to those sites, up to requiring Internet service providers to block them. However, many other powers granted by the bill are not limited in effectiveness to foreign websites. Not only that, they may not even be able to accomplish their intended goal at all. As it now stands, SOPA requires advertising services and various financial services to shut down the accounts of websites against which any copyright infringement charge is levied. This would come down especially hard on sites such as YouTube, Facebook or Reddit that host vast amounts of user-created/uploaded content. All it would take is a single user uploading or linking to content containing copyrighted material to prompt a particularly touchy copyright holder to take action. It would also make a criminal act out of streaming copyrighted content, meaning that if you post a copyrighted television show, song

or video to YouTube, Vimeo or another video-hosting service, you could wind up in jail. You would be considered a criminal if anything in said video is copyrighted, regardless of its prominence or the user’s intent. The other big controversial feature of SOPA/PIPA is the way it requires Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Comcast to block websites, specifically through Domain Name System (DNS) blocking. DNS is, simply put, what allows you to put a name such as into your browser bar and navigate to the website. Without this system, you would have to enter the chosen website’s given Internet Protocol (IP) address, which would be a series of numbers separated by periods in the format ###.###.###.###. According to SOPA, infringing sites would be blocked by not allowing their domain names to resolve. In other words, entering “” would take you nowhere. Opponents of SOPA/ PIPA have pointed out that messing with the DNS system would undermine the architecture of the Internet, potentially causing serious security issues. SOPA/PIPA also protects the ISP from liability if it chooses to block an “infringing site.” The scary part is that the ISP gets to decide what that means. It is for these and numerous other reasons that I believe SOPA,

“Messing with the DNS system would undermine the architecture of the Internet, potentially causing serious security issues.” PIPA or any other legislation like them are not the way to go about taking care of piracy. The implications are not positive ones: It would effectively represent America’s first Internet censorship system, one with little or no judicial oversight. I have to agree with many of the concerns expressed by opponents to SOPA/ PIPA. After all, even if DNS blocking wasn’t as potentially dangerous as it is, it is still easily bypassed by merely entering the target website’s IP address in place of its domain name. There is too much risk and too little reward involved in this legislation. I ask myself this: Do we really expect to hand this kind of power over to copyright holders and expect them to always be fair and reasonable with it? It would only take a couple of overzealous copyright holders to bring down any number of online businesses. How’s that for promoting “… prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation?”


Student Involvement

The VanCougar: Who’s who and what we do Get to know your campus newspaper staff

Adam Baldwin, a reporter and columnist for The VanCougar, is a junior majoring in English. His major hobby is playing video games — and lots of them. “The VanCougar is a great opportunity to write and share events, information, and opinions with the rest of the campus.,” said Baldwin.

Emily Smith is Alex’s sister! She is a sophomore majoring in English and is a reporter for the VanCougar. Her hobbies and interests are songwriting, photography, lighthouse history and creative writing. “I am trying to get more engaged with the individuals and happenings on campus. I also want to branch out from my current writing style and wet my feet in the world of journalism!” said Smith.

Inahlee Bauer is a junior in the Creative Media & Digital Culture program. She is working as a reporter for the VanCougar. She enjoys drawing and design, writing stories and poems, making video and sound clips, exploring herbal medicine and reading science fiction. “I am looking forward to getting to know more people and broadening my range of skills through my work for the VanCougar,” said Bauer.

Kelsey Smith is a sophomore English major. She is a reporter whose hobbies include reading, drawing, psychology, astronomy, swimming, fishing, traveling and writing her novel. “I love to write! By working for the VanCougar, I not only get to do what I love, but I also get to be involved with campus events. Seeing my name and articles in print is an added bonus. It’s a win-win!” said Smith.

Ryan Burke, a reporter with the Vancougar, is a junior and psychology major. Ryan is a history buff who enjoys nature, fishing, football, volunteering for Search and Rescue and playing guitar. “As a transfer student, I have found that the VanCougar is a great way to meet knew and friendly people. As a writer, I get to challenge myself and set the bar higher for my writing abilities,” said Burke. Sarah Cusanelli is a sophomore studying environmental science and biology. She is one of the VanCougar’s four team editors. Her hobbies include football, photography, eating sweets and flaming hot Cheetos! “I love seeing my name in a newspaper! It’s also great to write about something you love - and I love sports and recreation,” said Cusanelli. Teresa Lane is one of the few freshmen at the VanCougar. She is majoring in criminal justice with a minor in media communications and journalism. Teresa enjoys writing poetry, hot tubbing, going on adventures and baking. “I’m looking forward to writing journalistically and gaining more literary experience. I’m also excited to meet new people on campus.” said Lane. Ken Lowe is a junior and public affairs major. He is a VanCougar reporter whose hobbies include hiking, traveling, poker, sports, playing the guitar and checking out brewpubs. “I am enjoying the opportunity to learn the processes and techniques of journalism,” said Lowe.

Kaitlyn McClain is a freshman. She is currently an English major, but is considering other majors as well. Kaitlyn is a reporter and enjoys spending time with her friends, getting involved in activities on campus and relaxing when she is not in school. “I like being on the VanCougar staff because it keeps me involved with what’s going on at WSU Vancouver,” said McClain. Cyndie Meyer, the editor-in-chief of the VanCougar, is also a registered dietitian and a returning WSU alumna who is pursuing a professional writing certificate and humanities degree. She enjoys her family, volunteering and traveling around the world. “I love my role as coach and cheerleader for the VanCougar. We have an incredible team of energetic students working hard to bring you stories that are fresh, interesting and topical. Join us!” said Meyer.

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Emily Ostrowski is a senior humanities major and a VanCougar reporter. Currently, her main hobby is teaching herself how to play the guitar. “I joined the VanCougar because I want to gain experience as a writer,” said Ostrowski. Haley Sharp is a junior studying biology. She is a team editor for the VanCougar and also has a talent for layout and design. She loves to bake - for which the rest of the VanCougar staff is thankful. She likes cars, traveling and volunteering. “I love being involved on campus and seeing my hard work in print,” said Sharp. Alex Smith, a junior and computer science major, is a reporter and columnist for The VanCougar. In his free time, he loves to design and use computer applications and games. “I enjoy having a chance to share my thoughts with others and hope to give readers a reason to think about the issues I discuss,” said Smith.

Kylo Stever, a reporter with The VanCougar, is a junior in the DTC program. He enjoys web design, video editing and music composition. “I enjoy writing and learning the editing processes for video, music and sound. I have a strong interest in the fine arts and enjoy discovering various avenues to express my talents,” said Stever. “I joined The VanCougar because I felt it offered a unique opportunity to learn effective journalism while building a portfolio,” said Stever. Louise Tollisen is a senior in the Creative Media and Digital Culture program. Louise works on layout and graphics for the VanCougar and is also a reporter. Her many interests include designing, making websites, drawing, photography, reading, writing, laughing, and getting caught in the rain. “For me, the VanCougar is the best of all worlds- I love writing, reading, and most of all, designing!” said Tollisen Nicole Tolmie, a senior studying anthropology and pre-medicine, is a photographer and reporter for the VanCougar. She enjoys anything adventurous and outdoorsy including camping, hiking, swimming and bicycling. She also loves all types of dance. “I hope our publication brings awareness to worthy events and opportunities on our campus, and creates a sense of community by telling the stories of students, faculty, and staff,” said Tolmie. Emily Uhde is a post-baccalaureate sophomore majoring in computer science. Emily is the managing editor for the VanCougar and her interests include traveling, snowboarding and learning. Emily is a leader on the national level for the model united nations program. “Being part of the VanCougar staff is a great way to meet new people and find out about events on campus,” said Uhde. Margarita Topal is a junior studying English. She is a VanCougar team editor and her hobbies include cooking, learning, teaching, studying languages, travel and helping others. “I am thrilled to be part of a student newspaper that gives me the chance to further develop my passion for writing, reading and editing. I can truly say that I am doing what I love!” said Topal. Christine Watson is a senior, English major, and copy editor for the VanCougar. Her hobbies are creative writing, reading, listening to music, photography and travel. “Working for the VanCougar provides journalism experience while allowing me to be more involved with the WSU Vancouver campus and surrounding community. I enjoy helping to make the VanCougar a newspaper of which we can be proud,” said Watson. Joshua Wagner, a senior in the Creative Media and Digital Culture program, is pursuing the new media communication journalism minor. He is a team editor whose hobbies include writing, web design, sports, swing dance, travel and spending time with his four nieces and nephews. “Journalism is complex and constantly changing. I am excited to be a part of it,” said Wagner.

What’s on your mind? Send us a letter!

The VanCougar prints letters to the editor and contibuting articles. See our policy on page 2. Send submissions to

Elections Board Update The ASWSUV elections process is on track, according to Jayme Shoun, ASWSUV elections board chairperson. As of Jan. 27, twenty-one candidate packets have been claimed by students interested in running for one of 11 positions in the ASWSUV senate or on the executive team. The deadline for filing an application to run for office is noon on Feb. 3. The elections board will promote the election and recruit additional candidates at two publicity events outside Library building during the week of Jan. 31. Candidates must attend one of two mandatory orientation sessions before they may begin campaigning on campus. The first session will be held at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 8 in Firstenburg Student Commons Room 104. The second will take place at 4 p.m. Feb. 9 in the same location. Candidates will debate the issues at two open forums in the Firstenburg Student Commons. The first will take place from 2 – 4 p.m. on Feb. 24, and the second debate will be held from 4 – 6 p.m. on Feb. 29. Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to submit questions for the candidates via CougSync. Questions from the event participants will also be addressed. A drawing for door prizes at the debate is expected to encourage attendance. In addition to voting for a new ASWSUV president, vice-president and senators at the election on March 6, 7 and 8, students will also vote on a proposed amendment to the ASWSUV constitution, according to senior English major, Jacob Schmidt, ASWSUV director of public relations. The amendment will bring the compensation plan for students participating in student government in line with the university’s policy for hourly compensation. (Under the present plan, students are paid a stipend in return for their efforts.) Look for more coverage on individual candidates in the Feb. 27 issue of The VanCougar.

Lifestyle 11

Research study provides free diabetes education Homemade granola bars Partnership between WSU/Clark County Extension are a special treat by Haley Sharp, The VanCougar

by Cyndie Meyer, The VanCougar

Washington State University is doing its part in Clark County and around the state to improve the health and wellbeing of people who live with diabetes. For the past seven years, WSU Extension has participated in a research investigation to determine whether diabetes education improves study participants’ health status, behavior and outlook. In the process, more than 300 Clark County residents and 3,500 people across Washington state have benefitted from a free, six-week community education program. The study is a joint project of nationally renowned Joslin Diabetes Clinic (affiliated with Harvard Medical School) and university extension programs in five states (Hawaii, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Washington, and West Virginia). It is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Study participants attend a six-week community education program of interactive, practical workshops that teach lifestyle and self-management techniques including healthy eating habits, exercise and regular and appropriate monitoring and care. “On the Road and Living Well with Diabetes” (OTR) is a free program that provides access to health education for people of all income levels. Workshop materials are available in both Spanish and Russian, and a series scheduled for later this spring in conjunction with the Washington State School for the Blind in Vancouver will provide program materials in

large type (and Braille as needed). “Results collected from the study indicate that OTR workshops are effective at increasing participants’ awareness and confidence in managing diabetes. It promotes healthy lifestyle changes and creates a bridge between participants and the healthcare system,” said Shirley Calodich, WSU extension program manager. After attending the program, participants demonstrated more than a 30 percent improvement in their knowledge of how to manage diabetes. Their levels of circulating hemoglobin A1c (an indicator of long-term blood glucose levels) improved to a statistically significant degree, said Calodich. Nearly 10 percent of Americans have diabetes mellitus and millions more are at risk. In 2010, 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older. Type 2 diabetes is on the upswing, largely due to the epidemic of overweight and obesity in both adults and children. Unmanaged, the disease

can lead to complications including blindness, kidney failure, amputation and death. According to the American Diabetes Association, people with Type 1 diabetes lack insulin, the pancreatic hormone that allows the body’s cells to use sugar for energy. Type 2 diabetics either produce insufficient insulin or have cells that resist the insulin that is produced. Either way, the result is inadequate energy for all the body’s cells and a high level of circulating glucose (sugar) in the blood. This is called hyperglycemia and can lead to a variety of health complications if left uncontrolled. Diabetes can be successfully managed by developing habits that are healthy for everyone: eating a reasonable, well-balanced diet, exercising and having regular medical tests performed. Treatment may also include insulin injections or oral medications that improve the body’s production and/or sensitivity to its own insulin or which slow the amount of glucose absorbed from the gut.

The concept of granola bars is very appealing. These nutritious snacks are perfect for rushed mornings or a quick afternoon study break. Unfortunately, most granola bars lack flavor and are packed with calories and fat. Of course, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself! This very simple recipe for homemade granola bars is meant

to be customized. It can be made more nutritious (whole wheat flour, dried fruit and nuts), more dessert-like (chocolate chips and peanut butter) or loaded with whatever happens to be in the pantry. It is also a great vessel for powdered dietary supplements such as protein and fiber. The result is a soft, yet crunchy bar filled with your favorite flavors and packed with nutrition power.

Homemade Granola Bars Start to finish: 35 to 40 minutes (Prep time: 10 minutes) Servings: 9 to 12 depending on size 2 eggs (or ½ cup egg substitute) ¾ cups brown sugar (or ¾ cup Splenda brown sugar substitute) ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil 1 cup white or whole wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt (optional) 2 cups low-fat granola 1 cup add-ins (dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter, chocolate chips, etc.)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, mix eggs, sugar, oil and any wet add-ins. Add the flour, baking powder and salt; stir to combine. Stir in granola and dry add-ins. Spread the batter in the prepared baking pan and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack before cutting into bars.

Free diabetes workshop starts soon

If you or someone you care about has diabetes, a new series of “On the Road and Living Well with Diabetes” workshops will run for five consecutive Tuesdays from 1 – 3 p.m. beginning Feb. 21. The program will meet at the Glenwood Fire Station Community Room, 12603 NE 72nd Ave., Vancouver, Wash. A follow-up session will be held on June 19 at the same time and place. For more information or to sign up, contact WSU/Clark County Extension at 360-397-6060 ext. 0. Pre-registration is required.




Treat yourself to freshly baked muffins

High-fiber recipe is delicious and healthy, too! by Cyndie Meyer, The VanCougar

This delicious recipe for inexpensive, easy-to-make bran muffins is remarkable for two reasons: The recipe has been modified to reduce the total fat, sugar, salt and cholesterol – and the batter keeps in the refrigerator for up to two weeks so you can enjoy freshly baked muffins any time!

Ready Bake Bran Muffins Start to finish: 30 minutes (Prep time: 10 minutes) Servings: 24 to 30 average size muffins 3 cups whole bran cereal 1 cup boiling water ½ cup egg substitute 2 cups non-fat buttermilk (or 2 cups non-fat milk and 1½ tablespoons lemon juice) ½ cup unsweetened applesauce ½ cup cranberries, chopped prunes, or chopped dates 2 carrots, shredded 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon salt

½ cup Splenda sugar blend 2½ cups whole wheat flour ¼ cup molasses Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare muffin tin with paper liners and spray with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix bran cereal with water, stirring until evenly moistened; set aside until cool. Add egg substitute, buttermilk, applesauce, cranberries, prunes or dates and shredded carrots. Mix well. In another bowl, stir together baking soda, cinnamon, salt, sugar and flour until thoroughly blended. Stir dry ingredients into bran mixture. At this point, you may refrigerate all or part of the batter for up to two weeks, baking muffins at your convenience. Before using, stir batter to distribute fruit evenly. To bake, spoon batter into greased 2½-inch muffin cups, filling each cup ⅔ to ¾ full. Bake in a 425° oven for about 20 minutes or until tops spring back.



Continued from page 1: An artistic feature of the new VECS building. | Photo by Ken Lowe, VanCougar Staff

Issue 4  
Issue 4  

Volume 17 Issue 4