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CAHNRS News – April 9, 2010

Posted by | April 9, 2010

Integration in Action: Strengthening Families

Since President Floyd announced our reorganization more than a year ago, we have worked to define and implement an integration of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences and WSU Extension. Questions remain for many, though, about what we actually mean when we say “integration.”

Perhaps the best way to articulate the ideal is to provide examples of it in action. Over the next several weeks, we’ll feature successful integration stories in CAHNRS News and in the Dean’s Blog. These are stories about the power of partnering between departmental and county faculty. In each of them, faculty members have accomplished things together that they couldn’t have accomplished alone.

One prime example comes from WSU Whatcom County Extension and the Department of Human Development. Extension educator Drew Betz, who is located in Bellingham, has partnered with Professor Laura Hill and others since 2001. Betz leads WSU Extension’s Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14, a national program delivered throughout Washington by WSU Extension faculty. Hill conducts research on the effectiveness of prevention programs.

Betz and the counties with a Strengthening Families program had data about the number and nature of families with whom they’ve worked. Hill had the assessment and analysis tools needed to interpret that data in terms of effectiveness and impact.

The beauty of integration? Working together, Betz and Hill develop the research questions they want to answer, collect the data and analyze it to answer those questions. It is truly an integrated, collaborative scholarship endeavor. County Extension faculty generate research questions and produce research for journals and national conferences in this project. On-campus faculty members help with the outreach effort by processing data and generating reports for community partners.

This partnership goes a giant step further. In April 2009, Betz and Hill joined forces with Professors Robby Rosenman and Ron Mittelhammer from the School of Economic Sciences as well as Bidisha Mandal, an Extension economist specializing in health issues. Their proposal was to develop new models to assess the cost effectiveness of programs such as Strengthening Families. They received a two-year, $275,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct that research.

I look forward to sharing more success stories with you over the next several weeks. They highlight the opportunities available by leveraging all aspects of the university in the programs we offer.

Mom’s Weekend Events

CAHNRS 51st Annual Awards Banquet
Come celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of faculty, staff, and students in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences from 4 – 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 10, in the Ensminger Pavilion.

Roots to Fashion – the 27th annual Mom’s Weekend Fashion Show
7:30 p.m. April 9 at the Beasley Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available at the CUB and at Ric O Shay on 122 N. Grand Ave. $11, $16 at the door.

Undergraduate Research and Creative Projects Poster Fair
CAHNRS undergraduate students will be presenting their research projects from 1 – 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 10 in the Vogel Plant Biosciences Building. Come see the work they’ve done dealing with everything from pixie grapes to sheep genetics.

Wine Tasting
The Viticulture and Enology Club is sponsoring a wine tasting event from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 10 in the Vogel Plant Biosciences Building.

Hort Club Plant Sale
April 11, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Beasley Coliseum Concourse.

WSU/UI Nitrogen Summit: Nitrogen Sustainability and Global Change

April 28, 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. in Lighty 405

The world is changing, facing pressures of population growth, climate change, fossil fuel depletion, water and air pollution, freshwater and ocean hypoxia, and others. How will we feed the 9 billionth human in 2050, and support a good quality of life for people and the earth’s other inhabitants? Our management of nitrogen will play a significant role in determining what 2050 looks like.

We have the challenge and opportunity to map the pressures and possibilities for managing a changing world. The WSU Nitrogen Summit will bring together faculty and students to learn more about emerging issues around nitrogen, and to begin building teams to address them.


  • 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Poster Session and casual Lunch
  • 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Plenary Session: Emerging Issues and Grant Opportunities
  • 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. – Team Discussions
  • 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. – Team Reports and Next Steps

Visit to register for the summit. Registration limited to 60 attendees.

Co-Sponsored by CEREO and CSANR (Center for Environmental Research, Education, and Outreach; Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources)

Surf Report

CAHNRS Marketing, News, and Educational Communications has launched their revamped Web site at URLs of all news releases have changed. Please check your links to the news site to make sure they are up to date. The new site allows marketing and news staff to better track traffic and linking of news stories. As well, the new site offers many social networking and content management features.

CAHNRS undergraduate researchers are being featured in a new series of videos. The first three are up at, and

Two new entomology videos are available as well. The first, on the annual Bug Buffet, is at The other, offering a short overview of the entomology museum’s research collection, is up at

A video about a winery that uses its profits to fund scholarships for young women is up at

A video about research in Michael Neff’s lab, “Giving Plants Their ‘Space’”, is currently being featured on the WSU home page.


Interior Design faculty and students have been recognized for excellence in design, scholarship and service over the last few weeks. At the Interior Design Educators Council’s conference in Atlanta, John Turpin was awarded Fellow status for significant and sustained contributions to interior design education. He was also presented with the Presidential Award for his years of service to IDEC, including his position as the 2008-2009 President. Two of the ten finalists for Best Presentation included faculty from WSU: Janetta McCoy (co-author with Darrin Brooks from Utah State) for “Political Decorating: Leadership Styles from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Barack Obama Compared to their Oval Offices” and John Turpin, Kerry Brooks (Landscape Architecture – IDI), and Rena Klein (IDI) for “Empowering Students: The Application of Experiential Learning Theory, Open Space Techniques, and ‘Student Voice’ to a Vertical, Multidisciplinary Charette.” May Sairafi (mentored by Turpin) received the Best Poster Award for her presentation on “Palestine Revisited: An Exploration of the Cultural Forces and Identity that Define the Interior Design of a Palestinian House.” Finally, John Turpin was awarded the Fairchild Topical Issues Grant to support the Sixth Annual Interdisciplinary Design Institute’s Design Research Focus Week entitled “Designing Health” (October 2010).

A number of undergraduate students recently entered the Brass Ring Awards competition in a variety of categories and returned with nine awards listed below. Mentors are in parentheses.

Commercial Design (less than 2500 ft)

  • Cassie Stenberg – Gold Award (Salzer)

Commercial Design (over 2500 ft)

  • Scott Sei – Gold Award (Salzer)
  • Cassie Stenberg – Silver Award (McCoy)
  • Hannah Ohrt – Silver Award (Thompson)
  • Rachael Aust – Merit Award (Ryan)
  • Weng Hei Au – Merit Award (McCoy)

Digital Rendering

  • Scott Sei – Gold Award
  • Cassie Stenberg – Merit Award (McCoy)

Graphic Arts Color Photography

  • Weng Hei Au – Merit Award

Finally, Simon Ho (B.A.I.D. 2009) received Honorable Mention (2nd Place) in the 33rd Annual Cooper Source Awards / Student Division for his “Gourmet Grocery Store” lighting design (mentored by Judy Theodorson).

Carol Anelli, associate professor in the Entomology department, has been selected as a recipient of the 2010 Anna Sue McNeill Assessment, Teaching, and Learning award. Recognition will take place at the Pacific Northwest Higher Education Assessment, Teaching & Learning conference in Vancouver.