In the Media

Monday, October 16, 2023 - Inside Higher Ed

Meagan Bryson serves as the first director of the newly minted Academic Advising and Student Achievement Center at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. The center is part of an institutional alignment to connect student services and promote student success on campus.

Bryson spoke with Inside Higher Ed about her new role, developing partnerships across the campus community and investing in the next generation of student affairs professionals

Friday, October 13, 2023 - Boston Globe

Jared Ross Hardesty, an associate history professor at Western Washington University who’s written about slavery in Boston, said the records can help decipher details of enslaved people’s everyday lives, and tell of the prevalence of slavery in Colonial Boston. For example, Boston probate records list Pompey, an enslaved Black 14-year-old boy, in the 1759 inventory of Thomas Fleet. Fleet left Pompey to his son, Thomas Fleet Jr., a printer who taught the youth his own trade. From this record, Hardesty said, people can imagine Pompey working at the printing press, circulating materials at the brink of the American Revolution.

“Using those kinds of contextual clues, you can kind of build out a little bit of a kind of life story around an enslaved person,” he said.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023 - Cascadia Daily News

The Lummi Nation welcomed hundreds of community members into the Wex’liem Community Building Monday night, Oct. 9, for salmon, song, dance and speeches to mark Indigenous Peoples Day. 

With the Blackhawk singers opening and closing the event, the celebration featured Indigenous people from across the region. 

Keynote speaker and doctor Evan Adams, from the Tla'amin Nation north of Powell River, British Columbia, came to Lummi for the event to speak about Canadian Indigenous experiences and health care. 

Youth speaker Santana Rabang of the Lummi Nation, Nooksack Tribe and First Nations Shxwhá:y Village spoke of her personal experience watching Indigenous people become more represented in mainstream culture. Several speakers from the Lummi Nation and surrounding tribes spoke at the event as well. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023 - WBUR - Boston NPR

MEGHNA CHAKRABARTI: If you walk along the beach on the Pacific Northwest coast, you might not notice some very special things. They're called clam gardens, and they've been sitting along the shore for thousands of years.

MARCO HATCH: Clam gardens are these really special intertidal spaces where for thousands of years, Indigenous people moved rocks to the low tide line to terrace the beach, just like you could terrace a hill to grow more grapes. You can terrace a beach to increase the area for clams to live.

CHAKRABARTI: That's Marco Hatch. He's an associate professor at Western Washington University in environmental science and a member of the Samish Indian Nation. He's also a clam garden expert.

Now, clam gardens are an Indigenous innovation that's essentially a rock wall along the shoreline. These structures allow the rising tides to bring sediment over the rock wall to create an ideal habitat for the clams. But then during low tide, it creates an exposed beach that's ideal for harvesting.

Hatch says clams' grown in gardens are two to four times the size of other clams. And the gardens are 150% to 300% more productive than wild beaches.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023 - Newsweek

Beneath the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of New Zealand, lies a sea's worth of water, locked within the Earth's crust. Researchers believe that this sunken reservoir may play an important role in dampening the strength of earthquakes in the Western Pacific.

We tend to think of earthquakes as sudden, often violent events that take place over a matter of seconds. But energy can also be released from the Earth's crusts in slow motion, over a period of weeks or months. These are called slow slip events and they occur when tectonic plates get temporarily locked together as one attempts to slide past the other.

New Zealand sits at the boundary of two major tectonic plates: the Australian Plate and the Pacific Plate. The boundary between these plates is known as a fault, and this particular Australian-Pacific fault is known for producing these slow-motion earthquakes. But, while experts believe many slow slip earthquakes are associated with buried water under the Earth's crust, no direct geological evidence for an underground reservoir has been found at this particular site. Until now.

Full story features WWU geologist Andrew Gase.

Thursday, September 28, 2023 - Cascadia Daily News

Hundreds of Western Washington University students marched to Depot Market Square on Wednesday, Sept. 27 to celebrate the first official day of fall quarter with Western Wednesday: First Night Out.

The march kicked off from Red Square, led by the pep band, and ended with live music, free Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro macaroni and cheese, booths from local businesses and more.

Thursday, September 28, 2023 - Cascadia Daily News

As classes start at Western Washington University, increasing retention is top of mind for the university’s administrative team. 

Western is running a $2.2 million deficit this year after a 3% budget cut across the board last spring due to enrollment declines since the pandemic. In 2019, the university had 16,142 students enrolled — in 2022, there were only 14,747. 

However, last year’s freshman class was the biggest in history. Early numbers show promising first-year enrollment this year, near the level of last year’s class of 3,223, Western Communications Director Jonathan Higgins said.  

“That’s all a very encouraging development for us here,” Higgins said. But a big challenge for the university is now making sure those freshmen come back for a second year. Last year, the university reported that only 77.1% of freshman students from fall 2021 returned in fall 2022.

Monday, September 25, 2023 - The Columbian (Vancouver, WA)

Major earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest are fairly uncommon, yet a significant threat looms: “The Big One” is an anticipated earthquake of magnitude 8 or higher.

And it could happen any day.

This projected earthquake — which would occur along the Cascadia Subduction Zone spanning from Southern British Columbia to Northern California — prompted the formation of the Cascadia Region Earthquake Science Center (CRESCENT) and $15 million in funding recently approved by the National Science Foundation.

Two Western Washington University geologists, Emily Roland and Colin Amos, will support CRESCENT’s mission to help the Pacific Northwest prepare for earthquakes by studying the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

“It’s very possible that we could have a magnitude 8 or 9 earthquake tomorrow, or in 10 years, or in three weeks from now,” said Roland, an assistant professor of geophysics at Western. “And so it’s an important goal, I think, for us to keep pursuing a better understanding of that.”

Thursday, December 14, 2023 - Seattle Times


Larry Delaney and Sabah Randhawa

Special to The Seattle Times

When we think about a favorite teacher, many of us think of a teacher who has shared our experience, our culture or recognized us in a fundamental way. We remember the teacher who understood us, not just as students, but as whole people, and who by embracing our interests, cultures, and backgrounds, could engage with us fully and make us seen. This feeling can make a huge difference in student success, particularly for students of color, but also for the entire student body.

Often, when students see their experiences reflected in the front of the classroom, their dropout rates decline, they’re more likely to attend college, and they show bigger academic gains.

According to the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, more than half of students but just 14% of classroom teachers in 2021-22 (the most recent year reported) were people of color. While we are making gains, we need to continue to grow our educators’ pool to better reflect our state’s population demographics.

We know the traditional path to teacher certification can be expensive, requiring a bachelor’s degree plus a semester of student teaching. The average cost of a year of undergraduate education for in-state residents at public four-year institutions can be upward of $10,000, not including housing, meals, materials and other fees (according to the National Center for Education Statistics, 2021-2022). Aspiring educators continue to pay tuition even while student teaching in their fifth year — and often don’t get paid for student teaching. Total costs toward a bachelor’s degree with a teaching certification typically range between $30,000 and $50,000. Many teachers enter their careers with considerable student debt. 

Investing in Washington’s future teachers is a priority, and is why the Washington Education Association and Western Washington University are partnering to make sure more students can have the benefits of a more inclusive workforce, with help from a $1.5 million fund established by WEA to support a diverse pipeline of educators.

Thursday, September 21, 2023 - Shore Local (NJ)

Jane Wong, whose debut memoir “Meet Met Tonight in Atlantic City” has received rave reviews, will be the first speaker for this academic year at Stockton University’s Stephen Dunn Reading Series.

The 2023 book is “an incandescent, exquisitely written memoir about family, food, girlhood, resistance and growing up in a Chinese American restaurant on the Jersey shore,” according to publisher Tin House.

Wong, who now lives in Seattle, will speak and read from her book at 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27 in Campus Center Meeting Room 5. The appearance will also be streamed over Zoom. Admission is free, and the public is welcome to attend.

Here are just some of the comments from reviews of Wong’s newest book:

“Her story is a love letter to Atlantic City and the Asian American working class.” — The Los Angeles Times

“Wong’s memoir invites those who have been overlooked in America to hold up their verses, accolades and solidarity in a collective rejoinder to their detractors.” — The Washington Post

“With a poet’s ear for language and a satirist’s eye for human foibles, Wong masterfully marries her personal story with larger questions about Chinese America identity.” — Publishers Weekly