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Common Reading Book for 2018-19 “Soonish” Explores Future Technologies

Soonish: ten emerging technologies that'll improve and/or ruin everything, by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith.

Soonish: ten emerging technologies that'll improve and/or ruin everything, by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith.PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University announced that its 2018-19 common read for first-year and other students is Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything.

Published by Penguin Random House in 2017, it is written by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith. Kelly is a bioscientist, adjunct faculty member at Rice University, and natural-science podcaster. Her husband, Zach, is a cartoonist and creator of the popular geek webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. His work adds new dimensions to her text in Soonish.

The 10 different technological developments explored in the book examine what may be coming “soonish.” » More …

Memoirs as a means to personalize global issues is subject of WSU Common Reading lecture March 21

PULLMAN, Wash.— “Personalizing the global: memoirs as instruments of healing, advocacy, and resistance” is the topic of a Common Reading Program lecture on Fri., March 21 at 4 p.m. in Todd 130 at Washington State University. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The talk will focus on memoirs, the literary genre of this year’s common reading book, I Am Malala. Co-presenters are Debbie Lee, author and professor of literature and creative writing, and Ray Sun, author and professor of history. 

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WSU food scientist Barbara Rasco discusses international development projects and their impact on women at March 7 common reading lecture

PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University School of Food Science Director Barbara Rasco will discuss her work on WSU international development projects in Pakistan and Afghanistan and their impact on women at 5 p.m. Tues., March 7, in CUE 203. The free public presentation is hosted by the Common Reading Program.

With degrees in biochemical engineering, food engineering, and law, Rasco joined WSU faculty in 1998. She devoted 12 years work to international economic development programs, including food safety training programs, industry technical assistance and small- and medium-enterprise development, for many countries in eastern Europe, central Asia, and north Africa.

She evaluated market potential for agricultural crops and processed foods in central Asian and central American markets. She also assisted with the development of legislative initiatives and regulatory reform, and drafted and modified current regulations to comply with World Trade Organization and international standards in central Asian nations.

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The media, America, and Islam topic of WSU common reading lecture Feb. 28

PULLMAN, Wash.— The role of the media in shaping America’s relationship with Islam will be discussed by communication professor, Lawrence Pintak at a Washington State University Common Reading Program lecture on Tues., Feb. 28 at 4:30 p.m. in CUE 203.  The event is free and open to the public.

The recent U.S. presidential election and the rise of ISIS have put Islam in headlines frequently over the past two years, said Pintak.  The lecture will also cover the way in which global politics and policy are shaping the relationship for the future.

The founding dean of the Murrow College of Communication, Pintak brings to the topic more than 30 years of global journalism experience, particularly in the Muslim world. He is the author of several books on Islam and the Middle East, including a primer on Islam for journalists, and serves as a consultant to the U.S. State Department.

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Noel Schulz to discuss women in STEM at Common Reading event Feb. 21

PULLMAN, Wash.— Trends for women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields will be discussed by Washington State University First Lady and Engineering Professor Noel Schulz at a Common Reading Program lecture on Tues., Feb. 21 at 4:30 p.m. in CUE 203.  This lecture is free and open to the public with a small reception to follow.

Increasing the number of women in STEM fields has been a focus for more than four decades.  Some disciplines have seen progress but there are continuing challenges with recruitment, retention, and advancement. The talk will focus on national and international trends for women in STEM. It will cover both the successes and challenges women experience today.

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Film screening of “Girl Rising” presented by the WSU Common Reading Program Feb. 15

PULLMAN, Wash.— The Washington State University Common Reading Program presents a screening of “Girl Rising” on Wed., Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. in CUE 203. The screening is free and open to the public. 

This documentary tells the stories of nine girls from developing countries, such as Sierra Leone, Egypt, and Haiti, as they overcome obstacles to get an education.  The film, made in 2013, illustrates how educating girls can transform families and communities, break the cycle of poverty, and change the fates of women. 

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Economics of criminal justice topic of discussion Patricia Kuzyk presentation March 21 for Common Reading Program

Pullman, Wash. — The Washington State University Common Reading Program hosts Patricia Kuzyk on “An Economist’s Perspective on ‘Just Mercy’” Mon. March 21 at 4:30 p.m. in CUE 203.
Kuzyk will discuss economic incentives and arguments present within several practices in the U.S. criminal justice system. She plans to examine the negatives of capital punishment and some of the deep flaws in our criminal justice system from an economic perspective. Kuzyk is a clinical assistant professor in the School of Economic Sciences and the WSU Honors College. » More …

Justice reforms, juries topics at WSU Common Reading Lectures March 7, 8

Pullman, Wash. — Central topics discussed in the year’s Common Reading book “Just Mercy” will be the topic of two Common Reading lectures this week.
The Washington State University Common Reading Program welcomes Spokane’s Jacqueline van Wormer to discuss “Reforming the criminal justice system: national and local efforts” at 4:30 p.m. Mon., March 7, in Todd 216. Dan LeBeau senior deputy prosecutor for Whitman County, will present “Juries and Criminal Justice” on Tuesday, March 8, at 7 p.m. in Todd 216. The lectures are free and open to the public. » More …

“Fatigue, distraction, and bias: What they mean for law enforcement” lecture by Stephen and Lois James hosted by WSU Common Reading Program Feb. 29

Pullman, Wash. The Washington State University Common Reading Program hosts Stephen James and Lois James on “Fatigue, Distraction, and Bias: What They Mean for Law Enforcement and the Communities They Serve” on Mon., Feb. 29 at 5 p.m. in CUE 203. The public is welcome at this free lecture. » More …