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Interdisciplinary Studies Social Sciences

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Interdisciplinary Studies Social Sciences
Psychology 269
(509) 963-1804

Faculty and Staff


Interdisciplinary Studies - Social Sciences (IDS) Faculty

Alena Yastchenko, IDS Director
Ellensburg, Moses Lake, Wenatchee, and Yakima Centers

Interests & Expertise: Mental health conditions, social psychology, research methods and statistical analyses, Motivational Interviewing, emotional intelligence, psychological first aid, critical incident stress management.

Cynthia Engel, IDS Director
Des Moines and Pierce County Centers

Interests & Expertise: Existential/phenomenological psychotherapy; abnormal psychology, substance abuse, recovery and resilience; the experience of life transitions; the experience of being “other”; the history of deinstitutionalization; social justice issues within underrepresented groups, Black Lives Matter, gender and LGBTQIA communities; serial killers.

Nicole Dunn, IDS Director & Lecturer
Online Program and Lynnwood

Interests & Expertise: Wellness, Health Promotion, Body Image

Kevin Feeney, IDS Director & Lecturer
Online Program

Interests & Expertise: Cultural Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, Ethnobotany/Ethnomycology, Gender & Law, Critical Race Theory, Religion & Free Exercise Jurisprudence

Isabella Sarton Miller, Senior Lecturer

Interests & Expertise: Bio-cultural anthropology, adaptation to extreme environments: High altitude (Altiplano of Bolivia), cold (Northern territories, Canada, Alaska), hot and humid (Saint Kitts)

Richard Niebusch, Lecturer

Interests & Expertise:   My professional background is in law enforcement having served as a fully commissioned police officer for nearly 30 years. During this period of time, I have worked in many assignments to include general police patrol, investigations, crime analysis, public information, operations and training. In addition, I instruct courses for the police academy.  Today, I continue to work throughout the world in the area of police reform and anti-terrorism training.  While not engaged in professional work and travel, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I have an affinity for cooking and also enjoy landscaping.

Claire Bickel, Academic Advisor for IDS Program

COTS Advising Center
Psychology Building, Room 482
Phone:  509-963-1498

Interests & Expertise:   I came to CWU and Ellensburg seeking a tight-knit community and I’m happy to have found what I was hoping for. I have worked in an advising office since starting at CWU in February 2016, beginning as an office assistant and recently moving into an advisor role. The most fulfilling part of my job is working with students, I enjoy learning about the different journey each CWU student takes to get where they are today and hope to go in the future.  I graduated from Washington State University in 2009 with a BA in Social Sciences and little idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up. After graduation, I moved to the Seattle area where I spent a bit of time as a bank teller before finding a job at a non-profit where I worked for five years before heading to Ellensburg. In my free time, I enjoy home improvement projects and have stumbled into urban gardening. I have am slowly learning how cultivate a thriving vegetable garden, as well as a small flock of chickens. I love to travel and always look forward to the next adventure.

Vickie Winegar, Secretary Senior

CWU Ellensburg Campus MS# 7575 

Psychology Building, Room 269
Phone:  509-963-1804

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