CWUCWU NewsCWU News joins new Ready to Rise student development partnership, 23 Feb 2017 12:08:42<p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/01-ready-to-rise-square-2-with-logo-center.jpg" style="width: 325px; height: 325px; border-width: 3px; border-style: solid; margin: 3px; float: right;">Recent studies have come to the conclusion that students of color and those from low-income families remain underrepresented in higher education. Students from such backgrounds who do enroll often fail to stay in school, for a variety of academic, cultural, and economic reasons, including the fact that many do not have support from friends or family members familiar with college life.</p><p>“Like anybody else who’s ‘shopping’ for an institution, they’re looking for ways to connect,” said Keith Champagne, Central Washington University associate dean of <a href="" target="_blank">student development</a>. “They always ask, 'What’s here for me at Central?'"</p><p>To help answer that question, CWU has initiated a new partnership with a program called <a href="" target="_blank">Ready to Rise</a>. Made possible through a grant from <a href="" onclick=", '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">College Spark Washington</a>, Ready to Rise is a collaboration with Tacoma-based nonprofit <a href="" target="_blank">Degrees of Change,</a> local leadership foundations in three Washington state communities—the Yakima Valley, Tacoma, and Clark County—and select colleges and universities, including CWU. The ambitious goal is to serve 1,000 underrepresented college students in Washington over the next five years.</p><p>CWU will provide leadership development, student support, and successful modeling of how to succeed in college for young people interested in pursuing and obtaining their degrees.</p><p>“The goal is for them to enroll, successfully complete their academic program—in whatever field they choose—and then to return home to serve and lead within in their individual communities,” added Champagne.<br>Nalani Linder, who directs Ready to Rise, noted, “For our communities to thrive in the future, we need to develop these diverse networks of homegrown leaders who love their hometowns and are committed to building vibrant communities. We want to see the development of effective leaders, who can—and do—work together to get things done.”</p><p>A total of 120 Yakima Valley, Clark County, and Tacoma area students will be involved in the program in its first year.</p><p>“This gives up another partnership with the Yakima Valley—we’re invested in that community,” Champagne pointed out. “It also gives us additional insight—and in-roads—for recruiting more students from diverse populations. I think it’s a great partnership, as it connects with our vision, mission, and philosophy as an institution.”</p><p>Program participants receive $500 Ready to Rise stipends the summer before they enroll in college, along with training in leadership, time-management, financial literacy, and related information. They will also be paired with a peer mentor the first year of the program, and then will serve as a one later in their college careers. Internships and networking opportunities with leaders and organization in participants’ home communities will further prepare those enrolled in the program.</p><p>“Through their shared values and training, and a variety of organized activities, participants are expected to bond around a common vision,” Linder explained.</p><p>The new partnership furthers CWU’s goal to become “the destination for all men of color seeking a quality best-buy education in an environment that supports academic excellence.”</p><p>Champagne added, “I always like to tell students of color, ‘The whole campus is your campus.’ Once they understand the overall university is there for them, first and foremost, then we can explain what specific academic or extracurricular programs they might want to attach to.”<br>CWU’s goal is to also have its overall student body develop cross-culturally and multi-culturally through academic programs, such as and Africana and Black Studies, and Latino and Latin American Studies; and with the help of support services, including the College Assistance Migrant Program, National TRiO Student Support Services Program, McNair Scholars Program; and through service and social engagement opportunities including Brother 2 Brother, SISTERS, the Male Success Initiative, Center for Leadership and Community Engagement, and its Chavez-King Leadership Institute for Social Change.</p><p>“Our diversity initiatives are a little different from some other institutions,” Champagne pointed out. “We’re very inclusive and we want our programs to be for students of color and to be open to every student who shares similar values. Our ultimate goal is to connect all of our students as a way to educate them for a diverse, global, technological society, so—when they’re out in that world—they can have an impact.”</p><p>Which can include help students, including students of color and low-income backgrounds, further their education after graduating from CWU.<br>“We have a number of students, in the Brother 2 Brother program for example, who are applying for law school, for graduate school, and for PhD programs,” Champagne points out. “We want them to understand how they will develop academically and professionally, and determine what life will look like after Central.”</p><p>In 2016, CWU was one of just two schools in the state—and 14 across the country—to be recognized as a “national role model” for its commitment to diversity by Minority Access, Inc., a national organization that honors diversity in academic access and achievement.</p><p>In addition, for the last two years, CWU has also received the prestigious INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. Presented annually by INSIGHT Into Diversity, the nation’s largest and longest-running diversity-focused higher education magazine. It is based on initiatives, programs and outreach, student recruitment, retention and completion; along with faculty and staff hiring practices.</p><p><strong>Media contact: </strong>Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,</p><p>February 23, 2017</p><p><strong>Photo:</strong>&nbsp;courtesy Northwest Leadership Foundation (</p></br></br></br>“Firefighter’s Creed” Chosen for National Music Publishing Release, 22 Feb 2017 08:13:31<p>The evocative, haunting strains of "Firefighter's Creed" will soon be available to vocalists all over the world. Central Washington University composer Vijay Singh's moving tribute to fallen firefighters was selected for publication by Santa Barbara Music Publishers, Inc.</p><p><iframe class="youtube-player" frameborder="0" height="390" src="//" title="YouTube video player" type="text/html" width="480"></iframe></p><p>Barbara Harlow, president of SBMP, recently requested submissions for works for men's choir and received more than three dozen submissions. "Firefighter's Creed" was the first work selected.</p><p>“Living as I do in the hills above Santa Barbara, fires are no stranger here. The first house our family lived in burned to the ground after we had moved across town,” Harlow said.</p><p>Singh wrote "Firefighter's Creed" in honor of firefighters Tom Zbyszewki, Andrew Zajac, and Richard Wheeler, who were killed near Twisp, Washington in August 2015.</p><p>While the piece is emotionally moving to hear, the members of the Men’s Choir found it equally moving to perform. Many had members of their family or friends who were firefighters, and had been exposed to the devastation of wildfire in the region.</p><p>“I have written pieces on many subjects, but the idea that resonated most was the ongoing battle our firefighters fight every summer,” Singh said.</p><p>The 2015 wild fire season was the worst in Washington State history. More than one million acres were burned, and more than 3,000 firefighters were deployed. The Okanogan Fire Complex (which included Twisp) was the largest fire complex ever recorded in the state.</p><p><strong>Vijay Singh, CWU Choral Director and Professor of Voice</strong><br>An internationally renowned composer, Singh is an active performer, composer, teacher, conductor, and clinician. He has garnered international attention for his eclectic musical compositions, performances, workshops, and conducting appearances.</p><p>His compositions—more than 170 are currently in print—are widely available from a number of publishers and he often writes on commission for some of North America’s finest ensembles. His “MASS with Orchestra” received its world premiere at Lincoln Center in New York City in 2011.</p><p><strong>Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Inc.</strong></p><p>In 1990, retired choral director Barbara Harlow started Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Inc. As a conductor, she had an in-depth knowledge of and passion for choral music that allowed her to develop one of the most successful music publishing companies in the country. In 2016, there were 1,226 active pieces in the SBMP catalog. Thirty-six outstanding choral directors are Series Editors, and 389 composers from 16 countries are represented in the catalog. The company has continued its vision of nurturing the choral art with the publication of five videos and six books, all aimed at making the choral director's job more productive.</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>February 22, 2017</p></br></br></br>CWU Explores the Immigrant Experience through Music, 21 Feb 2017 08:17:11<p>As part of a campus-wide dialogue on migration, the Central Washington University Department of Music will present “Immigrant Voices: A Musical Exploration of the Immigration Experience and Identity.”</p><p>“This is the first time we’ve done something like this in the music department,” said Gayla Blaisdell, associate professor of voice and opera. “We’ve come up with a program that is really diverse and that’s something I was really hoping for. It’s not going to be your typical classical music concert.”</p><p>The free, public concert will be held at 7:00 p.m. on February 24, in McIntyre Concert Hall; a reception will follow. Parking is free in all university lots after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends, except in residential housing lots and in specially designated spaces.</p><p>Blaisdell said the concert will include music of many genres, including some pop music which is a departure from the classical and jazz concerts normally offered. The music for the concert was chosen to support the overall theme of migration first and foremost.</p><p>For example, students will read a scene that focuses on migrant workers from the 1970s musical, <em>Working</em>. They will then perform "Un Mejor Dia Vendra," written by folk legend James Taylor, along with Mary Rodgers and Stephen Schwarz.</p><p>Approximately 50 students and more than a half-dozen faculty will be involved with the performance; some students will be directing while some will perform. Blaisdell herself will sing "To this we've come," an aria from <em>The Consul</em>, an opera that focuses on the experience of an Eastern European immigrant during the Cold War.&nbsp;</p><p>Before each performance, the students or faculty will give a brief history of each piece so the audience has an idea of what the composition is expressing. For example, nine students will perform the compelling "Por Si Acaso No Regreso," [Just in Case I Don't Return] a Cuban song by Celia Cruz. Blaisdell and her graduate student, Tatiana Kruse, discovered the ballad while researching the music of immigration.</p><p>Blaisdell said along with her opera aria performance the concert will also include an opera chorus, chamber choir, and instrumental music.</p><p>“I like the fact the concert is diverse with musical styles and lots of different students performing in it,” she said.</p><p>This event is sponsored by the Department of Music, the Office of Continuing Education, and CWU Social Justice and Human Rights Dialogue. Persons of disability may make arrangements for reasonable accommodation by calling 509-963-1216 or by emailing</p><p>For more information, contact the Music Department a 509-963-1216.</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>&nbsp;</p></br></br>CWU Professor, Award-Winning Poet to Read Tuesday, 19 Feb 2017 15:30:48<p><img style="margin: 3px; width: 128px; height: 200px; float: right;" alt="Maya Jewell Zeller" src="/sites/default/files/pictures/Maya-1.jpg">Poet and assistant professor Maya Jewell Zeller will share her works Tuesday, February 21, as part of the annual Central Washington University Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series.</p><p>There will be two opportunities to hear from Zeller on Tuesday. At 7:30 p.m., she will read from her work in the Student Union Ballroom. She will also be giving a craft talk titled “Outtakes from the Making: the Story Behind the Image” in Black Hall room 151 at noon the same day.</p><p>Both events are free and open to the public. Her books will be available for sale courtesy of the CWU Wildcat Shop following the 7:30 p.m. event.</p><p>Zeller's reading will include pieces from her childhood in the rural northwest, as well as selections from <em>Yesterday, the Bees</em>, a collection offering "perspectives on motherhood.” She will also read more recent works.</p><p>“[My poems] open up new ways of experiencing language via music, image, and narrative,” Zeller said.</p><p>In addition to authoring two poetry collections, <em>Rust Fish </em>and <em>Yesterday, the Bees</em>, Zeller is a recent addition to the Central Washington University faculty, where she teaches poetry and poetics. Her work has won awards from <em>Sycamore Review</em>, <em>New South</em>, <em>New Ohio Review</em>, <em>Dogwood</em>, <em>Florida Review</em>, and <em>Crab Orchard Review</em>. She has also been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes.</p><p>Zeller’s work has appeared in <em>Bellingham Review</em>, <em>West Branch</em>, <em>Pleiades</em>, and <em>New Ohio Review</em>. She served as the fiction editor for <em>Crab Creek Review </em>and poetry editor for <em>Scablands Books</em>. She is the recipient of a residence from the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest and in 2016 earned the Promise Award from the Sustainable Arts Foundation.</p><p>This event is sponsored by CWU College of Arts and Humanities, Department of English, Karen Gookin, and the Wildcat Shop.</p><p>For more information about the Lion Rock series, visit or contact Lisa Norris at 509-963-1745 or <a href=""></a>.</p><p>Media contact:&nbsp; Dawn Alford, public affairs coordinator, <a href=""></a>, 509-963-1484.<br>&nbsp;</p></a href=""></a href=""></br>Slavery-era Embroidery Excites Historians, Evokes Heartbreak of its Time, 17 Feb 2017 08:12:46<p>CWU professor Mark Auslander's year-long research&nbsp;is featured in <em>USA Today</em>.</p><hr><p>It is a cotton sack with a story so poignant it is drawing in followers from across the country.</p><p><img style="margin: 3px; width: 225px; height: 300px; float: right;" alt="Ashley's Sack" src="/sites/default/files/pictures/Ashley%20sack%20photo.png">A yard-long piece of material known as "Ashley's Sack" has been getting attention since its national debut in Washington in September at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.</p><p>Ashley is believed to be a 9-year-old slave girl who received the sack as a goodbye gift from her mother, Rose, in the mid 1800s, when Ashley was being sold away from the South Carolina planter who owned them. The sack's history was embroidered in 1921 by Ashley's granddaughter, Ruth Jones Middleton, a member of black society in Philadelphia.</p><p>The sack reads: “My great grandmother Rose mother of Ashley gave her this sack when she was sold at age 9 in South Carolina.” The embroidery continues to explain that the sack held "a tattered dress 3 handfulls of pecans a braid of Roses hair." The artwork says Ruth told Ashley that the sack "be filled with my Love always.” It closes by offering that Rose never saw Ashley again. "Ashley is my grandmother," the embroidery reads. "Ruth Middleton 1921."</p><p>An historian who has traced the journey of the sack for years believes it can enlighten the country.</p><p>“With the terrible things we have done to one another as members of the American family, this kind of object is not the kind of thing you can turn your eyes away from,” said Mark Auslander, an anthropologist and director of the Museum of Culture and Environment at Central Washington University. “I think that’s what makes it so important as a common meeting ground, which is what the whole museum is about," Auslander said.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>Read the entire article in <a href="">USA Today</a>.</p><p><em>(Photo: Courtesy Middleton Place)</em><br><br><em>Published February 16, 2017</em></p></hr></br></br></br>Former King County Executive and HUD Official Ron Sims Credits CWU for Success, 16 Feb 2017 15:25:57<p><br><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/818A0479.jpg" style="width: 200px; height: 133px; margin: 3px; float: right;">Ron Sims, a 1971 graduate of Central Washington University (BS Psychology) and former King County Executive and Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Thursday credited the university for helping to prepare him for his impressive professional achievements.</p><p>Speaking to an audience of several hundred students, faculty, and staff in the McIntyre Concert&nbsp;Hall during the annual State of the University address, Sims said he arrived at Central as “a lost soul” but graduated four-and-a-half years later as someone prepared to seek his place in the world.</p><p>“I would not have had my career without being here,” Sims said. “I went to a great school, a place that was willing to nurture who you are and what you can achieve. Thank you for being committed to all the future Ron Sims’.”</p><p>Sims also spoke about his upbringing in Spokane and how he was an indifferent student before attending CWU. He said the most valuable lessons he learned at the university were to ask questions and not be afraid to fail.</p><p>“I was free to make mistakes. I was free to experiment. I was free to grow as a student,” he said. ““We were told to expect the rapidity of change and growth, that the world was going to change and we should welcome it and not oppose it or be frustrated by it.”</p><p>He described one of his proudest moments when he told his late mother he had been offered a position by former President Barack Obama.</p><p>“I told her I was going to work for President Obama and she asked, “Isn’t he the black president?’ and I said, “Did you ever think there would be a black president?’ And she smiled,” he said.</p><p>Sims shared the stage with CWU James L. Gaudino who used the occasion to renew his promise to ensure that Central remains a welcoming campus environment that supports inclusiveness and diversity.</p><p>[Link to video of the entire State of the University address:&nbsp;;]</p><p>Gaudino said normally the State of the University address serves to celebrate the institution’s progress during the previous year but this year seemed different because of the current turbulent political climate in the country.</p><p>“I am disappointed and discouraged by the cacophony of civil discourse that seemed to divide, confuse, and alienate,” he said. “The sum of it left me feeling anxious about our present and our future.”</p><p>But, he added, what gives him hope is the special character of CWU and the campus community. He praised the university’s students, faculty, and staff for their dedication to creating a learning environment that is enriched by diverse experiences, abilities, and cultures.</p><p>“Together, we will continue to be a welcoming community that places the highest value on inclusiveness, free speech, and the exploration of ideas, identities, and cultures,” he said. “I am proud of the learning environment we offer to our students.</p><p>“I believe the next 10 years will require that we be increasingly flexible, innovative, and entrepreneurial,” Gaudino said. “What is key, however, is that we all strive toward the same goal, which is to empower and to unleash the full capability of Central.”</p><p>During his address, Gaudino also said 2016 was a very successful year for CWU, with the state of Washington investing more than $140 million in new construction and facilities renovation projects on campus.</p><p>“That’s a lot of money for a university our size, and it has definitely taxed our facilities and capital planning staff,” the president added. “However, they are getting it done with the excellence we have come to expect from them.”<br>&nbsp;<br>Infrastructure enhancements, including the grand opening of Science II, have served to bolster and support CWU’s academic and student support programs.<br>&nbsp;<br>“We are, simply put, the ‘Best in the West,’” Gaudino said. “Our collective commitment to student achievement is palpable. It’s why our students come—and it’s why they stay.”<br>&nbsp;<br>Those students include members of a record freshman class, of more than 2,000 students during the 2015-16 academic year. Coupled with continued strong transfer student enrollment, CWU’s overall student body was nearly 12,000 during the period, which is almost a 25 percent in the past decade.<br>&nbsp;<br>The president noted that an additional reason for CWU’s success was the nearly 200 new faculty and staff that joined the university during 2016. “They came not just for a job, but for an opportunity to improve the lives of our students,” Gaudino added.<br>&nbsp;<br>Gaudino reported that CWU ended the 2016 fiscal year with small, but positive, budget surpluses, adding that salary and wage enhancements are forecast for the coming years. The university’s overall fiscal well-being was also noted by Moody's Investors Service. which reaffirmed CWU’s A-1 bond rating, essentially, the highest a comprehensive university, like CWU, can achieve, “and a very strong indicator of our financial health,” Gaudino said.</p><p>Media contact: Richard Moreno, director of content development, 509-963-2714,</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br> CWU Students Selected for Prestigious KCACTF Presentations, 16 Feb 2017 07:45:32<p><img style="width: 188px; height: 268px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 4px; margin-right: 4px; float: right;" alt="" src="/sites/default/files/images/kcactf.jpg">Sixty-eight Central Washington University Theatre Arts students will participate in the 2017 Region 7 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), February 20-24 in Denver. Five CWU theatre faculty accompanying the students will also present scholarships and lend their skills in organizing the annual festival.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“This may be the largest group of students from one school attending the festival,” exclaimed Patrick Dizney, CWU professor of performance. Dizney is also the current chair of Region 7, which includes Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, northern California, northern Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“This year, on top of the regular participation, we received an invitation to present in the Night of Scenes,” enthused Scott Robinson, chair of Theatre Arts and two-time recipient of the coveted KCACTF Gold Medallion Award. “The scene is from CWU's 2016 production of <em>Mary Poppins</em>, “The Banker Scene,” which will feature more than 30 students in a stunning and imaginative tap number. Jadd Davis, artistic director from the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre, recognized the exceptional interpretation of the scene and nominated for it inclusion last May.”</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>KCACTF allows members from other institutions, called outside guest responders, to nominate outstanding performances for inclusion in the festival.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“It is rare to have the opportunity to showcase our musical theatre productions as they simply are too large to travel efficiently,” Robinson continued. “This is an excellent opportunity for us to demonstrate the strength of our distinctive BFA program as well as individual students.”</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Actors, designers, theatre technicians and stage managers will compete for scholarships, summer employment, graduate programs and unique training opportunities through auditions, interviews and competitions.&nbsp; Student Chelsey Sheppard will lead workshops in Stage Combat and Stage Dance.&nbsp; Student director Allison Price is bringing her production of <em>Gruesome Playground Injuries</em> to be performed at festival as a “renegade production.” The production was initially mounted at CWU in November 2016.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Dizney will perform in a scripted reading of a new play commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival at festival.&nbsp; CWU Lecturer Casey Craig will be leading workshops Stage Dance.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>CWU also registered the production of <em>She Kills Monsters</em> for inclusion in the festival. Although It was not selected to travel this year, it was named first alternate, if one of the other selections cannot be performed.<br><br>CWU usually takes 50 students to the festival, who participate and vie for scholarships in a variety of disciplines, including performance, research, directing and design and production.&nbsp; Each year winners from these areas move forward to a national festival.&nbsp; CWU has sent students to the national festival at least 12 times in the past 15 years.<br><br>The Region 7 festival includes performances by top performers and participating productions selected by a highly competitive and rigorous process.<br><br>Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program involving 20,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide annually. The KCACTF honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, dramatic criticism, directing, and design. For more information about KCACTF-7 go to</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>February 16, 2017</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>Panelists Agree Public Vigilance is Best Way to Protect Liberties, 15 Feb 2017 16:31:31<p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/Balancing%20Act%20Panel2-2-15-17.jpg" style="width: 200px; height: 122px; margin: 3px; float: right;">A panel of jurists, legal experts, and a first amendment advocate, hosted by Central Washington University, agreed Wednesday the most effective checks on overreach by any branch of government, including the President of the United States, are public pressure and the balance of power established in the federal constitution.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“There’s a lot of rhetoric that says the president can do what he wants but as a legal matter and a practical matter, that’s simply not true,” said panelist Lisa Marshall Manheim, a University of Washington Law School professor.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Manheim was joined on the panel, entitled, “Balancing Act: How the Federal and State Constitutions Protect Freedom and Justice,” by U.S. District Court senior judge Robert Lasnik, Washington State Supreme Court Justice Steven Gonzalez, and Rowland Thompson, executive director of the Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The purpose of the panel [which can be viewed here: <a href=";">;</a>], according to CWU President James L. Gaudino, who served as moderator, was to allow the campus community an opportunity to discuss with legal experts political and legal concerns, and anxieties, that have been expressed by many students, faculty, and staff in the aftermath of the most recent presidential election.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Manheim, who teaches constitutional law, noted that it’s nearly impossible for any president to unilaterally take action in many cases without the consent of all of the branches of government.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“If he doesn’t have Congress with him, if he doesn’t have the courts with him, and if he doesn’t have the vast bureaucracy with him, he can’t accomplish much,” she said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Gonzalez, however, noted that while the president can generally only act when given the authority to do so by Congress, there are instances where a president has acted unilaterally using an executive order, which have been upheld by the court system. He mentioned President Franklin Roosevelt’s order relocating many Japanese Americans to remote internment camps as an example.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Lasnik noted that whether someone thinks an action, such as an executive order, is an overreach of constitutional authority depends on the person’s political perspective.</p><p>“You might like a strong president who does such things,” he said. “It’s all part of the ebb and flow of power in different directions.”</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Lasnik, however, said at the federal level the constitution is designed to keep judges independent by providing them with lifetime appointments, salaries that can’t be reduced, and no mandatory retirement age. He said therefore federal courts can act independently and have stopped presidential executive orders that aren’t consistent with the constitution.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Thompson said the best defense of constitutional rights is an independent press that helps inform the public about public issues. He said the challenge today is that there are so many voices available on the internet, including many that don’t provide credible information.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“You need to be absolutely certain you are getting news from trusted media,” he said, adding that he believed larger reputable media operations such as the Associated Press, the Washington Post, and the New York Times “will give you unvarnished facts.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“The responsibility you have is to guard the republic and the way to do that is to have informed sources,” he said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Media contact: Richard Moreno, director of content development, 509-963-2714,</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>—February 15, 2017</p>Southern Poverty Law Center speaker urges crowd to 'Do the right thing', 15 Feb 2017 13:26:30<p>It wasn’t the first time Southern Poverty Law Center Outreach Director Lecia Brooks addressed a crowded Student Union and Recreation Center Ballroom at Central <img style="margin: 3px; width: 350px; height: 233px; float: left;" alt="Lecia Brooks, Outreach Director for Southern Poverty Law Center" src="/sites/default/files/pictures/818A9493.jpg">Washington University, but it was the first time she’d done it in person.</p><p>Brooks joined Ellensburg’s first Not In Our KittCo panel discussion via Skype in November, and returned to speak in person on Monday. She discussed the history of the SPLC, the tracking of current hate and bias incidents, as well as what people can do to stand up to hateful acts in everyday situations.</p><p>Brooks was impressed with the Not In Our KittCo movement and how the community banded together after Ku Klux Klan literature was passed out in the fall, and again on Martin Luther King day, but urged the crowd to not only come together in reaction, but to take action every day.</p><p>“I want you to really think about how you can make that an every day reality,” Brooks said. She then pointed to pictures of diverse crowds marching in recent protests against hate. “Use that in your every day life. Not just when the Klan circulates flyers — I respect you for doing that, but there are opportunities for you to do that every day.”</p><p><em>Read the entire article online at the <a href="">Daily Record</a>.</em></p><p><em>Photo Credit:&nbsp; Central Washington University<br>--February 14, 2017</em><br>&nbsp;</p></br></br>CWU Awarded $2.19 Million for STEM Teacher Preparation, 15 Feb 2017 05:56:32<p>Central Washington University has received a $2.19 million grant to develop and implement an innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) teacher preparation program. The program, based on University of Texas-Austin’s UTeach model, will be customized for Washington State to meet the state’s teacher preparation requirements.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The grant comes from the Opportunity Expansion Account, established by the legislature to help Washington universities fund new or existing programming that helps students earn high-demand bachelor’s degrees in science, engineering, computer science, or STEM education.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The 2011 statute, which passed along with the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) Fund, allowed companies to donate high-tech research and development tax credits to the account, instead of recouping them. The R&amp;D tax credit was eliminated in 2015.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Microsoft, the only company to contribute to the fund, donated a total of $6 million. CWU was one of three university programs to be selected. According to Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer at Microsoft Corporation, “. . .&nbsp; we need more educators who can teach key courses in our public schools. And we need more capacity for students who want to pursue the needed courses in college.” Read more of Smith’s comments at</p><p><br>There is a critical shortage of highly qualified mathematics and science teachers nationwide. More than 283,000 teachers will be needed in secondary schools in this decade alone.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“UTeach has been uniquely successful in recruiting and retaining high quality STEM teachers,”&nbsp;said Jennifer Dechaine-Berkas, CWU science education and biology professor. “Their success has been nationally recognized by the United States government, Fortune 500 companies, and nonprofit organizations. We are excited to bring this model to Washington State.”</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The first class of students will start the new STEM teaching program in fall 2017.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>What’s Different?</strong><br>CWU’s new STEM teaching program will allow students to earn both their STEM degree and teaching certification in four years—even if they start teacher certification as late as their junior year. This degree structure gives students career choice and flexibility.</p><p>CWU’s program will also offer a wide variety of paid internships to lessen the financial burden of a college education on students, and allow them to gain meaningful work experience.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Teacher certification courses will combine theory and practice using extensive field experiences teaching in K-12 classrooms. Students work with K-12 students and practicing teachers from their very first STEM teacher preparation course through student teaching. Field experiences will be developed in collaboration with partner school districts.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) is a unique partnership helping to build the next generation of scientists, engineers, health care professionals and other professionals in high-demand fields. Businesses and the Washington State Legislature have joined forces to fulfill the promise of better education and career opportunities for Washington students. Together they have created a unique public-private partnership including major employers like Boeing and Microsoft. For more information about WSOS, go to</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>UTeach began at The University of Texas at Austin in 1997 as an innovative way to recruit undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors and prepare them to become teachers. Out of this original program a number of local STEM education initiatives have grown, including a national expansion effort, all supporting the improvement of STEM education and the public education system overall. For more information, go to</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,</p><p>February 15, 2017</p></br></br></br>