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USDA awards WSU $14 million to study specialty crops

USDA awards WSU $14 million to study specialty crops

Researchers at Washington State University have been awarded more than $14 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture grants aimed at strengthening markets for specialty crops, including wine grapes, hops, berries and tree fruit.

Two projects will share $5.9 million awarded under the Special Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) which funds research for specialty crop production.

Bioinformaticist Dorrie Main received $2.7 million to support her genome database which provides public access to genetic and breeding data for the rosacaeae family of flowering plants like almond, apple, cherry, peach, pear, raspberry and strawberry.

“Ultimately this research helps create better cultivars by helping breeders decide which parents to cross to get the optimal traits in offspring,” said Main.

Meanwhile Doug Walsh receive $3.2 million to develop strategies for pest and disease free management in hops, which will help meet market demand for damage-free hops grown with fewer chemicals.

University of Idaho accepting submissions for "F-Word" Poetry Slam

University of Idaho accepting submissions for "F-Word" Poetry Slam

The University of Idaho Women's Center is currently seeking submissions for the “F-Word” Live Poetry Slam in early November.

This event is meant to showcase spoken word and visual art pieces. The slam and exhibit are open to poets and artists of all skill levels, abilities and genders.

To submit visual pieces, email a photo of your piece to bekahm@uidaho.edu. To submit spoken word pieces, visit this link here. The deadline to submit is October 17, and artists who are chosen will be notified by Monday, October 27.

“F-Word” Live was created to form a space in which anyone can express their feelings and experiences related to the “other f-word” - namely, feminism. “F-word” Live is a safe space for all to showcase spoken word and visual art pieces or to come and watch as others perform.

There is no charge to perform in this event. The event is free to all students with a valid student ID. General admission for non students is $5.

WSU awarded $300k grant for addressing sexual assault

WSU awarded $300k grant for addressing sexual assault

Washington State University is one of 20 colleges and universities around the state being recognized for their work with the US Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, to implement best practices to address violence.

A three-year, $300,000 grant awarded to Paula Adams, Associate Director of Health Promotion at Health and Wellness Services, will support ongoing efforts to address sexual, intimate partner and stalking violence on campus.

“This is the same grant program referenced frequently in the recent White House task force report on sexual violence,” Adams said. “It's exciting to know that because we've been working with the Department of Justice since 2011, we had most of the White House task force recommendations in place on our campus before the report was even published.”

WSU regents approve bond sale for health clinic, more residencies

WSU regents approve bond sale for health clinic, more residencies

To help overcome the physician shortage in central and eastern Washington, the Washington State University Board of Regents, at its September meeting, approved the sale of up to $16.25 million in revenue bonds for design and construction of the University district Health Clinic.

The clinic will be part of the Spokane Teaching Health Center consortium of Empire Health Foundation, Providence Health Care and WSU Spokane, which was established in November.

The consortium uses federal teaching health center funds to increase the number of physician residencies. Six additional residency slots are already available in Spokane because of the consortium's efforts.

Residents are newly graduated medical doctors who must complete at least three years of graduate education in an accredited physician training program before they can apply for board certification in a specialty.

Controversy continues over proposed WSU medical school

Controversy continues over proposed WSU medical school

 The University of Washington released a scathing rebuttal this week to a report supporting the creation of a medical school for Washington State University, saying it contains “a number of deep flaws,” and is based on “faulty assumptions, omissions and erroneous data.”

WSU first approached consultant MGT of America in February to conduct a feasibility assessment for a new medical school based on the University's health sciences campus in Spokane. Specifically the assessment was to focus on the need for physicians in Eastern Washington, the best educational model to meet those needs, if current WSU resources were capable of creating a program to meet accreditation standards and the required time and resources to develop a new medical school.

WSU enrollment hits record high

WSU enrollment hits record high

New numbers released by Washington State University today show an all-time high in enrollment this semester, along with an increase in diversity and size.

Some 28,686 students are enrolled at WSU campuses throughout the state this semester, over 1,000 students more than the previous record set in fall 2012 and a four percent increase over last year's enrollment.

“This is good news,” said Dan Bernardo, WSU provost and executive vice president. “Undergraduate enrollment is up three and a half percent, which is particularly impressive given the current demographics of the state.” He explained that the state is currently in a “trough” of high a high school graduation curve, reducing the pool of potential students.

At WSU, the overall increase includes a five percent increase in the number of graduate students and a seven percent increase in students pursuing professional degrees in nursing, pharmacy, medical sciences and veterinary medicine.

Fire safety reminder for dormitory living

Fire safety reminder for dormitory living

Dorms are filling up fast around Washington State as students begin or continue their college education, and the state Fire Marshal wants to make sure everyone has a safe school year.

“Fire safety should be reviewed as students settle into their new places,” said State Fire Marshal Chuck Duffy. “Understanding the safety features of a building and knowing your escape routes can significantly increase your personal safety.”

The United States Fire Administration reports an estimated 3,800 university housing fires occur each year. The leading causes include cooking, intentionally set fires, careless smoking, unattended candles and overloaded electrical wiring. Marshal Duffy suggests the following tips to reduce the risk of fire and increase safety:

Cooking should only be done in a location permitted by the school’s policies. Never leave your cooking unattended. If a fire starts in a microwave, leave the door closed and unplug the unit.