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Social Sciences

Nancy Rodriguez, Courtesy National Institute of Justice
Spring 2016

Beyond Just Training: A conversation with NIJ Director Nancy Rodriguez

Police training is just one piece of the complex scientific puzzle to measure law enforcement effectiveness, says Nancy Rodriguez PhD ’98, the director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The NIJ is the research arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, and Rodriguez was appointed in October 2014 by President Barack Obama.

“This goes beyond just training,” she says. “In the past there was a focus on behavioral research, or on technology. We need to understand the connections between different areas.”

Rodriguez’s deep expertise—from her doctoral research at WSU with Professor Nicholas Lovrich and later her professional career at Arizona State University—gives her … » More …

Sue Rahr '79. Photo Matt Hagen
Spring 2016

New ways of training police: Sue Rahr ’79

Former King County sheriff and policing expert Sue Rahr ’79 talks about new ways of police training. Rahr was selected by President Barack Obama for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. She is also director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC), which has moved toward more intervention and de-escalation techniques for police officers.

Read about Rahr’s work:

Creating guardians, calming warriors—A new style of training for police recruits emphasizes techniques to better de-escalate conflict situations (Washington Post, December 10, 2015)

Can Sue Rahr reinvent policing? (Crosscut, April 28, 2015)

Coming soon: A discussion with Sue Rahr … » More …

Police training in a new light
Spring 2016

Police training in a new light

The call came into 9-1-1 from a Spokane YMCA last October: A middle-aged man was threatening to break the kneecaps of an eight-year-old, because he said the boy could “ruin my NBA career.”

Corporal Jordan Ferguson of the Spokane Police Department responded, fully aware of the suspect’s antagonistic and unpredictable behavior. Ferguson’s body camera footage shows what happened next.

In the lobby of the YMCA, an employee first describes the man’s erratic statements. Ferguson tracks the man to the gym, who then walks away yelling. Rather than restraining the man immediately, Ferguson asks him questions and listens carefully and calmly, taking his time as the … » More …

Ancient grains freekeh, amaranth, barley, quinoa, bulgur, millet, and farro. Courtesy Pioneer Press
Winter 2015

Ancients among us

Safeguarding our future

The arid soil on the mile-high Hopi Mesa trickles through clenched fingers like sand. If you visit this isolated corner of northeastern Arizona, you might find it hard to believe it is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the Americas.

For more than 2,000 years, the Hopi and their ancestors have carved a living out of the rough terrain. They survived drought, famine, war, and a fluctuating climate that drove many of their ancient southwestern neighbors elsewhere in search of more fertile lands.

One key to the Hopi’s longevity is a variety of drought-tolerant corn they have adapted over the … » More …

Speaker of the House Tom Foley
Winter 2015

The lasting impact of Tom Foley

Thomas S. Foley was a political gentleman. The Speaker of the House lived and worked from principles that defined his political career: civility, honesty, and integrity. Even though he lost his seat in Congress, Foley’s legacy continues to encourage many others to follow his path, through his namesake institute at Washington State University.

No one on the reelection team was emotionally prepared for Foley’s defeat in 1994. A sitting Speaker had not been defeated since the Civil War era. John Pierce remembers Foley as “sad, stunned about the election results, but not vindictive.” Pierce had been a congressional fellow with Foley before beginning a 24-year … » More …

Ozette cover
Winter 2015

Ozette: Excavating a Makah Whaling Village

Ozette cover

Ruth Kirk

University of Washington Press: 2015

Although the professional literature is rich and extensive, not enough had been written for the public on the extraordinary archaeological exploration at Ozette, the ancient whaling village on the Olympic coast between Neah Bay and La Push. There is Hunters of the Whale, by Northwest chronicler Ruth Kirk, written for young readers in 1974 when the expedition was barely half finished. Archaeology in Washington, coauthored by Kirk and WSU … » More …

Winter 2015

Three portraits of Foley Institute alumni

The Foley path to public service through internships

“In a cynical age, I still believe that we must summon people to a vision of public service. For, in the end, this ethic determines more than anything else whether we will have citizens and leaders of honor, judgment, wisdom, and heart. These are the qualities this institute will nurture and advance, helping this nation become what it has always been destined to be, the best hope of a free people to live in an open and just society.”

—The Honorable Thomas S. Foley

Former LeLoup Intern, John Culton ’11 remembers the day … » More …

WSU Emeritus Professor and writer Alex Kuo. Courtesy Alex Kuo
Winter 2015

Triple Shanghai

Alex Kuo’s writing confronts censorship both explicit and hidden

In a pivotal moment from Alex Kuo’s new novel shanghai.shanghai.shanghai, several Chinese card players watch a team of Americans publicly disavow George W. Bush’s administration in front of an international audience. Struck by the brazen criticism, a pickpocket known as Bogota Man questions how such anti-government opinions could ever be voiced openly.

He contends that political dissent in China can mean life in solitary confinement. A friend quickly responds that in America the defiant act of protest is more likely to be completely ignored.

“I’m not sure which is worse,” she says.

» More …

The Pacific War and Contingent Victory
Fall 2015

The Pacific War and Contingent Victory: Why Japanese Defeat Was Not Inevitable

The Pacific War and Contingent VictoryMichael W. Myers

University Press of Kansas: 2015

Conventional wisdom among scholars of World War II claims that Japan would inevitably lose the Pacific War to the United States and the Allies. They base that belief on greater American military and economic power and a U.S. strategy that forced the war against Japan on a path to unstoppable Allied victory. Myers, a professor at Washington State University’s School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public … » More …