Award-winning novelist Molly Gloss is the first featured speaker in Washington State University Vancouver’s annual Professional Writing Series. Gloss will speak Thursday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. in the Multimedia Building lecture hall on “Writing, Reading and Place.” Gloss is a fourth-generation Oregonian who lives in Portland. Her novel, “The Jump-Off Creek,” was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for American Fiction and a winner of both the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Oregon Book Award.  In 1996, she was a recipient of a Whiting Writers Award.  “The Dazzle of Day,” a novel of the near future, was named a 1997 New York Times Notable Book and was awarded the PEN Center West Fiction Prize.  For more information, see 

In the news

Helping families: The Bush Administration is discussing a $1.5 billion effort to promote marriage among low-income parents. Kathleen Boyce Rodgers, an assistant professor in the WSU Department of Human Development, has researched and written on the impact of divorce on at-risk children. She said a large body of social science research indicates that children from divorced single-parent or step-parent families are at increased risk of behavioral and psychological problems when compared with their peers in intact two-parent families. Research also indicates, however, that most children who experience a marital disruption such as divorce are resilient and grow up to be healthy adults. And marriage alone is unlikely to solve the economic woes of single parents. A recent national five-year study of unwed parents indicated most of them hoped to marry in the future but faced multiple risks that challenged their ability to adequately support a family (e.g., low income, little education and few employment skills). Rodgers said that policies that provide opportunities to gain employment, as well as develop job and relational skills, are necessary and must be noncoercive if they are to empower families to be self-sufficient. Rodgers can be reached at 509.335.2973 or

50 years later: Almost 50 years after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case that outlawed racially separate schools, Washington State University faculty member Eric Anctil said American public schools are again moving toward segregation. Anctil cited a recent report from the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, which documents a “backward movement for desegregation in U.S. schools.” The trend toward re-segregation in education is both wrong and illogical at a time when most institutions are recognizing the importance of racial diversity, Anctil said. He can be reached at 509.335.7214 or