WSU News https://news.wsu.edu   Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:33:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3 Ask Dr. Universe: Can baby frogs hear mothers under water? https://news.wsu.edu/2015/09/01/ask-dr-universe-can-baby-frogs-hear-mothers-under-water/ https://news.wsu.edu/2015/09/01/ask-dr-universe-can-baby-frogs-hear-mothers-under-water/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:33:57 +0000 https://news.wsu.edu/?p=141059 PULLMAN, Wash. – Baby frogs go through some pretty big changes to become grown-up frogs. They start out as tiny tadpoles with just a head and a tail to help them swim. Tadpoles can’t hear yet, though they can sense vibrations in water. But as they change from tadpoles to frog-shaped bodies, through a process … Continue reading Ask Dr. Universe: Can baby frogs hear mothers under water?

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Dr-Universe-230PULLMAN, Wash. – Baby frogs go through some pretty big changes to become grown-up frogs. They start out as tiny tadpoles with just a head and a tail to help them swim. Tadpoles can’t hear yet, though they can sense vibrations in water.

But as they change from tadpoles to frog-shaped bodies, through a process called metamorphosis, their ears develop and they can begin to hear their moms. We don’t know if they can tell if it’s their own mother or if they think it is just another frog in the pond.

I hopped on over to visit my friend Jesse Brunner at Washington State University to find out more about it.

Read all of this answer from Dr. Universe here.

 

Subscribe to Dr. Universe’s Monday Q&A. It’s a free and fun science from everyone’s favorite feline.



 

 

A service of Washington State University, Ask Dr. Universe answers some of the most interesting, tough and smart questions from curious kids all around the world.

 

 

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Shifting sleep cycle affects sleep quality, immune response https://news.wsu.edu/2015/09/01/shifting-sleep-cycle-affects-sleep-quality-immune-response/ https://news.wsu.edu/2015/09/01/shifting-sleep-cycle-affects-sleep-quality-immune-response/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:00:02 +0000 https://news.wsu.edu/?p=141044 By Eric Sorensen, WSU science writer PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers have found that the timing of an animal’s sleep can be just as important as how much sleeps it gets. Ilia Karatsoreos, an assistant professor in WSU’s Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, shifted mice from their usual cycle of sleeping and … Continue reading Shifting sleep cycle affects sleep quality, immune response

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By Eric Sorensen, WSU science writer

KaratsoreosPULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers have found that the timing of an animal’s sleep can be just as important as how much sleeps it gets.

Ilia Karatsoreos, an assistant professor in WSU’s Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, shifted mice from their usual cycle of sleeping and waking and saw that, while they got enough sleep, it was of poorer quality. The animals also had a disrupted immune response, leaving them more open to illness.

Most sleep research focuses on the effects of sleep deprivation or the overall amount of sleep an animal needs. This is generally referred to as sleep’s homeostatic process, which is driven by sleepiness or “sleep pressure.”

The work by Karatsoreos and his colleagues – published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity – is a rare look into the circadian process, a brain-driven clock that controls the rhythms of various biological processes, from digestion to blood pressure, heart rate to waking and sleeping. The cycle is found in most everything that lives more than 24 hours, including plants and single-celled organisms.

Research into the system has significant implications for modern living, write Karatsoreos and his coauthors, as “disruption of the circadian clock is nearly ubiquitous in our modern society” due to nighttime lighting, shift work, jet lag and even the blue-tinged light emitted by cell phones and tablets.

Typically, sleep researchers have a hard time studying sleep deprivation and the circadian cycle separately, as a change in one usually affects the other. However, Karatsoreos and his colleagues saw their model did not affect an animal’s total sleep, giving them a unique look into the effects on the timing of the sleeping-waking cycle.

The researchers used mice whose body clocks run at about 24 hours – much like our own – and housed them in a shorter 20-hour day. This forced their biological clocks out of sync with the light-dark cycle. After four weeks, the researchers injected the mice with lipopolysaccharide, a molecule found in bacteria that can make an animal sick without being contagious.

The researchers saw that the disrupted animals had blunted immune responses in some cases or an overactive response in others, suggesting the altered circadian cycle made them potentially less able to fight illness and more likely to get sick.

“This represents a very clear dysregulation of the system,” said Karatsoreos. “The system is not responding in the optimal manner.”

Over time, he said, this could have serious consequences for an organism’s health.

“Just like you have a car that you’re running into the ground—things don’t work right but you keep driving it until it stops. That’s what could happen if you think of disruption going on for years for somebody who’s working shift work,” he said.

To his surprise, the mice on the 20-hour cycle were getting the same amount of sleep as they did on the 24-hour cycle. But the sleep wasn’t as good. The mice woke more often and the pattern of electrical activity in their brains related to restorative sleep was greatly reduced.

Karatsoreos’s coauthors are doctoral student Derrick Phillips and Marina Savenkova, a postdoctoral research associate.

The work was supported by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation and the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine.

 

Contact:
Ilia Karatsoreos, WSU assistant professor, 509-335-4829, ilia.karatsoreos@wsu.edu

 

 

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New addition to database of U.S. Congressional documents https://news.wsu.edu/2015/08/31/new-addition-to-database-of-u-s-congressional-documents/ https://news.wsu.edu/2015/08/31/new-addition-to-database-of-u-s-congressional-documents/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 20:31:00 +0000 https://news.wsu.edu/?p=141028 By Nella Letizia, WSU Libraries PULLMAN, Wash. – Students and scholars of the U.S. Congress can access historical House and Senate reports and documents through a Washington State University Libraries’ database. The libraries recently purchased the final segment (1980-94) of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, the printed record of the U.S. House and Senate begun … Continue reading New addition to database of U.S. Congressional documents

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By Nella Letizia, WSU Libraries

great-plains-detailPULLMAN, Wash. – Students and scholars of the U.S. Congress can access historical House and Senate reports and documents through a Washington State University Libraries’ database.

The libraries recently purchased the final segment (1980-94) of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, the printed record of the U.S. House and Senate begun in 1817. The set and another database, American State Papers, a repository of documents from before 1817, can be accessed by WSU-affiliated users in the list of article databases at http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/find-articles.

Congressional reports and documents printed after 1994 are available free online from the Government Publishing Office’s Federal Digital System, FDsys (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/).

Behind the scenes of Congressional lawmaking

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A photo published in the 1937 U.S. Congress report, “The Future of the Great Plains,” shows an airplane view of a Texas field that exemplifies the good soil conservation practice of contour plowing and contour strip cropping. (Images courtesy of U.S. Congressional Serial Set)

Published by Readex, the serial set holds 370,205 publications designated by Congress for printing. They are scanned from more than 15,400 original print volumes. In addition to an index of every publication – more than 11 million pages – readers can find citation records for the set’s 74,495 maps.

“These official Congressional documents include tables, graphs, maps, drawings, prints, photographs and other illustrative material and can be a pleasure to browse and read, even online,” said Marilyn Von Seggern, WSU Libraries’ government information librarian.

“The Serial Set is so important because it provides background information to the lawmaking work that Congress does,” she said. “It’s also important to academic libraries because it offers primary sources for historical research, and being able to search its full text and images makes it so much more accessible than it has been in the past.”

National conversations captured

The set is a rich compilation of Congressional materials on hundreds of topics, from exploration of the United States to social issues, conflicts and wars, scientific research and development, the economy and natural disasters, Von Seggern said.

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“The Future of the Great Plains” report includes an illustration of the Great Plains of the past and this caption excerpt: “…The Winter snows and Spring rains clothed the land in grass; forests covered the foothills and lined the upper reaches of clear streams; the buffalo furnished food, clothing, shelter and other simple necessities without diminishing in number…”

For example, among 10 items related to the Dust Bowl, 1930-1940, is a 122-page report from the Great Plains Committee with a message from President Franklin D. Roosevelt (U.S. House. “The Future of the Great Plains.” (H.Doc 144). Febr. 10, 1937. U.S. Congressional Serial Set. Available from Readex; accessed 8/31/15). Numerous photographs, tables and maps document the drought conditions that had overtaken the central United States, an uncanny echo of today’s conversations around drought in the West.

The report also outlined recommendations to change the way agriculture had previously operated in the region, such as conserving and effectively using water resources, increasing the size of farms, creating grazing associations, controlling erosion through better plowing methods and alternative cropping plans and more.

“Whatever program is adopted must be cooperative and will require complementary lines of action by the Federal Government, State Governments and all the citizens of the region individually,” Roosevelt implored in his message. “Each has material interests at stake and can no longer afford to defer constructive action; each has moral responsibility for unwitting contributions to the causes of the present situation; and especially each has responsibility for undertaking lines of action essential to effectiveness of action by the others.”

 

 

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A statement from President Bernardo regarding syllabi https://news.wsu.edu/2015/08/31/public-statement-from-wsu-regarding-syllabi-issue/ https://news.wsu.edu/2015/08/31/public-statement-from-wsu-regarding-syllabi-issue/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 20:27:05 +0000 https://news.wsu.edu/?p=141029 PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University deeply values the tenets of freedom of expression for every member of our community, including all students, faculty and staff. Those First Amendment rights are reinforced in our policies, procedures and practices. Open dialogue, vigorous debate and the free exchange of ideas, as well as the language used to … Continue reading A statement from President Bernardo regarding syllabi

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PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University deeply values the tenets of freedom of expression for every member of our community, including all students, faculty and staff. Those First Amendment rights are reinforced in our policies, procedures and practices. Open dialogue, vigorous debate and the free exchange of ideas, as well as the language used to convey these ideas, are at the core of who we are as a higher education institution.

Over the weekend, we became aware that some faculty members, in the interest of fostering a constructive climate for discussion, included language in class syllabi that has been interpreted as abridging students’ free speech rights. We are working with these faculty members to clarify, and in some cases modify, course policies to ensure that students’ free speech rights are recognized and protected. No student will have points docked merely as a result of using terms that may be deemed offensive to some. Blanket restriction of the use of certain terms is not consistent with the values upon which this university is founded.

Free speech and a constructive climate for learning are not incompatible. We aim to cultivate diversity of expression while protecting individual rights and safety.

To this end, we are asking all faculty members to take a moment to review their course policies to ensure that students’ right to freedom of expression is protected along with a safe and productive learning environment.

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Culture of clean: SRC strives to stay vibrant, healthy https://news.wsu.edu/2015/08/31/culture-of-clean-src-strives-to-stay-vibrant-healthy/ https://news.wsu.edu/2015/08/31/culture-of-clean-src-strives-to-stay-vibrant-healthy/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 19:59:13 +0000 https://news.wsu.edu/?p=141018 By Steve Nakata, Administrative Services PULLMAN, Wash. – When Washington State University opened its Student Recreation Center (SRC) in 2001, students were in awe of the state-of-the art $40-million facility. It quickly became the hot spot on campus. Fast forward 14 years and it’s still one of the most heavily used buildings at WSU. What … Continue reading Culture of clean: SRC strives to stay vibrant, healthy

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Dusting the rafters. (Photos by Sarah Page, WSU Administrative Services) Grinding swimming pool surfaces. Mopping the weight room.

By Steve Nakata, Administrative Services

PULLMAN, Wash. – When Washington State University opened its Student Recreation Center (SRC) in 2001, students were in awe of the state-of-the art $40-million facility. It quickly became the hot spot on campus. Fast forward 14 years and it’s still one of the most heavily used buildings at WSU.

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SRC facilities director Jeff Elbracht drives a floor cleaner. (Photos by Sarah Page, WSU Administrative Services)

What keeps the students coming back? The opportunity to exercise and recreate is the obvious answer. But it’s more than that. The SRC provides an atmosphere that is inviting, friendly and clean.

That’s right, clean! WSU students are adamant about being able to exercise in a vibrant, healthy and clean facility.

The SRC staff takes that sentiment to heart. Aside from its rigorous daily cleaning routine, it closes the facility twice a year for a major scrub-down. In August and December, the SRC has what if affectionately calls Closed Week—seven straight days of mopping, dusting, shampooing, refinishing—whatever it takes to return the facility to its original luster.

Read all of this article published by NIRSA – the national organization for college recreation professionals – at  http://nirsa.net/nirsa/2015/08/27/a-culture-of-clean-wall-to-wall-ceiling-to-floor-wsus-student-recreation-center-strives-to-stay-immaculate/.

Cleaning mats. Working on the climbing wall. Washing windows.

 

 

 

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Oct. 1-2: Enhancing curricula with technology explored https://news.wsu.edu/2015/08/31/oct-1-2-enhancing-curricula-with-technology-explored/ https://news.wsu.edu/2015/08/31/oct-1-2-enhancing-curricula-with-technology-explored/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 19:27:09 +0000 https://news.wsu.edu/?p=141011 PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University for the second year will host an international conference about improving teaching with technology. The Technology-enhanced Curricula in Higher Education (TECH-Ed) Conference will be Oct. 1-2 in the CUB. Registration costs $125; or $95 for WSU faculty and $50 for students. Register at http://formtool.wsu.edu/education/Signup/index.castle?formid=7. Speakers will include specialists in … Continue reading Oct. 1-2: Enhancing curricula with technology explored

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ed-tech-conferencePULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University for the second year will host an international conference about improving teaching with technology. The Technology-enhanced Curricula in Higher Education (TECH-Ed) Conference will be Oct. 1-2 in the CUB.

Registration costs $125; or $95 for WSU faculty and $50 for students. Register at http://formtool.wsu.edu/education/Signup/index.castle?formid=7.

Speakers will include specialists in flipped classrooms; online STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education; serious education gaming (SEG); MOOCs (massive open online course); virtual field trips; robotics; augmented reality and more.

“The goal is to explore optimal ways to enhance student engagement, achievement and lifelong learning,” said conference chair Tim Church, a professor in the WSU College of Education, which is a conference co-sponsor with the American Educational Research Association. “Last year was our first year, and it was at the same time fun and informative.”

Learn more at http://www.wsutechedconference.com/.

 

 

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WECO donates optical wine grape sorter for research https://news.wsu.edu/2015/08/31/weco-donates-optical-wine-grape-sorter-for-research/ https://news.wsu.edu/2015/08/31/weco-donates-optical-wine-grape-sorter-for-research/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 19:04:24 +0000 https://news.wsu.edu/?p=141007 By Erika Holmes, Viticulture & Enology WOODLAND, Calif. – WECO Sorting and Automation Solutions has donated a state-of-the-art optical wine grape sorter worth $71,500 to the new Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Wine Science Center at the Washington State University Tri-Cities campus in Richland, Wash. Researchers and students at the new $23 million center will use … Continue reading WECO donates optical wine grape sorter for research

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By Erika Holmes, Viticulture & Enology

wine-sorting-graphic-80WOODLAND, Calif. – WECO Sorting and Automation Solutions has donated a state-of-the-art optical wine grape sorter worth $71,500 to the new Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Wine Science Center at the Washington State University Tri-Cities campus in Richland, Wash.

Researchers and students at the new $23 million center will use the sorter; it also will be used at collaborating wineries to evaluate its applications.

After stems are removed from grapes, the sorter removes all material other than grapes (MOG). It uses advanced cameras, LEDs (light-emitting diodes) and software technology to identify remaining stems, insects, unripe and damaged fruit and raisins. Unwanted items are removed with precise blasts of air, increasing quality and throughput while reducing labor costs.

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WECO’s WineGrapeTek Optical MOG Sorter.

“We are so pleased to be in a position to donate our WineGrapeTek Optical MOG Sorter,” said Eric Horner, vice president of WECO (Woodside Electronics Corp.) and a WSU alumnus. “We think the opportunity for WSU students to be exposed to this technology during their education will provide a great understanding of the benefits.”

Due to a hot summer and early harvest, staff and students have already begun processing grapes at the WSU Wine Science Center. It offers laboratory space and the most technologically advanced experimental winemaking facilities in the world while providing classrooms to train technical personnel for the expanding wine industry in Washington and beyond.

Sorting experiments benefit industry

“The addition of a WECO Optical Sorter to the lineup of grape-sorting technologies we have available at the WSU Wine Science Center creates a wonderful opportunity to run experiments comparing sorting methods,” said Thomas Henick-Kling, WSU viticulture and enology program director. “WECO is not only investing in student learning, but also providing technology that will enable WSU researchers to explore the efficiency and variations in resulting wines that different sorting technologies offer.”

Twine-sorting-graphicechnology is changing wine production around the world, yet few replicated experiments exist because it is too expensive for commercial wineries to run side-by-side comparisons of grape-sorting technologies, said Jim Harbertson, WSU associate professor of wine chemistry.

“At the Wine Science Center, we have a vibrating table that aids winery staff who are hand sorting grapes, and soon we will have the WECO Optical Sorter,” he said. “We can make wines from the same batch of grapes that compare these two technologies against not sorting the grapes at all.

“We might be surprised at the differences in the resulting wines,” he said. “These results could help wineries decide which sorting method is most likely to bring out the aromas and flavors their customers seek.”

Cutting edge technology

WECO started doing trials of the optical sorter in the wine industry in 2010 and has made a number of changes to the design and function. Last year, the company introduced a new camera system that improved performance dramatically.

“We design our machines from the ground up, including the circuit boards and our own custom software, and all machines are built in Woodland, Calif.,” said Don Douglas, president of WECO. “We have been able to leverage our extensive experience in other industries to provide a machine to the wine industry that is compact, easy to use and easy to clean. We are excited about the opportunity to serve the wine industry.”

Based in California, WECO has been designing, manufacturing and servicing electronic sorters for over 30 years and has thousands of units deployed worldwide. The company serves several industries including tomato, walnut, blueberry, cranberry and wine grape. Learn more at http://www.wecotek.com.

Learn more about WSU wine-related research, education and industry partnerships at http://wine.wsu.edu/.

 

Contacts:
Eric Horner, WECO Sorting and Automation Solutions, 425-802-3313, eric@wecotek.com
Erika Holmes, WSU viticulture and enology, 509-372-7223, erika.holmes@wsu.edu

 

 

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Register by Sept. 10 for agricultural technology open house https://news.wsu.edu/2015/08/31/register-by-sept-10-for-agricultural-technology-open-house/ https://news.wsu.edu/2015/08/31/register-by-sept-10-for-agricultural-technology-open-house/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 18:16:20 +0000 https://news.wsu.edu/?p=141002 PROSSER, Wash. – Agricultural automation, robotics, precision agriculture technologies and associated economics research will be showcased at the free Agricultural Technology Day open house noon-3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, at Washington State University’s new Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems (CPAAS) facility on Bunn Road in Prosser. The goal of the event is to … Continue reading Register by Sept. 10 for agricultural technology open house

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apple-robot-80PROSSER, Wash. – Agricultural automation, robotics, precision agriculture technologies and associated economics research will be showcased at the free Agricultural Technology Day open house noon-3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, at Washington State University’s new Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems (CPAAS) facility on Bunn Road in Prosser.

The goal of the event is to educate growers, agricultural industry professionals, crop consultants and researchers about the cutting edge agricultural technologies being researched by the CPAAS affiliate team.

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Sensors measure force and pressure during WSU testing of an apple picking robot. (Photo by Long He, WSU)

Highlights will include: an apple picking robot; an unmanned aerial helicopter for precision farming applications; low energy precision irrigation technology; artificial pollination and mechanical pruning of tree fruits; application technology; and agricultural technology economics, among others.

Certified crop adviser continuing education units (CEUs: 2.5) are available. The event is free but registration is required before Sept. 10. To register, please contact Lav Khot, lav.khot@wsu.edu or 509-786-9302, or Linda Root, lsfleming@wsu.edu or 509-786-9235. Lunch will be provided, courtesy of Wilbur-Ellis Co.

 

Contact:
Lav R. Khot, WSU Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems, 509-786-9302, lav.khot@wsu.edu

 

 

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WSU grad brings story of flight to theaters nationwide https://news.wsu.edu/2015/08/31/wsu-grad-brings-story-of-flight-to-theaters-nationwide/ https://news.wsu.edu/2015/08/31/wsu-grad-brings-story-of-flight-to-theaters-nationwide/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 17:45:17 +0000 https://news.wsu.edu/?p=140998 By Darin Watkins, Edward R. Murrow College of Communication PULLMAN, Wash. – Telling the story of flight has proven to be the adventure of a lifetime for Washington State University graduate Chris Hampel (’97). He is part of a team that visited 18 countries in all seven continents to create the documentary “Living in the … Continue reading WSU grad brings story of flight to theaters nationwide

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By Darin Watkins, Edward R. Murrow College of Communication

Chris-HampelPULLMAN, Wash. – Telling the story of flight has proven to be the adventure of a lifetime for Washington State University graduate Chris Hampel (’97). He is part of a team that visited 18 countries in all seven continents to create the documentary “Living in the Age of Airplanes.”

Distributed by National Geographic and narrated by actor Harrison Ford, the film is showing in IMAX and other theaters nationwide. It tells how, in a single century, flight has grown from the dream of science fiction to part of our everyday experience.

age-of-airplanes“The film reaches out and connects the farthest corners of the globe, just like the airplane,” said Hampel. “It captures the powerful influence commercial aviation has on our daily lives and brings it right into a theater for us all to enjoy and appreciate.”

Visually stunning, the documentary was produced and directed by Brian J. Terwilliger (“One Six Right”) and features an original score by Academy Award-winning composer James Horner (“Avatar,” “Titanic”).

“It is with great pride that I can say my education at The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at WSU fully prepared me for every film I’ve been a part of,” Hampel said. “The inspirational professors, the collaborative student community and the unique hands-on experience of Cable 8 student-run television all shaped and sharpened the tools I use on a daily basis to elevate my career.”

Learn more about “Living in the Age of Airplanes” at http://www.airplanesmovie.com/ and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3915966/. Learn more about Hampel at http://murrowsymposium.wsu.edu/index/Hampel.html.

 

Contact:
Darin Watkins, WSU Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, 509-335-4456, darin.watkins@wsu.edu

 

 

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Sept. 8: International award-winning pianist performs https://news.wsu.edu/2015/08/31/sept-8-international-award-winning-pianist-performs/ https://news.wsu.edu/2015/08/31/sept-8-international-award-winning-pianist-performs/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 17:13:29 +0000 https://news.wsu.edu/?p=140993 PULLMAN, Wash. – International award-winning pianist Albert Tiu will perform “The Four Classical Elements: Earth, Air, Wind and Fire” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, in Bryan Hall at Washington State University. WSU students get in free with ID. Tickets, available at the door, cost $10 for the public and $5 for seniors and non-WSU … Continue reading Sept. 8: International award-winning pianist performs

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Tiu-webPULLMAN, Wash. – International award-winning pianist Albert Tiu will perform “The Four Classical Elements: Earth, Air, Wind and Fire” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, in Bryan Hall at Washington State University.

WSU students get in free with ID. Tickets, available at the door, cost $10 for the public and $5 for seniors and non-WSU students.

Tiu won first prize at the University of South Africa International Piano Competition and won international awards at Calgary, Alberta’s Honens competition; Santander, Spain’s Paloma O’Shea event and Helsinki’s Maj Lind contest.

Tiu is associate professor at the University of Singapore’s Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.

 

Contact:
Sandra Albers, WSU School of Music, 509-335-4148, sandra_albers@wsu.edu

 

 

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