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Hidden Life of Trees

The Hidden Life of Trees

Join us for our 6th meeting of the WWU Alumni Association Book Club on Wednesday, November 10. Sandra Alfers, Professor of German and Director of the Ray Wolpow Institute,  will be moderating a discussion on The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohllenben.

You can join the Book Club Group in WE Connect to catch any book club announcements, as well as connect with your fellow book club members between monthly meetings.

Make sure to pick up a copy of the book from your favorite local bookstore, and register for the November Book Club meeting through the link below.

PS - If you are unable to finish the book we would still love to have you join us for good conversation. We hope you will take part in this casual event, and enjoy a drink or snack during our time together!

Register Here for the Virtual Book Club

Click here for more information about the alumni book club November virtual event

CHSS at a Glance

We are proud to be the largest college at WWU with fourteen departments and three interdisciplinary programs, offering over 50 bachelor's degrees and 12 graduate degrees. Our faculty have a record of excellence in their scholarly activities, teaching, and service to the community, college, and university.

55

Undergraduate Degree Programs

3,483

Undergraduates

197

Graduate Students

83%

Job/Graduate School Placement

College Showcase

Meet the 2021 Presidential Scholars

Photo of Brahm

Brahm VanWoerden of Bellingham graduated magna cum laude and with university honors in June with a bachelor's degree in Spanish and linguistics.

VanWoerden worked closely with Assistant Professor Jordan Sandoval and Senior Instructor Kirsten Drickey on the Curriculum Development Team researching pronunciation instruction. He presented his work on campus, at the Northwest Linguistics Conference at the University of Washington and at the Cornell Undergraduate Linguistics Conference, among others. VanWoerden was also a well-regarded teaching assistant in linguistics, where he was known for his ability to convey key concepts in accessible ways without losing complexity.

He was a student facilitator in Western’s Employee Language Program, working with faculty and staff to develop their Spanish language skills. The experience inspired VanWoerden to pursue teaching as a career and he plans to return to Western after graduation to complete a Masters in Teaching degree and become a high school Spanish teacher. Out of the classroom, VanWoerden was also president of Western’s men’s rugby club team, finding ways to keep the team together even when they couldn’t always practice together during the pandemic. A graduate of Bellingham High School, VanWoerden is the son of Sarah and Trevor VanWoerden. 

Please read the full Western Today article: Meet the 2021 Presidential Scholars 

Social Sciences Division: Summer Pascual

Photo of Summer

Summer Pascual of San Jose, California, graduated cum laude in June with a bachelor's degree in psychology. Pascual immersed herself in research during her time at Western and was devoted to projects that build on our understanding of equity and liberation.

Much of her work focused on body neutrality, or what our bodies can do rather than what they look like. Working with Assistant Professor Anna Ciao, Pascual was a leader in the EVERYbody project, training peers to deliver a curriculum of body acceptance to college students. She also worked with a Toronto non-profit organization to develop a manual for a body image acceptance program for LGBTQIA+ middle schoolers, and she is part of another body image program tailored to students at Shuksan Middle School in Bellingham. She also researched race and prejudice with Assistant Professor Alex Czopp.

Pascual was outspoken in class, often sharing a nuanced perspective on racial equity. These conversations had lasting impact on faculty members, who say they changed the ways they approach equity in their own work. Meanwhile, Pascual took pleasure in learning from classmates with different perspectives, and loved introducing people from different backgrounds to each other. Over the next year, Pascual will continue her research work with Ciao and Czopp and plans to apply to a clinical doctorate program in psychology with an emphasis on marginalized identities.

She hopes for a career that combines teaching, research and working with clients in a psychology practice of her own. A graduate of Branham High School in San Jose, she’s the daughter of Carmina and Rhoniel Pascual. 

Please read the full Western Today article: Meet the 2021 Presidential Scholars 

WWU student Michael Dunning learns how to transplant and fill in the gaps of a rice field, Vietnam, 2014

History Department's Mart Stewart receives teaching award from Agricultural History Society

WWU Professor of History Mart Stewart has been awarded the Inaugural James C. Giesen Teaching Excellence Award in Agricultural and Rural History by the Agricultural History Society, awarded to a nominee who has achieved distinction in the teaching of agricultural and rural history.  The colleagues and students who nominated Stewart and the Giesen Award Committee cited several features of his teaching record as distinctive. 

According to the Award Committee, “(Stewart's) teaching career has highlighted the social, environmental, political, and economic facets of making a living from the land. He has thought deeply about the significance of rural people and their experiences, not only bringing his own research to bear in the classroom but also in the field experiences he has developed for students.”

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