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Teaching Innovation Forum coming up

Sola Adesope will be one of the featured presenters at the Teaching Innovation Forum on Feb. 20.

If you’re an instructor looking for ways to engage with the University’s Drive to 25 and the Strategic Plan, next week’s Teaching Innovation Forum is a great place to start.

Teaching is central to our mission as a University. It’s a challenging job, but an incredibly rewarding one when we’re able to connect with students and see the transformative experience before our eyes.

We know that an engaging teacher can bring subjects to life for students. Most of us involved in higher education had at least one, and usually multiple instructors who served as inspiration for our career paths.

Our 2015 National Survey of Student Engagement data shows that WSU scores well compared with our peers when it comes to student-faculty interactions. It’s a sign that our dedicated faculty are motivating our students, and providing a stimulating teaching experience.

Faculty are encouraged to pursue lifelong learning, not only in their fields of expertise, but also in the field of teaching. The Teaching Innovation Forum is a great way to explore new teaching techniques, hone and refresh your skills, and share ideas with colleagues.

The Office of Academic Outreach and Innovation will host the Teaching Forum on February 20 in CUE 518 and 512. It will run from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and includes a networking lunch, courtesy of AOI.

The days’ topics are varied, but instructors will find them practical and informative. WSU faculty will present on: “Teaching International Students,” “Backward Redesign of Courses,” “How to Engage Students Using the Experiential Learning Model,” and, “Teaching and Learning with Concept Maps.”

Please RSVP for the Teaching Innovation Forum before Friday, Feb. 17.

If you have comments or questions about this post, or any other matter concerning the Office of the Provost, please email to

Former top military advisor: Strategic atrophy plagues U.S.


By Linda Weiford, WSU News

Retired four-star general James Mattis, who once led the United States’ most high-profile military command, addressed a large audience at Washington State University on Tuesday with a word of warning: Turmoil in the Middle East is getting worse and it won’t improve soon.

As a Marine Corps combat veteran in charge of U.S. Central Command 2010-13, Mattis oversaw military operations in areas that included the hot spots of Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

At the Provost’s Invited Address, sponsored by WSU’s Office of the Provost, he said the White House must take a “strategic, historically sound approach,” in supporting peace and prosperity in the Middle East. “The strategy-free stance is not working,” he told the crowd, and the solution is about more than fighting battles.

The next president should focus on keeping America safe by implementing a strategy that includes strengthening and broadening our foreign allies, said Mattis. He cited the crucial role of the United Nations and NATO countries in upholding international norms to oppose extremists who support terrorism.

“’There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies, and that is fighting without them,” he said, quoting Britain’s wartime prime minister Winston Churchill. “The problems emanating from the Middle East can’t be contained in the Middle East,” he said, emphasizing the importance of “finding counties abroad who will stand up with us.”

Building allies will demonstrate a mission of common interest to terrorists and also project strength – and a degree of humility – he said.

“We need those outside relationships. We need to stay engaged in the world and resist isolationism,” he said.

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Mattis was born in Pullman and graduated from Central Washington State University in 1972. Nicknamed the “warrior monk” for his legendary part- soldier and part-scholar ethos, he recently declined bids to run as a third party presidential candidate.

Revered ‘warrior monk’ general to speak at WSU

Contact: Kristina Peterson-Wilson, WSU Office of the Provost, 509-335-8915,  

PULLMAN, Wash. – Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis – who recently declined bids to enter the U.S. presidential election as a third-party candidate – will present a free, public talk at Washington State University at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, in the CUB junior ballroom.

Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis
Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis

Widely recognized as a straight-talking yet humble man of brilliance and strategic insight, he will discuss efforts that the United States should and should not undertake to support peace and prosperity in the Middle East. 

Born in Pullman and raised in Richland, Wash., Mattis served 40 years in the Marine infantry, much of it in the Middle East. He commanded the U.S. Joint Forces Command and later served as head of Central Command until his retirement in 2013. He is a scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. 

He has never married and he earned the nickname “warrior monk” from those who served under him because he devoted his life to studying and fighting war.

His address: “A Way Ahead for the United States in the Middle East” will be broadcast via AMS (videoconference) for remote participants. His visit is sponsored by WSU’s Office of the Provost. For more information, go to:

Find this news release at WSU News online at

Provost wears bee beard to raise awareness of bees and research

Provost Dan Bernardo, right, wears his "bee beard" along with Tim Lawrence, middle, and Steve Sheppard.
Provost Dan Bernardo, right, wears his “bee beard” along with Tim Lawrence, middle, and Steve Sheppard.

Washington State University Provost Dan Bernardo didn’t break a sweat as a few thousand honey bees formed a beard on his face for a good cause.

“Initially, there’s this scratchiness, sort of moving sensation,” Bernardo said. “It’s very noisy, maybe a little nerve-wracking. But I wasn’t nervous. We had paramedics and every bee expert within 1,000 miles here, so I figured I was in good hands.”

The event was part of a kick-off to the campaign to raise awareness of honey bee health and funding for a new Honey Bee and Pollinator Research Center at WSU.

Bernardo and Washington beekeeper Eric Olson have agreed to match all donations made to the campaign by June 30, up to $25,000.

Also standing for a bee beard was Paul Stamets, founder and president of Fungi Perfecti. Stamets, who has worked with WSU bee researchers on ways to use mycelia to help bees. At today’s event, Stamets donated $50,000 to the bee center to help kick off the campaign.

“I believe in the intelligence of nature,” Stamets said. “I study fungi, and I think using mushroom mycelium to help the bees will be key to saving them. We want to give back to bees what they give to us. I hope this small donation will go a long way to help the bees.”

The total cost of the facility will be $16 million, and the goal is to raise all of that money from private donations, meeting full construction cost-analysis obligations.

The 15,000-square-foot research facility will include a diagnostics lab, a cryogenic germplasm repository, a molecular lab and controlled atmosphere rooms, solving current space and research shortages.

“Bees are vital to our food systems,” said Steve Sheppard, chair of the WSU Department of Entomology and bee scientist. “This building will help us better support colony health and improve Washington agriculture.”

In addition to research labs, the new building will include a screened observation area, allowing the public to watch bees in demonstration gardens. It will also include classrooms and instructional facilities, something the program currently lacks.

The facility will host visiting scientists from around the world, who come to Pullman to learn the latest techniques for cryogenic storage or to conduct research.

“Having a center like this will provide resources for honey bee research equal to those anywhere in the world,” Sheppard said. “We’re already doing great work, but having better facilities and equipment would give us a huge boost.”

The new center would be near the Eggert Family Organic Farm on the east side of the Pullman campus.

Visit to learn more. Click on “Support the Facility” to make a donation.


Steve Sheppard, WSU entomologist, 509-335-0481,


A time-lapse video is posted to YouTube and available for use, as needed.

Washington wildfires address available online

Peter Goldmark, Washington’s Commissioner of Public Lands, discussed the devastating 2015 wildfires, and the resources needed to prevent, and fight fires in the years ahead, at the inaugural Provost’s Invited Address on Jan. 26 in the CUB Junior Ballroom. A standing-room only crowd heard Goldmark reflect on the historic 2015 fire season and unveil his plan for the future.

View Dr. Goldmark’s address here.


Peter Goldmark is the 13th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889, and the fifth Commissioner to manage the Department of Natural Resources, an agency which assumed its current form in 1957. He was elected by the people of Washington in 2008 and began his first four-year term in January 2009. In November 2012, voters reelected him to serve a second four-year term as Commissioner of Public Lands.

A scientist by training and a Washington native, Goldmark was raised on his family’s ranch in the Okanogan Highlands.  After receiving his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1971, he traveled to Harvard University for a postdoctoral fellowship in neurobiology. In 1972 he returned to Washington to raise his family, run his own business and make a life as a rancher.

Washington State University