Faculty Spotlight

Research and Public History Projects

Ryan Booth

Ryan Booth (PhD 2021) was interviewed for the film Buffalo Soldiers: Fighting on Two Fronts, which debuted at the Seattle International Film Festival in April. He serves as an on-camera expert in the film, which seeks to understand the role the Buffalo Soldiers played in the settlement of the U.S. West and that complicated legacy. Booth was interviewed to speak broadly about the military history of the U.S.–Indian Wars as well as the interactions between the African American Buffalo Soldiers and the Native American Scouts.

Jobs with Justice Rally poster 1988
Laurie Mercier

Laurie Mercier co-curated the exhibit Building Solidarity for 30 Years: Portland Jobs with Justice, which ran at the Oregon Historical Society. Portland Jobs with Justice (JwJ) sought to restore workers’ rights and build working-class power through worker-community alliances. As a leading chapter in the national JwJ network, the Portland JwJ story offers insight into the rise of new strategies to protect workers’ rights that engaged broad coalitions of labor, faith, and social justice groups in both traditional union campaigns and campaigns for the common good.

Furcy, le procès de la liberté [Furcy: The Freedom Suit]
Sue Peabody

Sue Peabody participated in the plenary opening session of the Society for French Historical Studies in Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as a screening of the French documentary, Furcy, le procès de la liberté [Furcy: The Freedom Suit], based upon her award-winning book, Madeleine’s Children: Family, Freedom, Secrets and Lies in France’s Indian Ocean Colonies (Oxford UP, 2017). Together with the director, Pierre Lane, they discussed the making of the film, just released with English subtitles. Peabody hosted another screening of the film at the French Colonial Historical Society meeting.

Clif Stratton
Jeff Sanders

Jeff Sanders and Clif Stratton have been working on a major collaborative project with faculty across the WSU system. Funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Palouse Matters helps introduce students to this region in northeastern Washington. Faculty are developing a series of courses for students to dig deeply into Palouse history and culture. They hope the program will give students a greater understanding of the unique region while also helping them to grow strong roots—building understanding of what it means to be an active citizen and to be part of a community wherever they live. The project is one of 224 education grants for curriculum innovation in the humanities awarded by NEH in 2020.

Fallen Cougars Exhibit
Ray Sun

The “Fallen Cougars” exhibit, overseen by Ray Sun, opened in December 2021. The purpose of this project is to recover the lives and restore the humanity of WSC’s war dead, honoring them in a way that will be accessible to all. Sun has been working with a team of student researchers, and the project is a collaborative effort supported by the WSU Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation (CDSC), the WSU Center for Arts and Humanities, the WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC), and the Department of History.

Matt Sutton

Matt Sutton continues to focus on sharing his research with the general public. His virtual AHA talk last spring is now available on CSPAN as part of a Social Studies lesson plan focused on the most despised U.S. presidents:

He has also partnered with Humanities Washington and WSU’s Foley Institute to offer a series of lectures to community groups around the state. These talks focus on the extraordinary story of the missionaries, priests, and rabbis who played an outsized role in leading the United States to victory in World War II. He has shared this story across Washington, in Seattle, Walla Walla, Spokane, Lacey, Clarkston, and Garfield. Sutton’s talk is based on his 2019 book Double Crossed: The Missionaries Who Spied for the United States During the Second World War.

Video preview: Matthew Sutton speaks on C-SPAN.

Watch Matthew Sutton speak on C-SPAN

Honors and Awards

Bob Bauman

Bob Bauman was presented the WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Excellence Award. This award is given annually to a WSU Tri-Cities faculty member whose research, scholarship, or creative work is exemplary, and whose work has had a positive influence on the broader community.

Robert Franklin
Bob Bauman

Bob Bauman and Robert Franklin won a 2022 Arts and Humanities Fellowship for their book project titled Tri-Cities Latinx Community Oral History Project.

Andra Chastain

Andra Chastain won a 2022 New Faculty Seed Grant for her project titled “Global Urban Histories in the Americas: Santiago, Chile,” which includes support to complete revisions to her book Chile Underground: The Santiago Metro and the Struggle for a Rational City, as well as preliminary research for a new project on the history of urban air pollution in the Americas.

Ken Faunce

Ken Faunce has won the 2022 President’s Distinguished Teaching Award for career-track faculty. This award recognizes faculty members who epitomize the highest levels of performance and excellence and who provide a vital role in teaching WSU students.

Lawrence Hatter

Lawrence Hatter won a 2022 Arts and Humanities Fellowship for the book project The Past is Never Dead: History, Law, and Indigenous Sovereignty on the U.S.-Canadian Border.

Karl Krotke-Crandall

Karl Krotke-Crandall is winner of the 2022 Excellence in Online Teaching Award. This award seeks to acknowledge and reward those faculty teaching Global Campus courses who go the extra mile to inspire and engage students in learning; exhibit support and care about students; and encourage students to do and be their best.

Alan Malfavon

Alan Malfavon won the 2021 Lindon Barrett Award from the University of California Riverside for his essay, “Afro-insurgents and Afro- royalists: Early Mexican War of Independence, Cadiz liberalism, and the role of Afro-descendants, 1810-1813.”

Sue Peabody

The French Colonial Historical Society/Société d’histoire coloniale française has created a new award in honor of WSU Vancouver History faculty member Sue Peabody for her influence on and significance to the field of French Colonial History. The award is to support the travel of a scholar from the Global South to the society’s annual meeting (which meets at many sites associated with French colonial history, from Montreal, Québec, and New Orleans, to Dakar and Siem Reap, but also places like Seattle or San Francisco).

Jesse Spohnholz

Jesse Spohnholz won WSU’s 2022 Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Instruction. This award honors faculty members who epitomize the highest level of excellence in the pursuit of the University’s goals. Spohnholz’s curricular innovations and leadership make him a model for educators nationwide. Spohnholz is founding director of WSU’s Roots of Contemporary Issues program, in which students learn to address controversial issues facing the world in a reasoned manner: using evidence, critical thinking, and clear communication.

Kathleen Whalen

Katy Whalen was awarded the 2022 WSU Libraries Excellence Award. This award recognizes a non-library WSU faculty or staff member who has shown consistent support for the WSU Libraries. 

Aaron Whelchel

Aaron Whelchel won the 2021 University Professional and Continuing Education Association West Region Excellence in Teaching Award. This award honors individuals who have provided outstanding teaching, course development, and mentoring of students; and recognizes those who have made significant contributions to credit or noncredit programs within professional, continuing, or online education.