Arts and Humanities, CAH, CAH Alumni, CAH Faculty, CAH Staff, CAH Students, Central Washington University, College of Arts and Humanities, CWU, CWU Alumni, Liberal Arts, Marketing, Owened Media, Uncategorized

Liberal Arts are Relevant: Now and Forever

Looking back upon the last two-plus years at CWU’s College of Arts and Humanities, I am more convinced than ever that our college cannot be beat when it comes to mentoring and preparing our immensely confident and talented students for the careers of tomorrow.

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Our disciplines have long histories, but their relevancy has only increased, especially when it comes to our digital world of discovery.

In many cases across our college and the entire university, we prepare students to employ specific applied skills, honed through classroom study and practiced through internships, research, and other forms of outside applied learning. But in the College of Arts and Humanities, we also see it as our enduring job to teach our students to take joy in the lifelong process of learning, regardless of the subject or discipline.

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When I was recently asked, “What was the biggest surprise of my tenure as dean of the College of Arts and Humanities,” I replied that it was the combined grit and modesty of our successful alums and future-oriented students.

Our alums and our students instinctively know that grit and determination are essential for sustained success. And our faculty regularly exemplify these values as they interact with students inside and outside the classroom – as educators, mentors, and friends.

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College of Arts and Humanities alums and students do not expect to be given anything. They understand the value of deep work, focus, and determination. When they earn hard-fought rewards, they realize that the journey has not ended. They recognize their college education as a great privilege.

Telling The Story of the CWU College of Arts and Humanities

During the past two-plus years, we embraced the process of marketing our college through the effective use of owned media. This communication platform is primarily digital in nature. We have used digital technology to tell the story of our exciting college and dynamic departments/interdisciplinary programs through our revamped website, this LaunchPad blog, social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram …), a viral college video, and updated college icons to present a new and fresh image to the university, community, region, and the world.

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Events planning is an integral component of the Owned Media Platform, and we never rested in supporting our departments and programs as they organized a multitude of events on campus, in downtown Ellensburg, and in Seattle – including alumni days, year-end celebrations, the Seattle Showcase, lectures and readings, college days, musical concerts, and art fairs. Amidst this whirlwind of activity, we occasionally needed to take a breath, and appreciate our accomplishments.

We are especially grateful for Ellensburg, our bucolic college town located in a picturesque valley at the base of the Cascades. This lovely small town offers everyone, including students, staff, and faculty, a sense of belonging, warmth, friendship, and community. Moreover, Ellensburg exemplifies the promise of the Pacific Northwest, slow enough to enjoy and appreciate life, but fast enough to compete with the growing economies of the Pacific Rim.

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Our graduation ceremonies this coming weekend will be my last official events as the dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. These coming days will be difficult as I say goodbye to so many lifelong friends and colleagues that I have come to know during the past 30 months.

I will always remember Central Washington University as a place in which the unlikely becomes possible. Consider that 40 percent of our students are first-generation college graduates, half are transfers, and many are non-traditional. The success of our students represents so much more than a degree. It means transforming families. It means hope for new generations of immigrants. It means achievements beyond one’s dreams.

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Central Washington University’s College of Arts and Humanities is better than ever, and most of all, more relevant than ever. We stand ready to meet every new challenge posed by our increasingly complex data-driven, digital society.

Bring it on!

By Stacey Roberson

Awards, CAH, CAH Social Media, Central Washington University, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of Art, Department of Communication, Department of English, Department of History, Department of music, Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies, Department of Theatre Arts, Department of World Languages and Cultures, Uncategorized

We Are #CAHProud: Celebrating Our 2017 Year-End Celebration Winners

How can a future-oriented liberal arts college celebrate and recognize the talent and achievements of its undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, chairs, and staff from its eight dynamic departments and four diverse interdisciplinary programs?

One way is to take quality time near the conclusion of each academic year to honor those with extraordinary achievements, making our college better as a result of their impressive contributions.

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Another way is to salute our eight departments through a cavalcade of unique posters, leading from the SURC Ballroom entrance to our college’s 2017 Year-End Celebration right up to the podium.

And let’s not forget that each one of these theatre-style posters included our hashtag: #CAHProud.

We are indeed, #CAHProud.

Who is better at telling our story of overachievement than each of our departments? Consider the contributions of our Department of Art in nurturing the skills of students dreaming of painting, sculpting, and designing the next masterpiece.

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How about our Department of Communication, offering degrees in Communication Studies, Digital Journalism, and Public Relations, thus preparing the next generation of story tellers to advocate and report the news, stories, and information that society needs.

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Our Department of English aims to develop scholars in the world’s Lingua Franca, and recently received the state’s only “Big Read” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

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Our Department of History prepares our students to succeed as evidenced by alumnus Lori Bohn, a Boeing Systems Planner. The department emphasizes both historical knowledge and historical modes of understanding.

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Our recent “Community Day of Music” was the centerpiece for our poster presenting our Department of Music. The department prepares students for careers in music, providing them with the skills to become knowledgeable and confident music educators, performers, and practitioners.

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There are three primary reasons to major in philosophy or religious studies: Earn more, score higher, love what you do. Philosophy majors are paid well because employers want talented people who can think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems.

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The Department of Theatre Arts produces fabulous shows each season (e.g., Chicago, The Musical and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream), both on the main stage and in studio (workshop) settings. These opportunities and many others allow students to put classroom theory into practice as part of the regular season of Central Theatre Ensemble, the department’s production wing.

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Study abroad (e.g., Spanish Professor Dr. Eric Mayer’s student hike along Spain’s legendary Camino de Santiago de Compostela) are among the opportunities provided by our Department of World Languages and Cultures. The department offers majors in five languages, and minors in eight more.

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Besides extolling our eight dynamic departments, the main purpose of the College of Arts and Humanities Year-End Celebration was to recognize the accomplishments of our award winners:

Undergraduate Awards:

Thomas Gause Award for Achievement in Music: Composition, Taylor Griffin

Betty E. Evans Award for Achievement in Creative Writing: Poetry, Jason Days

CAH Award for Achievement in Non-Fiction Writing: Creative Writing: Joshua Swainston

The George Stillman Award for Achievement in Art, Austin Harris

CAH Award for Achievement in Performance: Live Performance, Joshua Johnson

Raymond Smith Award for Achievement in Scholarship, Sophia Andarovna

Marji Morgan Outstanding Student Award, Omar Manza

Marji Morgan Outstanding Student Award, McKenzie Lakey

Graduate Awards:

Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship Award, Lexi Renfro

Outstanding Graduate Student Artistic Achievement Award, Brock Jensen

Faculty Awards:

Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, Gary Bartlett (Philosophy and Religious Studies)

Outstanding Faculty Research Award, Cesar Garcia (Communication)

Outstanding Faculty Artistic Achievement Award, Vijay Singh (Music)

Outstanding Faculty Service Award, Michael Johnson (World Languages)

Outstanding Non-Tenure Track Faculty Teaching Award, Kirsten Boldt-Neurohr (Music)

Achievement Award for Inclusivity and Diversity, Cynthia Coe (Philosophy and Religious Studies)

Outstanding Employee Award, Sara Carroll (Music)

Outstanding Department Chair Award, Marji Morgan (Communication)

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Most of all, our Year-End Celebration provided all of us an opportunity to thank Dr. Marji Morgan for her leadership, her track record as college dean for nearly a decade, and for her willingness to serve as the interim chair of our Department of Communication for the past two years.

Starting this coming fall, Marji will return to teaching History. She will always be a great mentor, advisor, confident and most of all a wonderful friend.

Now, that calls for a Year-End Celebration!

By Stacey Robertson

Alumni, Alumni Engagement, Central Washington University, College of Arts and Humanities, CWU, CWU Alumni, Liberal Arts, Lifelong Learning, Personal Branding, Uncategorized

The Proven Flexibility of Liberal Arts Degrees

What can you do with a Liberal Arts degree?

How about transforming a bachelor’s degree in History into becoming a successful systems planner for Boeing?

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How about a successful career as a principal software engineering manager for Microsoft after earning a degree in Music?

Turning an English degree into a lucrative career as a marketing manager of music textbooks?

Or a Philosophy major vaults into the role of a licensed mental health counselor?

Closer to our campus, an Art degree is utilized for a fulfilling career as a professional rodeo photographer?

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Maybe a World Languages degree results in exciting assignments overseas, serving as an interpreter/translator in Japan?

And can a Theatre Arts degree allow a promising and talented student to overcome her fear of public speaking and finally realize her dream of performing as an actress in Seattle?

Liberal arts degrees are clearly in demand. Just ask our eight successful College of Arts and Humanities honorees, who gathered earlier this month to share their experiences and wisdom with our students, faculty, and staff.

These outstanding graduates and career overachievers took quality time out of their busy lives to return to Ellensburg and spend a day with us. They also agreed to mentor fortunate students from each of our eight departments, establishing what will hopefully be a meaningful lifelong friendship.

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Top (left to right): Gretchen Beyer, Molly Morrow, Micaiah Davis, Alex Worland, Alan Page, Dane Madsen, Nuno Fernandes, Trevor Penland, Caroleigh Lawrence
Bottom (left to right): Amy Danneker, Karli Reinbold, Tristan Gorringe, Derek Forsell, Lori Bohn, Garrett Swatzina, Donny Anderson, Stephan Simes

The lineup for our April 11 Wellington Events Center panel:

  • Molly Morrow, Department of Art, Class of 1974, Professional Cowboys Association PhotographerPic4
  • Tristan Gorringe, Department of Communication, Class of 2009, Microsoft Audience Marketing Manager and Events Lead
  • Trevor Penland, Department of English, Class of 2011, W.W. Norton Marketing Manager for Music Textbooks
  • Lori Bohn, Department of History, Class of 1988, Boeing Systems Planner
  • Alan Page, Department of Music, Class of 1988, Microsoft Principal Software Manager
  • Nuno Fernandes, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Class of 2007, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, Licensed Mental Health Counselor
  • Amy Danneker, Department of Theatre Arts, Class of 2005, Seattle Market Professional Actress
  • Donald Anderson, Jr., Department of World Languages and Cultures, Class of 2008, Japanese Language Translator and Interpreter and Instructor for English Language Acquisition (ELA)Pic5

If you carefully review the occupations of this list of alums, each hailing respectively from our eight dynamic departments, only two are directly engaged in their field of study.

The gratifying message is that a liberal arts degree from our college leads to fulfilling careers and flexible, marketable skills.

As several panel members emphatically stated: Our College of Arts and Humanities is “not a vocational school.” Instead, our college embraces, celebrates, and champions lifelong learning and produces creative, smart, and skilled problem-solvers.

Trevor Penland asserted that questions such as, “What are you going to do with an English degree?” need to be promptly vanquished. The reality is that Liberal Arts majors have the talent and the ability to quickly glean vital information and to effectively speak, write, and problem solve.

Tristan Gorringe encouraged students to nurture an authentic personal story, be proactive and intentional in their networking efforts, and most of all, project and promote a unique personal brand.

CWU History alum and now Boeing Systems Planner Lori Bohn advised students to keep changing, learning, and moving – characteristics that are nurtured by their liberal arts backgrounds.

As we head toward our June 10th commencement, seniors are wondering about their next step and how to secure a meaningful job.

Nuno Fernandes counseled students to first and foremost avoid panic, and to stay grounded. Amy Danneker championed “Networking 101” and staying in touch with college colleagues as sometimes it takes only that one special lead to reach full employment.

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Perhaps most important, all of our panelists used their personal success stories to highlight the real power of a liberal arts degree in securing a meaningful career and life. Each projected energy and optimism based upon their proven success and their lifelong commitment to learning how to learn.

Inspiring, generous, and thoughtful, these honorees gave our students superb advice as they embark on their own personal career journeys.

By Stacey Robertson

Central Washington University, College of Arts and Humanities, College of the Sciences, Department of Art, Department of Communication, Department of Psychology, Mental Health, Uncategorized

Promoting Mental Health Awareness Through Art, Psychology, and Public Relations

For many people, mental illness is an uncomfortable topic …

But four public relations seniors from our Department of Communications (from left to right with me in the photo below) – Hunter Ventoza, Nikki Christopherson, Taylor Castillo, and Meghan Lynch – eagerly met the challenge, when last September they found out that promoting mental health awareness was their assignment for the next eight months.

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The student PR team was charged with initiating a campus-wide and community conversation about mental illnesses including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

These four students comprise the 2016-2017 Central Washington University “Bateman” public relations collegiate competition team. The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) annually sponsors this contest in honor of the late PRSA president Carroll Bateman. There are more than 50 schools nationally competing each academic year to most effectively focus attention on an assigned subject.

In this case, student teams were also charged with promoting two non-profits: The Campaign to Change Direction (mental health issues) and Give An Hour (assisting veterans returning from war with PTSD and other maladies).

The Campaign to Change Direction has drawn upon the dynamism of former First Lady Michelle Obama and others, identifying the five signs of mental distress: Personality Change, Agitation, Withdrawal, Poor Self Care, and Hopelessness.

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Our four students were wise enough to know that virtually every effective Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) campaign – earned, owned, and paid media – requires collaboration with allies, in this case other CWU departments, student organizations, and a downtown Ellensburg art gallery.

In particular, our Bateman team coordinated interdepartmentally within the CWU College of Arts and Humanities, reaching out to our Art Department. They also teamed with the Department of Psychology from CWU’s College of the Sciences and its student Psychology Club and Neuroscience Club.

Our Bateman team staged an entire week of awareness events and activities, each day focused on one of the five signs of distress mentioned above. The week began with a panel on mental health moderated by Psychology Assistant Professor Meaghan Nolte.

Flanking Nolte were (from left-to-right below): Ruben Cardenas from our Veterans Center; education student David Sturgell, reflecting on post-war anxiety and PTSD; Rhonda McKinney from our campus Counseling Center; and public relations student Andrew Kollar, discussing depression.

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It required great courage for these two students to openly discuss their illnesses, and to serve as thought leaders for others suffering from mental illness.

The week’s activities also included a campus march, two-days for students to sign a petition board and finally a combined Department of Art/Department of Communication mental health art exhibit at the John Ford Clymer Museum and Gallery.

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The art exhibit, which coincided with Ellensburg’s First Friday celebration, showcased the collaboration between Art and Communication. Two student “artists in residence” – Krista Zimmerman and Lee Sullivan – painted and sketched representations of mental strain in a series of evocative and compelling images.

The four Bateman students were in charge of promoting the entire week to traditional media (e.g., Daily Record, Observer) and digital media (e.g., Facebook and Twitter #EBURGSPEAKS). They also lit a fuse for a student and community discussion about a very difficult subject.

Will we all have the courage to join the conversation?

http://prssa.prsa.org/scholarships_competitions/bateman/

http://www.changedirection.org/

https://www.giveanhour.org/

http://clymermuseum.org/

Arts and Humanities, Central Washington University, College of Arts and Humanities, CWU Department of Communications, Department of Art, Graphic Design, Infographics, LaunchPad, Magazine Journalism, Pulse, Uncategorized

Art + Communication = Collaborative Success in Action

By Stacey Robertson

As Dean of the CWU College of Arts and Humanities for almost two years, I have come to appreciate the distinctiveness of each of our eight dynamic departments and four innovative interdisciplinary programs in serving the needs of our nearly 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students.

As an historian, I also am very familiar with the value of case studies and how they can tell stories of best practices through the use of concrete examples. When it comes to collaboration, there are many examples in the College of Arts and Humanities, highlighting how teamwork can be transformative.

All it takes is a little thinking outside the proverbial box, and exploring how one department’s skill sets can enhance the talents of another. A perfect case study of beneficial collaboration is the work of our Department of Art graphic designers teaming with the journalists from our Department of Communication.

We are all proud of Pulse, our nine-time, award-winning lifestyle online-and-conventional-print magazine, which captured the 2015 Best Student Magazine Mark of Excellence Award from the regional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).
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The Pulse success story begins and ends with collaboration. Professor and mentor extraordinaire Jennifer Green partners with Editor-in-Chief Bailey Williams. They are joined by a dedicated group of 20 editors, photographers, reporter-writers and, notably a team of four graphic designers from the Department of Art including Creative Director Vanessa Cruz.

“What I love the most about the cross-department collaboration at Pulse is seeing how students from different backgrounds are inspired to put their own individual talents and interests to work on behalf of both their team and the publication,” Professor Green said. “This teamwork includes everything from photographs to page layouts, radio podcasts, video segments, web designs and much more.”

Upon taking over as the faculty advisor for Pulse five years ago, Professor Green reached out to the Art Department for design students who could contribute to a complete redesign of the magazine. That decision drew on the contributions of several Art faculty, including most recently Art Professor David Bieloh, and led to Art students becoming a permanent addition to the Pulse team.

“The collaboration with Pulse has been extremely valuable for our graphic design students,” said Professor Bieloh. “This is a team effort where our students get to work together with a professional group of student writers, editors, photographers, and journalists to produce a highly polished lifestyle magazine. They have really all done some beautiful work, and continue to amaze me.”

If you are looking for results of this collaboration, check out the awards garnered by Pulse in the past four-plus years:

2016 – Finalist, Best Student Magazine – Associated College Press (national – one of 22 selected nationwide)
2016 – Fourth place, Feature Magazine – Associated College Press, Best of Show Award
2016 – Honorable Mention, Juried Student Art Show, Central Washington University Art Department
2015 – Winner, Best Student Magazine – Society of Professional Journalists, Mark of Excellence Award (regional)
2015 – Winner, Non-Fiction Magazine Article – Society of Professional Journalists, Mark of Excellence Award (regional)
2015 – Fourth place, Best Student Magazine – Associated College Press, Best of Show Award
2015 – Finalist, Best Use of Multimedia – Society of Professional Journalists, Mark of Excellence Award (regional)
2013 – Finalist, Online Feature Reporting – Society of Professional Journalists, Mark of Excellence Award (regional)
2012 – Third place, Best Student Magazine – Society of Professional Journalists, Mark of Excellence Award (regional)

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Pulse Creative Director Vanessa Cruz, a graphic arts junior, confers with Editor-in-Chief Bailey Williams, a broadcast journalism senior on the next issue of CWU’s lifestyle magazine. Photo by Pulse photographer Jack Lambert

Just taking a few minutes with Pulse editor-in-chief, Bailey Williams, a broadcasting journalism senior from Des Moines, and Vanessa Cruz, a graphic design junior from Tacoma, you can quickly discern that departmental boundaries have no bearing on their successful collaboration. They and their colleagues are all integral parts of the award-winning team.

Vanessa is unabashed in stating that she loves working for the magazine, particularly making each story visually more interesting and compelling. As editor-in-chief, Bailey is always asking how Pulse can more effectively employ photographs and graphics to make a good article into a great story.

Pulse has also been able to send Art students to college journalism conferences nationwide. And the successful collaboration between Communication and Art is extending to another award-winning publication, CWU’s student newspaper, The Observer, under the stewardship of Professor Cynthia Mitchell.

We know from our high-achieving alumni that the collaboration between the Departments of Communication and Art reflect best-practice trends in many industries. No one works in a silo any longer. Many corporations are designing work spaces to encourage teamwork. In providing for and encouraging cross-disciplinary collaboration, we are preparing our students for success as they launch their careers.

There are more case studies of teamwork between and among our departments and programs. We can hardly wait to tell our LaunchPad readers all about them.

 

www.cwupulse.com

Arts and Humanities, Central Washington University, College of Arts and Humanities, Outstanding Employee Award, Staff, Uncategorized, Year-End Celebration

A College Is More Than the Sum of Its Alums, Faculty and Students

By Stacey Robertson

“Vickie (Winegar) consistently demonstrated an ability to rise to any challenge and produce favorable results despite deadline pressures. She is respectful, dependable, creative, motivated, and ambitious … It is these qualities that have made her a ‘go to’ person.” — CAH Administrative Assistant Ashlie Crawford presenting an Outstanding Employee Award to Vickie Winegar

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Looking back at the College of Arts and Humanities (CAH) Alumni Day festivities and the Year-End Celebration and forward to our CWU commencement ceremonies on June 11-12, it would be very easy to concentrate our attention on our overachieving alums, our graduating seniors and our outstanding faculty.

But if we only focused on these events and these particular stakeholders, we would be doing a great disservice to another key group of essential contributors: our staff. They are the invisible heroes, who provide critical support for the entire university.

Thinking Outside of the Box

Coming to Central Washington University from Bradley University in winter 2015, it did not take long for me to come in contact with the name, “Winegars.” In fact anyone with a craving for delicious ice cream or a morning hot-and-creamy mocha can easily visit either of the nearby Winegars.

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For the College of Arts and Humanities, Winegars means more than coffee and ice-cream, it means the tireless efforts and calm, cool, collected counsel of Vickie Winegar. She has now worked for CAH for four years, the first three with our Department of Communication and the last year with our Department of English.

Ms. Winegar is fond of the Silicon Valley phrase, “Thinking outside of the box.” To some it may be an overused metaphor, but to Vickie it is a reflection of entrepreneurial spirit.

“Sometimes you have to be creative,” said Winegar, reflecting on the procedures of academic life. “I don’t see a ceiling. If I see an issue, I am not afraid to ask questions. I am an advocate for my co-workers.”

Ms. Winegar not only knows her way around the corridors of our college and its departments, she knows Ellensburg like the proverbial back of her hand. Since she was seven, she has lived here with the exception of a short-stint in Olympia.

She married into the Winegar family, and she credits her ability to think quickly and creatively to her part-time work for the homemade ice-cream and coffee provider. Before coming to Central Washington University, she was a legal assistant for a criminal law firm, which ultimately she found unfulfilling.

“Because we work behind the scenes, it would be easy for any college to overlook us,” said Ms. Winegar. “It is gratifying to have our accomplishments recognized and saluted.”

Reflecting on her Outstanding Employee Award, Vickie is humbled and appreciative. This award recognizes the tremendous contribution of Vickie Winegar to the overall success of our college. We value and appreciate the daily input of our vital staff to our college, its eight departments and four programs.

Congratulations Vickie!

Arts and Humanities, Central Washington University, CWU Department of Communications, Department of History, Marketing, Uncategorized, Washington Wine

Linking the College of Arts and Humanities to Wonderful Washington Wine

By Stacey Robertson

When that cork pops, an interdisciplinary world is unleashed that connects us with agriculture, science, history, philosophy and religion, literature, poetry, art, business and marketing, world languages, tourism and leisure, culinary studies and more. Let’s pop some corks and enjoy!” – Marji Morgan, Department of Communication interim chair, historian and wine enthusiast.

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My predecessor, mentor, and good friend, Marji Morgan, brilliantly connected all eight departments of the CWU College of Arts and Humanities – Art, Communication, English, History, Music, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Theatre Arts, and World Languages – in an enchanting bottle of Washington wine.

Morgan is more than qualified to discuss this linkage, not only as the former dean of the CWU College of Arts and Humanities for nine years, but also as a renowned historian and a wine enthusiast, hosting her weekly radio show, “Lines on Wines.”

Class was in session earlier this month as Morgan served as the final 2015-2016 academic year presenter for the Celebrating the College of Arts and Humanities Series. Many would not be inclined to consider Washington as a prime wine region — Au Contraire!

In her “Sagebrush to Vineyards: Washington’s Route to the World Wine Map” Morgan introduced the audience of faculty, students, staff, alums and community members to the pioneers of the Evergreen State’s wine industry. These intrepid souls explored fields of high-desert sagebrush and rattlesnakes. More importantly, they found the vision to transform the arid land into row-after-row of Vitis Vinifera (grapes for making wine).

Washington’s terroir, the complete natural and biological environment for producing wine, eventually resulted in the designation of 13 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in the state, all but one east of the Cascades. The very first was established in 1983 in Yakima Valley about 30 miles away from Central Washington University’s main Ellensburg campus.

Morgan explained that Washington’s terroir is one of the most ideal natural environments for producing wine. She opined that France makes wine despite its growing conditions; Washington makes wine because of its ideal growing conditions.

Geography takes a bow as the Cascades to the west and the Rocky Mountains to the north and east, block the respective temperate rain and the Artic air masses. The result is the young Washington vines are repeatedly “stressed” by lack of rainfall, putting their energy into the sweet fruit and making their roots deeper. During a single 24-hour period of time during the summer, the temperature may shift up to 40 degrees, helping to preserve a nice balance between grape sugar and acid.

From an historical point of view, a series of massive-high floods 13,000-to-15,000 years ago (e.g., Missoula Floods) created soil ideal for drainage, low in nutrients, which forces wine vines to reach deeper to find vital minerals.

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Morgan introduced us to a series of Washington wine-making visionaries, each with a unique story that has been featured in her every Wednesday “Lines on Wines” radio show on Ellensburg Community Radio. One of the most successful is Allen Shoup, the former chief executive officer of Chateau Ste. Michelle. During his tenure, he grew the winery’s business from $5 million to a $175 million venture.

Jack of All Trades; Master of None?

Shoup told Morgan that Washington can reach the pinnacle of the wine world, as the state is the only wine region not missing any of the geographical ingredients necessary to grow Vinifera vines and to bottle great wines.

Marji said Washington is adept at growing many red and white varietals, but is not known for any particular varietal. Other wine areas are known for a grape varietal or blend. For example, Oregon is renowned for its pinot noirs; California for its cabernets, Australia for its Shiraz, Germany for its Rieslings and Bordeaux for its blends.

Washington poses a marketing and communication challenge – who are we as a region? The Evergreen State’s wine business is also challenged by low production, compared to its giant competitor to the south, California.

“People don’t learn about wine and become wine drinkers on $30 and $40 bottles,” Morgan told our Speaker Series’ audience. She went on to say that Washington needs more affordable wines, and enough premium wine production to export more bottles out of the state and the country.

There is also the lack of tourist infrastructure (e.g., cozy B&Bs, nice restaurants, art galleries, boutiques), which accompany competing wine regions, such as Oregon’s Willamette Valley, California’s Sonoma and Napa Counties, let alone the legendary vineyards of France, Italy, Spain and Germany.

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Morgan said that following Prohibition, Americans tended to produce and drink primarily sweet, highly fortified wines. This trend did not change until 1969 when the state Legislature eliminated the state tariffs protecting Washington’s fortified wine industry, and allowed competition to thrive and the state’s wines to improve.

Morgan radiates with confidence that Washington’s best wine making and marketing days are yet to come. And with them are opportunities for our art students to design bottle labels, our music students to compose songs about wine, our English students to romance about wine with stories and poems, our World Language students to spread the Washington wine word in many tongues – quite frankly every one of our departments can participate in telling the Evergreen State wine story, and telling it well.

Just like “Lines of Wines” at www.linesonwines.com