Washington State University Tri-Cities

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Coordinates: 46°19′48.97″N 119°15′48.45″W / 46.3302694°N 119.2634583°W / 46.3302694; -119.2634583

Washington State University Tri-Cities
Consolidated Information Center, WSU Tri-Cities campus Richland.JPG
Consolidated Information Center (CIC), operated jointly by PNNL and WSU, on the WSU Tri-Cities campus in Richland.
Type Public
Established 1989
Endowment $650 million
President Kirk Schulz
Students 1,937
Location Richland, Washington, USA
Colors Crimson and Gray          
Nickname Cougars
Website tricities.wsu.edu

Washington State University Tri-Cities is a campus in the Washington State University system. It is located along the Columbia River in northern Richland, Washington. With upper division and graduate programs, WSU Tri-Cities offers 20 baccalaureate, 17 master’s and 14 doctoral degree programs.[1] The campus added freshman and sophomore courses in fall 2007 to become a true four-year public university, extending the WSU land-grant mission of providing affordable, accessible higher education. WSU Tri-Cities has strong community support and partnerships, particularly with the nearby Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. WSU Tri-Cities also partners with the Miss Tri-Cities Organization, offering a $1,000 scholarship to Miss Tri-Cities in 2010.

WSU Tri-Cities welcomed current Chancellor Sandra Haynes in March 2018.

Washington State University Tri-Cities has been involved in wine related research since the 1930s. The university is now more involved than ever; the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center opened its doors on the WSU Tri-Cities campus June 4, 2015.[2] The center features a research and teaching winery, research laboratories, classrooms, conference rooms and a 3,500 bottle wine library; production costs totaling $23 million. In addition to private support, the Wine Science Center project was funded with $4.95 million from the state and a $2.06-million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. It is built on land donated by the Port of Benton in Richland. No other university in the Pacific Northwest offers such a curricula featuring bachelor and graduate degrees in viticulture and enology, a wine business management program, and a distance education program to earn professional certificates.[3]

The Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory (BSEL) opened May 2008 on the Washington State University (WSU) Tri-Cities campus in Richland, Washington.[4] The $24 million, 57,000-square-foot research and teaching laboratory is a partnership between WSU and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) operated by Battelle. BSEL features the Biorefinery and the Combinatorial Catalysis Research Lab, plus a variety of laboratories and classrooms. The facility establishes the Tri-Cities as a center for world-class bio-based product research and development, creates a magnet for prominent scientists, and helps the Northwest agriculture industry be more competitive.

View of the Columbia River just down from WSU Tri-Cities campus. Photo credit: Esther Flatau

The WSU Tri-Cities campus has a neighboring bike path that follows the Columbia River and connects to nearby parks in Richland, WA. With campus access to the river, there is currently an artist-led proposal and plan to fabricate a functional and innovative dock to enhance the local curriculum and student-life opportunities, foster a new sense of community for the student body, and open the door for continued interdisciplinary projects and research across the campus.

The Art Center at WSU Tri-Cities exhibits the work of impactful local, national, and international artists; often student work is showcased throughout the year. Washington State University Fine Art Professors, Peter Christenson and Douglas Gast, curate this space, often selecting work based on new technologies and contemporary practices. Social practice artists, for example, have utilized The Art Center to interact with and engage the community and regional creative class through participatory and "subject-based" art.[5] See past exhibitions.

The Simulation and Integrated Media for Instruction, Assessment, and Neurocognition (SIMIAN) Lab on the WSU Tri-Cities campus provides support for research into Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Neurocognition measurement[6][7][8]. The lab includes equipment to design and implement studies on the impact of VR and AR technologies on K-16 pedagogy. At the same time, the lab uses Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) to measure brain activity in real time learning and testing situations. The SIMIAN Lab has partnerships with the Washington State University's College of Education, College of Fine Arts, and the College of Engineering, and supports projects in computer programming, art, and educational research. Dr. Jonah B. Firestone is the Principal Investigator for the SIMIAN Lab and works in partnership with similar labs at the Washington State University Pullman campus and SUNY University at Buffalo.

History[edit]

Washington State University Tri-Cities was established as one of three regional campuses for Washington State University in 1990.[1] From 1989 to early 1990 it was Tri-City University Center. Prior to 1989 it was the Joint Center for Graduate Study, which was formed in the Autumn quarter of 1969 and offered courses in graduate level technical and management topics sponsored by a consortium of universities from the Pacific Northwest composed of Washington State University, the University of Washington, and Oregon State University.[9][10]

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