Featured News - Scholarship

Timely Research – PLU faculty member engage in research critical to today and tomorrow

November 1, 2021 – NEH (Scholarly Editions and Translations) grant awarded to Rebecca Wilkin, French Professor, and her collaborator Angela Hunter, English Professor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for their ongoing project “An Edition and Translation of Selections from Louise Dupin’s Philosophical Treatise, The Work on Women.”; Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award received by Corey Cook, Assistant Professor of Psychology for his project “Investigating the influence of fundamental motives on social cognition.”; NSF (Robert Noyce Scholarship Program) grant awarded to Ksenija Simic-Muller, Associate Professor of Mathematics, for her project “Supporting the Development of Mathematics Preservice Teacher’s Critical Consciousness through Statistical Investigations of Systemic Racism.”

Charged Up – Professor Dean Waldow explores the future of batteries while training future chemists

November 1, 2021 – PLU Chemistry Professor hopes to one day become useless. After all, as an educator, his job is to empower students to work confidently and independently in a field that is constantly innovating. He does this by bringing students into his lab to help him build a better battery. It’s a goal he has been working toward for more than a decade. Over the years, close to 30 students have been involved in the process.

Scholarship, Sleep, and Self in the Pandemic

May 13, 2021 – Nancy Simpson-Younger sits at her desk, poised to explain how communicating remotely is completely different from speaking face-to-face, when a loud bang sounds from behind her.

Dr. Torvend on Sustainability in Monastic Communities

May 11, 2021 – Dr. Samuel Torvend spent his sabbatical during the 2019-20 school year researching environmental consciousness and sustainability in early medieval monastic communities.

PLU professors and students dive deep into the psychology of the pandemic

April 26, 2021 – As the world was beginning to realize the enormity of COVID-19, two PLU professors, PLU Department of Psychology Chair Jon Grahe, and Assistant Professor of Psychology Corey Cook, seized the 2020 moment to do significant research onto the psychology of the pandemic.

PLU’s Lathiena Nervo discusses her work and being named one of the “1,000 inspiring Black scientists in America”

February 2, 2021 – Pacific Lutheran University Assistant Professor of Biology Lathiena Nervo was recently named one of Cell Mentor’s “1,000 inspiring Black scientists in America.” A developmental biologist in her second year at PLU, Nervo is equally passionate about teaching, biological research, and increasing diverse representation in science. She recently spoke with PLU News about her recent honor, her motivations as an educator and scientist, and her experience thus far at PLU.

​By the Numbers: PLU Professor Collaborates on a New Artwork Illuminating the Beauty of Math

January 28, 2021 – PLU mathematics professor Jessica Sklar is one of 23 collaborators creating a notable work of art, soon touring the nation. Called Mathemalchemy, the installation celebrates the beauty and creativity of mathematics. The finished piece will be about 16 x 8 feet in area and 9 1/2 feet high, and surrounded by blackboards that viewers can write upon.


Professor Rick Barot discusses being longlisted for the National Book Award and teaching creative writing during a pandemic

December 3, 2020 – Rick Barot is a highly acclaimed national figure in poetry whose 2020 collection “The Galleons” was recently longlisted for the National Book Award. He’s also a dedicated creative writing teacher, serving as an English professor at Pacific Lutheran University and the director of the Rainier Writing Workshop – PLU’s low-residency creative writing MFA program.

Pandemic Performance: PLU theatre professor Jeff Clapp directs a live-stream virtual play

November 12, 2020 – One thing about artists is their ability to find creative solutions during the unpredictability of the coronavirus pandemic. Adapting to COVID-19, the PLU Theatre and Dance Department has done just that to bring The Christians, a play about faith in America and the trouble with changing your mind, to your living room via live stream.

Evolutionary psychologist Corey Cook from Pacific Lutheran University Speaks on the Dangers of Implicit Bias

September 25, 2020 – We’re trying to have more meaningful conversations about racism as a country. Part of that means talking about implicit bias — assumptions and stereotypes that may influence our decisions and actions without us even realizing it. Implicit bias can have many harmful consequences: The customer who’s accused of stealing; the grad student being told they’re in the wrong room; the driver being pulled over for no reason. And in some cases, these biases can lead to violence.

PLU French professor receives a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

September 17, 2020 – The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently awarded Pacific Lutheran University Professor of French Rebecca Wilkin a $133,333 grant under the Scholarly Editions and Translations interest area.

New book by Prof. Maria Chávez honored by American Political Science Association Latino Caucus

August 18, 2020 – The most recent book by Maria Chávez, professor of political science, has been honored with the Latino Politics Best Book Prize by the American Political Science Association Latino Caucus.


Acclaimed poet Rick Barot, director of PLU MFA program, shares a poem titled “The Field”

July 13, 2020 – Rick Barot has published four poetry collections, including, most recently, “The Galleons.” He directs the Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, Washington. Publication includes audio read by the author.

PLU, Dean Waldow receive NSF grant to continue lithium-ion battery research

April 30, 2020 – The National Science Foundation has awarded PLU and Professor of Chemistry Dean Waldow a $230,000 grant over three years to continue his research with students into polymers and ion conductors that could revolutionize the lithium-ion batteries used in cars and other vehicles.

The Power of Faculty Mentorship

January 15, 2020 – A vital part of Pacific Lutheran University’s academic experience is the opportunity for students to build relationships with faculty members working in the career fields those students want to pursue. Faculty mentorship can help strengthen a student academically, give career-related advice or feedback, be a sounding board for ideas and experiences, assist with networking — and ultimately bridge the connection from PLU to real career opportunities using their skills.

PLU professor Dean Waldow charges up his students while building a better battery

November 20, 2019 – Dr. Dean Waldow, professor of chemistry at PLU, recently won the Lynnwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award. Waldow has been working closely with undergraduate students on a replacement for the flammable material in lithium ion batteries.


Jordan Levy: Anthropology and a Just Society

November 15, 2019 – When Jordan Levy first visited Honduras in high school, he had no idea that someday he’d be serving as an expert witness on Honduras in the U.S. court system. Today, Levy is a specialist in contemporary Honduras and an assistant professor in Pacific Lutheran University’s anthropology department. His research has focused on Honduran governance after the 2009 military coup and the out migration patterns that followed.

PLU’s Dr. Dean Waldow recognized with prestigious Lynwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award

November 9, 2019 – In recognition of his impactful work as an academic researcher and mentor, Pacific Lutheran University’s Dr. Dean Waldow has been awarded the Lynwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award by the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust.