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Photograph of HEARNE
Photograph of HEARNE
Local hip hop artist to perform at WSU Tri-Cities in honor of Black History Month (Photo) - 02/08/24

RICHLAND, Wash. - In honor of Black History month, Washington State University Tri-Cities will be hosting a free live performance by local hip hop artist HEARNE. The event is open to the public and will take place on Feb. 16 on the WSU Tri-Cities campus. 

Bryan Christopher Hearne, also known by his surname HEARNE, is a multifaceted poet, actor, community organizer, and musician who uses his artistry to transcend boundaries and blend genres while promoting black liberation. His career began with acting in several popular shows and movies, including alongside Keanu Reeves and Michael B. Jordan in “Hardball”, and as a series regular in Nickelodeon’s “All That”. 

Hearne is involved in the local community, most notably as the co-CEO of the non-profit organization Urban Poets Society, which provides safe spaces for artists to share their talents through social justice and mental health lenses in the Tri-Cities. Hearne was awarded the CBC Martin Luther King Spirit Award in 2021 for his contributions and service. 

Hearne’s music and spoken word touches on his personal perspectives. His EP titled “I Won’t Move” was released during a period of social unrest and includes themes such as the desire for change as a black man and the instinct to protect black women. The performance at WSU Tri-Cities is described as an ode to Black History Month, and will feature his newest album, titled “Martyr,” utilizing hip hop as a form of resistance. 

“Get ready for a captivating experience as we embark on a journey through the powerful words, soulful rhymes, and music that captivates us all,” he says. 

The free performance will take place in the Student Union Building (SUB) on the WSU Tri-Cities campus on Feb. 16 from 3 – 4:30 p.m. and is open for anyone to attend. 

Attached Media Files: Photograph of HEARNE
Photography by Douglas Gast before his passing.
Photography by Douglas Gast before his passing.
Art exhibit honors memory of WSU Tri-Cities faculty member (Photo) - 02/07/24

RICHLAND, Wash. – An art exhibit is on display at the Washington State University Tri-Cities campus in memory of a faculty member. Four current WSU Tri-Cities faculty contributed their own art creations in various mediums. The exhibition will be on display until the end of February.  

The art exhibit, titled “NO PROGRAM”, was created in memory of WSU Tri-Cities associate professor Douglas Gast and named after his portfolio site, to honor his contributions to the art world, his community, and Washington State University Tri-Cities. Gast, who passed away in 2020, was known as an influential artist and educator whose work was impactful for the university and its students, nationally and internationally.  

The exhibit highlights artwork created by four current WSU Tri-Cities faculty- Peter Christenson, Philip Mudd, Kayleigh Lang, and Marguerite Finch, as well as past works from Gast. The art mediums range from photography, painting, installation, sound, and sculpture.

“I was excited to have the opportunity to help curate this exhibition,” said Finch. “I briefly knew Doug but knew how much he cared about promoting art on this campus and creating art opportunities for students. I believe this exhibition gives students at WSU Tri-Cities a way to engage with art and see what faculty currently working on this campus are doing in their art practice.”

According to the exhibit’s official statement, Gast was an inspirational instructor. “As associate professor, Doug inspired and mentored many students, encouraging them to take chances, create with confidence, and participate within the community and the world."

The public is invited to view the exhibit located in the Art Center in the Consolidated Information Center on the WSU Tri-Cities campus.  

Noel Schulz, inaugural director of the WSU Tri-Cities Institute for Northwest Energy Futures and Bob Ferguson Endowed Professor
Noel Schulz, inaugural director of the WSU Tri-Cities Institute for Northwest Energy Futures and Bob Ferguson Endowed Professor
Noel Schulz appointed to endowed professorship at WSU Tri-Cities (Photo) - 02/05/24

RICHLAND, Wash. – Noel Schulz has been appointed to the Bob Ferguson Endowed Professorship at Washington State University (WSU) Tri-Cities. This follows Schulz’s recent appointment to inaugural director of the Institute for Northwest Energy Futures (INEF) in August of 2023. 

As an endowed professor, Schulz will provide expertise and guidance in furthering INEF’s function of research, development, and education associated with realizing the 21st century low-carbon energy transitions over the next decades in the region.   The role allows Schulz to conduct scholarly work related to INEF’s clean energy goals and hire graduate assistants. 

“It is an honor to be named the Bob Ferguson Endowed Professor.  His leadership in the Tri-Cities and energy field provided momentum for INEF and its activities,” said Noel Schulz.  “This support will assist me in continuing research activities in the INEF area.”

The funding for the professorship position was gifted to the WSU Foundation by Bob Ferguson, a veteran in the nuclear field and a longtime supporter of WSU Tri-Cities’ clean energy initiatives. Ferguson’s donations also helped establish INEF, in hopes that the funds would contribute to a clean energy future by developing pathways for developing, integrating, and sustaining the resources of the region.  His gift laid the foundation for the recent investment by the Washington State Legislature for INEF activities.

“Noel’s leadership and expertise will be great assets to the institute,” said Sandra Haynes, chancellor of WSU Tri-Cities. “Her enthusiasm for the work and mission of INEF are evident and I look forward to the progress she will make in this new role.”


About the Institute for Northwest Energy Futures 

Washington State University’s (WSU) new Institute for Northwest Energy Futures (INEF) is located in Richland, WA on the WSU Tri-Cities campus. The area is known as the state’s energy hub boasting 5,000 employees working in energy-related fields and abundant water, wind, sun, land and clean energy production facilities. The institute will provide a systems approach to short-term and long-term clean energy solutions for the Pacific Northwest and beyond by looking at overall interactions, interdependencies, policies and feasibility for existing and emerging technical solutions.

For more information about INEF, visit the website

WSU Tri-Cities wine researcher searching for sensory panelists - 02/05/24

RICHLAND, Wash. – A researcher with the Washington State University Viticulture and Enology program on the WSU Tri-Cities campus is looking for volunteers to participate in a red wine sensory panel. Panelists will be trained to identify specific aromas and tastes in wines and are asked to score the wines based on the results. 

Scheduled to start at the end of February, the panel will take place over the course of seven weeks, with three group sessions and five individual sessions. The group sessions will last between 60 and 90 minutes, and the individual sessions will take no more than 40 minutes each. Snacks will be provided after each session. All sessions will be held at the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center in Richland. The timing of the sessions will be up to volunteer discretion.

Any person over the age of 21 is allowed to participate. For more information, contact Juliana Pazos at