WSU Tri-Cities professor wins state honor for engagement

By Melissa O’Neil Perdue, WSU Tri-Cities

Strand-80RICHLAND, Wash. – Paul Strand, associate professor of psychology at Washington State University Tri-Cities, was honored with a statewide award for exemplary civic engagement by university faculty.

The Timm Ormsby Award for Faculty Citizenship is presented annually by the state’s Council of Faculty Representatives. The council addresses legislative issues on behalf of more than 6,000 faculty members employed at the state’s six public baccalaureate institutions.

Strand, who has been with WSU Tri-Cities for 17 years and is a program lead in the College of Arts & Sciences, studies the development of social skills, academic readiness and school engagement of children and adolescents, particularly those who are raised in culturally and linguistically diverse homes.

He focuses on children from Spanish-speaking homes who are shy or withdrawn; how these characteristics are perceived and responded to by teachers and how they contribute to academic difficulties; and how to help children, families and teachers overcome these barriers.

Strand’s civic engagement activities include:

• Testifying before the state Senate Human Relations and Corrections Committee on best practices for truancy reduction.

• Working with local Head Start programs to help low-income children thrive and prepare for kindergarten. He is on the board of directors for the Benton Franklin Head Start, a nonprofit organization offering school readiness services for about 400 young children.

• Consulting with the National Children’s Reading Foundation, which is based in the Tri-Cities, the Children’s Developmental Center in Richland and Priority Spokane.

• With the help of grants from the MacArthur Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, contributing to development of a Truancy Intervention Toolkit with the goal of helping chronic truants overcome barriers to school success.

Strand earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

Learn more about WSU Tri-Cities and its commitment to dynamic student engagement, research experiences and community engagement at



Paul Strand, associate professor of psychology, WSU Tri-Cities, 509-372-7177,

Melissa O’Neil Perdue, marketing and communications manager, WSU Tri-Cities, 509-327-7319, cell/text 509-727-3094,