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College of Sciences honors faculty, staff, students
Wednesday, Apr. 25, 2012
By Joanna Steward, College of Arts and Sciences
PULLMAN, Wash. - Dean Daryll DeWald honored outstanding faculty, staff and students at the 19th annual College of Sciences recognition event held on April 20 in the Lewis Alumni Centre at Washington State University:
Distinguished Undergraduate Student: Maren Swanson, a senior in physics, is a motivated student and strong peer leader known for her energy and enthusiasm. In addition to her science studies, she has studied abroad in Denmark, is an active member of the Physics Club and recently competed in the WSU Business Plan Competition where her team won best presentation.
Distinguished Graduate Student: Dipongkar Talukder, a doctoral student in physics, is a proficient researcher and passionate teacher. He came to WSU after earning his masterís degree at Cambridge University and has since published 22 peer-reviewed papers, one of which appeared in Nature. He will defend his thesis in May and intends to pursue an academic career.
Outstanding Staff Award (administrative professional): As the academic coordinator for the Department of Chemistry, Nikki Clark supports more than 1,600 students, up to 40 teaching assistants and six faculty instructors each semester. Her "phenomenal organizational talent,Ē pleasant personality and willingness to seek solutions are hallmarks of the highest level of service.
Outstanding Staff Award (civil service): As the front office supervisor for the College of Sciences Deanís office, Fran Meserve is the first person that visitors to the office meet and the first point of contact for faculty, staff and students within the departments. Her friendly, professional manner, combined with a sharp eye for detail, is an asset for the entire college.
Early Career Faculty Award (two): Formerly known as the Young Faculty Award, this honor recognizes junior faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar and demonstrate great potential for an academic career in higher education.
Research by Brian Kemp, an assistant professor with joint appointments in biology and anthropology, uses cutting-edge population genetics and genomics to address the life, location and linguistics of early Native American populations. He has 20 peer-reviewed papers since joining WSU five years ago and his work has been featured in the New York Times, LA Times and Science Now.
Kemp is an outstanding teacher and mentor. His enthusiasm and forthright nature attract both undergraduate and graduate students to his courses. In 2010, he was chosen by the university to give the keynote faculty address at convocation.
Research by Nathalie Wall, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, focuses on the environmental behavior of radionuclides, providing data for the remediation of contaminated sites and ensuring the safety of future and existing nuclear waste repositories. She is an associate editor for the Journal of Radiochemistry and Nuclear Chemistry and has published seven papers in the last five years.
Wall is a versatile teacher and mentor. She is known for challenging all of her students - from general chemistry to graduate researchers - to expand their scientific curiosity.
Faculty Advising Excellence Award: Andrew Ford, a professor of environmental science in the School of the Environment, teaches computer simulation modeling with an emphasis on energy and environmental problems in the western U.S. He was nominated for this award by several WSU graduate students. His enthusiasm for the environmental program and his ability to help students capitalize on their strengths has helped many students to excel at WSU.
Thomas E. Lutz Memorial Teaching Excellence Award: Established by Julie Lutz in memory of her husband, this award honors exemplary teaching that inspires intellectual curiosity in students, engages them thoroughly in the enterprise of learning and has a lifelong impact. Professor Marc Evansí effective instruction in statistics fits this description. Using a mix of well-paced lectures, in-class exercises and hands-on activities, Evans addresses different learning styles and encourages students to succeed.
Outstanding Researcher: This new award recognizes faculty who have developed and maintained a high level, long-standing nationally and internationally recognized research program. Gerry Edwards, Regents professor in the School of Biological Sciences, is an exceptional scientist who more than meets this description.
Over a 30-year career, Edwards has mentored 34 graduate students, trained 30 post-doctoral students and acquired more than $9 million in research funds. He has 374 peer-reviewed publications. The value of his research efforts can be measured by the fact that his papers have been cited more than 3,000 times by researchers around the world.
Distinguished Faculty Award: Steve Tomsovic, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has demonstrated outstanding achievements in the areas of scholarly research, teaching and mentoring of both students and junior faculty, service and a variety of other activities that have brought distinction to himself and WSU.
Tomsovicís research on quantum mechanics and chaos theory seeks to provide a deeper understanding of the physical world. He is regarded by his peers, including Nobel-level scientists, as a first-rate physicist with a valuable breadth of knowledge that goes beyond his area of specialization.
He has served as chair of the department and was awarded a fellowship at the Max-Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany in 2006 and a Fulbright Fellowship in 2010.