PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University President V. Lane Rawlins named faculty members Frances K. McSweeney, Ronald C. Mittelhammer, John L. “Skip” Paznokas, Lynda (Hatch) Paznokas and Kerry W. Hipps the winners of top university honors.
The five, plus Eminent Faculty Award winner Don A. Dillman, social scientist and statistical survey expert, will be saluted during the annual WSU Faculty Honors Convocation at 3 p.m., April 4, in Bryan Hall Auditorium. Hipps will deliver the Distinguished Faculty Address at 7:30 p.m., April 23, in the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education, Room 203.
McSweeney, a Professor of Psychology, will receive the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Research, Scholarship and Arts. McSweeney, a faculty member at WSU since 1974, is known for her fundamental work on behavior and reinforcement, which helps with the understanding of learning and other human behaviors. Nominators say one of her discoveries has broad implications for the study of learning, motivation and animal behavior that may cause theories of complex human behavior to be modified. McSweeney, formerly a WSU Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor of Psychology, is a Smith College graduate and earned her master of science and doctoral degrees from Harvard University.
The Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Instruction will go to Mittelhammer, an agricultural economics professor. He is one of the most effective teachers of statistics and econometrics in the United States, say his nominators. At WSU since 1977, his coherent and well-reasoned lectures make even highly complex concepts understandable, especially when supplemented by the use of his own interactive computer-based instructional materials. Outstanding research and the two textbooks he has written enhance Mittelhammer’s distinguished teaching accomplishments. A graduate of Rutgers University, Mittelhammer earned his master of science degree from Rutgers and his doctoral degree from WSU.
Skip Paznokas will receive the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Public Service. School science teacher preparation has dramatically improved thanks to Paznokas’ work. His efforts with teachers of science, including those in biology, have been honored statewide. Especially notable is his commitment to in-service training, where teachers learn new skills to assist them in class, say his nominators. The efforts of Paznokas reflect deep personal commitment to improving the access and retention in the sciences and mathematics for ethnic minorities and women at WSU. Paznokas, at WSU since 1976, is a former WSU Boeing Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Science Education. He is a graduate of the University of California, Riverside. His master of arts degree is from UCR and his doctoral degree is from St. Louis University.
Lynda (Hatch) Paznokas, a WSU Boeing Distinguished Professor of Science Education, will receive the Marian E. Smith Faculty Achievement Award, to recognize significant and meritorious achievement in teaching. She has had an impact on WSU students who are already science teachers or who will teach elementary science. She has helped revise the university’s elementary science teaching methods courses, transforming and elevating a major component of the WSU elementary teacher education program. Her nominators cite her enthusiasm, which energizes students through a variety of practicum experiences in the local schools and community. Paznokas helped create WSU student-centered science education laboratories, a science education classroom, an outdoor education program and a science education course for WSU’s new Masters in Teaching degree. A member of the WSU faculty since 1999, she is a WSU graduate. Her master’s degree is from Portland State University and her doctoral degree is from Oregon State University.
Hipps, a professor in both the Department of Chemistry and the Program in Materials Science since 1978 at WSU, is a researcher and teacher of physics and the chemistry of molecules and solids. His accomplishments in single molecule electronics using the scanning tunneling microscope provide a base to launch a number of new technologies, say his nominators. His ability to present information to students, peers and the public are praised by nominators. Hipps’ work with graduate and undergraduate students is characterized by superb patience and concern. When solving complex problems, he shows a depth of understanding and intuition. Hipps is a University of Texas at El Paso graduate. He earned his doctoral degree from WSU.
Separate award committees selected the winners by reviewing nomination materials.