PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University professors J. Thomas Dickinson, Frances K. McSweeney and Ronald C. Mittelhammer have been selected for promotion to Regents’ Professors in 2004.

The number of promotions is limited to three annually, with the number of active Regents’ Professors not to exceed 30. Dickinson, McSweeney and Mittelhammer join WSU’s first three winners of the award, promoted last year, Rodney B. Croteau, Donald A. Dillman and Ralph G. Yount.

Dickinson, a Paul A. Anderson Professor of Physics and winner of the 2001-02 Marian E. Smith Faculty Achievement Award, is praised by students past and present for his teaching abilities. He introduced and developed an integrated system for administering and grading online quizzes and tests.

As the first director of the WSU Center for Materials Research, he was involved in defining and forming the university’s program in this area. He is recognized internationally for his contributions in both laser research and nanotribology. For more than 30 years, he has been continuously funded in applied surface science and currently has two major Department of Energy grants, one grant from the National Science Foundation and two teaching-related grants.

McSweeney, who is also the recipient of WSU’s 2004 Eminent Faculty Award, is a former Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor of Psychology and recipient of the 2002 Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Research, Scholarship and Arts. She was recognized by her WSU peers for her research and teaching accomplishments by being selected to give the Distinguished Faculty Address in 1995.

A faculty member at WSU since 1974, McSweeney is known for her fundamental work on behavior and reinforcement. Her current work focuses on habituation as an explanation of why a behavior stops. Her research has been supported by grants from many agencies, including the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health.

Mittelhammer is arguably “the most effective teacher of graduate econometrics at the university level in the United States,” according to one letter received in support of his promotion. His recent book, “Econometric Foundations,” includes a CD-ROM that allows students to coordinate data analysis with assigned readings, and his tutorial and instructional videos make highly complex information accessible and understandable.

His numerous teaching awards include the Teaching Excellence Award, College of Agriculture and Home Economics, WSU, 1991; the American AS Economics Association Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award, 2001; and WSU’s Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Instruction, 2001-02. 

Those considered for promotion to Regents Professor must be a tenured full professor or equivalent. They must have served WSU for the last seven years; achieved the highest level of distinction in a discipline; raised the standards of the university through activities in teaching, scholarship and public service; and sustained a level of accomplishment receiving national or international recognition.

The selection committee is comprised of seven tenured faculty members, four selected by the Faculty Senate and three appointed by the president from a list of candidates referred to him by the college deans. Committee members are selected on the basis of scholarly achievement and demonstrated dedication to teaching and service, as well as individual judgment and integrity.