PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University College of Engineering and Architecture announced the names of its outstanding students, faculty and staff members at its annual convocation ceremony last week.

The Outstanding Research Faculty award was presented to Michael Wolcott, Lousiana-Pacific Professorship of Wood Materials and Engineering. David Bahr was recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Faculty award. The Outstanding Teaching Assistant award was presented to Mark Stone. Staff excellence awards were given to Patricia Arnold, undergraduate programs, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Paul Golter, instructional supervisor, chemical engineering. The Employee of the Year award was presented to Judy Edmister, principal assistant for the wood materials and engineering laboratory.

An international leader in the area of wood-based composite research, Michael Wolcott’s work has led to the development of advanced materials that better withstand aging processes, reduce manufacturing costs and pollution; and provide better performance.


Bahr, who has taught courses ranging from an introduction to materials science to microscopic analysis of solid surfaces, has developed several new courses, including an unusual senior-level class in material science and engineering for students outside the engineering field with Grant Norton, also an associate professor of MME. The course is unique in that it is meant to broaden students’ understanding of the importance of materials in their lives rather than to recruit potential engineering students.

Stone, was a teaching assistant in water resources engineering and open channel flow, junior- and senior-level undergraduate courses this past year. In addition, he was an instructor for a class in fluid mechanics.

Stone’s responsibilities included course planning, lecture preparation and delivery, and creation of homework and exams. He also prepared demonstrations, held office hours, graded papers and spent considerable time outside class helping students. Stone’s students gave him high marks for instruction, with many commenting on his personalized care for each student.

Arnold advises students and maintains student records related to the EECS undergraduate programs, which have some 750 undergraduate students. She has an in-depth understanding of her job and the requirements of the four majors within the school. Students are quick to praise her for her help and dedication, while faculty members appreciate her committed attitude toward her job, where she is said to go out of her way to help students.

Golter acts as laboratory technician and computer systems operator for the Department of Chemical Engineering. Although not officially part of his duties, he has taken on an instructional role in the senior lab class, so that the department no longer assigns graduate students as teaching assistants. In the past year, he has also worked to relocate and modernize the unit operations lab – including disassembling, relocating, and updating 10 existing pieces of equipment and designing, ordering, and constructing five new experiments.

Edmister is responsible for grant preparation, project administration, general office administration, budget planning and monitoring, and personnel administration at the wood lab.

Edmister was recognized for her ability to accomplish a vast quantity and variety of work with remarkable efficiency and completeness, according to her nominators. Her extreme proficiency in handling her numerous administrative tasks has relieved a substantial burden from the faculty while improving the results of work in many of the areas.