PULLMAN, Wash. – Lori Carris, associate professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, recently was recognized by the Mycological (fungi) Society of America with the annual William H. Weston Award for Excellence in Teaching.
 
The award was established in 1979 in honor of W. H. Weston (1890-1978), a beloved Harvard mycologist who was widely recognized as having a profound impact on the field of experimental mycology through his humorous and inspired teaching.
Previous recipients of the award include Jack Rogers, WSU professor of plant pathology, in 1992.
 
Promotes inquiry-based learning
 
Carris teaches graduate level courses in mycology and fungal biology, a popularized mycology class for undergraduate students and a course in global issues in the sciences for the Honors College. She has been active in promoting inquiry-based learning strategies and has sponsored or facilitated workshops on using case studies in the classroom.
 
Her research focuses on smut fungi with an emphasis on the genus Tilletia. Five Ph.D. and three M.S. students have completed degrees under her supervision. 
 
Carris is an avid mushroomer. She leads spring and fall forays for the Palouse Mycological Association and has taught short courses on mushroom identification in the community for 15 years.
 
 
Previous awards as teacher, mentor
 
She was recipient of the 2007 WSU Mentor of the Year award. She served on a planning committee to bring the national COACH (Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists) workshop to WSU and subsequently was recognized with the 2009 WSU Woman of Distinction Award and the 2010 WSU Association for Faculty Women Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award.
 
In 2010, Carris received the WSU College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) R. M. Wade Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award. She was recipient of the Award for Excellence in Teaching from the American Phytopathological Society in 2011.
 
Carris earned a B.S. in horticulture at Michigan State University (1979), an M.S. in plant pathology at Washington State University (1983), and a Ph.D. in plant pathology at the University of Illinois (1986). Since 1989, she has been in the WSU Department of Plant Pathology, where she is an associate professor with research and teaching responsibilities in systematic mycology.