By Brenda Alling, WSU Vancouver

Vancouver-awardsVANCOUVER, Wash. – Washington State University Vancouver will present four annual awards at the commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 9, at Amphitheater Northwest in Ridgefield, Wash.

Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence: Tahira Probst, professor of psychology and specialist in occupational health psychology, studies ways to enhance the health and well-being of workers, including issues of workplace safety and economic stress.

Tahira-ProbstProbst, who says her lab is “any workplace in the world,” has worked as a research consultant with the International Labor Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and the National Academy of Sciences. She has worked with more than 100 organizations in industries ranging from manufacturing and mining to health care and transportation.

Her publishing credentials include serving as co-editor in chief of Stress & Health, sitting on the editorial boards of the three journals in her field and publishing more than 80 journal articles and book chapters.

Among many academic honors, in 2014 she was named an Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor in the Liberal Arts for WSU systemwide and received a three-month visiting professor award to conduct safety and health research in Italy. In 2011, she received the WSU College of Liberal Arts Mid-Career Achievement in Scholarship Award.

Students’ Award for Teaching Excellence: Tom Tripp, professor of management in the WSU Carson College of Business, “is a demanding professor but truly wants his students to succeed,” one student nominator wrote. This is the second time Tripp has won this award.

Thomas-TrippHe also has received the College of Business teaching award three times and the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Instruction throughout the WSU system in 2010.

In 2014, he received the WSU Vancouver Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence. His research often involves collaboration with students and former students, who commend his ability to keep his teaching fresh each term.

Tripp teaches and studies leadership, decision-making, negotiation, workplace conflict and organizational justice. His research on revenge and retaliation in the workplace is considered pioneering. Outside the classroom, he has consulted on workplace issues with organizations and management executives.

Chancellor’s Award for Student Achievement: Kathrynn Gonzalez, one of four women graduating this spring in computer science, has a 3.74 GPA in her major and a future in software engineering at Intel.

Kathrynn-GonzalezIn a highly competitive, male-dominated field, Gonzalez has demonstrated the extraordinary perseverance required for a woman to succeed. In her junior year, she received a scholarship to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. She interned last summer at ForgeRock, a multinational software company with an office in Vancouver.

She married, raised three children, divorced, remarried and worked full-time for awhile – all while managing a chronic medical condition. She will be the first in her family to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Along with other students, she is helping develop a mobile app for children with learning difficulties. She volunteers as a tutor in computer labs and serves as a role model on campus for women in computing.

Chancellor’s Award for Service to WSU Vancouver: Riverview Community Bank contributes nearly 2 percent of its before-tax income each year to organizations serving southwest Washington and Oregon in the areas of education, economic development, children’s services and arts and culture.

President and COO Ron Wysaske, an MBA alumnus from the WSU Vancouver’s first graduating class in 1989, was the first chair of the WSU Vancouver College of Business Advisory Board and received a Notable Alumni Award in 2014. He will speak on behalf of the alumni at the 2015 commencement.

Riverview officers and staff have served on WSU Vancouver advisory councils and boards, helped with fundraising, attended WSU Vancouver events, promoted the school in the community and supported students.

Riverview is a generous donor to the university, recently achieving benefactor status for $100,000 or more in cumulative giving. The bank also supports scholarships for undergraduate students in business and has sponsored numerous events for alumni and students over the years.