Faculty, staff and other guests dined on delicacies—roast beef roulade, pan‑seared Alaskan halibut, and bishop hat ravioli. Then one by one, honorees were recognized amid enthusiastic applause for their outstanding achievements and service to the University community.

That was the scene Friday at the Celebrating Excellence Banquet, an elegant affair in the vast Compton Union Building ballroom. The banquet marked the culmination of Showcase, the University’s weeklong celebration of academic excellence. Honorees included faculty and staff from across the institution.

Please join us in congratulating the following colleagues on their outstanding achievements:

  • Distinguished Faculty Award

    Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe

    Department of Psychology

    Dr. Schmitter-Edgecombe has made significant contributions to the field of clinical neuropsychology, and she continues to pursue cutting‑edge interdisciplinary work developing smart technologies for health care. Her research focuses on extending the quality of life and functional independence of the aging population and individuals with cognitive disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases and traumatic brain injury.

  • Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award – Leadership

    Lori Wiest

    School of Music

    Dr. Wiest has served as a University leader at the unit, college, and university levels. Not only is she currently professor of music, she is also director of Choral Activities and conductor of the WSU Concert Choir and Madrigal Chamber Singers. She has previously served the University in numerous administrative roles.

  • Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award – Instruction

    Anita Vasavada

    Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering and
    Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience

    Throughout her 18 years of service at WSU, Dr. Vasavada has shown an unwavering commitment to student learning and engagement. She innovates in the classroom, not only by incorporating new technology, but also by providing individual attention to help each student succeed.

  • Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award – Outreach & Engagement

    Dale A. Moore

    Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

    Dr. Moore’s preventive medicine research for livestock populations has resulted in practical management approaches for cow and calf health and well‑being. Her research in extension and professional education methods has led to better understanding of agricultural animal health audiences and new methods of documenting how to evaluate change in program participants.

  • Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award – Research, Scholarship & Arts

    Susmita Bose

    School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

    Dr. Bose has pioneered interdisciplinary approaches to delivering life‑changing bone replacement therapy. Her research on combining 3‑D printing technology with drug delivery has opened new doors in the treatment of bone disorders.

  • Association for Faculty Women Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award

    Ana María Rodríguez‑Vivaldi

    Associate dean
    Student Affairs and Global Education

    As a scholar, educator, mentor, and University leader, Dr. Rodriguez‑Vivaldi has displayed an unflagging commitment to women and the issues that affect their lives. She works tirelessly to elevate those around her.

  • President’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Instructors and Clinical Faculty

    • Clif Stratton

      Department of History

      Dr. Stratton’s lessons enable students to see how and why an understanding of the past is critical to our lives today. He possesses an extraordinary ability to generate excitement among students about course content.

    • Renee Petersen

      Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

      Ms. Petersen teaches fundamentals that lay the foundation for the mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and civil/environmental engineering curriculums. Her innovative approach to teaching inspires students and motivates them to do their best.

  • Faculty Diversity Award

    Shira Broschat

    School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

    Dr. Broschat has worked tirelessly to recruit and retain female students and those from underrepresented groups into the fields of computer science and engineering. Years after graduating, her students continue to express their gratitude to her for believing in them, inspiring them, and creating an inclusive environment where they can realize their potential.

  • Sahlin Eminent Faculty Award

    K. W. Hipps

    Department of Chemistry and the
    Materials Science and Engineering Program

    Dr. Hipps’ research has advanced understanding of the fundamental chemistry and physics of interfaces and surfaces. He developed Orbital Mediated Tunneling Spectroscopy, a technique that enables the study of electron transfer in single molecules. His work has yielded new models for self‑assembly processes.

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award

    Katrina L. Mealey

    Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

    Dr. Mealey discovered a mutation in the canine MDR1 gene that causes susceptibility to potentially fatal adverse drug reactions involving dozens of commonly used drugs. The simple cheek swab test she invented to detect the mutation has likely prevented life‑threatening drug reactions in hundreds of thousands of dogs worldwide.

  • Emeritus Society Legacy of Excellence Award

    Diane Gillespie

    Department of English

    Dr. Gillespie is an internationally recognized scholar and editor of late nineteenth and early twentieth‑century British literature, especially the modernist‑era writings of Virginia Woolf. Since her retirement in 2001, Dr. Gillespie has remained a major voice in Virginia Woolf studies.

  • Promotions to the rank of Regents Professor

    • Douglas R. Call

      Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health

      Dr. Call stands among the world’s leading scholars working to combat antimicrobial resistance. His research on three continents seeks ways to thwart antibiotic-resistant bacteria in agriculture, hospitals, and communities. He advises policy makers and alliances worldwide on ways to mitigate emerging health threats.

    • Jill McCluskey

      School of Economic Sciences

      Dr. McCluskey stands among the world’s most productive and widely cited scholars in the field of agricultural and applied economics. Many of her more than 100 refereed articles appear in the discipline’s most prestigious and impactful journals. Her work has deepened understanding of the economics of food quality and labeling, as well as of consumer preferences and industrial organization.

    • Scot Hulbert

      Department of Plant Pathology

      Dr. Hulbert has achieved the highest level of distinction in the fields of plant pathology, plant genetics, and genomics. His discoveries have yielded new methods for incorporating disease resistance into crop plants. Top journals have published his more than 105 peer‑reviewed articles, cited over 4,700 times.

  • President’s Employee Excellence Awards

    • Chris Benson

      Acquisitions coordinator, technical services
      WSU Libraries

      A more than 35‑year employee, Chris played a key role in WSU Libraries’ migration to a new cloud‑based library services platform. She is always willing to take on new initiatives.

    • Deb Howe

      Administrative manager
      Honors College

      Deb oversees the College’s office operations, as well as its financial and business activities. She fosters teamwork and makes an extra effort to provide personalized support to students.

    • Kathie Jahn

      Heavy equipment and grounds fiscal technician 3
      Facilities Services Motor Pool

      Kathie coordinates vehicle and scissor lift rentals, handles office operations, schedules car washers, manages rental billing, administers the setup of campus fuel cards, and much more. She is known for providing outstanding customer service.

    • Beverly Makhani

      Director of communications and marketing
      Office of Undergraduate Education

      Bev is known for her highly collaborative work style. She seeks her colleagues’ diverse perspectives to ensure that she produces the best possible final product. She is the consummate communications professional and, to many students, a dedicated mentor.

    • Terresa Watson

      Director of budget and accounting
      WSU Vancouver

      Terresa has refined the process of forecasting and tracking budgets to ensure that the University meets spending targets. Her strong interpersonal skills make everyone eager to work with her. She has made the extraordinary choice to delay her retirement in order to help meet the needs of the Modernization Initiative.