Washington State University’s College of Education recognized outstanding faculty and staff at its semi-annual all-college meeting on May 7, held virtually this time. Awards are:
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Associate professor, bilingual/ESL education
Eric Johnson has been a highly productive faculty member since he arrived at WSU Tri-Cities in 2008. He has recently helped establish a formal partnership between WSU and a bilingual K-12 school in Mexico to provide opportunities for teacher preparation students to complete their student teaching.
With a research and scholarly focus on language-minority education programs and language policies in public schools, he has been heavily involved in a variety of community-based service activities. For example, to support local refugee and immigrant groups, he regularly partners with both the Pasco and Kennewick school districts to provide parents with support on helping their children achieve a college education. Johnson also collaborates with local schools to provide refugee simulation training for district educators.
Associate professor, kinesiology
Sarah Ullrich-French has been a prolific scholar from the moment she came to WSU in 2008, serving dual roles, primarily with kinesiology, but also teaching and advising in educational psychology. It makes sense then that she was appointed in 2019 as assistant chair for the Department of Kinesiology and Educational Psychology. Additionally, she has served as a faculty member in the prevention sciences doctoral program and advises doctoral students there.
At the core of her research is the unifying focus on understanding physical activity behaviors. This includes a societal trend toward decreasing levels of physical activity accompanied by increasing rates of obesity and mental health. Thisintersection of behavior and health risk collide during adolescence, which has made Ullrich-French keenly interested inadolescence, spanning late childhood – including youth leading up to this critical time period – to later adolescence(transition from high school to university) and into young adulthood.
In 2015, Ullrich-French served as a visiting scholar at the Universidad de Murcia, in Spain, while on professional leave.
Kim Holmstrom came to WSU in the Fall of 2011 after several years practicing as an athletic trainer in a variety of settings. Her unique background has well prepared her to teach the exercise and medical conditions for special populations. After earning her bachelor’s degree in sports medicine from Whitworth University, she earned her master’s degree in exercise science from Oregon State University.
As the clinical coordinator of the strength and conditioning minor, Holmstrom teaches all educational material for the three required internship courses, maintaining high course evaluations. She was recently recognized by the Access Center for her commitment to equal access and opportunity in her teaching methods.
She has played an integral role in the Bruya-Wood Undergraduate Research Conference, held each fall and spring. This conference began in 1991 and has grown to include more than 130 undergraduate poster presenters. Holmstrom coordinates the strength and conditioning minor, which is respected for being a program that brings practical experience into the undergraduate education.
Professor, special education
Darcy Miller came to WSU in 1991. She is now retiring, but not before being honored for service to the college and university. In her nomination, the committee wrote: “As Dr. Miller exits the world of work and transitions into retirement, we would like to recognize her superior commitment to service… For most of her 28 years of service at Washington State University, Dr. Miller has been the face of the teacher education program; and has, left an imprint upon others that is beyond that of most.”
Miller’s research and teaching focus has been on special education issues and policies, including inclusion, assessment, classroom management, effective instruction, legal issues, secondary and transition strategies, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and behavior/emotional disorders in children and adolescents.
Clinical assistant professor, sport management
Tammy Crawford has been a faculty member at WSU since 2007 though her time at WSU goes back much earlier, not only as a student, but as the head women’s rowing coach from 1990-2002. As a member of the sport management faculty, Crawford has created or redesigned many courses, including Sport Management 101: Sport and Popular Culture. Other faculty have noted her innovation and originality through her courses and she incorporates a variety of teaching strategies including frontal teaching, and small group discussions, as well as her uses of multimedia, such as documentaries, podcasts, current news stories and social media content. The SPMGT 101 course does not use a textbook, so every lesson is current, up-to-date, original, and stimulating to students.
As the nomination forms reads: “Central to the Sport Management program’s mission is the balance between imparting conceptual knowledge and facilitating professional skill development. Nowhere is this balance more effectively achieved than in Dr. Crawford’s approach to teaching.”
Academic advisor, elementary education
Ashley Herridge has advised undergraduate elementary education students since 2012, though she’s been with the college much longer. Additionally, she works with secondary education majors to ensure they meet the teacher preparation program requirements. Frequently receiving positive reviews from coworkers and students, the nomination form said Herridge is a “rare” employee who others hear little from or about: “The reason for this is that she quietly and humbly does an outstanding job in her role as academic advisor for the teacher preparation program. She addresses students’ concerns, provides them with accurate and timely information, and is always available to pitch in and help when we are short staffed. It is these rare employees who are easy to overlook because they make everything run smoothly with little oversight from her supervisors.
“In addition to her positive attitude, Ashley’s work is exemplary. She pays attention to detail and is proactive in thinking about how to make procedures more efficient. She readily helps new advisors and is dedicated to a smooth-running office. Ashley is motivated toward self-improvement as well and is always open to learning new tasks or developing professionally.”
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (staff)
Director, PEACT program
Over the last 19 years, Cedric Price has hired and mentored hundreds of university students through their jobs related to physical education and athletics, many of whom are students of color. He has helped lead the Coeur d’Alene Youth Leadership Camp, which brings high school and middle school youth to WSU in the summer for enrichment and educational experiences. Most recently, he has worked with multiple Indigenous youth as part of the NSF-funded Culturally Relevant Indigenous Science grant. What continually emerges about Price are stories connected to the kind of positive and supportive impact he has had for diverse students at WSU. “They are profound and most deserving of recognition,” his nomination letter said. “Students look to him as a role model… many who question if they ‘belong’ in school find out through people like Cedric that, yes, of course they belong, and moreover they are leaders.”
This past year, Price successfully hosted WSU’s first Black Alumni Weekend, bringing together alumni from across the country.