Eleven individuals, and one team of 14 earned recognition for their exceptional contributions to research, teaching, and Extension. They were celebrated last week as the 2021 Faculty and Staff Award Winners in WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

Administrative Professional Excellence Award

Heather MacDermott Havey, director of the WSU Children’s Center, is responsible for the daily operations of the Center, including  fiscal sustainability, family engagement, and child outcomes.

AP Technical Staff Excellence Award

Jennifer Kiser, a lab manager in the Department of Animal Sciences, first arrived at WSU in 2013 to pursue a master’s degree and was offered the lab manager position. She continues the research she enjoys and works with students.

Classified – Fiscal Staff Excellence Award

Jolene Knight, administrative assistant 3 for the Department of Human Development, is the course scheduler for the department and the interdisciplinary doctoral program in Prevention Sciences.

Excellence in Advising Award

Colette Casavant, CAHNRS director of Student Success, advises students in three different majors and serves as the lead advisor for the college. She initiated the WSU chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resource, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) and continues to serve as their faculty advisor.

M. Wade Excellence in Teaching

Mark Gibson, clinical associate professor and the chair of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Economic Sciences, also oversees the school’s Global Campus degree in Business Economics and advises graduate student instructors teaching both on campus and online.

Faculty Excellence in Extension Award

Marcia Ostrom, associate professor and extension specialist in the School of the Environment, leads interdisciplinary extension and research programs aimed at improving sustainability and equity of regional food and farming systems.

Faculty Excellence in Research Award

John Peters, director of WSU’s Institute of Biological Chemistry, conducts research spanning ecology, evolution, physiology, and biochemistry of these systems where the intersection of these approaches have led to important and recognized scientific contributions.

Early Career Excellence Award

Zhiwu Zhang, associate professor for statistical genomics, has published 54 peer-reviewed articles since 2015 and developed five software packages that are widely used by the scientific community. His novel ideas have resulted in 15 awards and grants, totaling over $2 million for his program and $6.3 million in collaborative research funding. He is ranked among the top 40 most cited researchers at WSU.

Land Grant Mission Award

Amy Salazar, assistant professor in the WSU Vancouver Department of Human Development, is interested in expanding the evidence base for interventions designed to support youth transitioning from foster care to adulthood. Her training as a social worker has led her to approach research in a way that has direct impacts on the local community, her students, and the WSU and scientific communities at all levels.

Team Award

CAHNRS Communications, Team Leader – Brandon Schrand

The CAHNRS Communications team supports the college and WSU Extension through web development, news, video and photography, publications, logos, templates, and related services. CAHNRS Communications strives to keep stakeholders, the WSU community, and the wider world informed about the college’s advances in research, academics, Extension, and outreach as well as our society-benefiting work serving the land-grant mission.

Special Award for Excellence

Shawn Ringo, assistant director Occupational Health & Safety, has provided proactive and insightful support to help the Research and Extensions Centers successfully navigate the challenges of COVID‑19.

Graduate Student Leadership Award

Abhilash K. Chandel, PhD student in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering, is studying in Prosser with a research focus on utilizing small unmanned aerial systems to map spatial crop water use of field and perennial specialty crops.