KNona Liddell, professor of chemical engineering, is the winner of the 2004 Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award presented by the Association for Faculty Women in honor of former WSU President Smith’s efforts to advance women into leadership positions at the university. Liddell is the fifth recipient of the award; prior recipients are Sue Durrant, Sue Armitage, Fran McSweeney and Carolyn Clark.
“KNona has been a faculty member at WSU for 24 years,“ according to one of the letters supporting her nomination. “During this time she has contributed not only to advance the role of women in the WSU system, but also has demonstrated leadership ability at the university and excellence in her profession, enhancing the reputation of the university at the national and international levels.“
Within AFW she served as president in 1993-94 and again this academic year. She served as a member of the Graduate Student Awards Committee in 1986 and chaired the committee in 2002. More informally, a number of junior faculty women have attested to her willingness to provide information and support as they learn the ropes at WSU.
Liddell has moved up the faculty ranks to professor in the field of chemical engineering, in which there are few women faculty anywhere in the country. She has been successful in this field both as a teacher and as a research scientist. She advises 10-15 undergraduate students and has mentored both masters and Ph.D. students over the years; students she has mentored have won numerous awards for projects conducted under her mentorship.
Her research specialties are electrode position of thin-layer magnetic materials, novel methods for redox or electrode kinetics and mechanisms, electrosynthesis of conducting polymers, and mineral reactions and their environmental applications.
“KNona is highly collaborative and solicits input widely in her leadership positions,“ said Barbara Hammond, selection committee chair and director of WSU Counseling Services. “She is frank and direct in expressing opinions, respects others’ opinions and fosters inclusion of multiple perspectives. She is a highly valued colleague on this campus.“