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Two earn new awards for nontenure track teaching

PULLMAN, Wash. – Pamela Lee and Judy Meuth, both clinical associate professors, are the inaugural recipients of the annual President’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Nontenure Track Faculty at Washington State University.
The new award will be among those presented at the Celebrating Excellence Recognition Banquet on March 29, part of the WSU Showcase annual celebration of faculty, staff and student achievement.
Award criteria include: igniting a passion for learning; innovative mentoring and teaching; valuing and responding to diversity; increasing students’ intellectual growth, critical thinking and integrated views; and organizing/conducting new courses or revitalizing existing ones.
Lee, a WSU alumna in the Department of Fine Arts and the Honors College whose art is featured in exhibits and collections nationwide, says she is passionate about the “art and craft” of teaching and extends herself to keep her teaching contemporary and engaging for students.
She has taught Fine Arts 101 to thousands of students from 1987 to the present, updating the course frequently; since 2007 it has been an integral part of the roster of first-year courses associated with the Freshman Focus learning community. She has also taught five new honors courses.
In 2011 she was co-recipient of a Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Teaching and Learning Grant to “increase student engagement by linking two large (general education and Freshman Focus) courses around the practice of Egyptian funerary portraiture at Fayum.” She has received the Honors College Faculty Award, the Eric Bell Learning Community Excellence Award (twice), the Writing Program’s Writing in the Major Course Award and the Distinguished Teaching Award presented by the WSU Teaching Academy.
Lee extends her impact on students and the community as a portfolio evaluator in the Writing Program; a member of the Visual, Performing and Literary Arts Committee (VPLAC); and an advisor for numerous honors student thesis projects. This summer, she will lead her second study abroad program to explore art in Italy.
Meuth teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies, including the popular Women’s Studies 220 (Gender, Culture and Science) since 2003. She leads workshops and mentors interns, McNair scholars and honors students on their thesis projects.
“I am committed to students learning the material of interest in each setting but, more importantly, how to use the material – to find out more about it, to understand its relationship to a bigger picture and to employ the material to have an effect in the world.”
In teaching, research and outreach, she focuses on issues of gender, race, sexuality, culture, science and technology. With support from one of her National Science Foundation grants, she worked to enhance science education opportunities for Native American students in collaboration with WSU representatives, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and seven public school districts.
Meuth received the Honors Thesis Advisor of the Year Award in 2009, the WSU Woman of Distinction Award in 2008 and the Sue Armitage Faculty Award in 2010 for contributions and role modeling in Women’s Studies. She served on the College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Advisory Committee, was president of the American Association of University Professors at WSU and was coordinator of the WSU/Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation Working Group.
Reservations for the award banquet open later this month at In addition to the banquet, Showcase includes the Distinguished Faculty Address (March 28); the Academic Showcase display of faculty, staff and student work (March 29); and SURCA, the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (March 29).
Beverly Makhani, University College at WSU, 509-335-6679,

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