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Sahlin awards honor outreach, teaching, leadership, research

PROSSER and PULLMAN, Wash. – Four Washington State University faculty members will receive the 2016-17 Sahlin awards at the Showcase Celebrating Excellence Recognition Banquet on March 31.

Showcase reservations are being accepted through March 17 at Learn more about the awards at

Douglas Walsh, professor of entomology at the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center at Prosser, will receive the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Outreach and Engagement.

As the statewide director of integrated pest management for WSU Extension, he researches sustainable protection for crops and their insect pollinators. His work over the past 15 years has reduced farmers’ use of certain pesticides by 100,000 pounds per year in the Pacific Northwest. Crops and industries that have benefited include wine grapes, hybrid poplars, vegetables, dry beans and alfalfa for livestock.

Walsh has received national and state awards for integrated pest management and extension service. He averages two extension presentations per month to stakeholders such as the Washington Mint Association, Hope Research Council, Pacific Northwest Vegetable Growers Association and more. Learn more about him at

Julie Kmec, the Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor of Sociology, will receive the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Instruction.

She has created and taught undergraduate honors and graduate courses including social inequality, gender and work, labor market inequality and quantitative techniques in sociology. She engages undergraduate classes and motivates students’ interest in social problems. Her teaching reputation has influenced graduate students from outside her department to take her classes because of her expertise in labor markets and work.

Kmec has received teaching and mentoring awards from the WSU College of Arts and Sciences and the sociology department. Learn more about her at

Craig Parks, professor of psychology and assistant vice provost, will receive the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Leadership.

He is president of the Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy of the American Psychological Association. In the provost’s office, he is managing preparation for WSU reaccreditation, which will culminate in the fall with a visit from the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities. He has served as chair of the Faculty Senate and Academic Affairs Committee and is lauded by faculty, administrators and students for his ability to build consensus among groups with disparate interests.

Parks was cofounder of the annual Imagine Tomorrow high school science competition at WSU and served six years on its executive committee. He was the first chair of the police advisory committee. He was director of graduate student training for the psychology department for eight years and, at the request of the Graduate School, mentored new graduate directors in other departments. Learn more about him at

Douglas Call, professor and associate director for research and graduate education in the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, will receive the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Research, Scholarship and Arts.

His research has expanded understanding of the pathways by which microbes develop resistance to antibiotics. In particular, his work was the first to recognize that the environment must be taken into account in order to block antimicrobial resistance. He is project director of a global effort in east Africa to map the pathways by which resistance arises, spreads and is maintained in communities.

Call has published more than 170 papers on research from molecular pathogenesis to immunology, zoonotic disease, livestock diseases and antibiotic resistance; his work has been cited nearly 6,500 times. He has managed a research portfolio in excess of $20 million with funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, foundations and trade organizations. Learn more about him at

The Celebrating Excellence Recognition Banquet is part of Showcase, WSU’s annual celebration of faculty, staff and student achievement. Showcase also includes the Distinguished Faculty Address March 30, the Academic Showcase display of faculty, staff and student work March 31 and other events. See


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