WSU Faculty Award Recipients, 2017‑2018 

Entrance to Washington State University's Pullman campus.
Washington State University

Each year, Washington State University holds a weeklong Showcase celebration to honor the achievements of its faculty, staff and students. Below are the faculty and staff members selected to receive awards at Showcase’s annual Celebrating Excellence banquet on March 30.

Lane Rawlins President’s Award for Distinguished Lifetime Service
Dr. Renee Hoeksel, Executive Associate Dean, College of Nursing

Hoeksel has been a faculty member and outstanding leader for the College of Nursing and WSU Vancouver since 1990. She created the campus’s RN and BSN programs, as well as its nursing graduate programs. For a WSU Insider story about her contributions, go to:

Distinguished Faculty Address
Dr. Susmita Bose, Professor, School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Herman and Brita Lindholm Endowed Chair

Bose, who joined WSU in 1998, is widely known for pioneering the use of a 3D printer to create bone-like structures to repair bones and teeth. For a WSU Insider story about her contributions and address, go to:

Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Leadership
Dr. Marvin Pitts, Clinical Professor, School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Pitts joined the WSU faculty in 1983 and is widely recognized for his outstanding leadership as program coordinator of WSU’s Mechanical Engineering partnership with Olympic College in Bremerton.  He also established a scholarship program that provides $120,000 in scholarships each year. Students describe Pitts as a leader who provides an environment where individuals grow, learn and ultimately find jobs that fulfill societal needs. He is a champion of WSU’s mission as a land-grant university to provide accessible education for all.

Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Instruction
Dr. Ray Sun, Associate Professor, Department of History

Sun specializes in modern German and modern European history, teaching upper-level courses on Nazi Germany and comparative genocide. He won the CAS Mullen Award for Teaching Excellence and is a charter member of the WSU President’s Teaching Academy. He created two new classes based on his research of collective memory, war and society and Holocaust rescue. He actively engages in public education, speaking to senior Army ROTC cadets on the value of military officers. He published the book “Before the Enemy is Within Our Walls: Catholic Workers in Cologne, 1885-1912: A Social, Cultural and Political History.”

Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Outreach and Engagement
Dr. Joe Harrison, Animal Scientist and Extension Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences

A member of the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center for 33 years, Harrison significantly helped Washington State’s $2.36 billion dairy industry with his research studies and outreach projects that improved the sustainability of dairy operations. Harrison’s goal is to inform common sense policies that enable dairy producers to stay in business while minding the environment. He cares deeply about the community and focuses on developing respectful and creative environments where groups can collaborate to create positive outcomes.

Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Research, Scholarship and the Arts
Dr. William Hamlin, Professor, Department of English

Hamlin has spent 25 years studying how major writers and intellectual movements were understood and incorporated into the cultural life of early modern England. Hamlin has written three books, his most recent being: “Montaigne’s English Journey.” He earned the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award, the Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professorship, and the Lewis and Buchanan Distinguished Professorship. He has received multiple grants, and was selected as a national Guggenheim Fellow in 2008.  In addition to his extensive research, Dr. Hamlin is committed to the success of his students. He served on at least 30 graduate committees and teaches at the Honors College where he won Best Graduate Seminar and Most Supportive Faculty Member.

Association for Faculty Women Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award
Dr. Jill J. McCluskey, Distinguished Professor of Sustainability and Associate Director, School of Economic Sciences

McCluskey works to recruit women and minorities in a field where they are grossly underrepresented. She inspires them by example and mentors with encouragement and confidence building. McCluskey has been active to support female faculty’s abilities to succeed. She is a liaison between the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program and ADVANCE@WSU to increase the number of women in STEM careers. She is a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, and a member of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources — a major program under the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

President’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Non-Tenure Track Faculty

1) Leeann Hunter, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of English

Hunter is an extraordinary leader who has driven significant change in how WSU serves its students. She developed the Passport Program, a structured two-semester, one-credit sequence that helps students identify their curricular interests and participate in high-impact co-curricular activities. Students describe her as passionate, caring, very approachable, and open to discussion. Hunter earned the Exceptional Professor Award from ASWSU in 2017 and is currently President of the Association of Faculty Women. She served as a Faculty Fellow in the College of Arts and Sciences Grand Challenge-funded Transformational Change Initiative – a student success program highlighted in “Inside Higher Education.”

2) Jason Peschel, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Design and Construction

As the Richard L. Silliman Distinguished Professor of Estimating, Peschel believes in learning by doing and provides hands-on instruction to his students that applies to real-world situations. His pedagogy supports the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture mission of preparing students by providing “work-ready, day-one” instruction. He works hard to prepare his students for real world positions and continually fosters relationships with industry partners.

Faculty Diversity Award
Dr. Raymond Herrera, Assistant Dean of Graduate School and Director of Ronald E. McNair Post‐Baccalaureate Achievement Program
Herrera’s career at WSU has focused on providing opportunities and resources for students from underprivileged communities. He sits on the organizing committee for the WSU MLK Program and is leading the “Imagine Beyond” initiative, a series of workshops to help prepare undergraduates for graduate school.  Herrera has been integral in the success of the Ronald McNair Program, which supports academic achievement of first-generation, low-income, and underserved populations.

Eminent Faculty Award
Dr. Mark Kuzyk, Regents Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Since joining WSU in 1991, Kuzyk’s research, teaching and service have boosted the university’s reputation for scientific excellence. As a leader in the field of nonlinear optics, his research team is designing a deep brain stimulation device that could revolutionize treatment of neurological disorders ranging from Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s.  Kuzyk is also one of WSU’s most popular teachers and has played an integral role in increasing graduate student retention. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America, the International Society for Optics and Photonics and the American Physical Society.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award
Dr. Juming Tang, Regents Professor, Biological Systems Engineering

Tang is the Distinguished Chair of Food Engineering. During his 22 years of research at WSU, he has yielded three U.S. patents and three pending patent applications. The FDA accepted two processes based on Dr. Tang’s technologies, paving the way to replace traditional canning methods. He has authored or co-authored more than 300 peer-reviewed journal articles and three books. His research has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Fortune and Reuters. His awards include the R & D Award from the Institute of Food Technologists and International Food Engineering Award from the American Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineers

Emeritus Society Legacy of Excellence Award
Dr. Paul Barkley, Professor Emeritus

Barkley was a long-time professor at WSU before retiring in 2002. Since then, he has stayed active and productive, serving as editor of “Choices: The Magazine of Food, Farm and Resource Issues.” He also co-authored two textbooks and collaborated with Oregon State University faculty to develop the Academy of Lifelong Learning program for local retirees to attend lectures. Barkley collaborated with his son Andrew Barkley, professor of agriculture and economics at Kansas State University, on two books:  “Principles of Agricultural Economics” and “Depolarizing Food and Agriculture: an Economic Approach,” which won the AAEA Quality of Communications Award.

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