Showcase faculty, staff award winners announced

Closeup of Schmitter-Edgecombe.
Maureen Schmitter‑Edgecombe, professor in the Department of Psychology, will present this year’s Distinguished Faculty Address. (Photo by Shelly Hanks, WSU Photo Services)

The Office of the Provost has announced names of faculty and staff members to be honored for their achievements at the March 29 Celebration of Excellence Banquet. Also announced was the name of the scholar to deliver this year’s Distinguished Faculty Address: Maureen Schmitter‑Edgecombe, professor in the Department of Psychology.

Both the banquet and the address are part of Showcase, WSU’s weeklong celebration of academic excellence.

Provost Dan Bernardo encourages faculty and staff to attend Showcase events. “Outstanding achievements of our faculty serve as an inspiration to our community,” Bernardo said. “Showcase is an excellent opportunity to pay tribute to some of our colleagues who have made notable contributions to their fields and to the University community.“

Reservations are required for the Celebration of Excellence Banquet, to be held on Friday, March 29. Those who plan to attend should reserve seats.

For the Distinguished Faculty Address on Wednesday, March 27, reservations are recommended.

The following individuals will receive this year’s Showcase awards:

Distinguished Faculty Address

Maureen Schmitter‑Edgecombe

Department of Psychology

Schmitter‑Edgecombe has made significant contributions to the field of clinical neuropsychology, and she continues to pursue cutting‑edge interdisciplinary work developing smart technologies for health care. Her research focuses on extending the quality of life and functional independence of the aging population and individuals with cognitive disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases and traumatic brain injury.


V. Lane Rawlins President’s Award for Distinguished Lifetime Service

Ron Mittelhammer

School of Economic Sciences

Mittelhammer has devoted his entire academic career to Washington State University. Over more than four decades, he has significantly and positively influenced the university’s direction and progress.


Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award – Leadership

Lori Wiest

School of Music

Wiest has served as a university leader at the unit, college, and university levels. Not only is she currently professor of music and former associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, she is also director of choral activities and conductor of the WSU Concert Choir and Madrigal Chamber Singers. She has previously served the university as associate dean of the WSU Graduate School and interim chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures.


Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award – Instruction

Anita Vasavada

School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering and Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience

Throughout her 18 years of service at WSU, Vasavada has shown an unwavering commitment to student learning and engagement. She innovates in the classroom, not only by incorporating new technology, but also by individualizing lessons to help each student succeed.


Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award – Outreach & Engagement

Dale Moore

Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

By building public knowledge about issues surrounding food animal health, Moore has advanced product safety and collaborative research worldwide. Her outreach efforts go above and beyond her roles as extension specialist and Veterinary Extension director.


Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award – Research, Scholarship & Arts

Susmita Bose

School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Bose has pioneered new approaches to delivering life‑changing bone replacement therapy. Her research on combining 3‑D printing technology with drug delivery has opened new doors in the treatment of cancer and bone disorders.


Association for Faculty Women Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award

Ana Maria Rodriguez‑Vivaldi

Associate Dean, Student Affairs and Global Education

As a scholar, educator, mentor, and university leader, Rodriguez‑Vivaldi has displayed an unflagging commitment to women and the issues that affect their lives.


President’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Instructors and Clinical Faculty

Clif Stratton

Department of History

Stratton’s lessons enable students to see how and why an understanding of the past is critical to our lives today. He possesses an extraordinary ability to generate excitement among students about course content.

Renee Petersen

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Petersen teaches fundamentals that lay the foundation for the civil and environmental engineering curriculum. Her innovative approach to teaching inspires students and motivates them to do their best.


Faculty Diversity Award

Shira Broschat

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

In her 29 years at Washington State University, Broschat has worked tirelessly to recruit and retain female students and those from underrepresented groups into the fields of engineering and computer science.


Sahlin Eminent Faculty Award

K. W. Hipps

Department of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering

Hipps’ scholarly work pertaining to the fundamental chemistry and physics of interfaces and surfaces has significantly advanced the field of surface science. As an educator, Hipps has trained and inspired the next generation of chemists in the field.


Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award

Katrina Mealey

Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Mealey discovered a genetic mutation in in herding‑breed dogs that makes them susceptible to a potentially fatal reaction to a common drug. To detect the mutation, she invented a simple genetic test. It has likely prevented life‑threatening adverse drug reactions in hundreds of thousands of dogs worldwide.


Emeritus Society Legacy of Excellence Award

Diane Gillespie

Department of English

Dr. Gillespie is an internationally recognized scholar and editor of late nineteenth and early twentieth‑century British literature, in particular that of modernist‑era writer Virginia Woolf. Since her retirement in 2001, Gillespie has remained a major voice in Virginia Woolf studies.


President’s Employee Excellence Awards

Christine Benson

Library and archives paraprofessional

A more than 30‑year employee, Chris played a key role in WSU Libraries’ migration to a new cloud‑based library services platform. She is always willing to take on new initiatives.

Deb Howe

Honors College, administrative manager

Deb oversees the College’s office operations, as well as its financial and business activities. She fosters teamwork and makes an extra effort to provide personalized support to students.

Kathie Jahn

Facilities Services Motor Pool, fiscal technician

Kathie coordinates vehicle rentals, handles office operations, schedules car washers, manages billing, and much more. She is known for providing outstanding customer service.

Beverly Makhani

Office of Undergraduate Education, director of communications and marketing

Bev seeks her colleagues’ diverse perspectives to ensure that she produces the best possible work. She is the consummate communications professional and an educator to many students.

Terresa Watson

WSU Vancouver, director of budget and accounting

Terresa has refined the process of forecasting and tracking budgets to ensure that the university meets spending targets. Her strong interpersonal skills make everyone eager to work with her. She is delaying her retirement to help meet the needs of the Modernization Initiative.

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