Research Week Awards recognize researchers and staff excellence

The Office of Research recognized the winners of this year’s research excellence awards and Research Week grant competitions during the sixth annual Research Week Awards Ceremony on Friday, Oct. 21. 

Research Week is dedicated to celebrating achievements, building partnerships, and pursuing new opportunities for research at WSU. The week-long celebration culminates in the celebration of outstanding researchers and research staff.

“Every year during Research Week we recognize faculty, staff, and students who’ve made outstanding contributions to WSU’s research enterprise. This year, we have an outstanding set of winners whose work covers a broad range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary work- demonstrating the breadth and impact of WSU’s research, scholarship, and creative activity,” said Christopher Keane, vice president for research at WSU and vice chancellor for research at WSU Pullman. “Congratulations to the winners- we look forward to hearing more news of your efforts!”

Provost and inaugural WSU Pullman Chancellor Elizabeth Chilton presented faculty and staff with their awards for outstanding achievements, contributions, and service in research development and research administration. Winners from the Research Week competitions held throughout the week were also recognized. 

Faculty Research Awards

  • Amy Salazar, associate professor in the Department of Human Development, received the Pacesetter Award for her current research in evaluating the child welfare system, successfully transitioning youth from foster care to adulthood, and supporting LGBTQ youth in foster care. 
  • Achour Amiri, associate professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, received the Pacesetter Award for his research in the effect of fungal pathogens on apple and pear fruit production. 
  • Masha Gartstein, director of the Infant Temperament Lab at WSU and director of clinical training for the WSU Clinical Psychology doctoral program, received the Creative Activity, Research, and Scholarship Award for her research on infant and early childhood socio-emotional development. 
  • Kimberly McKiernan, clinical associate professor in the Department of Pharmacotherapy, received the Technology with an Impactful Contribution to Society Award for her work focused on increasing access to vaccinations, including running a vaccine administration training program for pharmacy technicians along with conducting research that supports expanding clinical services which can be provided in a community pharmacy. 
  • Felix Lankester, associate professor in the Paul G. Allen School for Global Health, and team received the Large New Team Grant Award for their work leading the USAID $125 million project Discovery and Exploration of Emerging Pathogens (DEEP-VZN), which partners with up to 12 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to examine how viruses spread between wildlife, domestic animals, and human populations. 
  • Ananth Kalyanaraman, professor and the Boeing Centennial Chair in Computer Science in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and team received the Large New Team Grant Award for their work leading the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s $20 million for their project Agricultural AI for Transforming Workforce and Decision Support (AgAID), which is working to develop artificial intelligence solutions for pressing agricultural issues and educate the agricultural workforce on AI technologies. 

Grants and Contracts Support Awards

  • James MacLean, associate professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences, received the Exceptional Service to the Office of Research Award for his willingness to contribute his time and expertise to the Office of Research as a proposal reviewer for the New Faculty Seed Grant, Natural Resource Conservation Endowment Fund, and past Research Week competitions. 
  • Becky James, research development manager in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the Grant and Contract Administration Service Recognition Award for her work with faculty across the arts, humanities, and social, life, and physical sciences contributing to broad initiatives and providing her expertise on the grants process.

Research Week Competition Winners

RA and $10K Competition Award – Presenters competed for two awards, each for $10,000 and a one-semester doctoral-level Research Assistantship (RA).

  • Tahira Probst, professor in the Department of Psychology at WSU Vancouver.
  • James MacLean, associate professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences

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