WSU excellence highlighted in Research Week Awards

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The Office of Research recognized researchers, staff, and grant competition winners during the seventh annual Research Week Awards Ceremony on Friday, Oct. 20.

Faculty and staff were recognized with awards for outstanding achievements, contributions, and service in research development and research administration. Winners from the competitions that took place as a part of Research Week were also recognized by Christopher Keane, vice president for research at WSU and vice chancellor for research at WSU Pullman, and Kim Christen, associate vice president for research advancement at WSU.

“As one of the nation’s leading research universities, our researchers and staff are encouraged to explore societal challenges and discover new solutions in the arts, humanities, and sciences. Through our annual Research Week Awards Ceremony, we recognize outstanding WSU researchers for their unique, successful contributions to WSU’s mission as a land-grant research institution,” Keane said. “These researchers have made an impact in their fields, their communities, and at WSU. Congratulations to this year’s winners.”

Faculty research awards

  • Walter Sheppard, professor in the Department of Entomology, received the Public Impact Award for his work on honeybee breeding, varroa mite control, and many other aspects of honeybee health that is essential to improving the resilience of North American honeybee populations.
  • The Improving Prevention through Action (IMPACT) Team, compromised of Laura Hill, senior vice provost at WSU, Brittany Rhoades Cooper, associate professor in the Department of Human Development, Elizabeth Weybright, associate professor in the Department of Human Development, Jennifer Duckworth, assistant professor in the Department of Human Development, Gitanjali Shrestha, research assistant professor in the Department of Human Development, and Louise Parker, professor in the Department of Human Development, received the Teams that Build Award for their major impacts on public health through their action-oriented, scientifically informed contributions to prevention policy in Washington state.
  • Jae Kennedy, professor and chair in the Department of Health Policy and Administration, received the Advancing Equity in Research Award for his decades of leadership working to advance the inclusion of people with disabilities.
  • Dana Shaw, assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, received the Pacesetter Award for her research on a previously poorly understood area of tick-borne disease research.
  • Mechthild Tegeder, professor in the School of Biological Sciences, received the Catalyst Award for her major breakthroughs in nitrogen partitioning research key to current understandings of nitrogen transport processes and their relationships to plant productivity and seed nutritional quality.
  • Jacob Leachman, associate professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, received the Technology with Impactful Contribution to Society Award for his research on the cryogenic properties of hydrogen that has led to multiple technical developments with immense commercial potential and his creation of the Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) lab, which is currently the only academic research center in the U.S. with an emphasis on cryogenic hydrogen.

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).

  • Anne Marie Guerrettaz, associate professor in the College of Education, was awarded for her project Tribal Languages Teacher Development: Regional Critical Action Research and WSU Capacity Building.
  • Alan Goodman, associate professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences, received the award for his project Insulin-Mediated Immunity to West Nile Virus Infection.

Travel with a Purpose Competition Award — Presenters competed for three awards with up to $3,000 in funds to use for travel as part of a partnership with a community, industry partner, or lab to enhance existing collaborations or start new partnerships, as well as receive support from the Office of Research as they develop strategic, industrial, community, or lab partnerships.

  • Christopher Connolly, associate professor in the College of Education, received the grant to travel to Kona, Hawai’i to recruit athletes to be monitored prior to and during the Triathlon held in the fall of 2024.
  • Hillary Mellinger, assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, will use the funds to support her work on how Spanish-speaking communities navigate language barriers with police in Pasco.
  • Stephen Bramwell, director of the WSU Thurston County Extension Office, will use this award to travel to European regions whose work is on the cutting edge of ecological grazing techniques.

Graduate Student Travel Competition Award — This award provides $500 to up to three WSU graduate students in support of travel that advances their research, scholarship, or creative activities.

  • Kelly Hewitt will use this award to support her travel to the Winter Conference on Brain Research in Colorado, where she will present her research on sex differences in the neural circuits that predict alcohol dependance.
  • Montana Rayburn will use this award to present the results of her research at the American Society of Plant Biologists meeting in Honolulu, Hawai’i.
  • Katherine Gale will use this award to travel to Portland, Oregon, to examine urban air quality using moss as natural biomonitors for many kinds of pollutants, collecting samples from points around the city, and examine the data she collects to understand change in pollutants over time and space, measuring the effects of policies that result in unjust distributions of pollutants.

Grants and contracts support awards

  • Michelle Hendrickson, research services manager with the College of Arts and Sciences, received the Grant and Contract Administration Service Recognition Award for her dedication and expertise in aiding faculty in constructing compelling proposals, guiding them toward successful submissions.
  • Bret Dahmen, finance and contract coordinator in International Programs, received the Grant and Contract Administration Service Recognition Award for his support to the faculty and researchers on a global scale, offering invaluable assistance with proposal submission and award management.
  • Diane Rathbun, grant and contract manager at WSU Vancouver, received the Grant and Contract Administration Contribution Recognition Award for her comprehensive oversight for all matters related to both pre- and post-award aspects, fostering close collaboration not only with the WSU Vancouver campus but also with other campuses with the WSU system and the Office of Research Support and Operations in Pullman.
  • Anke Moore, sub-award administrator in the Office of Research Support and Operations, received the Grant and Contract Administration Contribution Recognition Award for her strong collaborative bonds with the dedicated teams at both the Vancouver and Spokane campuses, offering vital support while maintaining a watchful eye over subaward development and compliance.

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