CAS 2014 Award Recipients
Faculty, staff, graduate students, alumni leaders, and other special guests came together to celebrate excellence during the second annual CAS Appreciation and Recognition Social on April 16, 2014.
Lively music by the Faculty Jazz Trio mixed with spirited conversations among colleagues and friends on the Pullman campus. Dean Daryll DeWald presented certificates to 20 faculty, staff, and students in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments this year, and dozens more distinguished individuals were recognized in the program.
Department of English
William Hamlin is a strong educator, an exceptional mentor, a highly productive scholar, and an integral part of the vitality of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Deeply knowledgeable about his core discipline of Shakespeare and early modern literature, Hamlin is similarly well versed in the complex fields of intellectual history, philosophy, and the classics. He has become one of the world’s foremost experts on the 16th century French philosopher Michel de Montaigne and the reception of skepticism in early modern England.
Hamlin has been honored with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the British Academy, and the Renaissance Society of America. In 2008, he was selected as a national Guggenheim Fellow, the seventh in WSU’s history.
The Oxford University Press—one of the world’s preeminent presses in literary studies—recently published Hamlin’s third book, Montaigne’s English Journey: Reading the essays in Shakespeare’s day.
The very scale of Hamlin’s work is testament to the breadth and ambition of his scholarship. Over the course of eight years, Hamlin visited more than 100 archives and libraries in North American and Europe, scouring through 7,000 annotations made by 17th-century readers in copies of Montaigne’s primary work, and then examining a substantial body of diaries, letters, and journals for additional contemporary responses.
Hamlin sought to understand not just the work of this fascinating philosopher, but how early modern readers from all walks of life used his work to grapple with the profound societal questions of the day.
He has published more than 25 articles in some of the best journals in his field and has begun working on his fourth book: a wide ranging study of Renaissance spiritual language that will certainly continue to enhance his visibility in the field.
Even with this high level of productivity, Hamlin has remained engaged with his students. He regularly teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in Shakespeare and early modern literature, and consistently earns rave reviews from students. He also has directed or been a member of at least 20 graduate committees.
Hamlin has added a warm, personalized component to the WSU admission process by serving as an informal mentor and a sounding board for countless students seeking information about the English department and guidance on academic and career opportunities.
Outside of WSU, Hamlin serves as a manuscript reviewer for 10 publications, is part of the editorial board for two international literary journals, and holds memberships in seven professional societies. In addition to English, his language skills include French, Spanish, and Latin.
Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activities Awards
Department of Chemistry
In 2003, after 25 years as a research scientist with the Argonne National Laboratory and the US Geological Survey, “Doctor Nash” became “Professor Nash” when he joined the Washington State University faculty. His transition into academia helped spur the rebuilding of educational opportunities in nuclear and radiochemistry at WSU and around the United States.
Today, the WSU radiochemistry group includes seven outstanding faculty, 40 graduate students, and a steady stream of post-doctoral research associates who are in high demand after working with Nash and his colleagues.
For the past 11 years, he has embraced the task of educating young minds while also reinforcing and expanding the experimental research base necessary to advance scientific knowledge.
Focused principally on chemical separations and important fission products, Nash has published extensively on the application of basic science to solve real-world problems associated with the use of radioactive materials. He holds two patents for specialized extraction processes.
Nash is an engaging speaker and is regularly invited to give lectures and presentations across the country and internationally. He is also the author or co-author of more than 200 publications, book chapters, and symposium papers.
His professional activities include a vast array of peer review panels, technical review boards, program chairs, and journal editorships.
In 2010, Nash was elected to the American Chemical Society and, in 2012, received the same honor from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Nash is dedicated to developing the next generation of expert scientists in nuclear and radiochemistry. He has supervised the research of 12 successful doctoral students, four master’s students, and has another dozen students currently hard at work on their dissertations. He is a superb mentor whose door is always open for a research discussion.
Nash is a preeminent scientist and educator whose work is of great importance to our nation and world.
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Doerte Blume came to Pullman in 2001, just three years after earning her PhD, and, in the words of her department chair, “has become a superstar in the world of theoretical physics.”
Her research into the microscopic behavior of ultra-cold atoms and few-body physics is exceptional. She has been awarded more than $2 million in external funding and, with nearly 70 publications and an H-index of 23, her productivity is well above most physicists at the same point in their careers.
Blume is an internationally recognized expert and has been invited to speak around the world: nearly 40 invited talks have taken her to 11 countries on five continents—from Seattle to Beijing to Stellenbosch, South Africa.
In 2010, Blume was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a high honor in her discipline and incredibly rare for a junior scientist.
Her research excellence goes hand in hand with her commitment to teaching and service. She devotes considerable time to designing engaging homework problems and many of her courses include assignments aimed at improving her students’ communications skills.
For her 500-level courses, Blume has developed tasks that help her graduate students make the transition from merely completing homework problems to initiating original research.
Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology
Zachary Hamilton joined the WSU faculty in 2010 and, since then, he has established a remarkably productive research program in the field of corrections. His work has the potential to significantly advance correctional operations and improve inmate rehabilitation.
Policymakers in Olympia and scholars across the nation recognize his growing expertise and he has received more than $700,000 in grant and contract funding in just the last two years.
Hamilton is currently validating a comprehensive redesign of the state’s risk assessment tool for inmates. It is due to roll out next January and preliminary results show this new instrument is not only more accurate but will also provide cost savings for the state by better predicting where inmates should be placed and the level of supervision needed upon release.
Based at the WSU Spokane campus, Hamilton teaches upper-division and graduate courses in research and quantitative methods and serves on the review board for seven journals. His also serves as a unit director for the Washington State Institute for Criminal Justice, a joint effort between the department Criminal Justice and Criminology and the WSU Division of Governmental Studies and Services.
School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs
Since her first administrative assignment nearly 20 years ago, Carolyn Long has accepted challenging leadership roles without hesitation.
Early in her career, as an assistant professor on the Vancouver campus, Long served two terms as the director of the program in public affairs. Among her many achievements in this role, she established the highly successful Public Affairs Lecture Series, which has brought high profile speakers such as John Ashcroft, Howard Dean, and Seymour Hersh to Washington state.
In 2006, Long accepted the first of two terms as associate director of the College of Liberal Arts at the Vancouver campus. She worked to improve undergraduate success, represented the college in numerous institutional committees, and played an important role in establishing the new College of Arts and Sciences in Vancouver.
Last year, she served as Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and established the academic planning committee, which she continues to chair.
Long has also served on the Multi-campus System Review Group, the Student Fees and Activities Committee, the Diversity Council, the Southwest Washington STEM Network steering committee, and the University Common Core Requirement Committee.
Time and time again, she has taken on key leadership positions that have been crucial to the development of the Vancouver campus and provides efficient and effective service to the institution.
Teaching and Advising Awards
School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs
Amy Mazur is an established leader in gender research and teaching and is well recognized for her contributions to an international understanding of feminist policy.
In 1995, only her second year on the faculty at WSU, Mazur co-founded the Research Network on Gender Policy and the State and coordinated a long-term study of women’s policy in 17 post-industrial democracies. The research network encompassed more than 40 researchers, produced six books, and received more than $1 million in funding from agencies such as the National Science Foundation (US), the Economic Research Council (UK), and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (France).
In 2011, Mazur helped to establish another workshop of global researchers to determine whether her findings about women’s policy agencies can be applied to the non-western world.
Most recently, she created the Gender Equality in Practice Project to develop and carry out a systematic study of post-adoption western feminist policy. To date, more than 70 scholars from around the world have joined this effort.
As co-editor of the Political Research Quarterly for the past eight years, Mazur has increased submissions from outside the United States and sought to diversify the reviewer pool.
Mazur also regularly incorporates her international research into her teaching, particularly in her undergraduate course on comparative public policy and her graduate research methods course.
School of Biological Sciences
Raymond Lee’s signature course is Biology 106—the second semester of a year-long introductory track required for many students who are pursuing degrees in the natural sciences.
Standard enrollment for Biology 106 is more than 500 students and he has led this course 20 times. Using humor and storytelling, Lee turns what could be dry, boring lectures into an engaging, personalized, and highly productive classroom experience.
Ever aware of his audience, he infuses his lectures with sound-bite-sized explanations for complex scientific material and provides links to readily accessible material on websites such as YouTube and Flickr.
For the laboratory section of Biology 106, Lee designed experiential projects to actively involve students in the research process.
He has mentored dozens of undergraduate researchers and chaired six graduate thesis committees.
Student responses to Lee’s teaching are remarkable, with evaluation scores more in the range of a small graduate seminar. One student recently wrote in a class evaluation, “Very motivational. Modest. Mind blowing. Life changing.”
Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies
Mary Bloodsworth-Lugo is a teacher’s teacher and a professor’s professor. She is dedicated to empowering her students with tools they can use in her classroom as well as out in the wider world.
Her teaching methods center on helping students feel in charge of their own learning, on the development of critical thinking and writing skills, and on encouraging students to present arguments themselves.
From freshman-level classes to upper-division seminars, Bloodsworth-Lugo is committed to helping students reach their potential. She encourages students to connect their own experiences with the course material and then apply what they have learned in their daily lives.
Students regularly praise her engagement with the material and her ability to help them grasp difficult concepts. Her most recent student evaluation scores were impressive for all four of her courses.
Now in her 17th year of teaching, Bloodsworth-Lugo keeps her course instruction fresh with creative exercises, skillful complexity, and the joy of lifelong learning.
Department of Sociology
Jennifer Schwartz has been an indispensable teacher and graduate student mentor since she arrived at WSU in 2003. As one of only a few faculty members working in criminology—and the only one on the Pullman campus—she has carried an unusually heavy graduate advising load from the beginning.
In order to maximize her ability to mentor an ever-growing number of students, Schwartz developed an innovative graduate reading group where students have the opportunity to meet with her while also learning to think critically about each other’s work.
In addition to her coursework on gender and crime, Schwartz teaches a core research methods class for sociology and skillfully tailors the material to the interests of the students enrolled each semester.
Schwartz is often asked to participate on graduate committees. To date, she has served on a total of 23 committees, including chair responsibilities for nine PhD and six master’s committees.
She consistently involves graduate students in her research. Together with her graduate student co-authors, she has produced 10 publications and nine professional meeting presentations. Often, the students will stand on the podium gaining valuable experience while Schwartz sits in the audience.
She is a dedicated professor who challenges her students and truly wants to see them succeed.
Donelle “Dee” Posey
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
Flexible, innovative, enthusiastic, and effective are just some of words used by Dee Posey’s students and colleagues to describe her exemplary approach to the art and science of teaching. Since her first class at WSU Tri-Cities in 2006, Posey has taught at least 14 different courses in psychology, which requires deep knowledge of diverse content and tremendous organization, preparation, and skill.
As both teacher and mentor, she actively engages students inside and outside the classroom, and is continually evolving and refining her pedagogy with the help of instruction-related grants. When Posey moved to the Pullman campus last year, she successfully translated her effective personal approach to fit her new high-enrollment classes.
Posey enthusiastically embraces innovation and technology in her teaching and recently won a grant from the Provost’s Office to investigate the effectiveness of her “flipped” classroom approach.
Through her work with the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, Posey is gaining a national profile as an expert in psychology education. The breadth and success of her teaching, pedagogical research, and innovative approaches to instruction are helping to transform education in psychology at WSU and nationwide.
Department of English
Bryan Fry is a thoughtful, passionate, and engaging educator, admired by his colleagues as both a “born teacher” and an “eager learner.” He carefully balances rigorous assessment with enthusiastic instruction, and enters a first-year writing course with the same passion he brings to his specialty of creative writing and editing.
Although he consistently receives strong student evaluations, Fry continually updates both his course content and his pedagogy with new contributions and best practices from across his field. For example, he recently overhauled his Honors Writing and Research curriculum to enhance research preparation and worked with library personnel to implement an advanced student research approach.
Fry has also worked diligently to transform the English department curriculum and expand opportunities for students outside of the classroom. The Literary Editing and Publishing course he developed is now a staple of the undergraduate curriculum in creative writing and is expected to become a core element in a new program that will maximize graduates’ success in the complex world of publishing.
As one of the founders of Blood Orange Review—a nationally recognized, online creative writing journal—Fry developed an internship program that offers WSU undergraduates experience with real-world application.
Department of English
Leisa McCormick is the sole academic advisor for two high-volume programs: English and Digital Technology and Culture. Every semester, she meets with more than 400 certified and uncertified majors, plus countless other students fulfilling UCORE requirements or pursuing one of the writing certificates.
She attends advising events for both programs and manages key elements of the enrollment process. When the department revised the procedure for English 402, a technical and professional writing course required for several majors in multiple colleges, her expert coordination with her peer advisors contributed to a smooth and productive transition.
McCormick’s skill as an advisor reaches beyond her own department as well. For the past three years, she has chaired the Program and Events committee of the WSU Academic Advising Association. In this role, McCormick develops resources and training for advisors across the University.
She regularly goes above-and-beyond to guide students during their college careers. In the most recent advising survey, her students reported an exceptionally high level of satisfaction. Her cumulative effectiveness rating is a stunning 4.93 out of 5.
Sabreen Yamini Dodson
Department of Physics and Astronomy
In addition to providing administrative and organizational support for the chair and more than 30 faculty and staff, Sabreen Yamini Dodson manages the undergraduate academic program and provides coordination for the graduate studies program.
She is keenly aware of the importance of recruiting and retaining top students and goes the extra mile to ensure visitors to the department have a positive experience.
Dodson is a virtuoso at multi-tasking, has a remarkable sense of priority and timeliness, and with nearly 20 years of experience at WSU, she knows how to get things done—whether it’s organizing annual reviews, creating a database, or getting documents to a student in Iran.
Given her professional acumen and her compassionate character, it’s not surprising that the packet of materials submitted for this award by her chair included four separate nominations and fifteen letters of recommendation, each filled with admiration and respect for her organizational ability, sense of community, and leadership.
In the words of one recommendation, “She is a true gem and the University would not be the same without her many contributions.”
School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs
As both the program coordinator and the graduate coordinator for the school, Bonnie Kemper consistently goes above and beyond her regular responsibilities to support the director and maintain smooth administrative operations for the unit.
Over the past two years, Kemper has taken the initiative to cover multiple staff shortages in the office while maintaining her own duties. When the positions were filled, her cheerful orientation and training helped ease the transition. This past year, when the school was without a student advisor, she again shouldered an increase in her workload to assist undergraduate students.
Her work is consistently accurate and thorough, and her professional commitment and willingness to serve the institution is greatly appreciated.
School of Music
Christopher Nelson is studying conducting with Danh Pham and Matthew Aubin, and percussion with David Jarvis. For his creative project, Nelson is producing an original wind orchestration ofLegacies, a percussion ensemble piece by nationally recognized composer Nathan Daughtrey.
Nelson attended the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic where he worked directly with Daughtrey. The composer has agreed to work with him to complete the project and plans to be in the audience next spring when the WSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble performs the world premiere of Nelson’s orchestration.
In addition to numerous performances as a percussionist, Nelson has been a guest lecturer for several undergraduate music education courses and a guest conductor for the Wind Ensemble, the Symphonic Band, and the Percussion Ensemble.
In June 2014, he will represent WSU as one of only 12 participants selected nationwide to attend the “Art of Wind Band Conducting” symposium in Austin, Texas.
He is also an award-winning percussion arranger and visual designer for competitive high school marching bands.
Department of History
As a non-traditional student who struggled academically in high school and spent nearly a decade in the retail industry before embarking on his undergraduate studies, Daniel Vickoren brings an important and unique perspective to the history program.
Vickoren earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude and has adeptly balanced the demands of a master’s program with the responsibilities and rewards of being a husband and the father of four small children.
He maintained a perfect GPA while completing his research, served three semesters as a teaching assistant for one of the history department’s foundational first-year courses, and held leadership roles in two graduate student societies.
For his thesis, Vickoren developed a thought-provoking, original study of the Americanization of two religions and how their participation in the Communist “Red Scare” of the 1920s served to bridge the ideological gap between “fringe” religions and mainstream American society.
A first-generation college student and a McNair scholar, he currently has one article in press and a second in progress. He plans to build his master’s thesis into a doctoral dissertation that examines the processes through which religious “outsiders” become legitimate “insiders.”
Department of Anthropology
A dedicated student of cultural anthropology, Katherine Flores possesses remarkable initiative. Most anthropologists do not organize their own fieldwork until after they begin their dissertation work, but the summer after her first year in the master’s program, she organized and completed an independent fieldwork excursion in a remote village of the Caribbean island-nation of Dominica.
She employed both qualitative and quantitative methods to collect data about the local medical culture and assess the ethnobotanical landscape of the region.
Flores then used the information gathered during her fieldwork as the basis for a first-author paper she submitted to a high-impact journal in December. She recently received a request to revise and resubmit, and she set to work immediately and enthusiastically.
Her advisor said Katie was only “vaguely disgruntled” by several harsh criticisms in the review—the same type of criticisms that have devastated other junior scholars in the past. Flores’ reaction is indicative of her resilient spirit and a promising academic career.
She has been accepted to present her work at the first joint meeting of the Society of Ethnobiology and the Society for Economic Botany.
Flores is a senator for the Graduate and Professional Student Association, as well as a graduate student representative within the department. She intends to remain at WSU to pursue her doctorate.
Jacki Hedlund Tyler
Department of History
Jacki Hedlund Tyler is a dedicated student of race studies in America. Her dissertation on political chatter will help scholars better understand the racial and gender influences which led to the 1857 Oregon constitution, including contradictory provisions that banned slavery and, at the same time, banned free African Americans from living in the state.
Tyler participates regularly in history conferences and has received significant recognition for her work. For example, after hearing her present at a regional conference of the American Historical Association, the editors of a respected journal personally encouraged her to submit her work in article form for the journal’s Jerome Braun Prize. Tyler’s manuscript earned first runner-up honors in the field of western legal history.
In the past four years, she has received five fellowships to support her research: one from the Oregon Historical Society, two departmental fellowships, and two WSU libraries fellowships.
Two years ago, working with the WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections unit and supported by a National Park Service grant, Tyler helped to process the largest private collection of photos of the Japanese-American internment camp in Wyoming.
She is a dedicated community member, serving as the graduate student faculty representative in the history department, volunteering at the Whitman County Historical Society, and mentoring new graduate students in the department.
R. Kyle Bocinsky
Department of Anthropology
As a member of the Village Ecodynamics Project, Kyle Bocinsky is pioneering sophisticated computational models to better understand how ancient peoples of the American Southwest might have selected living sites, gathered or grown food, and even domesticated the North American turkey. The first of his three-article dissertation is currently under review with the Journal of Anthropological Archeology.
Shortly after arriving in Pullman in 2009, Bocinsky secured two highly competitive awards from the National Science Foundation: a two-year traineeship in evolutionary modeling through WSU’s IGERT program and a three-year graduate research fellowship.
Bocinsky seeks out opportunities to share his knowledge and hone his skills. During his tenure at WSU, he has contributed to or been the lead author for three book chapters, three peer-reviewed articles, five poster presentations, and 17 podium presentations. He has a total of 10 papers in the works, including one currently in revision for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
He is creative in his modeling and routinely applies interdisciplinary tools to his archeological research.
Materials Science and Engineering Program
Alex Samuels has a genuine interest in both experimental and theoretical chemistry. For his first project at WSU in the summer of 2009, he used two computational software systems to resolve a question of hydrogen storage and successfully published the results in the journal Chemical Physics Letters.
Samuels has since developed an interest in the nuclear fuel cycle. His research is focused on extraction processes to reclaim usable material from spent nuclear rods. His findings were used as the basis of a sponsored project with a nuclear reactor design firm and could eventually aid in the reduction of nuclear waste stockpiles.
He has presented his work at several regional and national chemistry meetings and has four papers in the works: two have been submitted and he is completing the manuscripts for the other two.
Additionally, Samuels has served as a teaching assistant for Chemistry 105 and 106, two of the largest chemistry classes taught on the Pullman campus.
His ability to communicate across disciplines and between experimental and theoretical realms is paving the way for interdisciplinary studies by students at all levels at WSU.