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Washington State University
CAS Connect April 2015

CAS Award recipients 2015

With the WSU Faculty Jazz Quintet providing the soundtrack, members of the College of Arts and Sciences gathered to celebrate achievements in teaching, research, and mentoring at the third annual Appreciation and Recognition Social on April 22.

Dean Daryll DeWald, assisted by the associate deans of the college, presented certificates to 15 faculty, four staff, and six graduate students in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments. The achievements of numerous other CAS colleagues also were recognized in the program.

Congratulations to the 2015 CAS Award recipients!

Faculty Career Awards

Distinguished Faculty Award

Tom DickensonJ. Thomas Dickinson
Regents Professor
Physics and Astronomy

An elected fellow of five professional societies in his field, Tom Dickinson is a world-class scientist, colleague, mentor, and educator. He joined the WSU faculty in 1968 and has been on the leading edge of scientific exploration and academics ever since.

His innovative and rich experimental studies at the intersection of physics, chemistry, and materials science have advanced our understanding of atomic-scale phenomena on the surface of crystals, including responses to mechanical stress and beams of electrons, ions, and photons. He has published more than 350 technical articles, and has standing invitations to present at institutions around the world.

He is also a uniquely gifted instructor who brings enthusiasm, clarity, and innovation into the classroom by providing an active learning environment. He is a keen student of new pedagogic techniques and technology and is currently working within the College of Arts and Sciences and with the Office of the Provost to implement and evaluate instructional strategies that combine online and face-to-face learning.

Outstanding Career Achievement

Philip MarstonPhil Marston
Physics and Astronomy

After four decades of sustained research excellence, outstanding service, and inspired teaching, Phil Marston continues to push the theoretical and experimental boundaries of light scattering and underwater acoustics. He is an internationally respected expert on target scattering and he remains at the cutting edge of particle manipulation by ultrasonic beams. He has produced more than 200 publications, including several seminal works, and mentored dozens of graduate students. He received the Acoustical Society’s prestigious Silver Medal in Physical Acoustics, and is a previous recipient of the WSU Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award.

Mid-Career Achievement

Aurora ClarkAurora Clark
Associate Professor

Leveraging the power of data-mining applications used by the likes of MapQuest and Google, Aurora Clark has garnered an international reputation for her creative and interdisciplinary approach to solving complex chemical problems. She is pioneering the use of network analysis algorithms to quantify and understand intermolecular behavior; more than 100 researchers around the globe are using at least one of her three software programs to study phase chemistry and molecular dynamics. She is also a dedicated educator and recently collaborated with Scot Wherland to increase student engagement in high-enrollment general chemistry courses by developing interactive, real-time learning modules.

Mid-Career Achievement

Brian Kemp Brian Kemp
Associate Professor
Anthropology; Biological Sciences

A unique dual-appointment reinforces Brian Kemp’s interdisciplinary perspective on the parallels between the genetic and archaeological records of Native American prehistory. Citations of his key publications continue to increase and he is fast becoming internationally renowned for advancing DNA extraction methods and authenticating the results. He is a consistent contributor to professional meetings and conferences, and is a sought-after invited speaker. He is an exceptional collaborator and a talented teacher. He actively mentors undergraduate research projects and serves as a graduate advisor in both academic units.

Early Career Achievement

Brian ClowersBrian Clowers
Assistant Professor

Working at the intersection of chemistry, mathematics, and technology, Brian Clowers is enhancing the understanding of complex chemical systems. He is a recognized expert in the field of ion mobility, with an exceptional scholarly record and three licensed patents based on his work. In his short time at WSU, he has assembled a promising research team focused on the effective detection of molecules at trace levels. His practical experience and a genuine enthusiasm for science contribute to his success in the classroom.

Teaching and Advising Awards

Outstanding Achievement in International Teaching, Research, Creative Activities, and/or Service

Peter ChilsonPeter Chilson

The author of three award-winning books about Africa, Peter Chilson’s gift for storytelling and an adventurous spirit have led to unusual territory for an English professor. His e-book about the civil war in Mali raised international awareness of its importance in the global war on terror. He regularly brings his experience with global issues into the classroom and arranges for international visitors to speak with students on campus. Peter has been a Fulbright Scholar, a fiction writing fellow at the prestigious Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and the recipient of a Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting grant.

Thomas E. Lutz Teaching Excellence

Susan DexheimerSue Dexheimer
Associate Professor
Physics and Astronomy

Using discussions of current research to reinforce the idea that science is an active intellectual process, Sue Dexheimer provides first-rate instruction across a wide range of courses. She emphasizes the development of critical thinking and quantitative problem-solving skills, and establishes strong connections between theory and real-world applications. Sue mentors graduate and undergraduate student research and is active in recruiting and retaining women students in physics.

William F. Mullen Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

David Shier

David Shier
Associate Professor
Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs

An outstanding record in the classroom and skilled leadership are hallmarks of David Shier’s teaching accomplishments. In his 20-year career at WSU, he has consistently developed interesting courses, engaged in assessment procedures, promoted new technologies, and mentored new faculty. He has served as a department chair and is currently the undergraduate studies director for PPPA.

Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring

Patricia Ericsson

Patricia Ericsson
Associate Professor

Committed to advancing her students’ intellectual and professional development, Patricia Ericsson not only provides academic guidance but also trains graduate students in pedagogical skills that are crucial for success in the classroom. She has served as an advisor for 18 doctoral and 15 master’s degree students and the placement rate for her advisees exceeds the national average.

Excellence in Teaching by an Instructor

Nicholas CerrutiNicholas Cerruti
Senior Instructor
Physics and Astronomy

Noted for his accessibility to his students, Nicholas Cerruti teaches a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses—from general introductory physics to the complexities of quantum mechanics, plus two engaging UCORE offerings in astronomy. He is the faculty advisor for the energetic Physics and Astronomy Club and is active in student recruitment for the department. He was inducted into the WSU Teaching Academy in 2014.

Excellence in Teaching by an Instructor

Charles WellerR. Charles Weller

Proficient in multiple languages, Charles Weller brings real-world global experience and creativity to his Roots of Contemporary Issues and Asia Program courses. He actively helps students build critical-thinking and research skills and encourages the exploration of modern global challenges within a larger historical framework. Also an active researcher, he published two peer-reviewed papers in 2014 and has two edited volumes and a book in progress.

Excellence in Teaching by a Clinical Faculty Member

Cao WeiguoCao Weiguo
Clinical Associate Professor
Foreign Languages and Cultures

A diligent teacher with an excellent service record, Cao Weiguo teaches Chinese language and conversation classes as well as cultural courses on Asian literature and the Art of War. He selects and supervises the department’s peer tutors and serves as the faculty advisor for the new Chinese Language Table student club.

Faculty Service Awards

Excellence in Professional Service

Paul StrandPaul Strand
Associate Professor
Psychology, Tri-Cities

Committed to solving critical issues through partnerships with state agencies, Paul Strand transforms high-quality research into practical applications that improve the lives of disadvantaged children. He is vice chair for the local Head Start organization, works with school districts to tackle the problem of truancy in older youths, and has provided expert testimony to the state legislature in Olympia.

Excellence in Institutional Service

Larry HuffordLarry Hufford
Professor and Director
Biological Sciences

Admired for his ability to build consensus, Larry Hufford has dedicated much of his professional career to serving the WSU community. His participation and altruistic leadership on numerous working groups and committees and as a unit administrator have contributed to significant educational, administrative, and research-based advancements across the institution. He also maintains an active research program and contributes to national botanical organizations.

Excellence in Peer Mentoring

Scott WherlandScot Wherland

The driving force in general chemistry instruction for the past decade, Scot Wherland’s open style and experience are valuable assets for the department, college, and the University. His ability to guide, inspire, and support his colleagues provides both continuity in the classroom and opportunity for growth across all ranks of faculty. A previous recipient of the Lutz Teaching Award, he recently led the successful introduction of a “flipped classroom” for Chemistry 105.

Staff Excellence Awards

Administrative Professional Excellence

Lori BruceLori Bruce
Principal Assistant

As principal assistant first for the Materials Science Program and now for the Department of Chemistry, Lori Bruce provides key administrative and organizational support for a diverse and growing research enterprise.

Administrative Professional Excellence

Rosanne Kenedy, musicRosanne Kenedy
Administrative Manager

An experienced office manager, Rosanne Kenedy provides outstanding support for vital operational activities within the School of Music, including budget reconciliation, personnel, purchasing, and assessments.

Civil Service Excellence

Pam BlackPam Black
Fiscal Specialist II
Biological Sciences

With more than 20 years of fiscal management experience at WSU, Pam Black keeps one of the largest academic units in CAS running smoothly. Faculty, graduate students, and colleagues value her thorough knowledge and professionalism.

Advising Excellence

Doug JuneauDoug Juneau
Academic Coordinator
CAS Social Sciences

Undaunted by nearly 300 undergraduate advisees every semester, Doug Juneau meets individually with students to ensure that academic, personal, and career goals are identified, and a comprehensive academic plan is in place. He is highly regarded as a zzusis expert and serves on the Provost’s Student Success Collaborative leadership team.

PhD Achievement Awards


Amanda LinkAmanda Link

Using government archives, personal collections, and public records, Amanda Link’s research explores the belated official recognition of WWI veterans in Ireland and the relationship between centralized state narratives and private memory and commemoration. She has presented her work at an international conference on memory and commemoration in Finland, at a select workshop at Cambridge University, and at several meetings of the American Council for Irish Studies.


I. Abrrey MonrealI. Abrrey Monreal

Co-author of four papers in his first two years of graduate training, Abrrey Monreal is pursuing the design, synthesis, and characterization of sialic acid-derived peptides, and holds a provisional patent on the compositions and uses of SialoPen for intracellular delivery of anticancer agents. He received a Gordon Research fellowship to present his findings at the international Seminar on Chemistry and Biology of Peptides in California, and recently published a paper in Chemical Communications.

Social sciences

Ming Li HsiehMing-li Hsieh
Criminal Justice and Criminology

In her role as a senior research associate, Ming-li Hsieh provided key analysis and findings for the Snohomish Drug Court Evaluation and the Washington state sex offender risk assessment tool. Her thesis examines the discretionary practices for sentencing felony sex offenders and seeks to establish a baseline for risk assessment. Winner of two outstanding graduate student awards, she has co-authored a book chapter on the perception of victimization in cyberspace and published four peer-reviewed papers in 2014.

Master’s Achievement Awards


Alvin Delos SantosAlvin James Delos Santos

Blending his love of music with an undergraduate degree in economics, Alvin James Delos Santos is developing a bibliography of interdisciplinary curricular resources to strengthen arts entrepreneurship education. He plays lead alto saxophone for the WSU Jazz Big Band, directs the One O’Clock Jazz ’Shop, and is a talented keyboard artist, composer, and arranger.


Sarah SchraederSarah Schraeder

Originally from Lower Saxony, Sarah Schraeder is completing a case study of collective German memory during World War II, with a focus on concentration camp memorials in northwestern Germany. Her development of regional perspectives will complement national literature of the Nazi period and highly visible Holocaust commemorative activities in the 21st century.

Social Sciences

Cheyenne FosterCheyenne Foster
Criminal Justice and Criminology

A dedicated scholar, Cheyenne Foster’s impressive record includes a national conference presentation, a journal submission, and co-authoring a book chapter. Her areas of interest encompass community corrections, qualitative methods, and feminist theory.