The College of Arts and Sciences celebrated achievements in teaching, research, and mentoring at the Appreciation and Recognition Social on April 14, 2016.
Twenty faculty and staff and seven graduate students from across the college were honored for their contribution to the WSU community and their commitment to excellence.
- View photos from the ceremony honoring 2016 awards recipients
- Download the 2016 Recognition Social program
- List of previous recipients
Faculty Career Awards
Recently named as a Foundation Fellow by the Music Teachers National Association, Gerald Berthiaume is a renowned pianist, a respected educator, and a remarkable colleague and mentor.
He performs around the world as a soloist, accompanist, collaborator, and chamber musician. His work is featured on more than a dozen published CDs, including his second solo album, Struck by Lightning, released in 2014 on the peerreviewed WSU Recordings label.
His current academic endeavors include teaching studio piano, mentoring graduate students, coaching chamber music groups, and serving on the faculty of the Summer Keyboard Explorations camp for middle and high school students, which he founded in 1990. He is a frequent judge and adjudicator for regional events and is often invited to speak and perform at national and international conferences. Beginning in 2003, he served as director of the School of Music for eight years, and in 2015 he was selected to present the WSU Distinguished Faculty Address.
Michael Skinner’s novel findings in epigenetics have opened new scientific windows on inheritance across generations and predisposition to disease. Over the course of a 20‑year career at WSU, his vision and leadership have led to a marked increase in scientific, educational, and industry collaborations in reproductive biology and environmental epigenetics. He holds 11 patents, is an elected member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has published more than 270 papers, and mentored more than 110 students, scientists, and researchers.
Working at the intersection of cultural heritage, technology, and ethics, Kim Christen is transforming the way scholars and libraries around the world partner with and support indigenous communities. She serves as co-director of the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation and oversees digital initiatives designed to appropriately steward cultural collections around the world. She has developed engaging undergraduate and graduate courses in digital humanities and is regularly invited to present lectures and workshops at international conferences.
An emerging expert in the dynamics of photosynthesis and energy storage in plants, Henning Kunz runs a productive research program, mentors numerous students, and collaborates with colleagues both on and off campus. In his short time at WSU, he has delivered six invited talks, prepared new teaching materials, and established a high school STEM outreach program. He also has served as editor for a special edition journal and helped to organize a regional section conference.
Professor and Associate Dean
More than 10 years ago, Rebecca Craft initiated informal mentoring meetings for junior faculty within her home department; when she became chair in 2011, she formalized the mentoring program for tenure-track associate professors and clinical faculty. She served as the external mentor program coordinator for ADVANCE at WSU and used that experience to help develop a similar initiative for the college. She recently began facilitating professional development workshops for new CAS chairs and directors, as well as for units across WSU and at other institutions.
Noriko Kawamura has made steady contributions to the internationalization of WSU since she joined the faculty in 1992. An expert in U.S.–Japanese relations and the issues of war and peace, she cultivated partnerships with the Japanese government and academic institutions, and expanded cultural and research collaborations. She established, and continues to advise, the WSU Japan Club and served as director of the Asia Program for three years. She is president of Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast and recently published Emperor Hirohito and the Pacific War.
An experienced writer and researcher, Michelle McGuire engages undergraduate students in critical thinking about scientific information and how it is both produced and consumed. Her balanced approach to biology and nutrition resonates with students in all majors and she frequently connects her classroom instruction with real-world situations. Her clear expectations, creative projects, and approachable manner are hallmarks of the transformational student experience at WSU.
Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs
The primary architect of an “Ethics Across the Curriculum” initiative, Matt Stichter developed undergraduate and graduate courses in ethical theory and business ethics, contributed to expanding online teaching capacity, and has delivered guest lectures in engineering, environment, and for the Common Reading program. His significant instructional responsibilities and aptitude for interdisciplinary teaching provide valuable training for future policy makers as well as scientists, economists, and healthcare workers.
Kirk Peterson is a gifted teacher able to clearly communicate abstract and mathematically dense concepts to a wide range of scientists and engineers. He routinely teaches half of the graduate courses in physical chemistry and consistently receives high evaluation ratings. From thermodynamics to quantum mechanics to computational chemistry, students praise his engaging style, his approachability, and his proactive technique with especially difficult concepts.
Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs
As a core faculty member and co-PI for the NSF NSPIRE project at WSU, Steven Stehr helped to develop a unique interdisciplinary graduate program in Earth sciences and public policy, enhanced student opportunities in policy training, and facilitated meetings with government agency representatives. He has served on more than 50 graduate student committees and recently published a peer-reviewed article on the importance of diversifying graduate education.
Allyson Beall King
Clinical Associate Professor
Building on the mindset of her students, Allyson King developed a solutions-based teaching method for a high-enrollment introductory environmental science course that integrates technology and local environmental resources, and allows flexibility for individual cohort interests. She revised course materials, developed field exercises, and created POGIL worksheets for both online and on-campus use. The positive results have informed her subsequent teaching and added depth to her scholarship.
Physics and Astronomy
Michael Allen actively pursues innovative pedagogy and applies rigorous analysis to determine efficacy. His teaching responsibilities range from introductory astronomy to upper division physics to general science for the Honors College; at every level, he employs a variety of methods to increase student engagement and assigns diverse tasks to incorporate all four language skills. He also provides teaching workshops for faculty and organizes community events at the campus planetarium and observatory.
Mathematics and Statistics
As a teaching assistant for Calculus I and II, master’s candidate Stan Swierczek earned high praise for his organization, clear explanations, approachability, and dedication to student success. He continued to excel as a teacher in his second year, providing outstanding instruction in his own section of Mathematics for Business and Economics and serving as an experienced peer mentor for fellow graduate students preparing for qualifying exams.
Faculty Service Awards
Physics and Astronomy
As the science lead for LIGO-India, Sukanta Bose is engaged in building an international scientific community that will complement U.S. operations and connect WSU to groundbreaking research in astrophysics. He is a member of several distinguished professional organizations, regularly assists in organizing worldwide scientific meetings, and has been instrumental in forging multi-disciplinary collaborations among scientists and engineers in many areas.
For nearly 20 years, Scot Wherland has provided a knowledgeable faculty voice for numerous University initiatives. His extensive work on the WSU Catalog Subcommittee has contributed to high academic standards for new and modified courses and degrees. Additionally, he has served as a member of committees working on campus-wide computer networking, classroom modifications, college curriculum and assessment standards, departmental reviews, and undergraduate studies.
Staff Excellence Awards
Fiscal Officer and Management Analyst
Distinguished by her substantial knowledge, professionalism, and attention to detail, Debbie Arrasmith provides key budgetary and personnel support for the Department of Chemistry. She is well versed in both WSU and external agency policies, and readily guides researchers through complex reporting requirements. Her commitment to excellence and efficiency enhances operations throughout the organization.
Instructional Laboratory Supervisor
Physics and Astronomy
After more than 20 years as a research scientist, Stephen Langford is now applying his extensive knowledge and organizational skills to effectively manage undergraduate laboratory resources, teaching assistants, and weekly experiment setup for nearly 900 students each semester. His dedication to instructional excellence, safety, and interdisciplinary understanding significantly contributes to the WSU premier student experience.
Electron Microscope Specialist
Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center
From sample preparation to instrument operation to expert collaboration, Valerie Lynch-Holm plays a vital role in the ongoing success of the Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center. Her extensive knowledge and experience is widely valued by the hundreds of researchers she assists each year. Over the course of her career, she has provided expert training for more than 2,000 graduate students at WSU.
Molly Spain provides crucial purchasing and reconciliation support for dozens of chemistry laboratories and researchers, as well as three active service centers. Faculty, graduate students, and colleagues across campus value her outstanding customer service skills, solution-oriented methods, and enthusiastic attitude.
Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs
Using a blend of participatory methods, Teresa Woolverton guides and supports more than 500 undergraduate students across three different degree programs. She facilitates student decision-making and enables advisees to take charge of their education. Her valuable input on course scheduling and monthly advising reports help connect PPPA faculty to student needs.
Senior Academic Coordinator
Justine Rupp provides valuable training and mentoring for faculty, staff, and students in one of the largest units of the college. A wealth of experience and a calm, confident demeanor enable her to skillfully guide colleagues, improve overall understanding of institutional policies and procedures, and actively contribute to the success of the school and its students.
Doctoral Student Achievement Awards
The recipient of two WSU graduate fellowships, Sikang Song has developed into an accomplished teacher while pursuing ambitious research on the transformative effects of tobacco cultivation and consumption in China in the early 20th century. His cutting-edge integration of Chinese- and English-language sources provides a global perspective on environmental, social, political, and cultural dynamics of the time. He has presented at conferences in Washington, D.C, and across the western United States.
Physics and Astronomy
Elham Mafi is a skilled scientist and researcher, and the author or co-author of six published papers. Her work correlating variations in electrical properties with structural changes in microscopic latticed materials has the potential to contribute to the development of advanced memory applications and other nanoscale technology. She has received numerous scholarships and travel grants, as well as recognition for her electron microscope imaging.
Pursuing her interest in addiction neuroscience, Angela Henricks has uncovered interactions between the endocannabionoid system and ovarian hormones that could lead to a better understanding of alcohol withdrawal symptoms in females. She has presented at 11 conferences and is the author or co-author of two published papers. She served as a teaching assistant or instructor for four undergraduate psychology courses and co-designed the online curriculum for another.
Master’s Student Achievement Awards
An accomplished flutist and composer, Zachery Meier’s music is artfully crafted and engaging for performers and listeners alike. He has received commissions from several WSU faculty and his compositions include pieces for soloists, chamber ensembles, and full orchestras. He is principal flute for the WSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble and a member of the Washington-Idaho Symphony.
Jason Hogstad combined his experience as a public historian and his avid interest in homesteading into a thesis exploring the intersection of ecology and culture in the high desert of eastern Oregon. He served several semesters as a teaching assistant for Roots of Contemporary Issues and assisted in organizing the first WSU Graduate Student Interdisciplinary Conference.
Building on her interest in social inequality and change, Liz Dzialo examined survey data from 30 countries and developed a theoretical framework on the feminization of environmental responsibility. She has coauthored two published papers and is scheduled to present her findings at two summer conferences. She also presented at and helped organize the 2015 EARThS conference at WSU.