The University of Washington recognized and honored faculty, staff, students and distinguished alumni for the amazing work they do for the UW, for our local communities, for the citizens of Washington, and for our world. The Awards of Excellence were presented at Meany Hall on June 11, 2015.
The following is based on remarks made by Interim President Ana Mari Cauce and Interim Provost and Executive Vice President Gerald J. Baldasty.
Ross Braine, Tribal Liaison, in the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, Distinguished Staff Award
Since before Ross graduated from the UW in 2006, he set his sights on a personal goal – to follow through on the UW’s decades-old promise to build a longhouse honoring the Duwamish people upon whose land the Seattle campus rests. Through his role in OMAD, he got to work building and strengthening relationships and creating partnerships to deepen the UW’s engagement with the Northwest Tribal community, students and colleagues.
Just a few months ago, Ross’s longtime dream came true – the wətłəb?altxw Intellectual House had an official ribbon cutting in March and hosted its first tribal summit.
Ross has been tireless and selfless in his efforts to make the Intellectual House a reality, from personally writing grants – which resulted in $3 million for the project – to securing funding and interviewing the construction committees. On a daily basis, Ross is a mentor to many students and a cultural broker, with a strong focus on nurturing and enhancing relationships among the University of Washington, the tribes and their communities. His work expands beyond this University all the way to the White House for the Initiative on American Indians and Alaska Natives to Improving Urban Indian Education through the US Department of Education.
Ross’ dedicated work and advocacy with Native American students and faculty groups not only enriches OMAD, but our entire campus.
Carolyn Chow, Director of Admissions and Multicultural Student Affairs, School of Nursing and Department of Academic Services, Distinguished Staff Award
An advocate for social justice, Carolyn has worked tirelessly to increase diversity in the School of Nursing. Carolyn earnestly desires to promote growth in others, quickly finding their strengths and encouraging them for successful results. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and she is able to connect with people and put them at ease.
Carolyn’s contributions to diversity awareness and to community-building provide superior and sustained benefits, as she has bridged the UW School of Nursing with external communities of underrepresented students of color.
As a founding member of the UW School of Nursing Diversity Awareness Group (DAwGs), Carolyn successfully spearheaded the founding of an annual UW Nurse Camp, a free, weeklong day camp for underserved and under‐represented high school students who show an interest in the field of nursing. Nurse Camp is considered to be the crown jewel of the Diversity Awareness Group.
One of her students describes Carolyn’s devotion to excellence by saying: “Her passion for diversity and social justice seeps into all of the work that she does and has inspired many of my colleagues and me, to remain engaged and involved. Carolyn demonstrates the kind of integrity and commitment to UW nursing students that cannot be matched.”
Kathryn Folk-Way, Associate Director, Department of Creative Communications, Distinguished Staff Award
Katy is an innovative change agent. She is always coming up with ingenious ideas to make things better in Creative Communications by finding solutions to problems, challenging the status quo, and knocking down barriers to produce effective change.
This creativity also ties in to her responsibilities for Human Resources, where she handles sensitive issues with respect and integrity, and sometimes with her own resources. If an employee needs to be off work for an extended period of time, Katy often generously donates her own leave to help them remain in pay status.
In addition to her role managing Operations and Human Resources, Katy is a Lean Leader for organizational improvement for all 90 staff members and 27 student positions in the department and she collaborates across departments regularly.
Katy is also a tireless and dedicated volunteer at the University of Washington Medical Center, where she plays a significant role as a patient and family advocate. At UWMC, Katy serves as a co-chair on the Intensive Care Unit Patient and Family Advisory Council. She also volunteers on Monday and Friday evenings in the ICU to help families and patients navigate through very difficult times.
Katy’s colleague wrote, “Katy is dedicated, committed and a natural born leader. Without her efforts, the UWMC ICUs would not be the patient- and family-centered environments that they are today. Her ability to bring a team together and create a unified vision and plan has enabled her to move mountains where others have failed. Katy is truly a gift to all of us–patients, families and staff…”
Irawati Lam, Registered Nurse, Radiation Oncology, UW Medical Center, Distinguished Staff Award
Ira is exceptional in the care she provides to her patients and the collaboration she fosters among many providers, making her an integral and outstanding leader on behalf of pediatric cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.
UWMC radiation therapists and Seattle Children’s Hospital anesthesiologists intersect at Ira’s role as the nurse for these patients. Ira has the uniform trust and support of the therapists, and the mere mention of her name among the anesthesiologists spurs profuse praise from everyone.
The pediatric radiation oncologist for Seattle Children’s and UWMC, whose work depends on Ira, praised her saying, “She is an amazing nurse. Her clinical judgment is wonderful. If Ira tells me she is worried about a patient, I become worried. If Ira is not worried, I find that reassuring. She is meticulous in her attention to detail and always has the data on hand…that I need to make decisions about treatment.”
Ira’s amazing clinical work is also appreciated by pediatric patients’ families. Her exceptional bedside manner, her confidence and her commitment to always go the extra mile for her patients have made her a favorite. When a child needs pediatric nursing on weekends or holidays, without hesitation or fanfare Ira frequently goes to the hospital to help.
On one occasion, as a five-year-old former patient’s cancer was progressing, Ira continued to call at least weekly to talk with the child’s grandmother — not because there was a clinical need to do so, but because Ira cared deeply for this family and wanted to make them feel fully supported.
Ira has received this award for her extraordinary support of UWMC’s mission, for her seamless, phenomenal professionalism and for her contributions both to outstanding clinical care and a strengthened partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Stephen Weber, Access Services Supervisor, Odegaard Undergraduate Library, Distinguished Staff Award
Steve’s work has been consistently characterized by compassion, calm pragmatism, creative problem solving, quiet leadership, patience, vision, devotion and a willingness to sacrifice for our students.
Steve’s work has been consistently characterized by compassion, calm pragmatism, creative problem solving, quiet leadership, patience, vision, devotion and a willingness to sacrifice for our students.
His singular focus on the special needs of undergraduate students sets the standard for the entire staff. With a steady hand, he ensures that highly competent and welcoming staff provide excellent service for the 2,000 students and faculty who make use of the library, both during the day and throughout the night.
He is well-known for motivating those around him, for quietly acknowledging the special challenges faced by his staff who take on new procedures and for openly rewarding them with concrete praise when they demonstrate good-faith persistence in pursuit of a shared goal. As one of his staff noted, “Steve never fails to thank others in the department for their hard work.”
Working and excelling at all three shifts in the library — overnight, evening, and day — Steve has earned more responsibility and has been appointed to numerous committees beyond Odegaard to develop new procedures, provide the best in customer service and implement innovative solutions.
For example, Steve created a student‐driven reserves collection that allows students to request a reserve copy of course texts that are not already in the Library’s collection. He also found a winning strategy to mitigate conflicts during the late-night and early morning library hours. And he accomplished all this while working nights at Odegaard and completing his degree in Informatics during the day.
A fellow librarian noted, “I can recall no one in my 35 years in research libraries who has engendered such an outpouring of respect and trust, who has literally worked around the clock to make our environment safer, smarter, friendlier, and more efficient, and has so moved his peers to follow his lead willingly.”
Each day, the University Libraries staff must meet the demands of a huge and diverse community, and Steve has distinguished himself by exceeding these demands with creativity, persistence, and good cheer in his 14 years of service in Access Services in Odegaard Undergraduate Library (OUGL).
Edward Lazowska, Bill and Melinda Gates Chair and Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, David B. Thorud Leadership Award for Faculty
Back in 2006, faculty member Ed Lazowska envisioned that the ability to extract knowledge from large, heterogeneous, noisy datasets would lie at the heart of 21st century discovery.
The proliferate use of sensors and other cutting-edge data collection methods coupled with dramatic advances in computation, storage, bandwidth, and algorithms would transform nearly all fields of discovery from “data poor” to “data rich” and produce a new paradigm: “from data to knowledge to action.”
Ed realized that for UW to remain at the forefront, we needed to be a leader both in advancing the methodologies and tools of data‐intensive discovery, and in putting these methodologies and tools to work for researchers in the broadest imaginable range of fields.
To accomplish this, Ed created the UW’s eScience Institute. He led this initiative not just by pushing the idea of data science in national forums but also by fostering collaborations within our university. Bringing together UW computer scientists, statisticians, and domain scientists (i.e. astronomers, biologists, chemists) who shared similar challenges, and enabling them to communicate and develop collaborations naturally, Ed cultivated the scientific potential of a new generation of data intensive experiments.
Passionate about diversity and in supporting junior voices, Ed formed a team that is collaborative, inclusive, and successful. Last year the eScience Institute received over twenty million dollars in awards from the Moore and Sloan foundations and from the Washington Research Foundation.
Today, Ed is widely viewed as the computer science research community’s highest impact national leader and spokesperson.
A visionary trailblazer for many years and in many settings – national, regional, institutional and departmental – Ed’s leadership in creating and directing the eScience Institute has established the UW as a preeminent leader in data‐intensive discovery.
Chance Reschke, Director of Research Computing, UW Information Technology, David B. Thorud Leadership Award for Staff
Over the past seven years, Chance Reschke has been instrumental in helping build the University’s high‐performance research computing environment from the ground up. His efforts have made computing accessible, faster and easier for faculty and students alike, helping them navigate our complex institution to get the computing support they need to advance their research.
Today, Hyak, the UW’s shared high performance computing cluster, and Lolo, the large‐scale data archiving and collaboration service for researchers, serve approximately 20 research domains from ethnomusicology to physics, about 60 research groups, and more than 300 active users per month.
From the very beginning, Chance was the architect of these important cross‐cutting research investments. His ability to establish outstanding relationships across the University community, his deep technical knowledge in research computing, and his undaunted commitment to building partnerships beyond the University all contribute to his success.
Chance’s institutional‐wide support of research computing across such diverse fields as chemical engineering, nuclear physics, bioinformatics and astrobiology has significantly advanced high‐performance computing support for researchers, positively impacting the University’s ability to recruit and retain countless faculty who are true leaders in their fields.
Chance’s impact on research computing at the University is underscored by the fact that graduate students who worked with Chance before leaving to other institutions often reach out to UWIT to ask how they can replicate the “Chance Reschke” factor in their current institution’s research computing environment.
In essence, Chance has become a peerless, highly respected champion of researchers at UW. His considerable vision, leadership and management have led to the development of a world‐class University and forever changed the way we do computing on‐campus.
Steven C. Shadle, Serials Access Librarian, Cataloguing and Metadata Services, Distinguished Librarian Award
For nearly two decades, librarian Steven Shadle has dedicated himself to ensuring that scholarly journal articles are easily discoverable, even with the growth and change of the virtual environment.
Known by his colleagues as a brilliant interpreter of serial procedures, a developer of metadata standards and a persuasive communicator to publishers as well as librarians and others in the information field, Steve is treasured for his grasp of technical issues, supportiveness, patience and clarity.
Steve’s commitment to teach his methods is evidenced by hundreds of hours instructing workshops, producing more than 100 publications, presentations and technical documents and actively participating in nearly a dozen professional organizations.
A founding member of the national Serials Cataloguing Cooperative Training program, through which he offers in-depth workshops around the world, Steve is a key contributor to the Orbis Cascade Alliance consortium of 37 colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest.
Steve is recognized for his passion to develop solutions for the many complex challenges of migrating serials to the electronic environment and his commitment to teach his methods and mentor students.
Susan W. Williams, Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award
A 1973 graduate, Sue Williams has been an extremely valuable and devoted UWAA volunteer for decades. A former member of the UW Alumni Association Board of Trustees for ten years, Sue also served as President of the Association for the 2011-12 term. Prior to her appointment as a trustee, Sue was Chair of the UWAA Club Council and a member of the University of Washington Alumnae Board.
Sue’s began her volunteer service as an undergraduate student and active member of the Alpha Theta chapter of the Alpha Delta Pi (ADPi) sorority. She remains involved with ADPi and Pan-Hellenic activities as an alumna and is currently Co-Chair of the ADPi 150th Anniversary Celebration planned for 2017.
In addition to her service on the UWAA Board and her countless hours of volunteer work, Sue has contributed her time and effort as a travel host for our Alumni Travel Program, leading numerous trips across the globe, serving as host to hundreds of UW alumni and friends.
Though her official board tenure ended in 2013, Sue continues to be a tireless supporter of the UW Alumni Association, the University of Washington, and higher education in general through her work with UW Impact.
Sue is a wonderful ambassador for our UWAA programs and initiatives, and she continues to seek out ways to engage and support UW alumni and friends. Sue truly exemplifies the Purple and Gold volunteer spirit.
Professor Emeritus Alvin Kwiram, Department of Chemistry, College of Arts & Sciences, Distinguished Retiree Excellence in Community Service Award
Professor Kwiram retired from the UW in 2007 and immediately returned to work as an invaluable volunteer.
For starters, Alvin gives the extraordinary and irreplaceable gift of time to UW scholars and researchers by actively serving on and often chairing UW committees. His work has led to successful strategy and development projects in the departments of Chemistry and Physics and the Graduate School.
On top of that, Alvin has widely improved university-level education and research by serving on committees and advisory boards for colleges and universities both near and far. He actively works to bring people and groups together, directly connecting the UW with universities across the globe by serving on the Academic Advisory Board of the Worldwide University Network and by engaging UW with its community of retirees through service on the Board of Directors of the UW Retirement Association.
Amidst his very busy schedule, Alvin channeled his passion for clean energy to raise visibility for UW’s outstanding research in clean energy production and storage. As chair and founder of a steering committee comprised of Seattle business and civic leaders, Alvin led the group to host the 2007 International Conference on Molecular Photonics at UW’s Friday Harbor Labs.
The group continued to meet monthly for five years, developing several successful strategies that ultimately resulted in the Washington State legislature allocating $6 million in support of UW’s Clean Energy Institute in 2013.
Throughout his career, Alvin has contributed much and influenced many for the greater good, and he continues to do so. An admirer named a very generous donation to the University of Washington in Alvin’s honor, creating the Alvin and Verla Kwiram Professorship in Chemistry.
For his exemplary excellence in service and for his continued support of the UW in his retirement, it’s my deep honor to present this Distinguished Retiree Excellence in Community Service Award to Alvin Kwiram.
Wayne Au, Associate Professor of Education, Bothell, Distinguished Teaching Award
Since joining the UW Bothell faculty in 2010, Wayne has consistently been an outstanding mentor, teacher and citizen.
Wayne’s pedagogical success stems principally from his commitment to engaging students wherever they are developmentally, as conditionally-accepted first-year students in the Academic Transition Program (ATP), traditional undergraduates or master’s students. He has integrated classroom teaching and mentorship to such an exceptional degree that all 19 members of this year’s ATP students collectively nominated Wayne for the Distinguished Teaching Award only three weeks into their first quarter.
As Chair of the Diversity Council, Wayne’s achievements in multicultural education directly benefit student learning on campus. His leadership has earned the respect and admiration of faculty, staff and students, and he has been instrumental in calling attention to ways in which the curriculum and co-curriculum can, through mindful and sophisticated considerations of diversity, robustly support student experiences inside and outside the classroom.
Wayne’s extraordinary impact is summed up well by two comments. A former student wrote: “I have been inspired by Professor Au’s wisdom and involvement of supporting students with their recent concerns of racial issues happening in our country. He has effortlessly helped me unpack this material by creating a classroom that is a safe place to engage in dialogue.”
One of Wayne’s colleagues had this to say: “Wayne has qualities as a classroom teacher that attract students to learn more than they thought they could and allow the students to realize the strength of their learning while they are learning. Students leave his classes wanting more…”
Oleta “Leta” Beard, Senior Lecturer, Department of Marketing and International Business, Foster School, Distinguished Teaching Award
Since arriving at the UW in 1995 to teach Marketing, Leta has added courses in Retailing and International Business, and in the process, she has become one of the Foster School’s most valuable specialists in International Business.
For all three courses, Leta has consistently achieved top evaluations for being in command of her subject matter, for creating interesting and engaging course material and for making her students feel that she is accommodating their own individual learning needs.
Leta has always been an innovator in her approach to teaching. She uses a variety of experiential learning methods such as daily in-class exercises, “in the news” discussions, class debates, case studies, international trade shows and guest speakers. And, she encourages her students to participate in case study competitions.
A shining example of Leta’s style is the World Trade Fair assignment in her undergraduate International Business course. Student teams pitch a country for foreign direct investment to Leta and their peers, with the goal of persuading “investors” who have “monopoly money” to give to countries in which they would like to invest.
Leta cares deeply about her students and enjoys inspiring and mentoring them through independent and creative thinking. She spends countless hours working directly with students on developing and pursuing their career goals. In fact, for the past three years Leta has worked with over 100 students per year, writing letters of recommendation, providing references, assisting with resume writing, and coaching interviewing skills. And through Leta’s guidance and leadership as a faculty advisor, the campus chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) has grown in three years from only seven to over 100 members.
Supportive of her colleagues both within and outside the business school, Leta has shared her course materials with many other faculty and conducted workshops on effective teaching methods. In his letter of support, Professor Emeritus Douglas MacLachlan stated, “She is recognized by her faculty colleagues as being among the very best teachers the Foster School has ever had.”
Jerry Franklin, Professor, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, Distinguished Teaching Award
A gifted teacher who brings enthusiasm, excitement and challenge to each and every educational encounter, Jerry is known for inspiring students at all levels. His public lectures are often packed, sometimes standing room only, and students of all levels sit at attention and marvel at Jerry’s capacity to weave an amazing tale out of straightforward facts.
His disarming style is simultaneously charming and deeply informative, earning him consistent top student ratings, and his work and thoughtful engagement with students inspires a land ethic they carry into their professions and lives.
Described as one of the most influential and well-known forest ecologists of our time, Jerry has led decades-long research and influenced policy decisions across the Pacific Northwest that ended an era of degradation of our national forests and changed the very nature of forest management locally, nationally and globally. He conducted groundbreaking research on how the landscape revived after the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens and has consistently published his work in peer-reviewed journals, now totaling 450 papers.
Despite his national and international reputation, Jerry has unwaveringly devoted himself to the education of undergraduate and graduate students, spending a great deal of time in the classroom and in the field with new ecologists.
Jerry has received numerous national awards for his research on the ecology of the forests of the Pacific Northwest, including the Heinz Award and The Wilderness Society for his contributions to the environment. Most recently, he was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Chris Laws, Senior Lecturer, Department of Astronomy in the College of the Arts and Sciences, Distinguished Teaching Award
After earning a PhD in astronomy from the UW in 2004, Chris immediately distinguished himself when he became Associate Director of UW’s Manastash Ridge Observatory—the site of a telescope in the foothills near Ellensburg aimed at hands-on research training of our undergraduate astronomy majors.
Chris personally managed and did much of the work to renovate the observatory, making it a welcoming and functional facility, obtaining funding for new instrumentation, and spending many nights and most weekends with Astronomy 481 students on-site during the summer months.
For many students, the class is the capstone experience of their astronomy education at UW, and every summer Chris is the singular driving force behind it. The in-person field experience, research training and mentoring that Chris provides for all the courses he teaches has been key in expanding our undergraduate major to become one of the largest astronomy majors in the entire nation.
Chris is completely unselfish with his time and energy, personally engaging students even in large lecture classes and often calling them by name on the first day.
For the more than two-dozen distinct offerings of a half-dozen different courses that Chris has taught, his near-perfect student evaluations remain unsurpassed in the Astronomy department. This includes an innovative IWP English writing course linked to the astronomy class for non-majors that Chris created.
The impact and esteem among Chris’s faculty peers is reflected in such comments as: “Chris is providing a tremendous service by helping inspire the next generation of leaders and educators, instilling the same love of and enthusiasm for astronomy in them as he clearly has,” and, “He is absolutely the most versatile, forward-looking and innovative member of the Astronomy teaching faculty, receives the highest evaluations and brings his A game each and every day…”
Taryn Lindhorst, Carol LaMare Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, Distinguished Teaching Award
Taryn Lindhorst’s experience in hospital social work, hospice care, bereavement counseling and in-service delivery for an HIV Outpatient Program gives her an advanced understanding of the nature of social work practice in the real world. Her skillful balancing of these experiences with knowledge of the research and new directions in practice is just one of many reasons Taryn is regularly sought out by graduate and doctoral students seeking sustained mentoring.
Taryn has a profound impact on her students’ development. Her interest in them and her commitment to their learning inspires them to do more.
For the past eight years, she has been the leader of the Health Concentration in our Masters in Social Work (MSW) program, teaching advanced practice courses, assisting in identifying core competencies for Health Practice students and also providing leadership in curriculum revision and transformation activities.
In developing the Carol LaMare program, Taryn created an exceptional seminar that has met twice a month over the past five years to teach MSW students’ specialized skills in oncology and palliative care social work. To foster student creativity and self-knowledge, Taryn designed a unique map making project that helps students understand concepts of life narratives and meaning-making for people living with serious illness.
She serves as an active mentor to MSW students, and has chaired 40+ master’s thesis and PhD committees. Taryn has also served as the faculty sponsor for the Social Work Q (LGBTQ) student group for a number of years to provide mentorship and support for students from often-marginalized groups.
One of Taryn’s colleagues said: “In my thirty plus years as a professor at three American universities, I can seriously and with some experience say that Taryn is an exceptional teacher and colleague who reflects the best of our profession. She lives our values and supports the next generation of social workers and social work educators in an exemplary fashion.”
Ellen Elizabeth Moore, Lecturer, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Tacoma, Distinguished Teaching Award
In a letter nominating Ellen Moore for this award, a student wrote, “Professor Moore has a unique capacity to provide individual attention to each student, knowing their names and academic interests as well as their personal interests. As one of the rare professors who students enjoy keeping in touch with after classes end, she cares for students on a deeper level and actively seeks to make students feel important and help them achieve their goals.”
Since her first year at UW Tacoma in 2009, Ellen has taught an average of 10 courses per year—an astonishing volume, at all levels of the curriculum, and she continues to develop courses in Communication as well as Environmental Studies.
Ellen makes her course material relevant and interesting, for example, leading discussions about how environmental issues are covered in the media, analyzing diversity as represented in the movie The Hunger Games, and inspiring conservation in a contest to reduce individuals’ carbon footprints called Biggest Carbon Loser.
Another academic experience Ellen created was a study abroad course she led in Vietnam. Students traveled all over the country, creating videos to highlight environmental issues, planting trees in areas that suffered erosion, and building vegetable gardens for a village that suffered Agent Orange contamination.
Popular with students, Ellen earns consistently high evaluation scores. Her teaching philosophy begins with getting to know every student and building a community. Viewing and conducting herself as equal parts teacher, advisor and mentor to students has earned the respect and admiration of her students and colleagues.
Emily Cox Pahnke, Assistant Professor in Management and Organization, Foster School of Business, Distinguished Teaching Award
As a member of the junior faculty since 2009, Emily has infused her enthusiasm and creativity into every aspect of her job responsibilities. She is considered a “go to” person for inspiring students and colleagues alike, one who readily obliges when asked to take on any project and expects little in return.
Emily’s extensive knowledge and mastery of entrepreneurship is a result of her active research, experiential learning-focused course instruction and consulting services which she provides to local startups.
One unique aspect of Emily’s courses is her enlistment of outside mentors with entrepreneurship experience from the community beyond UW for each student team. Mentors come from local businesses including Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks Julep, Ignition Partners and many others.
Emily’s entrepreneurial expertise is evident in her creation of new entrepreneurship classes at Foster. Grand Challenges for Entrepreneurship, for example, gives students a big problem in the developing world to look at each week: from poverty and education, to climate change and medicine, all through the lens of entrepreneurship.
Students say that Emily’s teaching and personal style is truly extraordinary, encouraging them to want to do better work and learn more, and ultimately aim higher.
One student wrote in his evaluation, “This class was incredibly valuable in stretching my thinking, introducing me to new topics and ideas and I have literally recommended your class to everyone.”
Other noteworthy student comments include: “This is the first morning class I’ve ever taken that I never skipped,” and “This class is the most inspiring I’ve had so far in UW. It gives me confidence to achieve my dreams, to be the change I want to see in the world.”
Distinguished Teaching Award for Innovation with Technology
Andrew Boydston, assistant professor, chemistry
Jasmine Bryant, lecturer, chemistry
Colleen Craig, lecturer, chemistry
Stefan Stoll, assistant professor, chemistry
The Department of Chemistry team is being recognized as an excellent example of how technology is improving the student experience in both large introductory classes and in upper‐level classes famous for their difficulty.
Each team member has worked in his or her individual courses to improve student learning through technology, implementing instructional “mini‐modules,” video quiz keys, and online office hours and review sessions. A common thread in the team’s work is facilitating peer learning communities through technology. These communities enhance learning by opening different pathways for the student to engage with the material.
For example, the Chemistry Team developed an effective team‐based approach to integrating the content of Chemistry courses, so that all students across the various sections of Chemistry 110 have the background they need to progress successfully through the sequence of core courses.
Data collected shows a positive correlation between technology innovation and student learning outcomes, particularly in students’ ability to solve problems and think critically.
Collectively the team’s impact has extended throughout the department. The Chemistry team’s thoughtful application of technology actually increases coordination and cooperation among instructional faculty. The team serves as a resource, vetting new technologies and advising Chemistry faculty on how best to adopt them. They have simplified the steps for faculty to make changes in teaching by generating a shared repository of modules, video mini-lectures, and tutorials.
Team members have participated in pilots for new technologies and shared their work across campus in collaboration with the Center for Teaching and Learning as well as nationally through presentations at American Chemical Society meetings and as Cottrell Scholars, an award that acknowledges excellence in both teaching and research for early career faculty in the physical sciences.
In his letter nominating the team, the department chair wrote, “The team has found creative solutions to maintain the high quality of instruction …while our classes grow in size. With the leadership from this team, a culture of innovation is growing within the department.”
Matthew Junge, Graduate Student, Mathematics, Excellence in Teaching Award
Matt Junge distinguished himself as a Teaching Assistant from his first day on the job. A natural teacher with great technique, his rapport with students is exceptional. He goes out of his way to excel and is deservedly popular.
Originality is evident in Matt’s teaching. He puts a lot of effort into making course material interesting and accessible for every level and type of learner. He considers the student perspective and strives to maximize the value students get from each class.
In the inaugural offering of an online calculus class, Matt served for two quarters as a TA. Once again, he distinguished himself by inspiring greater student engagement. Participation on the online discussion board jumped from 195 contributions in the first quarter to 711 contributions in the following quarter.
Matt’s love for teaching inspires him to find new opportunities to offer instruction. After becoming the department’s Lead TA, leaving him less instructional time, Matt volunteered at the Washington Correctional Center for Women to continue teaching. He has also been a research advisor and a voluntary mentor for the undergraduate student research program in mathematics, and he serves as a TA mentor to graduate students.
One of Matt’s former students described him this way: “He is engaging, exciting, practical, fair, knowledgeable, and just about any other synonym for fantastic. All things that are absolutely critical in teaching youths of any age.”
Kate Napolitan, Graduate Student, Education, Excellence in Teaching Award
Kate Napolitan is lauded for her passion for teaching and her generosity and commitment to her students. Students feel respected, heard, and encouraged by her subtle yet persistent efforts to help them step outside their comfort zones, inspiring them to achieve at higher and higher levels.
A vital member of an instructional team working to develop the community-family-politics strand in the College of Education’s K-12 teacher education programs, Kate devised a set of powerful learning experiences that enabled our prospective teachers to expand their repertoire for building alliances across divisions of race, ethnicity, language and class.
At Roxhill Elementary School in Seattle, Kate forged partnerships with community mentors and parent leaders to conduct neighborhood walks, family panels, family/home visits, and screenings of educationally provocative films that challenge and grow prospective teachers’ skills.
Kate has a profound intellectual and emotional impact on her students. The department receives notes from graduates expressing their gratitude for the program’s content value and often relaying stories of connections and breakthroughs made while serving students, thanks to what they learned under Kate’s tutelage.
In June 2014, Kate was presented with the College of Education’s graduate student teaching award at the College’s graduation ceremony and the entire cohort of students she taught that year gave her a standing ovation. Many of her students last year submitted an unsolicited letter to the Dean and program directors wanting them to know how much they valued her teaching.
The Boeing Professor of Education Ken Zeichner closed his nomination letter with this: “I cannot think of anyone more deserving of a university teaching award. Her commitment to preparing teachers who can reduce inequities in public education is inspiring.”
Ann Downer, Associate Professor, Global Health, Distinguished Contributions to Lifelong Learning Award
An engaging and experienced trainer and a highly skilled instructional designer, Ann Downer applies her rich decades-long educational and organizational leadership experience to her executive leadership role at I-TECH as well as to her work teaching, advising students, and developing courses at the graduate level.
Ann’s students and colleagues are in awe of her amazing abilities to engage at every level – from one-on-one with students in the classroom to cross-management of a global I-TECH team across two universities and dozens of global academic and professional educational systems.
A student’s evaluation of Ann’s Global Health course, included this comment: “An extremely intellectually stimulating class. The issues discussed, points raised, and experiences people talked about were uplifting, encouraging and inspiring. This is a course that I can wholeheartedly say is a ‘must take’ for anyone who wants to learn about leadership.”
Ann’s portfolio also includes vast program development experience in reproductive health, HIV and AIDS and sexually transmitted infections. I-TECH collaborates with local governments and universities throughout Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean Region to strengthen health systems and improve the quality of public sector health care in under-resourced countries.
Under Ann’s leadership, I-TECH is playing a central role in developing sustainable and effective healthcare delivery systems in the poorest countries of the world.
Colleague Marcia Weaver said this about Ann: “The scale and scope of Ann Downer’s contributions to continuing education at the UW is unprecedented. At I-TECH, she contributed to 229 curricula and other training resources in the Caribbean region, and in 18 other countries ranging from Angola to Zimbabwe…I-TECH has also trained 155,870 health professionals globally…Country by country, Ann has led the design and adaptation of clinical mentoring programs.”
Donald K. Grayson, Professor, Anthropology, University Faculty Lecture Award
Don Grayson has been selected for his stellar accomplishments as a teacher, researcher and all-around leader in Anthropology as well as his contribution to the creation of the sub-discipline of archaeology known as zooarchaeology — a science that studies faunal remains and answers questions about how humans lived in their environments in the past.
A faculty member since 1975, Don has received numerous prestigious honors that testify to the extremely high regard in which his scientific peers hold his work.
Among other honors, he has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2002) and a Member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences (2011). Don also received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his role revitalizing archaeological research in the Great Basin region of the North American continent (spanning Nevada and parts of Utah, Idaho and Oregon).
Research Don conducted on pikas (a small mammal) provided crucial evidence supporting an effort by contemporary conservation biologists to get these animals listed on the federal Endangered Species Act.
His research on Neanderthals is a matter of enduring public interest, and his discovery that diet did not cause their demise received enormous attention in the popular press.
Don’s work related to the Pleistocene extinctions of large mammals in North America also received significant media attention. Drawing upon archaeological evidence of floral and faunal remains, Don has argued persuasively, in numerous scientific publications, that the extinction of large mammals in North America was not caused by human activity, contrary to what others have contended.
The public is deeply concerned about questions surrounding past extinctions and the role of human activity in causing them. Don’s zooarchaeological research has made a very significant contribution to public understanding of these events and, more broadly, of relations between humans and animals in their environments.
Daniel T. Schwartz, Professor, Chemical Engineering, Marsha L. Landolt Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award
Colleagues and students strongly commend Daniel’s exemplary commitment and skill in mentoring graduate students, his outreach and successful recruitment of Native Americans, his leadership in encouraging STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] disciplines, and his lasting engagement with diverse populations.
Wildly successful in raising fellowship funding, Dan leads multiple active graduate program grants and uses these training funds (nearly $6,000,000 since 2007) to influence students, faculty, and departments to think more broadly about the student experience, what constitutes a research product, and the role that graduate students can play in society while pursuing their PhDs.
In Dan’s program, the students are tasked with taking actual academic research and applying it to a real world market need. The program created collaboration with business school MBA students and provided feedback from unconventional sources and mentors such as lawyers, CEO’s and entrepreneurs, among others.
A former student said, “Professor Schwartz’s active interest in entrepreneurship… provides unique opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students in this area. His efforts have sparked five separate start-up companies led by former students, including recent Washington Tech Alliance Company of the Year: Modumetal.”
Dan’s training programs impact students in the Colleges of Environment, Engineering, Arts & Sciences, and Built Environment. Thus far, graduate degrees have been conferred on twenty-one trainees including 3 Native Americans, 2 Hispanic Americans and 1 African American.
Dan’s work is viewed as the impetus for UW moving the needle on Native American Ph.D. degrees in STEM and in the way STEM fields engage tribes. Under his leadership, programs are recruiting more underrepresented students and recognizing applied research as complementary to fundamental studies.
Richard Howard Layton, M.D., Distinguished Alumni Veteran Award
Dr. Richard Layton, who received his medal last November and whose wife reported he passed away Monday, dedicated his life to service — first through the military and later as a physician for the underserved and an educator in the medical field.
Drafted into the Navy at age 18 with the nation still in the clutches of war, Dr. Layton soon found himself at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, where atomic bombs were tested. After bombs were detonated, Dr. Layton was sent to assess the bombed-out ships — a job that exposed him to critically dangerous levels of radiation.
Returning to the U.S. in 1946, Dr. Layton started a new chapter at the University of Washington as a medical student, where he graduated at the top of his class.
As a physician and an educator, Dr. Layton impacted countless lives. He practiced for 19 years in Grandview, Washington, before becoming director of the family medicine residency program at Providence Hospital for the UW, a position he held for 20 years.
He was also one of the pioneering physicians in the University’s WWAMI program, a partnership among five states to provide medical care to residents in rural and underserved areas.
Over the course of his career — during which he worked tirelessly on behalf of his patients and for regional and national medical organizations — Dr. Layton earned many prestigious honors. In 1986, he was named Washington state’s family physician of the year.
Upon retirement, Dr. Layton earned emeritus faculty status with the UW School of Medicine for his many years as a clinical professor. More recently, Dr. Layton received the alumni service award from the UW School of Medicine. And last year, Governor Inslee bestowed the Washington State Governor’s Recognition Award on Dr. Layton for his “selflessness and lifelong commitment to service.”
In the spirit of continuing that service, each year the University’s physician assistant program selects a graduate to receive the Richard H. Layton Award for Commitment to Underserved Populations.
We are honored to call Dr. Layton a member of the UW family, and we are humbled and inspired by the passion, generosity and graciousness he exuded throughout his academic and medical career. Above all, we are indebted for his life of service.
His wife Marilyn expressed her deep appreciation for the UW’s recognition of Dr. Layton’s achievements. She described the tremendous joy he experienced the past six months since receiving this award on Veteran’s Day and said it was the highlight of his final year.
Sara Leonetti, President’s Medalist for the student who has completed most of his/her degree requirements at the UW
When Sara came to the University she was undecided about what field of study to pursue. She eventually chose to prepare for a career as a public interest attorney, focusing on women’s rights. She majored in philosophy to sharpen the critical thinking and argumentation skills she would need to become an effective attorney, and she majored in history to better understand and challenge certain race, gender and sex stereotypes.
Sara says that the most influential aspect of her undergraduate career was participating all four years as a member of the UW Mock Trial team.
The 2015 team came in second to Yale at the American Mock Trial Association’s national championship tournament, just missing an opportunity to battle Harvard for the national title. But Sara walked away with a personal victory, becoming the first attorney in collegiate mock trial history to win a perfect 30-rank attorney award at the national level.
For the past academic year Sara has been a mentor in the Youth Program at the Refugee Women’s Alliance (REWA) in Seattle, where she tutors the children of immigrant and refugee families. She recently received the Department of History’s Thomas Power Prize for Outstanding Senior.
Sanjit Kaur, President’s Medalist for the student who transferred to the UW from a Washington community college
When Sanjit entered the University of Washington from Seattle Central Community College she fulfilled a dream she had since realizing college might be a possibility for her. She chose public health as her field of study after interning at a charitable hospital in India that provides care to “untouchables,” people who are often turned down for health care due to their caste status in society.
Sanjit’s interest in public health is evident in many aspects of her life. She interned with the Young Global Leaders Program working to eliminate obstetric complications in Western Africa.
She currently volunteers at Bailey-Boushay House, serving community members with HIV/AIDS, and she will be promoting access to health care for the next year as an AmeriCorps participant. After that Sanjit plans to attend the UW School of Public Health as a graduate student studying Health Administration.
On Saturday, Sanjit is graduating summa cum laude with honors in public health.
The Honorable Norman D. Dicks, Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus
A true statesman and native son, former U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks has spent his career serving the people and protecting the environment of our great state of Washington.
Norm grew up in Bremerton, learning early on the importance of a strong work ethic and family loyalty. His father, Horace, worked as an electrician at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard after finishing enlisted service. Norm’s mother, Eileen, hailed from a frontier family that for generations has spent summers on Hood Canal.
At the UW, Norm was a scholar athlete, playing football and majoring in political science. He won election to the ASUW Board of Control, made the dean’s list and joined Sigma Nu fraternity, completing his BA degree in 1963. With his eye on going to the other Washington, Norm enrolled in law school.
After graduating in 1968, he went to DC, where he became a legislative aide to Senator Warren G. Magnuson. Magnuson was a great role model, whose position provided Norm an opportunity to learn the nuances of politics and policy in Congress. Norm, who is a quick study, became the chief of staff at the age of 28.
In 1976, Norm beat three competitors in the Democratic primary and won the general election to replace Rep. Floyd Hicks, the longtime 6th district incumbent. Norm went on to win reelection seventeen times, serving as a Member of Congress over a span of 36 years and six Presidents.
Setting the tone for his Congressional career in his first year, Norm beat out fellow freshman Congressman Al Gore for a coveted spot on the House Appropriations Committee. Norm secured positions on the Interior and Defense Appropriations subcommittees, gaining the power to invest in projects close to home and to his heart: the natural environment and defense.
As chair of the Interior and the Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, Norm used his leadership to support areas that are important to Washington state and the country: the national park system, environmental protection, energy sources and American Indian treaty rights.
Norm prioritized representing his own district, but he often lent his clout and experience to areas throughout the state, earning him a de facto title of “Washington’s Third Senator.” His accomplishments include creation of a vast array of environmental, military, and economic-development projects.
His profound influence is evident throughout our state – in revitalized urban areas in Bremerton and Tacoma, in new transportation and technology infrastructure, on the Elwha River where after removing two dams, century old salmon runs are slowly returning, and countless other areas. Norm has also spent significant energy to support the UW, including securing federal funds for the UW Tacoma campus.
Norm has received many honors, including the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal for his work on behalf of military members and their families and the CIA Director’s Medal for eight years of duty on the House Intelligence Committee. He is also the recipient of UW Distinguished Alumni Awards from both the School of Law and the Department of Political Science and a Timeless Award from the UW College of Arts and Sciences during the University’s 150th anniversary in 2012.
After retiring from Congress, Norm joined Van Ness Feldman law firm where he advises the Puyallup Tribe, Boeing and other clients. He also serves on the boards of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife, and chairs the Outreach and Advocacy Committee of the UW Medicine Board.
Norm’s commitment to public service and exceptional leadership have made a lasting impact on the lives of Washingtonians, residents in the greater Pacific Northwest region and across the nation. For his extraordinary contributions, his alma mater, with great pride and admiration, honors Norman D. Dicks as the 2015 Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus.