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Awards for Teaching, Leadership & More
Shawn Wong, UW professor of English and longtime advocate for Asian American literature, has received the 2021 Stand UP Award from the Association of University Presses, an organization of more than 150 international nonprofit scholarly publishers.
The Stand UP award “honors those who through their words and actions have done extraordinary work to support, defend and celebrate the university press community.” The association honored Wong in part for leading the grassroots effort to protect the right of UW Press, together with the Okada estate, to publish Japanese American author John Okada’s 1957 novel No-No Boy.
“In the process of his successful advocacy, Professor Wong brought the important work we do as university presses into the spotlight,” says Larin McLaughlin, editorial director of UW Press. McLaughlin adds that sales of No-No Boy, 170,000 so far, “secure a future for our work in a very real way.”
Wong teaches Asian American literature in the Department of English and screenwriting in the Department of Cinema & Media Studies. He is the author of two novels, Homebase and American Knees, and co-edited a third edition of Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers. He is also a founding instructor in the Red Badge Project, which teaches storytelling to veterans with PTSD, depression or anxiety disorders.
In 2019, Wong worked with UW Press to create the Shawn Wong Book Fund in Asian American Studies, supporting the publication of books on Asian American history and culture.
Tatiana Toro, Craig McKibben & Sarah Merner Professor in Mathematics, will become the next director of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), which supports mathematical research, fosters talent, and furthers the appreciation of mathematics by the general public. Toro is the Institute’s sixth director and will maintain her tenure at the University of Washington during her term at MSRI.
“Professor Toro’s appointment as director of MSRI recognizes her wonderful accomplishments as a mathematician, educator and champion of diversity and access in the field of mathematics,” says Mark Richards, UW provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. “Her appointment brings great honor to the UW and our Department of Mathematics, and we look forward to even closer relations between the UW and MSRI as she takes the helm there.”
Toro’s honors and awards include a Sloan Research Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, and two Simons Foundation Fellowships. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a recipient of the Blackwell-Tapia Prize, and recipient of the UW’s Landolt Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award.
“I cannot imagine a better choice to lead MSRI, one of the premier mathematical institutions in the world,” says Robert Stacey, dean of the UW College of Arts and Sciences.
Each year before graduation, the College honors exceptional undergraduate students with its Dean’s Medal, and exceptional graduate students with its Graduate Medal.
This year’s four dean's medalists — graduating seniors representing excellence in the College’s four divisions — include a successful business owner, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, a disability rights advocate, and a scientist who has participated in research in four faculty laboratories. Learn more about Jarrett Johnson (Dean's Medalist in the Arts), Lindsey Muszkiewicz (Dean's Medalist in the Humanities), Irina Sinha (Dean's Medalist in the Natural Sciences) and Audi Brown (Dean's Medalist in the Social Sciences) in a Perspectives feature story about the medalists.
Rosemary Meza, Graduate Medalist in the Natural Sciences, earned a PhD from the Department of Psychology. Much of her work aims at improving mental health services in low- and middle-income countries, where currently fewer than 1% of children with mental health needs receive mental health care. With funding from a prestigious National Institute of Mental Health grant, Meza led a major research project in Kenya concerning implementation of mental health services.
“Rosemary is brilliant and thoughtful about interactions with others in research and clinical work,” says Shannon Dorsey, professor of psychology, who has collaborated with Meza and was chair of her doctoral committee. “She has shown outstanding ability to translate cutting-edge research from high-resource contexts to low-resource contexts, with attention to how stakeholders from all levels — lay counselors, ministry officials — can have a voice.”
Veronica Muskheli, Graduate Medalist in the Humanities, earned a PhD from the Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures (SLL). In her dissertation on East Slavic folktales told by women, she shows how these tales repeatedly diverged from masculine models of storytelling, with a pattern that was recognized and employed as a surreptitious communication between women storytellers and female audiences.
“Her analyses are a revelation,” says Barbara Henry, SLL associate professor and Muskheli’s dissertation supervisor. “They make you reconsider everything you thought you knew about famous folktales.” Muskheli, the recipient of an Alvord Fellowship in Humanities, also taught a popular SLL course on folktales as well as Russian language courses, and led the department’s graduate colloquium for several years. “She has been an enormous credit our department,” says Henry. “We have been immensely lucky to have her as a student.”
Each spring, the UW announces its Husky 100, recognizing 100 undergraduate and graduate students who are making the most of their time at the UW, actively connecting what happens inside and outside the classroom to make a difference on campus and in their communities. Of the 100 students honored for 2021, 31 are from the College of Arts & Sciences, from undergraduates deeply involved in disability justice to doctoral students focused on peace and reconciliation. To learn more, visit the UW’s Husky 100 webpage, which features photos and brief profiles of all 100 students. Congratulations to the honorees for this well-deserved recognition!
Each year, the University presents Awards of Excellence to recognize exceptional contributions to the UW and the community. Recipients for 2021 include the following faculty, staff, graduate students, and alumni from the College of Arts & Sciences.
ALUMNUS SUMMA LAUDE DIGNATUS
(BA, History, 1971)
Co-Founder, UW Black Student Union
Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity
Former King County Councilmember
Larry Gossett’s decades of community service, both within and beyond the UW community, embody our University’s values. As an alumnus of the Department of History and an early graduate of the African American Studies Program, his advocacy and leadership led to the creation of the Black Student Union as well as our Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D). During his tenure at OMA&D and at other state and national organizations, Gossett has been a powerful advocate for marginalized communities and all who are underserved. As a member of the King County Council, he consistently advocated for the most vulnerable, and the University is proud to honor him as this year’s Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus.
DISTINGUISHED CONTRIBUTIONS TO LIFELONG LEARNING AWARD
DAVID M. FENNER
Affiliate Lecturer, International Studies
Learning doesn’t stop with a diploma or degree. The classes that David Fenner teaches through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Continuum College reach students of many ages, helping adult learners continue to grow intellectually and maintain strong social connections. Fenner's courses and lectures, on topics such as the history of immigration to the US, have earned high praise from his students. One wrote, “Absolutely fantastic instructor, deeply knowledgeable; great storytelling made for a compelling course.”
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
(BA, Speech Communication, 1994)
Head of Engagement, Inclusion and Diversity, HashiCorp
Colleen Fukui-Sketchley’s impact on our University community — particularly our alumni community — will benefit the UW and all it serves for generations. Her extraordinary ambassadorship for the UW and her work to establish UW Impact has reimagined legislative advocacy as a tool for alumni engagement. She is deeply committed to her community and a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion. In addition to being the youngest person and first Asian American woman to serve as UWAA president, she earned the 2015 Charles E. Odegaard Award, the UW’s highest recognition for achievement in diversity.
DISTINGUISHED TEACHING AWARD
Associate Teaching Professor, Chemistry
Whether developing an individual course or collaborating on large-scale curriculum reform for her department, Andrea Carroll brings “energy, clarity of vision, and an unfailing focus on the student experience.” Students routinely praise Carroll’s emphasis on what they need to know and her attention to detail. Throughout the pandemic, her excellent management and planning for general chemistry labs allowed the department to offer the lab-based courses that are critical stepping stones for students pursuing STEM degrees.
JAMES D. CLOWES AWARD FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING COMMUNITIES
Professor, Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
Director, Graduate Certificate for Public Critical Race Scholarship
With her clear passions for community and dynamic learning, Michelle Habell-Pallán champions finding innovative ways to attract and make space for students of color and nontraditional students so that they can thrive in their own scholarship, teaching, research, and mentoring. One student wrote that Habell-Pallán “inspired me to learn more about my Mexican heritage and see how I can work with my community to practice resiliency against the oppressions that we as Latinas face in society and even in our own communities.”
EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD
SARAH BRUCIA BREITENFELD
Doctoral Candidate, Classics
After taking one of Sarah Brucia Breitenfeld’s classes, many students sign up for more — and some even decide to major or minor in classics. Whether they’re teaching etymology or mythology, Breitenfeld brings material to life with historical and cultural context — for example, concluding each Latin class with a mini-lecture on daily life in Rome. One of their fellow teaching graduate students writes, “I have been inspired by Sarah’s incredible work ethic and powerful ability to curate a course in a resoundingly effective way.”
Doctoral Candidate, Communication
Clear and well-organized lectures, videos, pop-culture examples, and lively small-group discussions are just some of the ways Devon Geary engages her students — an approach that makes her courses learning and growing experiences for all. She creates a safe, supportive community environment in which she listens to students and encourages them to share their stories with each other. A colleague from another university wrote, “She is passionate about teaching and takes the responsibility of teaching and mentoring students seriously.”
TOGETHER WE WILL AWARD
Senior Computing Specialist, Music
Faced with the unprecedented challenge of teaching music classes remotely, Colin Todd’s contributions to the School of Music have been invaluable. Responsible for overseeing hardware, software, and application issues for the school, Todd researched technologies to enable the transition to remote learning and was tireless in educating faculty and providing technology and resources to prepare for the quarter. Perhaps most importantly, he helped instructors continue to “feel normal” in a deeply abnormal time.
UNIVERSITY FACULTY LECTURE AWARD
Valerie Curtis-Newton is an inspired artist, nationally renowned director, insightful teacher, and committed leader. She teaches not only the crafts of directing and acting but also the qualities for making exceptional theater: resilience, persistence, and fearlessness. “She has taught us that ‘Equivocation is poison. Have something to say. Be brave enough to say it,’” one student wrote. Curtis-Newton notes of her community, “I want them to really see each other and move through the world with greater kindness, greater compassion for each other. And because kindness and compassion in action look like courage, I want to make my community brave.”
P. Dee Boersma, professor of biology, Wadsworth Endowed Chair in Conservation Science, and director of the Center for Ecosystem Sentinels, has been elected as a 2021 fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Boersma has studied the health, behavior and ecological dynamics of South American penguins for nearly four decades — particularly Magellanic penguins in Argentina and Galápagos penguins in Ecuador — and advocates for penguins as indicators of ocean health.
Ivana Bozic, assistant professor of applied mathemetics, has been named a Women in STEM2D (WiSTEM2D) Scholar Award recipient. The program recognizes one scholar in each STEM2D discipline — Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing and Design — and provides each recipient with $150,000 in research funding and three years of mentorship from Johnson & Johnson. Bozic develops computational models to study the evolutionary dynamics of cancer and uses mathematics to optimize cancer immunotherapy.
Rachel Cichowski, professor of political science and law, societies & justice, received an Undergraduate Research Mentor Award from UW Undergraduate Academic Affairs, in recognition of her successful mentorship of undergraduate researchers.
Elena Erosheva, professor of statistics, has been elected a Fellow of the American Statistics Association for her outstanding contributions to statistical science.
Angelina Godoy, professor of international studies and law, societies & justice, Helen H. Jackson Endowed Chair in Human Rights, and director of the UW Center for Human Rights (UWCHR), accepted the ACLU of Washington’s William O’Douglas Award on behalf of UWCHR. The award recognizes the Center’s long-standing dedication to social change and justice, and rigorous research and partnerships in response to Washington’s role in the immigration detention/deportation pipeline.
Fang Han, assistant professor of statistics, received the Bernoulli Society’s New Researcher Award. The award recognizes the work of outstanding young researchers in the fields of mathematical statistics and probability.
Benjamin Mako Hill, assistant professor of communication, has received a Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) grant from the National Science Foundation, which supports early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education, and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. The five-year grant will allow Hill and his team to develop and validate a general theory of the lifecycles of “knowledge commons” (such as Wikipedia and Reddit), and to identify a set of strategies to help structure and govern peer-produced commons effectively as they grow.
Sarah Ketchley, affiliate instructor of Near Eastern languages and civilization, received an Undergraduate Research Mentor Award from UW Undergraduate Academic Affairs, in recognition of her successful mentorship of undergraduate researchers.
Randall LeVeque, professor emeritus of applied mathematics, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. LeVeque’s mathematical research has spanned a variety of topics related to numerical algorithms for solving the partial differential equations that model wave propagation phenomena. He has also developed extensive open source software based on this research. Much of his recent work has focused on modeling geological hazards, particularly tsunamis. He is part of an interdisciplinary team performing hazard assessments for the coast of the Pacific Northwest.
Peter May, professor emeritus of political science, received the American Political Science Association's 2021 Elinor Ostrom Career Achievement Award. The award recognizes May’s lifetime contribution to the study of science, technology, and environmental politics.
Richard Salomon, professor emeritus of Asian languages and literature and the William P. and Ruth Gerberding university professor emeritus, has been elected as a 2021 fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in recognition of his contributions to religious studies. Salomon is a leading figure in the field of early Buddhist studies. He is the former president of the International Association of Buddhist Studies; since 1996 he has been the director of the UW’s Early Buddhist Manuscripts Project, which is charged with the study and publication of the oldest surviving Buddhist manuscripts, dating back to the first century BCE.
Stefan Stoll, associate professor of chemistry, was awarded the 2021 IES Silver Medal for Instrumentation and Methods by the International EPR/ESR Society for his seminal contributions to computational electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and analysis.
Ashleigh Theberge, assistant professor of chemistry, received an Undergraduate Research Mentor Award from UW Undergraduate Academic Affairs, in recognition of her successful mentorship of undergraduate researchers. Theberge’s research group studies chemical mechanisms underlying inflammation and disease, and develops analytical chemistry tools to advance medicine.
Julie Theriot, professor of biology, Benjamin D. Hall Endowed Chair in Basic Life Sciences, and investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Using a range of experimental approaches, Theriot studies how cells self-organize to perform tasks like changing shape, moving, responding to stimuli, and shuttling items through their interiors. She has investigated these questions in a variety of biological settings, such as how white blood cells crawl through our bodies and engulf invading microbes, and how fish skin heals wounds.
Dianne Xiao, assistant professor of chemistry, has received an Early Career Research Award from the US Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE Early Career Research Program is “designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work.” Xiao’s research seeks to discover next generation materials that address unmet needs in clean energy, catalysis, and environmental remediation.
Nancy Bou Ayash, associate professor of English, was awarded the Research Impact Award — one of the most prestigious awards in composition studies — at the 2021 Conference on College Composition and Communication for her book, Toward Translingual Realities in Composition: (Re)Working Local Language Representations and Practices.
Alexandra J. Harmon, emeritus professor of American Indian studies, received the Western History Association Robert G. Athearn Award in 2020, which recognized her book Reclaiming the Reservation: Histories of Indian Sovereignty Suppressed and Renewed as the year’s best book on the twentieth-century West.
Arzoo Osanloo, associate professor of law, societies & justice and director of the Middle East Center, has received the 2021 Herbert Jacob Book Prize from the Law & Society Association for her book Forgiveness Work: Mercy, Law, and Victims’ Rights in Iran. The award recognizes new and outstanding scholarship in law and society studies.
Josephine Walwema, assistant teaching professor of English, received a Technical and Scientific Communication Award at the 2021 Conference on College Composition and Communication. The award is in the category of Best Article Reporting Qualitative or Quantitative Research in Technical or Scientific Communication, for Walwema’s article, “A Values-Driven Approach to Technical Communication,” in the journal Technical Communication.
David Hertzog, professor of physics and director of CENPA, was appointed to Arthur B. McDonald Endowed Professorship in Physics.
Megan Ming Francis, associate professor of political science, was appointed to the Alan and Barbara Delsman Term Professorship in Political Science.
Stephen Gardiner, professor of philosophy, Ben Rabinowitz Endowed Professor of Human Dimensions of the Environment, and Director of the Program on Ethics, was chosen to give the 2021 Alan Saunders Lecture at the Australasian Association of Philosophy Conference, in recognition of Alan Saunders’ enduring work. The lecture aims to spread the joy of philosophy and make it accessible to the wider public. Gardiner will speak on the ethics of climate change.
Munira Khalil, Leon C. Johnson Professor of Chemistry, and Alshakim Nelson, associate professor of chemistry, have been named elected members of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, an independent nonprofit organization established by the Washington State Legislature to respond to scientific and technical questions to inform public policy. Acceptance of membership entails a commitment to serve in and contribute to the goals of WSAS as a working body.
Nektaria Klapaki, lecturer in Hellenic Studies, Jackson School of International Studies, has been appointed to a three-year term as associate editor of Arts & Humanities Journal of Modern Greek Studies, and was elected as alternate to the Modern Greek Studies Association Executive Board.
Katherine Pearson Maslenikov, ichthyology collections manager at the Burke Museum, has had a new species of fish named in her honor. As explained in a paper about the newly discovery species, the blushing snailfish — careproctus maslenikovae — is “named for the diligent collector of many snailfish types and other specimens, Katherine P. Maslenikov, Collections Manager of the Burke Museum's Fish Collection at the University of Washington, and for her contributions to and cheerful support of ichthyology in the Pacific Northwest.”
James Tweedie, professor of cinema and media studies, has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2021, from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.