2016 Provost & Faculty Senate
Spring Awards Ceremony

May 7, 2015

Arpad

Photo Credit: Jake Parrish, University Communications
Faculty Senate President Spencer Anthony Cahill, Award Recipient Árpád Bényi, Provost Brent Carbajal

Paul J. Olscamp Research Award

Árpád Bényi
Department of Mathematics

Árpád Bényi holds degrees in mathematics from West University of Timişoara, Romania (B.S., M.S.) and University of Kansas, Lawrence (M.A., Ph.D.). After receiving his doctorate in 2002, he spent the next three years as a visiting assistant professor at University of Massachusetts, Amherst and then joined the ranks of the Western faculty in 2005. His main area of research lies at the interface of Fourier analysis, operator theory and partial differential equations. So far, he has authored one book and 48 scholarly publications, several of them joint works with some 23 collaborators from prominent research universities in the U.S. and Europe. For the past few years his work has been supported by a Simons Foundation Collaboration Grant for Mathematicians.

Jay

Photo Credit: Jake Parrish, University Communications
Faculty Senate President Spencer Anthony Cahill, Award Recipient Jeanne Freeman, Provost Brent Carbajal

Paul J. Olscamp Research Award

Jay Teachman
Department of Sociology

Jay Teachman was trained as a formal demographer at the University of Chicago during the mid-1970s. Many of his first publications dealt with measuring the determinants and consequences of change in family structure. This interest continues to this day. He has also continued his methodological interests by developing and illustrating procedures for analyzing longitudinal data. In the late 1980s, given his background as a veteran, Teachman noticed a substantial gap in our knowledge of the consequences of military service for young men and women. Accordingly, he began to investigate the impact of military service for outcomes such as income, education, family status, health and troubled behaviors (crime and delinquency).

Dina

Photo Credit: Jake Parrish, University Communications
Faculty Senate President Spencer Anthony Cahill, Award Recipient Dina Benedetti, Provost Brent Carbajal

Excellence in Teaching Award

Dina Benedetti
Teacher Outreach Programs

Dina Benedetti has been recognized as an exceptional, enthusiastic and dedicated educator for 42 years. After receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1984, she gained extensive administrative experience as the director of Special Education, Psychologists, and Counselors, and as an elementary school principal for the Highline School District. After supervising WWU student teachers and teaching courses for the WWU Teacher Education Outreach site since 1990, she became Academic Program director in Seattle in 2004 and was promoted to senior instructor in 2009. She is passionate about preparing effective, thoughtful and caring teachers through highly interactive courses, and then actively coaching them during field placements. The program’s “cohort model” fosters community, collaboration and excellence among prospective teachers from highly diverse personal and educational backgrounds. She has maintained deep connections with former students across 15 school districts in the Puget Sound region, many of whom volunteer to serve as mentor teachers to current students and all of whom represent WWU exceptionally.

Brian

Photo Credit: Jake Parrish, University Communications
Faculty Senate President Spencer Anthony Cahill, Award Recipient Brian Bingham, Provost Brent Carbajal

Excellence in Teaching Award

Brian Bingham
Department of Environmental Sciences

Brian Bingham came to Western in 1990 after completing a doctorate at Florida State University and has enjoyed working with students ever since. His primary teaching goal is to engage students deeply in a topic by involving them in hands-on learning and meaningful research experiences. Through courses that emphasize state-of-the-art technology and modern research methods, he and his students study the ecology of marine species and their responses to a changing environment. Students in his classes gain real-world experience and have regularly taken their work to the next level through presentation at local, national or international science conferences and, in some cases, through publication in the refereed literature. He is grateful for gifted teachers and mentors who, through memorable field experiences and shared research activities, introduced him to the adventure of science. He deeply enjoys sharing similar discoveries with his own students.

Roger

Photo Credit: Jake Parrish, University Communications
Faculty Senate President Spencer Anthony Cahill, Award Recipient Roger D. Briggs, Provost Brent Carbajal

Outstanding Scholarship Award

Roger D. Briggs
Department of Music

Roger D. Briggs has been a part of Western's Music faculty since the fall of 1989 as director of the Composition Program. Briggs received his bachelor's degree from Memphis State University and his Master of Music and Ph.D. from The Eastman School of Music. Briggs has had his works performed all over the world with premiere performances in world-renowned concert halls. In addition to teaching composition at Western, Briggs established the Contemporary Chamber Players ensemble dedicated to the performance of 20th century compositions and was appointed conductor of the Western Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 1993.

Jeanne

Photo Credit: Jake Parrish, University Communications
Faculty Senate President Spencer Anthony Cahill, Award Recipient Jeanne Freeman, Provost Brent Carbajal

Peter J. Elich Excellence in Teaching Award

Jeanne Freeman, Department of Physical Education, Health and Recreation

Jeanne Freeman is an associate professor of Community Health and earned her doctorate degree from the University of Arkansas. Her current research explores cyberharassment behaviors, perceptions and attitudes of young adults. In the last few years, she has co-authored two articles and co-presented at three national conferences with undergraduates regarding this topic. Her teaching interests include theories and planning models of health behavior, grant writing and nutrition. Her passionate approach to teaching resonates with students and prompts them to seek her perspective regarding a breadth of topics. She is known for her ability to laugh, cry and celebrate life with her students.

Lee

Photo Credit: Jake Parrish, University Communications
Faculty Senate President Spencer Anthony Cahill, Award Recipient Lee Gulyas, Provost Brent Carbajal

Ronald Kleinknecht Excellence in Teaching Award

Lee Gulyas
Department of English

Lee is a senior instructor in the English department and a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s MFA program in Creative Writing. Her nonfiction and poetry have appeared in journals such as The Common, Prime Number, Barn Owl Review, Fugue, Event, The Malahat Review, and Full Grown People, and she reviews books for Contrary Magazine. She teaches creative writing, specializing in creative nonfiction. Areas of interest include: creative writing pedagogy, marine life, poetics, travel writing, art and social justice, sustainable development, and Canadian literature. She received a 2014 Washington State Artist Trust Grant, and for the last three years has participated as faculty in WWU’s Service-Learning Study Abroad Program to Rwanda.

Michael

Photo Credit: Jake Parrish, University Communications
Faculty Senate President Spencer Anthony Cahill, Award Recipient Michael Seal, Provost Brent Carbajal

Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award

Michael Seal
Department of Engineering and Design

Michael Seal, founder and faculty emeritus of the Vehicle Research Institute holds degrees from the University of British Columbia, Western Washington State College (’65), and earned his doctorate from Texas A&M University in 1969. He joined Western in 1968 and founded the VRI in 1979, focusing his research on High Fuel Economy and Low Emissions. He retired in 2004 after 35 years of teaching at Western, building and overseeing three dozen innovative, fuel-efficient hybrid cars. The most notable car won the 1990 World Championship for two-seat solar cars in the race across the Australian Outback. Other research efforts include work with Subaru engines and the vacuum degassing techniques developed in the engineering technology foundry which were studied by the Porsche research department. His former students wrote glowing nominations, including one who said, “Dr. Seal’s passion for teaching and learning was evident in everything he did at Western. Whether lecturing to an entry-level class or mentoring a team engaged in competition, he brought out the best in his students by providing engaging and relevant opportunities.” Another former student remarked, “Dr. Seal has measurably contributed to the national stature of WWU during his long tenure and richly deserves this honor.”

 

Page Updated 11.22.2017