2016 Provost & Faculty Senate
Spring Awards Ceremony

April 28, 2016


Photo Credit: Jonathan Williams, University Communications
Provost Brent Carbajal, Award Recipient Bernie Housen, Faculty Senate President Molly Ware

Paul J. Olscamp Research Award

Bernie Housen
Department of Geology

Bernie Housen earned a B.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of Washington in 1988, followed by a M.S. and Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from the University of Michigan in 1990 and 1994. After that, he was a research associate at the Institute for Rock Magnetism at the University of Minnesota until he was hired by Western in 1997. His research and teaching includes innovative applications of rock-magnetic and paleomagnetic methods to address a range of problems, such as rock deformation, plate motions and particulate matter pollution. His ground-penetrating radar studies of cemeteries have been the subject of numerous papers with many student co-authors.


Photo Credit: Jonathan Williams, University Communications
Provost Brent Carbajal, Award Recipient Brooke Love, Faculty Senate President Molly Ware

Excellence in Teaching Award

Brooke Love
Department of Environmental Sciences

Brooke Love came to Western in 2009 after earning her doctorate at the University of Washington.  Her teaching goals include opening a door to how science can help us understand the wonders of the world. She wants to help students develop respect for the complexity of natural and social systems and the confidence that they have the tools to understand them, even if our understanding is imperfect.  Her classrooms are interactive and engaging.  Her students take a practical approach to environmental problem solving and practice the skills needed for independent work, including the ability to identify and correct their own mistakes.  Brooke helps them draw inspiration from the voices of others who are making a difference in the community and from the total awesomeness of the oceans.


Photo Credit: Jonathan Williams, University Communications
Provost Brent Carbajal, Award Recipient Elsi Vassdal-Ellis, Faculty Senate President Molly Ware

Outstanding Scholarship Award

Elsi Vassdal-Ellis
Department of Design

Elsi Vassdal-Ellis’ list of accomplishments made her the clear recipient for the 2016 Outstanding Scholarship Award. The sheer number of her works, exhibits, awards, publications, and citations spans a lifetime of achievement, but the last five years show an impressive array of accomplishments. Her most recent exhibits include “Blood Quantum” at the Sandy Gallery, Portland in 2015; “DIY Cultures” in 2015 at a London gallery; and “Displaced” at the Wiener Library for the Study of Holocaust and Genocide in London in 2014. Her colleagues remark in their recommendations that her books are not only beautiful works of art but are “pioneering” and involve substantial research. In addition, she has strong support from a variety of sources and it is clear that her influence is international in scope.   As one letter mentions, she has exhibited all over the United States and around the world: in Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium and England. She has achieved a personal and international voice—a voice of courage and poignancy.  We feel very fortunate to have such an outstanding scholar-artist among us.

Photo Credit: Rhys Logan, University Communications
Provost Brent Carbajal, Award Recipient Kristi Lemm, Faculty Senate President Molly Ware

Peter J. Elich Excellence in Teaching Award

Kristi Lemm
Department of Psychology

Kristi Lemm joined the faculty at Western in 2000, after earning a B.A. in Psychology from Columbia University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Yale University.  Her training focused on Social Psychology with an emphasis on research methods and statistics.  She enjoys teaching social psychology because students find the topic so interesting, but she enjoys teaching statistics in part because so many students expect that they will not like the course.  She relishes the times when students who thought they hated math come to appreciate and even enjoy learning statistics. She has collaborated with dozens of students on research projects on a variety of topics in social psychology.


Photo Credit: Jonathan Williams, University Communications
Provost Brent Carbajal, Award Recipient Heather Davidson, Faculty Senate President Molly Ware

Ronald Kleinknecht Excellence in Teaching Award

Heather Davidson
Department of Communication Studies

Heather Davidson is an in instructor in the Communication Studies Department and a two-time alumna of WWU who received her M.Ed. in Adult and Higher Education in 2012. Her experience in nonprofit development and management complements her pedagogical focus on empathetic community building through civic engagement with her student-colleagues. Highlights include the development of an ongoing sustainable philanthropy project for and by WWU students, #WeAreWWU, as well as service to Western as a Community Engagement Faculty Fellow and as a facilitator of the Equity and Inclusion Forum. She also received the 2015 Carl H. Simpson Community Bridging Award and published her work on empathy and diversity through the Center for Instructional Innovation and Assessment.


Photo Credit: Jonathan Williams, University Communications
Provost Brent Carbajal, Award Recipient Janelle Leger, Faculty Senate President Molly Ware

Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award

Janelle Leger
Department of Physics & Astronomy, and Chemistry

Janelle Leger was the first faculty hire for the Advanced Materials Science and Engineering Center, with a split appointment between the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Chemistry.  Janelle was an NSF Discovery Corps Postdoctoral scholar at the University of Washington Department of Chemistry from 2005 – 2008, after receiving her Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Cruz Department of Physics. Her research group explores organic and hybrid electronic and optoelectronic devices as well as structures for subwavelength optics. She has mentored over 30 undergraduate research students in interdisciplinary scholarship since joining WWU in 2008.


Page Updated 11.22.2017