College of Sciences Announces Annual Distinguished Achievement Awards

PULLMAN, Wash. — The College of Sciences at Washington State University has
recognized eight faculty and students with annual achievement awards.
Chemistry major Suzanne Arter of Kennewick received the College of Sciences Outstanding
Undergraduate Student Award. Arter, who already holds a bachelor’s degree in music education
from Pacific Lutheran University, completed the four-year science curriculum in three years while
maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average. She spent summers doing research at Battelle
Pacific Northwest National Laboratories and served as an undergraduate teaching assistant.
Stephen Fodor, president and CEO of Affymetrix, Santa Clara, Calif., the nation’s leading
developer and producer of biochips, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Fodor earned a
bachelor’s degree in biology in 1978 and a master’s degree in biochemistry in 1982, both from
WSU, and a doctorate from Princeton. He and Affymetrix, the company he heads, have been the
subject of lead articles in “Fortune” magazine and other business and academic journals that
expect the biochip to revolutionize aspects of the fields of medicine and agriculture.
Michael Smerdon, professor of biochemistry and biophysics, received the Distinguished
Faculty Award. He is recognized for his work in DNA repair, which has added to the
understanding of how cells can repair damaged DNA that could otherwise lead to cancer.
Smerdon received the WSU Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Research and was asked to
organize the prestigious Gordon Research Conference in his field.
The Young Faculty Achievement Award was given to Sue Clark, assistant professor of
chemistry. Clark’s research on the chemistry of plutonium related to the disposal of radioactive
wastes and actinide chemistry is internationally recognized. She has been appointed to the
prestigious National Academy of Sciences Panel of Dosimetry. She also works to involve women
in science through WSU’s “Women, Science and Culture” course.
The Outstanding Staff Award went to Jennifer Kramer, director of development for the
College of Sciences Development Office. Kramer is recognized for her compassion and leadership
in her fundraising and donor stewardship in the sciences development office and with the WSU
The Thomas Lutz Memorial Teaching Excellence Award was awarded to Kemet Spence,
professor of microbiology, who will retire this year after 31 years at WSU.
Other presentations included the Graduate Student Achievement Award to mathematics
doctoral student Jennifer Wig for her work in teaching and research, and the Faculty Advising
Excellence Award to chemistry professor Kirk McMichael for his role as principle adviser to
chemistry undergraduates. McMichael will also be retiring this year after 37 years at WSU.