College of Sciences Faculty, Students, Staff Recognized

PULLMAN, Wash. — The College of Sciences at Washington State University honored its outstanding faculty, students and staff at its eighth annual recognition ceremony last week.

The Distinguished Student Award was given to senior physics major Dirk Robinson of Colville. Robinson was recognized for his academic achievements and innovative development of experiments in optoelectronics.

Brian Beard, doctoral candidate in the School of Molecular Biosciences, received the Graduate Student Achievement Award for the quality of his work on chromatin and DNA’s repair mechanism. Beard is from Windsor, Colo., and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley.

The 2001 College of Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award went to Gary Thorgaard, professor and director of the School of Biological Sciences. Recognized worldwide for his pioneering studies of fish genetics, Thorgaard is at the forefront of research on mapping the trout genome. He also is noted for being an excellent teacher and mentor.

Dr. Donald D. Trunkey, professor and chair of the Department of Surgery at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, received the college’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. Trunkey graduated from WSU in 1959 and received his doctor of medicine from the University of Washington. His internationally recognized research is on the impact of shock on cells.

Physics professor Thomas Dickinson received the 2001 Thomas E. Lutz Memorial Teaching Award for his development of nationally recognized, innovative and challenging physics classes in which he encourages self-learning, hands-on demonstrations and Web use. He also encourages women science and engineering students by forming reading clubs to discuss articles on new technology.

The Faculty Advising Excellence Award went to Paul Schroeder, professor in the School of Biological Sciences and director of the Conner Museum. Schroeder is highly regarded by his undergraduate advisees in zoology and biology.

Lisa Gloss, assistant professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences, received the Young Faculty Achievement Award for her accomplishments in teaching and research. Gloss, who has been at WSU since 1998, teaches biochemistry. Her research involves macromolecular assembly and protein folding.

The Outstanding Staff Award was given to Marilyn Burns, finance manager in the Department of Physics. Burns was noted for her extraordinary dedication, competence and caring management style.

New recipients of three distinguished professorships also were announced. Professor of physics James Walker was named the Boeing Professor in Science and Mathematics Education. Noted for his imaginative instruction, Walker is completing a two-volume textbook for algebra-based physics that is already being considered for adoption at several major universities.

Professor of chemistry Sue Clark was named the Westinghouse Professor in Materials Science and Engineering. A WSU faculty member since 1996, Clark has created a nationally recognized, radiochemistry research program. She holds adjunct positions at Clemson University in environmental engineering and at the Georgia Institute of Technology in health physics and is an associated staff scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratories. She edits the American Chemical Society’s geochemistry newsletter.

Professor of molecular biosciences Michael Smerdon was named the Edward R. Meyer Professor. Smerdon’s work on DNA repair and his instruction in biophysics, quantum mechanics and spectroscopy were noted. He received the university’s Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Research and delivered the 2000 Distinguished Faculty Address.

Recent college retirees were recognized. They are professors Manning Cook, chemistry; John Crane, biological sciences; Glenn Crosby, chemistry; Miles Dresser, physics; Howard Miles, physics; Don Miller, biological sciences; Alice Schroeder, molecular biosciences; Paul Schroeder, zoology; Ernest Uribe, biological sciences; and Robert Wilson, basic medical sciences. Other retirees were Barbara Lentz, coordinator of general studies, and Gracie Levi, office assistant in chemistry.