GPSA Honors Graduate and Professional Student Advisers

PULLMAN, Wash. — The Graduate and Professional Student Association at Washington State University honored Thomas P. Ruff with the Graduate Student Adviser Award and Nicholas Blanchard with the 2001 Professional Student Adviser Award.

Ruff is a professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning and Blanchard is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice.

Victoria Hansel, president of the GPSA, said the awards are a way to recognize good mentors and great advisers and the things they do for graduate and professional students. It is a way to thank advisers and to show them students really appreciate their help, she said.

Pollyanna Casmar, chair of the Graduate and Professional Adviser Award Committee, said Ruff had given 30 years of service to graduate students and had received a commendation from Gov. Gary Locke for excellence in teaching. “A lot of alumni and current students said he helped them understand what it means to be involved in education,” she said. “He also promoted an international and cultural awareness.”

Casmar said Blanchard often makes himself available to students for study sessions in the late evenings, attends meetings of the professional fraternity and shows kindness to international students. He is an enthusiastic teacher and helps students publish their work in peer-reviewed journals, she said.

The Graduate School and the GPSA established the awards to honor and recognize outstanding mentorship, advising and teaching by graduate and professional advisers at all WSU campuses.