Magnuson to be honored with lifetime service award

PULLMAN, Wash. – Nancy Magnuson, emeritus professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences, will receive the Lane V. Rawlins President’s Award for Distinguished Lifetime Service during the annual Celebrating Excellence Recognition Banquet on Friday, March 31, part of Washington State University’s annual Showcase celebration of faculty, staff and student excellence.

The award honors those who have devoted a substantial part of their career to advancing WSU through excellent service in administration, teaching, research, extension or a professional field. This award is being announced before the Showcase banquet, rather than as a surprise at the banquet, for the first time this year. Learn more at

“Great universities are built around faculty leaders who make major contributions in all areas – teaching, research, service and administration. Nancy is certainly one of these longtime stalwarts at Washington State University,” said Dan Bernardo, provost and executive vice president.

Since earning her Ph.D. in veterinary microbiology and pathology from WSU in 1978 and beginning as a research assistant professor in 1981, Magnuson has spent her entire career at WSU. She has served the research community, held leadership positions and made major contributions to advancing and retaining women at the university.

She has made significant contributions to cancer research: she was one of the first to identify how the proto-oncogene PIM-1 contributes to cancer development. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has participated in public education and peer review of research for the American Cancer Society for 17 years.

Magnuson served as president of the Association for Faculty Women twice, co-chaired a strategic plan implementation team and was interim vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School: “She is always around for the hard work, rolling up her sleeves and making a profound contribution,” said one of her nominators for this award.

In recognition of her teaching, service and research at WSU, she was named the Herbert Eastlick Distinguished Professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences, received the Sam Smith Leadership Award and was selected to deliver the 2010 Distinguished Faculty Address.

Magnuson was director of WSU’s National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant, which developed and promoted programs to address gender imbalances in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Since 1988, 52 undergraduates have worked in her lab, and she brought internationally recognized scientists to WSU for the Distinguished Lecture Series in Immunology.

Learn more about Magnuson and a scholarship for students established in her name at