Johnson, Quock are first Honors College distinguished profs

PULLMAN, Wash. – A professor of sociology and a professor of psychology are the first distinguished professors of the Honors College at Washington State University.

Sociologist Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson and psychologist Raymond Quock were selected based on their demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and outreach service, said Daryll DeWald, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences which partnered with Honors to create the new professorships.

“Both Monica and Raymond are outstanding teachers and researchers in their respective fields,” DeWald said. “Formalizing this partnership between the two colleges enables our outstanding professors to enrich the Honors environment in a dedicated manner while strengthening both programs overall.”

The two colleges are providing up to $10,000 for faculty development and to fund scholarships for Honors undergraduates engaged in mentored research with the professors.


“This is a fantastic opportunity for Honors students to study with exemplary educators and researchers,” said M. Grant Norton, Honors dean. “Our new distinguished professorship program is an extra step toward ensuring Honors College students have the best possible learning experiences.”

An expert in the sociology of work, family, and education, Johnson leads research into well-being and achievement in adolescence and the transition to adulthood. This fall, she is teaching an Honors 270 class that introduces students to the field of sociology and the approaches sociologists employ to build an understanding of social interaction.

Quock researches drugs that affect brain function and behavior in relation to pain and anxiety relief. He held the first Allen I. White Professorship in pharmacy from 2007 to 2012. This fall, Quock is teaching a section of Honors 390, a student-driven course that explores medical, social, and political issues associated with drug abuse.


“I am delighted to be one of the first scholars appointed to this position and am pleased to be a part of strengthening the connections between the two colleges,” Johnson said. “The resources of the distinguished professorship provide a great opportunity to involve some outstanding undergraduate students in my own research program.”

Next spring, Johnson will teach Honors 370: Becoming an Adult in Contemporary Western Societies, which introduces students to the life course perspective for understanding ways of life in historical time and place. Closely aligned with her scholarly research, the class examines how young people’s pathways to adulthood are shaped by social institutions, including families, schooling, the labor market, government, and culture.

“I am very humbled and honored to receive this distinguished professorship,” Quock said. “Mentoring undergraduate and graduate research students has long been an interest of mine. A number of my undergraduate students, including several Honors students, have published their work in the scientific literature. Many have gone on to health professional and graduate programs, and I am proud to have helped in their development.”

Next spring, Quock will again teach his course Drug Abuse—A Global Perspective, which he taught in Honors last spring. Some students from his earlier class are now active in his research laboratory, investigating a new treatment for opiate withdrawal.

On faculty at WSU for 12 and 15 years respectively, Johnson and Quock previously have taught and mentored Honors students. In her new role, Johnson will teach half-time in both colleges. Quock will teach exclusively in Honors. Their distinguished professor appointments are for two years.

Media contact:

Adrian Aumen, College of Arts and Sciences,, 509-335-5671