Association for Faculty Women honors four graduate students

AFW Grad Student Award Winners 2017
Gather, Engelke, Kelp, Kallman (l-r)

By Cheryl Reed, director of communication, Graduate School

PULLMAN, Wash. – The WSU Association for Faculty Women has awarded four graduate students for their ongoing leadership, research and exceptional academic performance.

During its annual ceremony on April 6,  the association presented its AFW Founders Award, Harriett B. Rigas Award and Karen P. DePauw Leadership Award. The recipients were nominated by WSU faculty, staff and peers.

The Karen P. DePauw Leadership Award went to Kari Ann Gaither, a doctoral student in pharmaceutical sciences at WSU Spokane and a recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for her research on cancer therapies for women. As a STEM student, Gather has been an active supporter of opportunities that encourage youth to participate in STEM experiences, such as judging high school STEM competitions and mentoring high school students. She also helped establish and organize an Association for Women in Science chapter at WSU and is currently the graduate representative to the WSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women.

The AFW Founders Award recipient is Jordan Engelke, a master’s student in English researching intersectional approaches to digital technology. Engelke is a social activist at WSU, recognized by her Master’s Student Service Award and leadership in WSU’s Graduate Pride Alliance. She has led Safe Zone Ally Training and created a resource pool for first-time teachers, and is also a graduate assistant for the Critical Literacies Achievement and Success Program that serves under-represented students in the Department of English. Engelke also skates for a local roller derby team.

Two students received the Harriet B. Rigas Award. Nicole Kelp, a doctoral student in molecular biosciences, is known for her work ethic, mentorship, and volunteerism. In addition, her research earned her a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship complemented by an impressive publication record. Kelp volunteers with a science outreach program for high school students and mentors undergraduates in her program and in the WSU Honors College. She has also participated in humanitarian work in central China and in Afghanistan with refugee women.

Davi Kallman, the second Harriet B. Rigas Award recipient, is a doctoral student in the College of Communication. Kallman has worked to create awareness of stereotypes and prejudices about persons with disabilities, and has served in several leadership positions at WSU and professional organizations. She has received numerous awards for her service, teaching and engagement, including the WSU President Leadership award, GPSA Student Instructor of the Year Award, Myiah Hutchens Community Engagement Award, Prabu David Leadership Award, and Carson B Warner Award for excellence in poster design. Kallman also helped create the Wiley Research Exposition at WSU and provided instrumental assistance in the establishment and implementation of the WSU Graduate School Professional Development Initiative (PDI), which provides graduate students opportunities for professional development and career enhancement. Beyond her service and leadership, Kallman has maintained an active research program using media-based interventions to reduce stigma and prejudice against those with disabilities.

Media Contacts:

  • Cheryl Reed, director of communication, Graduate School,
  • Kathleen Boyce Rodgers, Association for Faculty Women Scholarship co-chair,