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Faculty Awards and Honors


Portrait of Sarah BearSarah Bear, RN-BSN Director, (left) has been awarded the 2019 Professional Nursing and Health Care Council Nurse Leadership and Management Award by the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA). The award recognizes "excellence in nursing leadership and management" and "the promotion of professional development of nurses and facilitation of excellence in clinical practice." 

Bill Lonneman and Hope Corbin, Health and Community Studies,  along with faculty from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Fairhaven College, have received funding for their Fraser Lecture Series “Intersections of Biological and Social Determinants of Health: Perspectives from the Global South,” to be held in fall 2019. It will feature public health professionals from African, Asian and South American universities and programs, including doctors from India, Zambia, and Argentina.

Debi Hanuscin, Elementary Education, was awarded the 2019 Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) Outstanding Mentor Award for her work mentoring new science teachers and science teacher educators. Debi was nominated by a long list of current faculty and former students who benefited over the years from her excellent mentorship.


 Portrait of Tim BruceTim Bruce, Educational Administration, (left) was honored by the La Conner School District at a dedication in his honor of the district's Performing Arts Center. Bruce served as superintendent of schools in La Conner from 1990-2016.  He wrote many grants and collaborated with other districts in Skagit County to promote the arts.


Bill Lonneman (Health & Community Studies), Bridget Kelley (Special Education), Brett Coleman (Human Services and Health & Community Studies), and Veronica Vélez (Secondary Education and Education & Social Justice), were featured in the WWU Innovative Teaching Showcase for their commitment to educating students about social justice.

Franciso Rios, Secondary Education, was recognized by WWU with the Diversity Achievement Award for his many diversity and inclusion initiatives during his tenure as Dean of Woodring.

Veronica VélezSecondary Education and Education & Social Justice, received a WWU Faculty Senate Diversity & Social Justice Award for her work on Building and Sustaining Justice-Producing Academic Initiatives: A Case Study of an Undergraduate Education and Social Justice Program​.

Veronica Vélez, Secondary Education and Education & Social Justice, received a Faculty Fellow Award from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE).

Veronica Vélez, Secondary Education and Education & Social Justice, was honored with the Rep. Timm Ormsby Citizenship Award from Washington Council of Faculty Representatives. The award was created in 2013 and named for Rep. Timm Ormsby in recognition of his tireless effort to promote civic leadership across the state.  Nicholas is a statewide leader who supports nonprofit and civic organizations working toward a more just society. 


Sondra Cuban, Adult and Higher Education, was awarded a Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program grant for lecturing and research at University of the Frontier in Temuco, Chile.  Her focus is on immobilities of immigrant women.

Anna Lees, Early Childhood Education, received the 2017 AACTE Outstanding JTE Article Award for her Journal of Teacher Education article, The Roles of Urban Indigenous Community Members in Collaborative Field-Based Teacher Preparation, Volume: 67 issue: 5, page(s): 363-378.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022487116668018

Portrait of Hope CorbinHope Corbin, Human Services, was named Alumni of the Month by Norway's University of Bergen Alumni Network.  Corbin earned a master's and doctoral degree in Norway and is spending the year at her alma mater, working with the Refugee Resilience Network and studying the experiences of young adults had who migrated to Norway at a young age. 



Trula Nicholas, Human Services, was one of five 2016 recipients of the Representative Timm Ormsby Award for Faculty Citizenship.  The award was created in 2013 and named for Rep. Timm Ormsby in recognition of his tireless effort to promote civic leadership across the state.  Nicholas is a statewide leader who supports nonprofit and civic organizations working toward a more just society.  Nicholas was also a recipient of the Western Washington University Diversity Achievement Award for 2015-16.  She was recognized for her steadfast leadership as chair of the Social Justice and Equity Committee.

Kevin Roxas, Secondary Education, and Romana Fruja (Bucknell University) received the Taylor and Francis Best Paper Award from the American Educational Studies Association (AESA) for 2015.  Their paper Multicultural Education and Newcomer Youth: Re-imagining a More Inclusive Vision for Immigrant and Refugee Students, was presented at the AESA's fall 2016 conference in Seattle.


Portrait of Dina BenedettiDina Benedetti (Academic Program Director, Teacher Education Outreach Programs, North Seattle) is the 2015 recipient of the WWU Excellence in Teaching Award.  




Kevin Roxas (Secondary Education) was named conference program co-chair for Division G of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2016 Conference.


Joseph Hunter (Educational Administration) received the David Marx Award for NSSA Journal Outstanding Article of Year for Identifying the Successful Strategies in an Efficacious Story-based Behavioral Intervention System:A Study of a Summer Day Camp for At-Risk 7 to 12-year Olds

Casey Shillam (Nursing) was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Leadership Development Fellow.

Maria Timmons-Flores received the WWU Simpson Bridging Award.

Paula Dagnon (Instructional Technology) was featured in the Center for Instructional Innovation and Assessment's 2013-14 Innovative Teaching Showcase Blended Learning: The Best of Both Worlds. See her portfolio Conceptual Framework and Pedagogical and Andragogical Foundations.




Debora Nelli (Continuing and College Education), won a curriculum development grant from WWU’s Center for International Studies to design a new international course, AHE 437, International Adult Education Service Learning in Ireland. AHE 437 students will prepare adult education workshops in collaboration with Irish adult and community educators to be facilitated in Dublin during the AONTAS, Irish Adult Education Association’s annual adult learning festival.  Students will design preparatory instructional design activities on Western’s campus early in the quarter and spend 10 days in Dublin in direct international service and cultural activities.


Susan Cahill (Woodring Certification Office) was awarded as the 2013 Outstanding Classified Staff Employee of the Year for the University.   Portrait of Susan CahillFor nearly 10 years, Cahill has helped pre-service educators stay on track to gain their certification, in any way she can.  Prior to that she worked as the assistant to the Director of Special Programs at Olympia High School in Olympia, Wash.  She earned her B.A. in government and journalism from California State University in Sacramento, Calif.  Following graduation, she was a legislative reporter for the League of Women voters.


Bruce Larson (chair, Secondary Education) was appointed for a three-year term as the University’s new Portrait of Bruce Larson faculty representative for Athletics.  Larson, who was a 2003 recipient of WWU's Excellence  in Teaching Award, obtained his B.A.E. at PLU and doctorate at U.W., where he excelled both in athletics and academics.  He was also a high school coach for nine years before coming to WWU in 1996.  Larson is beginning his fifth year as chair of Woodring's secondary education department.


Chris Ohana (Elementary Education) won a grant from the national Science Foundation for “Every Day, Every Child: A Partnership for Research with Elementary Math and Science Instructional Specialists.” She was also featured in Western Today in “Getting to know Chris Ohana.”


Casey Shillam was named director of Western’s bachelor’s degree in nursing program as well as hired as Associate Professor and Academic Program Director of the RN-to-BSN program.


Rosalie Romano and Molly Ware (Secondary Education ) received a WCE international grant to travel for a site visit to Universidad Catolica de Temuco.


Chris Ohana (Elementary Education), Kim Markworth, and Ruth Parker received a NSF funded grant to study math and science specialist models in elementary school.



David Carroll, professor of Elementary Education, received the Excellence in Teaching Award.  Carroll, has been teaching at Western since 2001. He began his educational career as a teacher of Pre-K- second Portrait of David Carrollgrade in the School District of Philadelphia from 1973-1982. He was awarded the Rose Lindenbaum Teacher of the Year award there in 1980. A sabbatical year experience at the Prospect Center for Education and Research in Vermont in 1983 led Carroll to directing and teaching in Prospect’s teacher education program from 1984-1991. He met and married Susan Donnelly while at Prospect and they moved to Michigan State University in 1991 where he was co-coordinator, with Susan, of one of the MSU teacher education programs and completed his Ph.D. David’s teaching interests at WWU have focused on helping teacher candidates develop a sense of identity and agency associated with the practices of equitable teaching.


William (Bill) Lay, senior instructor, Department of Special Education, has been at Western since 1983, initially as a graduate student and subsequently as an instructPortrait of William Layor and curriculum development specialist with Woodring College of Education. Lay has designed and taught a number of educational foundations courses in the teacher certification program, and is currently focusing his work on a social science GUR class that provides undergraduate advisement and mentoring. Lay's service to the university includes several years as the former executive director of Western’s Center for Global and Peace Education and the editor of Woodring’s newsletter. He currently serves on the executive board of the United Faculty of Western Washington. His academic interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning and the empowerment of student voices. Retiring at the end of this academic term, Lay is looking forward to fly-fishing the blue-ribbon trout streams of his native Montana.



Raine Dozier (Human Services) won a WWU Summer Research grant for her research project titled “Sex, Gender & Jobs: Female Masculinity in the Workplace.”

Scott Linneman, professor of geology, was named Washington's Higher Ed Science Teacher of the Year by the Washington Science Teachers Association. Linneman is also a faculty member in the Science, Math and Technology Education (SMATE) program, working to prepare science teachers. View photo and complete story.

Portrait of Angela HarwoodAngela Harwood, a professor of Secondary Education at Woodring College of Education, received the WWU Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award at the Sept. 16 opening convocation. The award includes a $1,500 stipend to use for research, teaching equipment and supplies, or professional enhancement. Harwood is beginning her 20th year of teaching at Western. She graduated from the University of Utah with dual degrees in English and Political Science and earned her master’s and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership at Emory University. She is the co-creator of the Service-Learning Faculty Fellows program run through Western’s Center for Service-Learning and has been recognized nationally for her work in the field. Shuksan Middle School named her “Community Volunteer of the Year” in both 2004 and 2010 in recognition of her extensive work with local school districts to support students and families and her creation of after-school mentoring programs for at-risk students. Currently, she is working with a team of Western students and staff, community partners and school personnel to more effectively support Latino and Latina students and families. This is also not her first university-wide recognition: In 2001 Harwood received the Excellence in Teaching Award.

Portrait of Susan KincaidSusan Kincaid, Assistant Professor in the Human Services Program at Woodring, was awarded the Lenore McNeer Award by the National Organization for Human Services. The award is “for making a distinctive contribution to the field of human services as an educator.” Kincaid also serves as Treasurer for the Council for Standards in Human Service Education and has been a member of the Council for Standards in Human Service Education Board since 1995.

Victor Nolet, Secondary Education, won one of the first awards on campus for Sustainability in Academics, at the October 28 ceremony. The awards honor Western’s commitment to achieve sustainability. Nolet has worked on several sustainability in education projects and has served as an advisor to UNESCO on that subject.


Portrait of  Elizabeth Boland2010-2011

Elizabeth Boland, chair of Woodring College’s Department of Human Services and Rehabilitation was recently voted President-Elect of the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association. Her term will begin January 2011 and end December 2012.



Tim Keiper, Associate Professor of Secondary Education, was named a Fulbright Scholar recipient for the 2010-2011 academic year.Portrait of Tim Keiper He and his family will travel to northern Tanzania where they will settle for one year in the highland area between the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti plains. Keiper was invited to teach in the teacher preparation program at Mt. Meru University outside of Arusha, Tanzania. He plans to conduct research in remote areas of Tanzania related to the preparation needs of teachers working with orphaned and vulnerable children.

  • Lecturing Title: Parallel Design: Assessment, classroom management, and instructional strategies

  • Research Title: Assessing the Needs of Pre-Service Teachers Preparing to Educate Orphaned and Vulnerable Children in Rural Tanzania

Keiper said: “What a wonderful opportunity to learn from African teachers and share ideas. The students I’ve shared this with are as excited as I am. They taught me my first two Swahili words : habari and rafiki (hello and friend). I have a long way to go but it’s a good start.”

Follow Tim's blog.

Lorraine KasprisinPortrait of Lorraine Kasprisin (Secondary Education) received the 2009 WWU Diversity Achievement Award, which includes a $1,500 stipend funded through the Western Washington University Foundation. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to enhancing multiculturalism on campus and beyond. These contributions include research, programming, leadership, teaching and service to students and the community. Kasprisin founded the peer-reviewed electronic Journal of Educational Controversy.

Rob BrandPortrait of Rob Brand(Elementary Education) was chosen as one of the "10 Who Cared" by the Bellingham Herald, acknowledging the contributions of people who make Whatcom County a better place to live. He was selected based on his 30 years of service as an elementary school principal in Bellingham and his continuing dedication to quality education through 16 years of supervising student teachers throughout Whatcom County. Read information about a scholarship for Elementary Education students in his honor.


Pat FabianoPortrait of  Dr. Pat Fabiano(Student Affairs Administration) received the Outstanding Contribution to Higher Education of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). This award recognizes those who have rendered outstanding service in programs, policies, or research that has made a national impact, and who has contributed to the broad reach of higher education. Fabiano was also the third person from WWU to receive the Region V Distinguished Service Award since its inception in 1992. Kay Rich (Residence Life) won the award in 2003 and Susan Mancuso (Student Affairs Administration) in 2004.

Portrait of Sheila FoxSheila Fox, director of University-School Partnerships and Professional Certificate and National-Board Certificate programs, was re-appointed by Gov. Christine Gregoire to the Washington State Board of Education to a second four-year term. Fox was initially appointed in 2006 as the first higher education representative on the Board. Her new term will expire in January 2014. Current SBOE activity has been focused on preparing a proposal to the legislature that outlines a process for identifying and working with the lowest 5% of chronically under-performing public schools. See the Seattle Times Newspaper article for more details.

Lorraine Kasprisin, Secondary Education, received a 2009 Whatcom County Human Rights Task Force Award for exemplary contributions in defending, educating and promoting human rights in Whatcom County. Kasprisin is the editor of the on-line Journal of Educational Controversy.

Joseph Trimble, professor, was awarded the International Lifetime Achievement Award for Multicultural and Diversity Counseling by the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. He was honored for his life's work promoting psychological and socio-cultural research with indigenous populations, especially American Indians and Alaska Natives.



William G. Demmert, professor, received the 2009 Mike Charleston Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Indigenous Education(SIG Award) by the American Education Research Association (AERA). The award will be presented at the AERA annual meeting, April 12-17, 2009 in San Diego. Mary Lynne Derrington, Educational Administration, received a Lucile Cornetet Individual Award for professional development from The Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Foundation. This award will enable her to attend the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference. The Educational Foundation supports and encourages intercultural understand and educational excellence.

Karen Hoelscher, Elementary Education, received a 2008 Whatcom County Human Rights Task Force Award for exemplary contributions in defending, educating and promoting human rights in Whatcom County.

Susan Kincaid, Human Services and Rehabilitation Counseling, was awarded the Human Services Board Certified Practitioner credential by the Center for Credentialing and Education, which has collaborated with NOHS and the Council for Standards in Human Service Education (CSHSE) to develop a national credentialing exam in human services. The credential was awarded to about 30 experts nationwide who assisted in developing the credentialing process and test. Kincaid, who serves as Vice President of Accreditation, also attended a board meeting of the CSHSE held at the same time as the National Organization for Human Services (NOHS) Conference: Taking the Road Less Traveled in Tucson, Ariz., October 19-25, 2008.

John Korsmo, assistant professor in Human Services, was one of only four delegates invited from the U.S. to share ideas and perspectives about how best to engage youth in residential care at the international Federation for the Engagement of Community in Education congress in Helsinki, Finland. The theme of the congress, which brought together 20 practitioners and scholars from 28 different countries, was Better Future for children Today.

Kris Slentz, Special Education professors, was appointed by Gov. Christine Gregoire to the Washington State Interagency Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities and Their Families. Her term began Jan. 30 and will continue until Jan. 6, 2010.



Bob Keiper, associate professor Secondary Education, won Western Washington University's 2008 Excellence in Teaching Award. Keiper has more than 20 years of public school teaching experience, supervises student teachers and is the instructor for "The Dynamics of Teaching," a required course for secondary certification students. He has presented his "Teacher as Actor" workshops internationally.

Keiper is the tenth faculty member to receive this award and the fifth in the secondary education department. He was chosen for the award based on nominations received from alumni, student and faculty members.



Stephanie Salzman, Dean, has been appointed to a term on the state's Professional Educator Standards Board effective February 15, 2007, ending June 30, 2010. Ms. Salzman is the Dean of the Woodring College of Education within Western Washington University. She is on the board of the Whatcom Coalition for Health Communities and the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force.

The Board is responsible for state policies and requirements for the preparation, certification, assignment and continuing education of certified education professionals.

Woodring Professor William Demmert received the Alumni Achievement Award March 3 at the Alumni of Color Conference (AOCC) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE).

The award recognizes and celebrates the work of HGSE alumni of color by honoring individuals who have made significant contributions in the field of education, according to Malia Villegas, chairperson of the AOCC and the person who nominated Demmert, a professor of education at Western’s Woodring College of Education.

Demmert earned his doctorate in education from Harvard in 1973 and was one of four Harvard alumni to receive the award this year.

He has spent the last 47 years being an advocate for American Indian students, being part Tlingit and Oglalla himself. He was a former deputy commissioner of education in the U.S. Office of Education, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and was a former director of education for the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. He served as Alaska's Commissioner of Education, and was invited to teach at Stanford as an Irvine Scholar before moving to Western.

Sheila Fox, professor of Special Education and Director of University School Partnerships, and Marilyn Chu, assistant professor of Elementary Education, became members of the advisory board for the Recruiting Washington Teachers program. The program, run by the Professional Educators Standards Board, was established by the Washington State Legislature to recruit and support high school students to become teachers, particularly in shortage areas. The program also aims to increase the number of teachers among underrepresented groups and multilingual and multicultural students. Fox is also a member of the state Board of Education.



Marsha Riddle Buly, Elementary Education Associate Professor of Literacy Education, received Western's 2005-2006 Excellence in Teaching Award. Riddle Buly was selected by a committee of faculty, alumni and students. Her passion for teaching and very strong student evaluations were cited as major components in the decision.

Morgan Livingston, former director and current lecturer in Woodring's Human Services program in Everett, earned the 2006 Educator of the Year Award at the Northwest Human Services Association (NWHSA) conference in April. She was nominated by colleagues, instructors from other institutions and current and former students.

Robert Hyung-Chan Kim, professor emeritus from the Department of Educational Foundations at Woodring College of Education, received Western's 2006 Diversity Achievement Award. Since joining the faculty in 1971 and continuing past retirement, he has served as a advisor, founder, and board member for numerous projects relating to scholarly exchanges between Asian faculty and students and Western's campus.



Susan Mancuso, Department of Educational Leadership, received the Distinguished Service to the Profession Award (National Association of Student Personnel Administrator (NASPA) Region V (seven northwest states and two Canadian provinces).

Trish Skillman, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), was named Outstanding English Language Teacher at the 2005 National TESOL Convention in San Antonio, Texas.



William G. Demmert, Elementary Education, was the second recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award (2004) by the National Indian Education Association (NIEA). Demmert was one of the founders of the NIEA and was the first U.S. Deputy Commissioner of Education for the U.S. Office of Indian Education.

William G. Demmert, Elementary Education, received the Medallion Award from Seattle Pacific University for alumni who have served the university and community with special commitment. He is a leader in local, state, national and international research and assessment of education for native and indigenous peoples.

Susan Mancuso, Department of Educational Leadership, was inducted into Hall of Distinction by Whatcom Community College for contributions to the field of continuing and community college education.



Nancy J. Johnson, Elementary English Education professor, received the 2003 Arbuthnot Award from the International Reading Association for her ability “to inspire students to generate enthusiasm for reading children’s and young adults’ literature.” Johnson was also one of 15 children’s literature experts nationwide serving on the 2003 John Newbery Award Committee, which annually selects the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

Bruce Larson, Secondary Education, was awarded the 2003 Western Washington University Excellence in Teaching Award for the tremendous impact his teaching has had on students. His current research focuses on examining the difference between online learning and face-to-face discussion in the traditional classroom setting. He is the fourth faculty member in the Secondary Education Department to receive this award.

LeAnn Tyson Martin, associate professor of physical education, received the State Board of Education Excellence in Teacher Preparation Award for 2003. She was honored “for contributions in curriculum development, research on effective teaching, dissemination of research through publications and presentations, and service.”

Joseph E. Trimble, assessment/psychology/ Woodring College, editor of the Handbook of Racial and Ethnic Minority Psychology (with G. Bernal, K. Burlew, and F. Leong), which was selected by the library publication CHOICE as an Outstanding Academic Title for overall excellence in presentation and scholarship, relevance to field, and value to undergraduate students.



Chris Ohana, Elementary Education, was chosen to serve as editor of Science and Children, the National Science Teachers Association journal for elementary teachers (circulated to 20,000 teachers monthly).

Sheila Fox, Special Education, was appointed by Governor Gary Locke to a charter membership on the Washington State Professional Educator Standards Board in 2000. The 19-member board, comprised mainly of educators, advises the State Board of Education, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Legislature, and the governor on a full range of issues affecting educator professions. Her term expires in 2004.

William Demmert, Native American Education Programs, is a member of the Steering Committee for the International Cross-Cultural Education Seminar Series in the Circumpolar North. The goals of this committee of Native and non-Native educators and Native political leaders include helping indigenous peoples of the North develop ownership of their education systems and schools by creating, collecting and disseminating information on that process.



Bruce Larson and Angela Harwood, Secondary and Elementary Education, received the Outstanding Research Award in Social Studies Education from the American Educational Research Association.

Angela Harwood, Secondary Education, was awarded the WWU Excellence in Teaching Award for 2001; only two such awards are given each year.

Karen Hoelscher, Elementary Education, received the WWU Diversity Achievement Award for 2000-2001. One such award is given each year by the President for the furtherance of efforts which enhance diversity and multicultural understanding on the WWU campus.



Tim Keiper, Secondary Education, received the Best Elementary Teaching Article Award for 2000 from the National Council for Geographic Education. The award was given for an article published in the Journal of Geography, and selected from among all articles published in eleven issues (March 1998 – November 1999) of the journal.

Christine Ohana, Science Education, received an award for “Outstanding Leadership” from Iowa State University for her contributions teacher education during the 1996-1999 period of time.

Robert Kim, Educational Foundations, published text, Distinguished Asian Americans, was named the “Library Journal’s Best Reference Source for 1999”. The award from the Library Journal denotes the top reference resources published each year.

Brian Rae, Secondary Education practicum supervisor, received the Distinguished Principal Award for the North Cascades League from the Washington Association of Secondary School Principals.

Rob Jones, math education, was nominated for Teacher of the Year for the Clover Park School District, 1999-2000.