Dec. 11, 2009
WSU Honors College Presents Faculty, Students with Awards at Fall 2009 Commencement
PULLMAN, Wash.—The Washington State University Honors College celebrated 21 students completing their baccalaureate program in fall 2009 with special commencement ceremonies Friday, Dec. 11. Several awards for special achievements were presented to faculty and students in the college that will begin its 50th anniversary year on January 1, 2010.
The faculty recipient of the Honors Thesis Advisor Award for outstanding mentorship is Barbara Sorg , a professor in Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacy, and Physiology. Honors student Sam Kammerzell nominated Sorg and helped to present her with a special Honors medallion at the event. Honors students are required to complete a research thesis as part of their undergraduate experience.
The Honors Faculty Award and a medallion went to Robin Bond, who has taught for a decade in the college, including teaching a section of Western Civilization every semester. She also serves as a thesis evaluator and academic advisor to Honors students.
Student Stephanie Pitts received two prestigious awards from Honors: the Dean’s Award, for exemplifying the mission and values of Honors, and the S. Town Stephenson Award, for demonstrating a breadth of interests and talents both within and outside the academic major. Student Kyle Ryan also received the S. Town Stephenson Award. Pitts graduated in mechanical engineering and Ryan in computer science.
Guest speaker at the commencement ceremony was alumnus Michael J. Scott (1970 Economics and Honors), father of three Honors students and staff scientist in the Technology Planning and Deployment Group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Scott has managed a series of projects analyzing effects of global warming on water supplies and utilization of the Columbia River system by hydropower, irrigation, and fisheries interests. He was one of 20 scientists who contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize in equal parts with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. Scott’s daughter, Susan, is one of the Honors students recognized at the commencement event; son Robert (’05) and daughter Rebecca (’08) are former Honors graduates.
Scott’s presentation, “What I Have Learned Since College About Living,” contained his thoughts on how to be successful and happy, liberally punctuated with personal observations and examples from the lives of people ranging from author and film director Woody Allen to transcendentalist and author Henry David Thoreau, and from double Nobel Prize winner and scientist Linus Pauling to French author, adventurer and statesman André Malraux.