WSU Honors College Students, Faculty Recognized for Excellence at 2011 University College Awards Ceremony

PULLMAN, Wash.—The Washington State University Honors College was well represented at the University College Awards Ceremony on Tues. April 19, when six Honors students and six faculty members received recognition in several categories for their academic and service excellence.

“Tuesday’s award ceremony showcased the outstanding achievements that the students and faculty of Honors have made in the past year,” says Libby Walker, dean of Honors. “We are very proud of their accomplishments.”

The awards span areas such as recognition for top tutors at the WSU Writing Program to Honors’ own thesis advising awards.  The award recipients also represent a variety disciplines, including sciences, business, and liberal arts.  The University College awards event includes presentations from units that also work very closely with undergraduate students, such as the Honors College.

Award recipients from the Honors faculty

Honors Thesis Advisor Awards:  Recipients of the thesis advisor awards were nominated by their students for “going above and beyond expectations to assist students in their Honors thesis.”  These faculty members will be further recognized at Honors’ Commencement on May 6.  They are:

  • Christopher Arigo, an assistant professor in English who was nominated student Lainey Guddat
  • Doug Call, an associate professor in veterinary microbiology and pathology nominated by student Jonathan Bliggenstorfer
  • Roberta Emerson, an associate professor in the College of Nursing nominated by student Karissa Mielke
  • Jesse Spohnholz, an assistant professor in history nominated by student Emily Fradkin
  • Barbara Monroe, an associate professor in English nominated by student Whitney Harmon

“Our faculty is dedicated to creating an environment that fosters scholarship and excellence, and the success of our students continues to help elevate the reputation of our program at WSU,” says Walker.

WSU Distinguished Teaching Award: Presented by the WSU Teaching Academy, both of the professors receiving the top award granted university-wide to non-tenured faculty went to two who teach for Honors.

  • Pat Kuzyk, a clinical professor in economics
  • Pamela Lee, an assistant clinical professor in fine arts

Eric W. Bell Learning Communities Excellence Award: Awarded each by the WSU Learning Communities, part of the University College, these university-wide recognitions signify exception effort and creativity in helping new students connect with each other in classrooms and their residence halls.

  • Pamela Lee, assistant clinical professor in fine arts
  • Jesse Spohnholz, assistant professor in history

Award recipients from the Honors student body

Emeritus Society Awards for Undergraduate Achievement in Scholarship and Research: Presented by the WSU Emeritus Society of retired faculty, these awards are competitive and are judged in four categories of student “research, scholarship, and creative activity” under the mentorship of a faculty member.

  • Emily Fradkin, an accounting major who received the award in the Arts and Humanities category for her project “Menasseh Ben Israel and the Failed Attempt at Jewish Readmission to England 1650-1664”
  • Trevor Harvey, a sports management major who received the award in the Social, Economic, and Behavioral Sciences category for his project “The Effectiveness of a Professional Sports League: A Comparative Look at Major League Soccer and the North American Soccer League”

Harold and Jeanne Rounds Olsen Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Writing: These awards are presented by the WSU Writing Program to the top 10 junior writing portfolios submitted in the previous calendar year.  These students represent less than 1% of young writers at WSU.

  • Jared Brickman, a communications major

Stanley P. Williams Award for Writing Tutor Excellence: This recognition from the WSU Writing Program, part of the University College, is for those peer tutors who work diligently to help other students to become better at written communication.

  • Kirsten Howell, a public relations major

Undergraduate Research Excellence Awards: Made by WSU Undergraduate Research, a part of the University College, these are judged to be the best presentations at the 2011 Undergraduate Research Symposium (April 11) of “research, scholarship, and creative activity” conducted with a mentoring faculty member

  • Ashlee Eskelsen, a human nutrition major who won the Gray Award in the oral presentation category for her work on “The Role of Hindbrain Catecholamine Neurons in Selection of Substrates for Energy Metabolism.”
  • Rachel Wanty, a neuroscience/pre-vet and Spanish major who won the People’s Choice Award in the poster display category for her work on “Aging Vagal Afferent Glutamatergic Neurons in the Rat.”

MEDIA CONTACT:  David Clarke, Communications Assistant, WSU Honors College, 509-335-8070,

SOURCE: Libby Walker, Dean, WSU Honors College, 509-335-4505,