WSU Provost Bernardo names Erdman, Fritz, Gerber, Graves, Gruen, Mariadoss, and Padowski as new Honors College Faculty Fellows

PULLMAN, Wash.—Seven Washington State University faculty members have been selected to be in the second cohort of faculty fellows for the Honors College, as announced by Provost and Executive Vice President Daniel J. Bernardo.

“These are very involved educators who have made a remarkable impact on Honors’ students and initiatives, and we are pleased to recognize them with this prestigious title,” said Honors Dean M. Grant Norton. Their three-year appointments start May 16, 2017.

Norton added, “Their areas of specialization, and even where they are located, points to the broad scope of the faculty who teach and mentor our students. The new cohort is made up of five women and two men from multiple disciplines, five colleges, one center, and three campuses.”

Naming the second cohort

The 2017-19 Honors College Faculty Fellows are: Phyllis Erdman, College of Education associate dean; Roschelle “Shelly” Fritz, College of Nursing assistant professor at WSU Vancouver; Lydia Gerber, College of Arts and Sciences clinical associate professor of history and director of the Asia Program; Janessa Graves, College of Nursing assistant professor at WSU Spokane; J. Philip Gruen, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences associate professor and director of the School of Design and Construction; Babu John Mariadoss, College of Business associate professor in the Dept. of Marketing and International Business; and, Julie Padowski, clinical associate professor and core faculty for the interdisciplinary Center for Environmental Research, Education, and Outreach (CEREO) and the WSU State of Washington Water Research Center.

The first cohort of Honors Faculty Fellows was named in spring 2016. Selected from those who applied or were nominated, both cohorts of fellows are, by definition, “individuals who make significant contributions to the Honors College and its students, who support the college mission, and who are tenured or tenure-track, clinical track, or instructors on current WSU appointment.” Honors Distinguished Professors also become fellows at the completion of their two-year terms.

Fellows’ contributions to Honors

Erdman has served Honors as a member of its Honors Council, thesis reviewer and adviser, and teacher. She also guides students participating in an innovative and intercollegiate human-animal interaction project along with students from the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine and students at Colorado State University’s Honors College.

Fritz’s emerging research broaches nursing and engineering; a current focus is on health-assistive smart homes for persons with mild cognitive impairment or dementia. Related to that she has mentored Honors students by engaging them in data collection and analysis, and in a research study for thesis projects.

Gerber has developed and taught a variety of Honors classes for more than 20 years, and mentored and supported students in their research endeavors and presentations of their work. She believes in “introducing Honors students to topics and issues that prepare them to be informed actors within the global community.”

Graves uses a developmentally based and tailored approach when she mentors Honors students pursuing Bachelor of Nursing Science degrees. She focuses on four goals: teaching research through collaboration, fostering connections with community partners, finding funding, and disseminating findings.

Connected to the college for more than a decade, Gruen serves on the Honors Council and has been a thesis advisor and reviewer. He said he’s learned a great deal from working with Honors students and that their work has compelled him to consider effective communication across disciplines.

Mariadoss has contributed to study-abroad and international experiences for many Honors students, and interacted with them as a teacher, researcher, advisor, mentor, and thesis reviewer. He and Dean Norton were involved in organizing a spring break trip to India for winners of a global case competition, which included Honors students.

In addition to reviewing Honors thesis proposals, Padowski teaches Honors courses about environmental research. In one, they build a toolkit of practical tips and techniques that will help them craft their own proposals to investigate environmental issues and discover what opportunities may exist for them. Her Honors experiences, she said, help her plan CEREO seminars that interest students.

Introduced at Honors Commencement event

Honors Associate Dean David Shier noted that the new fellows will be formally announced at the college’s May commencement event.

The next opportunity to apply to be an Honors Faculty Fellow will be in late fall, Shier said.

Read about the first cohort of fellows >>

MEDIA CONTACT:  David Shier, WSU Honors College associate dean, 509-335-4505,