New Appointments:

By Phyllis Shier, WSU Honors College,

The Honors College is pleased to welcome the following individuals this fall. We look forward to working with them and to employing the talents and skills they bring to the Honors team!

Tekla SchmausAssistant Professor, Tekla Schmaus, received her PhD in Anthropology from Indiana University in 2015. She comes to the Honors College from the University of Pittsburgh where she was a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. Schmaus conducts research on social organization in nomadic groups during the Bronze and Iron Ages. She previously studied people’s mobility patterns and their relationship to the environment in Kazakhstan and is beginning a new project on community organization in Armenia.

Currently, Tekla teaches a section of Honors 390 on global issues in the sciences, examining the various ways societies have engaged with scientific research on heredity and genetics, and whether those relationships have changed through time. The course begins with scientific movements and advancements from the late 19th century and proceeds to the consequences of human genome sequencing today. Schmaus hopes students can learn from past pseudoscience and apply those lessons to critically evaluate scientific claims being made about genetics today.

In addition to teaching and research, Tekla enjoys hiking and road biking, and is looking forward to exploring trails in and around the Palouse.


Gary HyattDirector of Development, Gary Hyatt, comes to the Honors College from Central Washington University where, most recently, he served as the Deputy Director of Athletics. He has twenty-five years of experience in higher education administration and operations in areas pertaining to fundraising, athletics, finance, and compliance. As CWU’s Deputy Athletic Director, he was a member of the senior executive staff, setting the direction, policies, strategic planning, budget, and goals for the NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic program.

Gary has significant expertise in higher education development, administering university athletics annual giving and scholarships, donor cultivation and events, and solicitation and stewardship activities.

“I’m truly honored to be a part of this esteemed institution and a member of the Honors team,” Hyatt said. “I hope to use my experiences to facilitate ways for our accomplished alumni and friends to have an impact on Honors students as they become leaders in their fields and within the communities where they live and work.”

Gary began his professional career as a high school chemistry and biology teacher and as a football assistant coach, roles that prepared him to help shape the future of the next generation. “I look forward to the opportunity to enhance the incredible work being done by our students, faculty, and staff.”