UW honors top faculty, staff, volunteers and alumni

The University will honor 25 individuals this year as part of the annual UW awards program. The awards recognize outstanding performance in teaching, mentoring, public service and staff support at the UW Recognition Ceremony, set for 3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 12, in Meany Hall.

Beverly Cleary, ’39, a children’s book author best known for the Ramona series, is the winner of this year’s Alumna Summa Laude Dignata, an award given for a lifetime record of achievement. It is the highest honor that the UW can bestow on a graduate.

Robb Weller, ’72, a volunteer for the UW Alumni Association and noted TV personality, is being honored with the Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award. The award is given to individuals who make outstanding efforts on behalf of the association.

Seven faculty will receive the Distinguished Teaching Award, given to faculty who show “a mastery of their subject matter, intellectual rigor and a passion for teaching.” This year’s winners are Rebecca Aanerud, ’90, ’98, women studies; Benjamin Kerr, biology; Jaime Olavarria, psychology; Julia Parrish, aquatic and fishery sciences; Jamie Walker, ’81, art; Gowri Shankar, business administration (Bothell); and Richard Knuth, ’75, ’83, education (Tacoma).

Three graduate teaching assistants—Rachel Goldberg, English; and, sharing one award, Christopher Himes and Fernanda Oyarzun, biology—will receive the Excellence in Teaching Award for demonstrating outstanding skills in the classroom.

Thomas P. Quinn, ’78, ’81, aquatic and fishery sciences, will receive the Marsha L. Landolt Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award, recognizing faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to the education and guidance of graduate students.

Five staff members will receive Distinguished Staff Awards. The winners are Philip Mote, ’94, atmospheric sciences; Robin Bennett, medical genetics clinic; Hendrik Simons, aeronautical astrophysics and nuclear physics; Sue Garcia, custodial services; and Mona Pitre-Collins, experiential learning. These awards are given to staff who “contribute to the mission of their unit or the University, respond creatively to challenges, maintain the highest standards in their work, establish productive working relationships and promote a respectful and supportive workplace.”

Nancy Amidei, social work, is the winner of the Outstanding Public Service Award, which is presented to a faculty or staff member to honor extensive local and/or national and international service. Also being honored is Denise Wilson, electrical engineering, who will receive the S. Sterling Munro Public Service Teaching Award. The award is given to a faculty member demonstrating exemplary leadership in community-based instruction.

The James D. Clowes Award for the Advancement of Learning Communities will be given this year to Lance Bennett, political science and communication. The award recognizes a faculty or staff member who transforms undergraduate learning by creating or sustaining learning communities for students.

Kathleen Woodward, Simpson Center for the Humanities, and Judy Mahoney, engineering, are the winners of the David B. Thorud Leadership Award. The award honors those who lead, serve, inspire and collaborate with broad-ranging impact that goes beyond their regular responsibilities. Woodward is the faculty winner and Mahoney the staff winner.

John Schaufelberger, construction management, is the winner of the Distinguished Contributions to Lifelong Learning Award, which is given to faculty who have taught for at least two years in non-degree programs sponsored by the UW.