BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University honored several faculty and staff members recently with annual awards highlighting the best in teaching, research, service, teamwork, diversity achievement and other work.
Western President Bruce Shepard presented the awards at Opening Convocation for faculty and staff Sept. 20. This year’s award winners were:
Karen Hoelscher, Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award
Hoelscher, a professor of Elementary Education at Woodring College of Education, has committed herself to Western through teaching, scholarship and community service since 1992. Since 2006 Hoelscher has co-facilitated the WWU Faculty Research-Writing Series, supporting 70 tenure-track faculty members as academic writers. She has taught in 11 areas in Western’s Woodring College of Education, including courses designed for college freshmen interested in becoming teachers and for Woodring students who are in the K-8 certification program. She has dedicated herself to multicultural efforts, co-authoring a book on supporting student identity differences, assisting Western students at Village Books’ annual Martin Luther King Jr. “read-in,” and co-founding Woodring’s Diversity Committee. This is her second all-university award -- in 2001 she received the WWU Diversity Achievement Award. Hoelscher graduated from Bemidji State University in 1974 and Harvard University Graduate School of Education in 1989.
The Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award includes a $1,500 stipend, made possible by the Western Foundation, for professional service-related activities.
Willy Hart, Diversity Achievement Award
Hart, director of University Residences, has helped to grow the diversity of University Residences staff and has supported Ethnic Student Center heritage dinners from funds available through the University Dining Contract. He said that he received this honor because of the good work of many people in University Residences and the support of colleagues across the campus. After earning a bachelor’s degree in History and English at Webster College and a master’s degree in Human Services at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Hart worked in housing, campus planning, and human resources at the University of Oregon. He came to Western in 1991, serving 13 years as associate director of University Residences for facilities. He became director eight years ago and will retire at the end of the year.
The Diversity Achievement Award recognizes outstanding contributions to multiculturalism on campus and beyond. The award comes with a $1,500 stipend for use in research, teaching or professional enhancement, made possible by the Western Foundation.
Andy Bunn, Carl H. Simpson Bridging Award
Bunn, associate professor of Environmental Sciences, founded a cross-college initiative to integrate energy science, public policy, technology, economics and business at Western’s new Institute for Energy Studies, now in development. Bunn also teaches classes on climate and energy science and conducts research on climate change. Before he came to Western, he worked as a researcher at the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts, where he studied ecology and biogeochemistry. He did his undergraduate work at Evergreen State College, obtained his master’s degree at Duke University and received his doctorate from Montana State University.
The Carl H. Simpson Bridging Award recognizes efforts to create bridges and forge new paths that others may follow and build upon. The award recognizes Western staff, faculty or students who demonstrate a remarkable ability or innovative approach to bridging some aspect of academic or campus life. It includes a $1,000 award.
Kevin Dixey, Outstanding Classified Staff Award
Dixey is an information technology specialist with Western’s Academic Technology User Services, where he created an instructional video website in 2011. Dixey earned a master’s degree in Environmental Education in 2010 from Huxley College of the Environment and he helped to establish the Tech Tonic Tech Expo in 2007 as a graduate student. Before he came to Western, Dixey earned his bachelor’s degree in Theater from the University of California, San Diego and managed his own media design and development firm, Spinwire, in Seattle.
The Outstanding Classified Staff Award recognizes an individual who exemplifies a positive and creative approach to problem solving and innovation that significantly advances departmental goals and/or university mission. With the support of the president, the two classified staff unions on campus (WFSE and PSE) together select one of their members to receive this award.
Dana Edward, Professional Staff Award for Excellence
Edward, director of Certification and Accreditation at Woodring College of Education, serves as liaison to the State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and Professional Educator Standards Board on educator certification and program approval. She also coordinates national and regional accreditation efforts and consults with educator program departments and administrative units on curricular, certification, and accreditation issues. She had more than 25 years of professional experience in the public sector before she came to Western. Edward worked for the San Diego Convention Center Corporation, the San Diego Housing Commission, and the San Diego County Department of Social Services. Edward graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and has been at Western since 1999.
The Professional Staff Organization Award for Excellence annually recognizes a professional staff employee for an assortment of exceptional efforts and contributions to Western.
James Loucky, Philip E. Sharpe Jr. Community Engagement Award
Loucky, a professor of Anthropology, began teaching at Western in 1989 and specializes in Latin American affairs, international migration and intercultural education. Since his graduate study at UCLA, he has been involved with the Maya of Guatemala, offering expert testimony in asylum cases and helping to build community wellbeing across the diaspora that now encompasses Whatcom County and most of North America. He serves on the Bellingham Sister Cities Association and for 10 years has co-organized the Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival. A longtime, active member of Bellingham’s peace community, Loucky is a vocal advocate for human rights and frequent contributor to public awareness through presentations on immigration and social equity. He works closely with the Lummi community, public school teachers, refugees, and colleagues across campus to bring speakers on critical world issues. His international field courses have involved students in learning from small communities in Peru, India, Thailand, and Kenya.
The Philip E. Sharpe Community Engagement Award is given in recognition of faculty, staff, or group of Western employees involved in outstanding community service.
Back2Bellingham Weekend, Team Recognition Award
Back2Bellingham Alumni and Family Weekend is an annual, collaborative event that brought more than 7,000 alumni and family members to campus in May of 2012. Back2Bellingham showcases the best of Western for alumni, students, prospective students, parents, volunteers and community members. B2B Weekend is jointly organized by the Alumni Association and New Student Services/Family Outreach, who brought together over 260 faculty, staff and students to make the event happen.
The Team Recognition Award recognizes a group that exemplifies cooperation, collaboration and open communication. The group receiving the award must be comprised of supportive team players who worked in partnership on a project that significantly advanced departmental goals and/or university mission.