Six faculty receive university awards

Six Western Washington University faculty members have been honored with awards for the 2012-13 academic year. 

They include: 

David Carroll, Excellence in Teaching Award: David Carroll, professor of Elementary Education, has been teaching at Western since 2001.  He began his educational career as a teacher of Pre-K- second grade in the School District of Philadelphia from 1973-1982. He was awarded the Rose Lindenbaum Teacher of the Year award there in 1980. A sabbatical year experience at the Prospect Center for Education and Research in Vermont in 1983 led Carroll to directing and teaching in Prospect’s teacher education program from 1984-1991.  He met and married Susan Donnelly while at Prospect and they moved to Michigan State University in 1991 where he was co-coordinator, with Susan, of one of the MSU teacher education programs and completed his Ph.D. David’s teaching interests at WWU have focused on helping teacher candidates develop a sense of identity and agency associated with the practices of equitable teaching.

Bruce Beasley, Peter J. Elich Excellence in Teaching Award: Bruce Beasley, professor of English, has been teaching at Western since 1992. He studied at Oberlin College, Columbia University (M.F.A. in poetry), and University of Virginia (Ph.D. in American literature). He teaches courses in creative writing, poetry and poetics, American literature, slam and spoken word poetry, creative writing and the work of dreams, and an interdisciplinary GUR (with Thor Hansen of Geology) on the literature, mythology, and science of the monstrous. Bruce is the author of seven collections of poems and has won numerous awards for his poetry, including the Colorado Prize, the University of Georgia Press Contemporary Poetry Series Award, the Ohio State University Press Award, three Pushcart prizes, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Artist Trust of Washington.

Mark Lester, Ronald Kleinknecht Excellence in Teaching Award: Mark Lester, professor of English, has been teaching at Western since 2005.  He studied literature and philosophy at Michigan State University and Boston University before receiving his Ph.D. in English at the University of Washington in 1999. He is translator of Gilles Deleuze’s "Logic of Sense" (Columbia University Press, 1990) and has written on Leibniz and modern literature. In almost nine years that Lester has been at Western, he has taught courses on writing, literature, and literary and critical theory. Among the courses he has taught are: “The Animal in Art and Literature: Defining the Human,” “Possible Worlds,” “Law and Identity,” “The City in Modern Literature” and “Narrative Consciousness.”

David Hooper, Paul J. Olscamp Research Award: David Hooper, professor, Biology Department, has been teaching at Western since 1998. He earned his Ph.D. at Stanford University, and post-doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley. Hooper's research focuses on how the functional traits of plants affect ecosystem processes and the benefits of ecosystems derived by society. This work often includes students from Western, and has involved studies of how plant diversity affects nutrient availability and invasion by exotic species in California grasslands, how different vegetation types influence carbon storage in Alaskan tundra in response to climate warming, how restoration of streamside forest buffers influence water quality in lowland Whatcom County, and, most recently, how plant composition and water and nutrient availability affect recovery of grasslands from overgrazing in Inner Mongolia, China.  Previous honors include a fellowship in the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program in 2006 and the Mercer Award for an outstanding paper in the field of Ecology from the Ecological Society of America in 2000.

William (Bill) Lay, Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award: William (Bill) Lay, senior instructor, Department of Special Education, has been at Western since 1983, initially as a graduate student and subsequently as an instructor and curriculum development specialist with Woodring College of Education. Lay has designed and taught a number of educational foundations courses in the teacher certification program, and is currently focusing his work on a social science GUR class that provides undergraduate advisement and mentoring. Lay's service to the university includes several years as the former executive director of Western’s Center for Global and Peace Education and the editor of Woodring’s newsletter. He currently serves on the executive board of the United Faculty of Western Washington. His academic interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning and the empowerment of student voices.  Retiring at the end of this academic term, Lay is looking forward to fly-fishing the blue-ribbon trout streams of his native Montana.

Bertil van Boer, Outstanding Scholarship Award: van Boer has been at Western since 1996. For seven years he served as the dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts before returning to the faculty as Professor of Musicology-Theory in the Department of Music, where he serves as Graduate Program coordinator. His research focus has been on the music of 18th century Scandinavia, in particular that of the Gustavian period. He has also been one of the founders of the Society for Eighteenth Century Music, and has published last year the Historical Dictionary of Music in the Classical Period. Currently he has articles appearing in Scandinavian Studies, the Czech Journal of Musicology, 18th Century Music, and has contributed to the Oxford Bibliographies online. van Boer earned his Ph.D. from Uppsala University in Sweden and M.A. from University of Oregon.

David Carroll, Elementary Education professor and recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award
Bruce Beasley, English professor and recipient of the Peter J. Elich Excellence in Teaching Award
Mark Lester, English professor and recipient of the Ronald Kleinknecht Excellence in Teaching Award
David Hooper, Biology professor and recipient of the Paul J. Olscamp Research Award
William (Bill) Lay, Special Education senior instructor and recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award
Bertil van Boer, professor of Musicology, former dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts, and recipient of the Outstanding Scholarship Award
Catherine Riordan, who at the time was the Western Washington University provost, speaks at an event honoring faculty in the Western Gallery. File photo by Caroline Lee | Communications and Marketing intern