WWU Student and Faculty Mentor Awarded First Arlan Norman Award for Excellence in Student Mentoring

Western Washington University Professor of Chemistry David Patrick and graduate student Ryan Sumner of Vancouver were awarded the first Arlan Norman Award for Excellence in Student Mentoring on May 12.

Arlan Norman was the founding dean of the College of Sciences and Technology at Western (now the College of Science and Engineering). The award recognizes a College of Science and Engineering faculty member for excellence in mentoring student research, with preference given to graduate research. It also provides a large stipend to support the summer research of a student selected by the faculty mentor.

Sumner is a graduate student in Chemistry developing new solar concentrators aimed at lowering the cost and increasing the efficiency of solar energy, and is a member of the award-winning WWU Smart Solar Window team. Support provided by the Arlan Norman award will enable Sumner to work full-time on his project during the summer. Sumner served in the U.S. Army in Iraq and earned his bachelor’s degree from Western.

“I would like to thank Arlan Norman for this amazing opportunity. I’m very appreciative of Western and all it has to offer. I enjoy my research because it has allowed me to expand my chemistry skills and knowledge as well as contribute to advancements in science,” said Sumner.

Patrick’s research is focused on surface and materials chemistry, ordered molecular systems, and organic thin films.

“I know of no other university where the faculty and staff are more committed to helping students grow both as professionals and individuals, as here at Western.  To be associated with this recognition honoring Arlie – who as dean was a valued mentor and role model to so many, including me – is really humbling,” Patrick said.

For more information about the award or its recipients contact Kathleen Kitto, vice provost for Research and dean of the Graduate School at Western Washington University, at (360) 650-2884 or kathleen.kitto@wwu.edu.