International career honor for CAHNRS scientists

Two professors in WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences have been elected as Fellows in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

AAAS elected Jill McCluskey, Regent’s Professor and Director of WSU’s School of Economic Sciences and Mark Lange, Professor in the WSU Institute of Biological Chemistry.

AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals. The 2021 class of AAAS Fellows includes 564 scientists, engineers, and innovators spanning 24 scientific disciplines recognized for their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements.

Head shot of SES Director Jill McCluskey
Jill McCluskey, WSU School of Economic Sciences.

McCluskey’s research focuses on product quality and reputation, food labeling and standards, food access, and consumer preferences for new technology. She is an Editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and a member of the Board on Agricultural and Natural Resources of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

“It is gratifying to be recognized for your work,” McCluskey said. “In academia, our research is critiqued much more often in peer review than it is recognized with awards. Career achievements provide credibility. I think that there is often an expectation bias that somehow women aren’t as good at math-intensive fields.”

She said she is looking forward to helping AAAS’ mission of being an advocate and ambassador for science.

“I hope I can contribute to that mission by communicating with policymakers, media, and industry participants, especially in the food and agricultural industries,” McCluskey said. “I value multidisciplinary research.”

She is also past President and a current Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Fellow of the Western Agricultural Economics Association, and a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences.

Lange is an internationally known plant biochemist, working on taxol, an anti‑cancer chemotherapy drug derived from tree bark, mint, cannabis, and more. He is also the Director of WSU’s Murdock Metabolomics Lab, an analytical service center supporting the wider community at WSU and beyond.

Mark Lange stands in a greenhouse surrounded by plants.
Mark Lange

“We’re nominated based on our whole body of work, not just a single paper or topic,” he said. “So, it’s rewarding that the current fellows feel my work is important and impactful.”

He’s also excited about AAAS’ science advocacy.

“The focus is on the impacts of our research,” Lange said. “I’m looking forward to working with AAAS to educate the public and legislative bodies about the scientific research we do.”

McCluskey and Lange are two of five WSU scientists elected as AAAS Fellows this year.

New Fellows will receive an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin to commemorate their election (representing science and engineering, respectively) and will be celebrated later this year during an in-person gathering when it is feasible from a public health and safety perspective. The new class will also be featured in the AAAS News & Notes section of Science.