Outstanding CAHNRS faculty, staff, and colleagues honored at 2023 awards night
More than 30 faculty, staff, and colleagues of WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) were honored Tuesday, April 11, for their exceptional efforts in research, outreach, teaching, and support.
The 2023 Faculty and Staff Awards recognize the most impactful, effective, and involved teams, professional and technical staff, early-career, research, and teaching faculty, and administrators, as well as leaders in diversity, equity, and inclusivity. Winners include:
Administrative Professional Staff Excellence: Daniel Gorton
Facility and farm manager at WSU’s Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center at Mount Vernon, Gorton oversees all aspects of center operations, maintenance, farm services, and emergency responses. No two days are the same for Gorton, who enjoys helping ensure research at NWREC succeeds. He loves spending time with his wife Valerie and their two sons, hunting, fishing, camping, and traveling.
Administrative Professional Technical Staff Excellence Award: Michael Clouse
Clouse is the Agriculture and Maintenance Manager at WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC) at Prosser. He brought many years of experience with diverse cropping systems from the private sector to help transform WSU’s Othello research farm into one of the best locations in the mid-Columbia region for applied WSU and USDA research and outreach. Clouse distinguishes himself through a high level of entrepreneurship, professional integrity, collegiality, and enthusiasm. He is a key member of IAREC’s Leadership Team in implementing best farm policies and practices and planning for improving facilities and operations at Othello and Prosser.
Administrative Technical Staff Excellence Award: Charity Johnson
Starting as a timeslip employee in 2019, Johnson officially joined the Puyallup Research and Extension Center team in 2020 as the permanent administrative assistant. She provides direct administrative support to leadership, flawlessly coordinating all events including internal team building activities, campus visits, on-site tours, and special public events. The center’s first point of contact, welcoming and onboarding new employees and graduate students, Johnson is class scheduler and all-around go-to person on campus. Johnson is married, a mom to three kids, and has five dogs and 11 chickens.
Faculty Early Career Excellence Award: Jen McIntyre
McIntyre is an aquatic toxicologist and fish biologist in the School of the Environment, where she teaches courses on salmon ecology and environmental toxicology. Among her primary achievements, in 2020, McIntyre and colleagues discovered a novel chemical leaching from vehicle tires that explains acute die-offs of coho salmon in watersheds receiving runoff from busy roads. This finding has spurred renewed interest and urgency in understanding tire-derived chemicals as pervasive pollutants of water and air, impacting ecosystems around the world.
Faculty Excellence in Extension: Michelle Moyer
Associate Professor Moyer is based at WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center at Prosser, where she conducts research and Extension work in wine and juice grapes, with an emphasis on integrated pest management. Joining WSU in 2011, she became part of the new Department of Viticulture and Enology in January 2023. Moyer is from a small town in southern Wisconsin, growing up in her family’s wholesale and retail ornamental plant nursery and landscaping company. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, double majoring in Genetics and Plant Pathology. She earned her PhD in Plant Pathology at Cornell University.
Faculty Excellence in Research: David Crowder
Crowder is an associate professor in entomology and the director of the WSU Decision Aid System. At WSU since 2009 after earning his doctorate at the University of Arizona, Crowder focuses on insect ecology and sustainable agriculture, working on crops such as potato, peas, and tree fruit. As the director of DAS, Crowder and his team deliver real-time information on pest populations to growers in the tree fruit and potato industries.
Excellence In Advising Award: Adriana Thomas
Thomas has been an advisor at WSU Vancouver since 2017. She joined the Department of Human Development in 2021 after advising graduate students in the nursing program for four years. Thomas’s role in Human Development encompasses advising, internship coordination, and instructing the HD 497 Professional Preparation and HD 498 Internship courses. She holds a Career Development Facilitator Certification from the National Career Development Association and weaves career development into her work with undergraduate students as they explore internship opportunities and future career paths. Thomas enjoys exploring nature with her family, hiking, camping, and paddle boarding.
R.M. Wade Foundations Award for Teaching Excellence: Kathleen Rodgers
An associate professor in the Department of Human Development, Rodgers teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on family relationships, family stress and coping, adolescent development, poverty, and human development theory. Within the WSU Honors College, she teaches about the causes and impacts of poverty on children and families in the U.S. and globally. Rodgers is an interdisciplinary scholar who has published in outlets such as the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Journal of Health Communication, Journal of Marriage and Family, and the Journal of Research on Adolescence.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Staff Award: Colette Casavant
CAHNRS’ Director of Student Success, Casavant is the academic advisor for majors in Agricultural & Food Systems, Integrated Plant Sciences, and Viticulture & Enology, as well as the founding advisor for the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) WSU Chapter.
She is also the CAHNRS Liaison for WSU’s Team Mentoring Program, designed to support underrepresented students in STEM majors. Casavant is passionate about supporting students from a holistic perspective, understanding that students’ complex stories and context affect their life choices, experiences, and paths.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Faculty Award: R. Karina Gallardo
Gallardo is a professor and Extension specialist in the School of Economic Sciences, stationed at the Puyallup Research and Extension Center, and affiliated with the Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems. Her primary research and outreach program enhances value-added agribusiness opportunities for specialty crops in Washington. Gallardo collaborates with the Washington State Department of Agriculture Pesticide Technical Assistance and Education program, offering Hispanic agricultural workers an economics perspective of prevention and control of plagues.
Faculty Administrator Award: Laura Lavine
Lavine is professor and chair in the Department of Entomology. Her research program on the evolution of adaptation investigates the mechanisms underlying organisms’ abilities to adjust rapidly to their environment. Lavine has held many formal and informal leadership roles, nationally, regionally, and at WSU, including associate director of the CAHNRS Office of Research; interim director of WSU ADVANCE; president of the WSU Association for Faculty Women; chair of the Experiment Station Committee on Policy, Science and Technology committee; and member of the WSU Teaching Academy.
Team Interdisciplinary Award: Johnson Hall Move Coordination Committee
Johnson Hall Move Coordination Committee members were instrumental in moving more than 300 WSU and USDA employees and students into six different buildings. Team members safely orchestrated the emptying and moving of 197 offices, 73 research labs, four classrooms, six conference rooms, and four mailrooms, navigating four separate design and construction projects as part of the effort. Members became a source of encouragement and mental and emotional support for faculty, staff, and students during the purging, packing, and moving process. Their organizational and communications efforts through this historic change, WSU’s largest-ever demolition, created university-wide process improvements that continue to be used. Members included Cyndi Arbor, Shanna Hiscock, Jessica Billings, Cindy Johnson, Mary Lou Bricker, Dixie Kearney, Laurie Byers-Brown, Shari Lupien, Karen Chase, Carla Olson, Tammy Cunningham, Bill Pan, Jeanne DeBarber, Cameron Peace, Randy Fleharty, Cheryl Rajcich, Travis Frost, Arthur Scully, Teri Hansen, Monique Slipher, Ade Snider, Louise Sweeney.
Award presenters included Cashup Endowed Dean Wendy Powers, Associate Dean and WSU Extension Director Vicki McCracken, Associate Dean for Research Scot Hulbert, Nancy Deringer, Interim Associate Dean of Student Success and Academic Programs, and Luz María Gordillo, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence.