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Showcase 2021 Awards

Association for Faculty Women Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award

For leaders who advance the role of women

The Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award honors members of the Association for Faculty Women (AFW) who have:

  • provided leadership to advance the role of women in the Washington State University system and/or 
  • demonstrated leadership in higher education, the community, or professional pursuits. 

The award was established in 2000 to show AFW’s appreciation to President Emeritus Smith for his leadership in advancing the role of women at WSU. 


Mary F. Wack

Office of the Provost
Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences

As vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement, Mary F. Wack has been a champion of women, undergraduate students, and underrepresented minorities by establishing programs that heighten student engagement and success. She spearheaded curriculum and programmatic changes that strive to close achievement gaps. Wack has shaped policies to boost faculty professional development, recast academic support services, has mentored others in leadership, and served as a powerful role model for women University-wide. Wack founded the Distinguished Scholarships Program, the Office of Undergraduate Research, and First-Year Programs, which have enabled thousands of students to engage in high-impact, education-enhancing activities.

For more than two decades, Wack’s vision has helped shepherd the University through leadership transitions, budget crises, accreditation reviews, policy implementations, and governmental shifts in priorities. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, she helped guide the University’s transition to remote instruction. She sits on state and regional committees focused on improving higher education outcomes.


Previous recipients

2020Catherine "Katie" Marguerite Cooper
2019Ana María Rodríguez-Vivaldi
2018Jill McCluskey
2016Julia Pomerenk
2015Laura Lavine
2014Sheila Converse
2013Margaret Black
2012Katherine Lovrich
2011Rebecca Craft
2010Carol Ivory
2009Lori Carris
2008Erica Austin
2007Marcia Saneholz
2006Muriel Oaks
2005Nancy Magnuson
2004KNona Liddell
2003Carolyn Clark
2002Sue Armitage
2001Fran McSweeney
2000Sue Durant
Special RecognitionJudy Mitchell

Video of award winners