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Showcase 2021 Awards

Sahlin Faculty Excellence Awards

Recognizing outstanding achievement

Sahlin Awards honor faculty members who epitomize the highest level of excellence in the pursuit of the University’s goals. Four awards recognize accomplishments in the following areas of faculty performance:

Carolyn F. Ross

Professor, School of Food Science

Professor Carolyn Ross combines theory and practice in her courses to equip students for professional success. She draws upon her food industry experience and research to share real-world challenges and solutions. Her Sensory Evaluation of Food and Wine lecture and lab boast one of the largest enrollments in the department. Ross keeps the course lively by updating its content with new food examples. Upon finding that the Food Chemistry lab course frustrated students, Ross updated the curriculum to create a course they enjoy. She delivered the keynote address at the 2018 United States Agricultural Information Network conference, describing methods of integrating information literacy principles into the classroom. Students find Ross to be genuinely interested in their well-being. After graduating, they still contact her to seek advice.

Under Ross’ direction, the WSU Sensory Science Center has earned national recognition. It offers students hands-on experience conducting research, working with industry clients, and participating in sensory evaluation studies

Greg Crouch

Career Track Professor, Department of Chemistry

Career Track Professor Greg Crouch’s service to WSU has been extensive. In 2020 he served on ten different University committees, councils, and task forces. He is the associate chair for undergraduate studies in the Department of Chemistry. He previously chaired the Academic Affairs Committee and represented the College of Arts and Sciences on the Faculty Senate, serving as Faculty Senate chair in the 2019-20 academic year.

Crouch revamped the Faculty Senate website to facilitate system-wide communication. He embraced Zoom, increasing participation and equity in Senate proceedings. He guided updates to the Faculty Manual. When COVID-19 struck, Crouch participated in developing online faculty and student surveys to gather information. He also helped modernize instructional delivery and course management. He helped pilot test technologies such as Canvas, which have been adopted systemwide. He has advanced options to help faculty transition to and manage online learning, as well as to help remove barriers to student success.

Ka'imi Sinclair

Associate Professor, Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH), College of Nursing

Associate Professor Ka’imi Sinclair works to ameliorate health disparities among underserved minority populations through outreach, engagement, public service, and research. She is the first investigator ever awarded funding from the National Institutes of Health to address obesity and diabetes among American Indian men. She is also the first to engage Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders in health research in Washington—studies enabled by her partnerships with community organizations. She teams with the Spokane Regional Health District to target high rates of diabetes and hypertension among local Marshallese people. She informs her research by conducting health needs assessments at community events and by partnering with community-based organizations to meet the needs of underserved populations and increase health equity.

Sinclair serves on many state and national boards, where she informs policy decisions and advocates for underserved populations. Her work has made WSU a trusted name with minority populations nationwide. She has also served on boards and study groups for research, government, and charitable organizations in Canada, New Zealand, and the UK.

Hans P.A. Van Dongen

Professor, Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Director, Sleep and Performance Research Center

Professor Hans P.A. Van Dongen is an internationally recognized researcher and director of WSU’s Sleep and Performance Research Center. He maintains a comprehensive research program on human sleep and circadian science and investigates the impact of sleep deficiency on performance, behavior, and health outcomes. His work has increased awareness of the importance of sleep and has led to policy and regulatory changes that improve public health and occupational safety..

Van Dongen is an elected member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science. He is sought nationally and internationally as a keynote speaker, and was named an NIH STEM Research Exemplar for professionalism and integrity in research. He has published 150+ peer-reviewed articles and holds two US patents. Nearly 200 undergraduate, graduate, and medical students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty have been trained in his laboratory.

Previous recipients


2019-2020Erika Gudrun Offerdahl
2018-19Anita Vasavada,
chemical engineering and bioengineering,
integrative physiology and neuroscience
2017-18Ray Sun, history
2016-17Julie A. Kmec, sociology
2015-16Charles Munson, finance
2014-15Kristen A. Johnson, animal sciences
2013-14Charles Pezeshki, mechanical and materials engineering
2012-13Catherine A. Elstad, pharmaceutical sciences
2011-12Lori M. Carris, plant pathology


2019-2020Stephen Bollens
2018-19Lori Wiest, music
2017-18Marvin Pitts, mechanical and materials engineering
2016-17Craig Parks, psychology
2015-16John Roll, WSU Spokane
2014-15Vicki A. McCracken, economic sciences
2013-14Debra Inglis, plant pathology
2012-13Amy S. Wharton, sociology
2011-12Robert E. Rosenman, economic sciences

Outreach and engagement

2019-2020Cheryl B. Schultz
2018-19Dale A. Moore, veterinary clinical sciences
2017-18Joe Harrison, animal sciences
2016-17Douglas Walsh, entomology
2015-16Carol Black, entomology
2014-15Kim D. Patten, horticulture, WSU Extension
2013-14Sue B. Clark, chemistry
2012-13Clayton J. Mosher, sociology
2011-12Gary G. Grove, plant pathology

Research, scholarship & arts

2019-2020Gregory W. Yasinitsky
2018-19Susmita Bose, mechanical and materials engineering
2017-18William M. Hamlin, English
2016-17Douglas R. Call, veterinary medicine
2015-16Diane Cook, electrical engineering and computer science
2014-15Kenneth L. Nash, chemistry
2013-14Thomas Besser, veterinary microbiology and pathology
2012-13Kerry W. Hipps, chemistry
2011-12Wendy C. Brown, veterinary microbiology and pathology