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Showcase Awards

V. Lane Rawlins Distinguished Lifetime Service Award


Honoring those who have dedicated their careers to advancing WSU

Recipients of this award have demonstrated great personal commitment to the university and community. Their excellent service in administration, teaching, research, extension, or a professional field has had a profound influence on the University’s direction and progress.

Hakan Gurocak

Director, Professional and Corporate Education (PACE), WSU Vancouver

Professor, Mechanical Engineering
School of Engineering and Computer Science

Hakan Gurocak built WSU Vancouver’s fledgling engineering program into a vibrant school for undergraduate and graduate students. In 1997 he started the campus’ first engineering lab, then obtained several grants from the National Science Foundation and other agencies to ultimately establish robotics and automation labs. The School of Engineering and Computer Science (ENCS) was born in 2004, with Gurocak as its founding director. Under his watch, the school secured multiple ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accreditations for its mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science programs. Gurocak is now launching the Professional and Corporate Education (PACE) program for WSU Vancouver with courses for the regional workforce. 

Gurocak balanced administrative duties with a strong research program. He secured grants to support graduate students, published papers, obtained patents, and wrote a textbook. He consistently earned high scores on teaching evaluations. The American Society for Engineering Education tapped him for leadership roles.


Previous recipients

2021 Guy Hughes Palmer, Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health
2020Rodney Croteau, Institute of Biological Chemistry
2019Ron Mittelhammer, economic sciences
2018Renee Celeste Hoeksel, nursing
2017Nancy Magnuson, molecular biosciences
2016Frances K. McSweeney, psychology
2015Kenneth L. Casavant, agricultural economics
2013Nicholas P. Lovrich, political science
2012Thomas A. Brigham, psychology
2011Muriel Oaks, distance and professional education

Award criteria, application process, and video of previous recipients