June 12, 2014
2014 Awards of Excellence recognize campus, community contributions
The University of Washington honored the contributions and achievements of faculty, staff, distinguished alumni and top scholars during the 44th annual Awards of Excellence ceremony Thursday, June 12.
The following is based on remarks made by UW President Michael K. Young, Provost Ana Mari Cauce and Gerald Baldasty, senior vice provost for academic and student affairs, at the ceremony.
Leo Campa, dietary unit clerk, food and nutrition services, Distinguished Staff Award
Leo is the meal host for the burn unit at Harborview. He has impressed his colleagues with his tremendous engagement and commitment to the patients he serves. Energetic and joyful, Leo takes great pride in his work and has a smile for everyone he greets. He has a tremendous skill in remembering patients and family members by name and consistently makes each of them feel well cared-for.
On a daily basis Leo goes above and beyond to make sure each patient receives appropriate food and often will obtain special orders for them. Leo makes his meal deliveries special. Frequently, he will sing a song or draw a cartoon on the white boards. A talented artist, Leo is known to come to work on his days off to present a poster he created for a patient.
His example of selfless dedication is an inspiration to everyone who works with and encounters him. One colleague says about Leo, “When I’m making rounds, patients will ask why Leo is not here because they miss his bright personality.”
Bahelebi “Bobby” Medhane, custodian, building services, Health Sciences, Distinguished Staff Award
For the last several years, Bobby has served as a custodian for the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and has made an extraordinary impression on his colleagues. A consummate professional who is always respectful and engaged, Bobby carries out his work responsibilities with exceptional care and attention. He takes great efforts to minimize the impact of doing his job on his co-workers so that they can accomplish their work without interruption. On a daily basis he makes important, yet often unrecognized, contributions to a collaborative work environment that are reflective of his professionalism and superior service.
His positive nature and friendly manner are a welcoming presence. One of his colleagues states, “I feel that Mr. Medhane most readily meets the ideal of ‘exemplifies excellence and integrity in workplace relationships, interactions, and decision-making.’ He is an example of someone who does not treat his role simply as a checklist of duties, but as someone who uses his position to serve and to create relationships with the individuals who cross his path.”
Bobby’s commitment to excellence and consideration of others goes well beyond his work.
Kojay Pan, administrator, civil and environmental engineering, Distinguished Staff Award
Kojay Pan has served as administrator for the department since 2010. Arriving at a time of budget cuts, staff turnover and increased workloads, Kojay did not hesitate to overcome many challenges. His absolute passion for supporting the mission of civil and environmental engineering, his leadership in building a collaborative environment that values every single voice, and his genuine commitment to diversity have resulted in a department with high morale and very little turnover.
Understanding that the mission is better served when two work as one, Kojay has been relentless in his efforts to create a more unified team. This past year, he implemented a show-and-tell at monthly staff meetings where faculty could present their research. Kojay has built a culture of collaboration and a true sense of ownership among his staff.
Kojay’s colleague wrote, “Through his example and leadership, I believe he’s created one of the most vibrant departmental staffs on this campus. I consider myself lucky to be able to work with Kojay and his team.”
LeAnne Wiles, associate director, first year programs, Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Distinguished Staff Award
LeAnne embodies a unique combination of acumen, motivation and values. Under LeAnne’s leadership, the Parent Orientation Program and the Freshman Interest Groups, known as FIGs, have exceeded all expectations. Today, both programs are receiving rave reviews by participants and recognition by industry for everything from increased participation to more robust partnerships and cross-department collaboration.
Earlier this year, LeAnne was recognized nationally by her professional association, earning a first-place award for a printed parent resource calendar. Over the past several years, both the Washington Center and the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience have recognized and sought participation by the UW’s Freshman Interest Group at annual meetings.
In addition, LeAnne is a four-year member of the UW’s Professional Staff Organization board of directors, a three-year member of the Faculty Council on Student Affairs, a three-year coordinator of the Black Graduation Ceremony, a two-year member of the Husky Union Building board of directors and a member of the planning committees for the Husky Leadership Initiative and UW Parent Programming. LeAnne is also a member of the board of managers for the University YMCA, and member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators region 5 advisory board.
Rolling Stones Team in the Center for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound, Applied Physics Laboratory: Bryan Cunitz, Barbrina Dunmire, Marla Paun (posthumously), Frank “Rusty” Starr and Yak-Nam Wang, Distinguished Staff Award
Inventors of a revolutionary treatment for kidney stones, the Rolling Stones Team is the first UW team to invent a device and pursue an investigational device exemption from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to test on humans.
In the words of Lawrence Crum, founder of the UW Center for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound, “The UW has an outstanding record of developing and licensing medical technology and has conducted a number of clinical trials of valuable and useful technologies. The Rolling Stones Team was the first to pursue this full path from invention to clinical trial of a medical therapeutic device. Their accomplishment is truly unique, medically and financially valuable, and laudable.”
The team advanced this project while also accomplishing their additional work responsibilities, including generating 10 patent applications, 15 publications and 20 invention disclosures; mentoring six graduate students, three residents and several undergraduate students; and developing and testing devices to treat more than 10 medical conditions and diseases.
This is a truly exceptional group not only because of what they have accomplished as the Rolling Stones Team, but because of the way they carry out their work. They come to the lab each day radiating enthusiasm about the experiments ahead. They revel in their discoveries and their excitement about their projects helps fuel the culture of intellectual inquiry and scholarship that exemplifies the UW.
Marla, who passed away just before the award winners were announced, impressed her teammates by her dedication to her work and life, her reputation as an excellent sonographer, and her natural ability to calm patients and entertain colleagues with her positive attitude and sense of humor.
Pamela Mitchell, professor, behavioral nursing and health systems, faculty recipient of the David B. Thorud Leadership Award
As a scholar, Pamela has had enormous impact through her leadership of a succession of local, national and international multidisciplinary research teams that explored one of the most complex and challenging areas of research – the behavioral consequences of traumatic brain injury and stroke.
The answers she and her teams uncovered – at a time when nurse-led clinical research was not widely recognized or funded – have significantly changed the treatment of people with traumatic brain injuries and stroke. Pamela’s vision, pioneering spirit and perseverance advanced the case for nursing research and yielded results that changed medical practice.
Pamela, whose contributions have been recognized with numerous honors and awards, has influenced generations of nursing students with her book, “Concepts Basic to Nursing,” and her quality health outcomes model has been adopted by health services researchers throughout the world.
For all of her accomplishments, Pamela has never lost sight of her role as a nurse educator. She has advised, mentored and inspired many of the people who are today’s UW nursing faculty and many others
who are the profession’s contemporary leadership in policymaking and research.
Pamela has consistently sparked in students and faculty alike a desire to reach higher, be better and achieve more. One of her colleagues described Pamela this way, “Her leadership is a generous leadership…that emerges naturally from her desire to help others reach their personal and professional goals.”
Edward Dwyer-O’Connor, senior manager, Pioneer Square Clinic, UW Medicine-Harborview Medical Center downtown programs, staff recipient of the David B. Thorud Leadership Award
Ed is the senior manager of a program that serves homeless and low‐income populations in multiple locations across the downtown core. In this role, Ed has been a leader in redesigning the service delivery system to care for the most vulnerable in our community.
Ed is extremely successful in forming partnerships with hospitals and community agencies, focusing on risk reduction and client engagement to serve this population most effectively. It is through his leadership that the larger goals of improved health outcomes, access to care and reduction in the cost of health care have been achieved.
Ed’s most recent accomplishment has been the development of the Edward Thomas Medical Respite Program at Jefferson Terrace, which has reduced the cost of inpatient care by more than 50 percent for the homeless and the most vulnerable individuals in our community. These goals have been achieved by the sheer strength and depth of Ed’s knowledge, skills and visionary leadership.
Janet Schnall, information management librarian, Health Sciences, Distinguished Librarian Award
Janet has always been at the forefront of her profession, from pioneering clinical librarianship in the 1970s to embracing evidence-based practice in library classes. In her distinguished 40-plus years of service to the UW, Janet has made a lasting impact on the School of Nursing, the entire nursing profession and the field of health sciences information management, providing invaluable leadership, inspiration and support to students and faculty.
Noted for being one of the first clinical medical librarians in the country and author of the first published article on evaluation of a clinical librarian service, Janet continues to lead the way. She introduced streaming video technology for any-time, any-place library instruction and was an early adapter of audience response systems (clickers). Recently, she assisted in establishing a health sciences library at the University of Swaziland and began co-editing a new bimonthly “Nursing Resources” column in the American Journal of Nursing.
Janet’s colleagues praise her generosity in sharing her time and expertise, her passion and enthusiasm for her work and her positive and encouraging manner. They appreciate how she proactively develops new tools, her “personal warmth” and her “endless energy.”
Jon Bridgman, professor emeritus, history, Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award
Professor Bridgman, following in the footsteps of his equally famous colleague, Professor Giovanni Costigan, led the UW Alumni Association’s History Lecture Series for multiple decades prior to his retirement in the 1990s. With a particular interest in military history, he enthralled thousands of alumni with his lectures on WWI and WWII. In fact, Professor Bridgman was the recipient of this same award in 1995 – but to everyone’s delight and considerable surprise, Professor Bridgman’s work was not done. Since his retirement over a decade ago, he has continued to engage UW alumni and friends with public lectures as part of his popular Friends of History quarterly series.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI, and as the Department of History and UW Alumni Association were preparing for a public lecture series scheduled to begin during this fall’s Veteran’s Appreciation Week, Jon’s nomination arose yet again. With Jon’s passion for military history and generous spirit in sharing it, the upcoming lecture series simply wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging the contributions he has made and continues to make to UW alumni and friends.
Richard Morrill, professor emeritus, geography, Distinguished Retiree Excellence in Community Service Award
Professor Morrill retired from the UW in 1997 after teaching at the Seattle campus since 1958. He continued teaching part-time until the summer of 2004 – a career spanning 46 years.
As a pioneer in mathematically-based spatial analysis, Richard has performed important uncompensated service for the U.S. Census Bureau both nationally and locally since 1964. As a member of a task force that defined and/or drew census geographies for five consecutive decennial censuses at the national and local levels, his work has affected everyone in the U.S. Locally, Richard has created maps and boundaries for various commissioner, city council, and school and hospital districts, and he is passionate about electoral analysis and the elimination of gerrymandering voting districts.
In addition to active mentoring of academic colleagues to this day, Professor Morrill has created a lasting legacy with his professional recommendation (tasked by then Associate Vice Provost Debra Friedman) that the Tacoma campus be located where it is, and his establishment of the UW Morrill Fund for Scientific Geography, created to financially support graduate education.
Throughout his career, Richard has influenced many lives. He exemplifies excellence in service by continuing to support the UW in his not-so-retiring retirement.
Lance Forshay, senior lecturer and director, American Sign Language minor studies program, linguistics, Distinguished Teaching Award
Nearly singlehandedly, Lance introduced Deaf Culture to the UW community – creating not only the American Sign Language first- and second-year curricula, but also the ASL minor and Deaf Studies 305.
Lance has become the spokesman for ASL at UW and has brought together people from outside and within the UW community through activities that add value and encourage cultural awareness and exchange. He also served as president of the Washington ASL Teachers Association for five years.
Collaborating with Deaf Spotlight, Deaf Bilingual Coalition Washington, Abused Deaf Women Advocacy Services and Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center has enabled the UW and its partners to work together to meet ASL students’ diverse needs. For example, Deaf Spotlight’s Deaf Film Festival and the Paddy Ladd Lecture have been a great source of inspiration and pride for the ASL community.
The success of his teaching, curriculum development and community outreach have undoubtedly contributed to the growing reputation of the UW as a Deaf Culture-friendly environment and have enhanced philanthropy. Generous donations by several individuals totaling nearly $200,000 allowed the hiring of a second lecturer and the creation of a second-year ASL and the ASL minor.
Lance’s leadership, vision and effusive enthusiasm are an inspiration to all of us.
Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen, professor, social work, Distinguished Teaching Award
A gifted teacher who brings enthusiasm, excitement and challenge to each and every educational encounter, Karen is known for inspiring independent, disciplined, creative thinking among students at all levels. She helps her students build research skills through active collaboration and community-based projects that benefit local social service organizations such as the Pride Foundation, the Women’s Cancer Alliance and Tree House, which serves foster care youth.
Many of her students have attested to her skills at bridging theory and practice. One student wrote: “As a professor, she is without peer. She embodies the ideal, teaching by example both inside the classroom and out.” In fact, Karen is one of the UW’s strongest leaders in promoting social justice. In addition to extra hours she gives through her voluntary role as faculty leader for the Q-Center, Karen teaches weekend courses in the part-time master of social work program in her ongoing commitment to ensure access to all students.
Karen’s extraordinary impact is summed up by several students’ comments: “Karen is the best professor I’ve ever had at the UW. The course work was difficult, and she inspired us to think critically and analyze.” “Karen’s teaching style is amazing! She taught me to really learn and expect greatness of myself.”
Moon-Ho Jung, associate professor, history, Distinguished Teaching Award
Professor Jung came to the UW in 2001 with a steep challenge: to solely create a curriculum and area of study on Asian American history within the department. He has done an extraordinary job.
Two courses he created – Asian American History and Race and Power in America – are now mainstays of the U.S. history curriculum. Also extremely popular are his undergraduate seminars on race, radicalism, and U.S. Empire, as well as his graduate courses on Asian American historiography, 19th- and 20th-century U.S. history, and pedagogy and professionalization.
Professor Jung’s lecturing ability is supreme. His undergraduate courses consistently receive perfect 5.0 evaluations and high praise. One student commented: “It was awesome seeing a professor so passionate.” Another said, “This class has had a profound impact on me.”
Additional proof of Professor Jung’s distinguished teaching comes from his colleague Professor Sandra Joshel. She said, “Moon’s lectures ‘absorb the attention of his audience…no one was texting, web surfing or passing notes to friends.'”
Matthew McGarrity, senior lecturer, communications, Distinguished Teaching Award
One of the top 10 greatest human fears is public speaking, and in some surveys, it ranks number one surpassing fear of death, illness, heights and flying.
For anyone who fears public speaking, Matt McGarrity is your man. For 10 years, Matt has skillfully instructed thousands of UW students on the basics of this important skill. As a result, he has created a following of individuals who not only enjoy public speaking but also volunteer to mentor their peers in the UW Public Speaking Center created and managed by Matt.
Matt restructured the public speaking course – which he has taught nearly every quarter since 2004 – to make it more accessible to other departments. It is now required by several academic units and encouraged by many others, making public speaking a UW-wide foundational skill.
Matt’s leadership and engagement also include providing expertise through the UW Teaching Academy, serving as the faculty supervisor of the Department of Communication’s graduate seminar on pedagogy and, last year, leading the largest massive open online course – a MOOC – in public speaking ever taught, with more than 120,000 enrollees from more than 160 countries.
Elizabeth Porter, assistant professor, law, Distinguished Teaching Award
Hired as a visiting professor a little more than four years ago, Professor Porter received its highest honor for classroom teaching – the Philip A. Trautman Professor of the Year Award – in her first year. Then, in her second year, rather than rest on her laurels, she excelled and received it again.
In her teaching, Liz strives to establish a strong sense of classroom community, and to do this she incorporates techniques she learned as a high school teacher more than two decades ago. One technique is learning the names and faces of all students before the first day of class and immediately calling on students by name. She says, “This tiny detail has an enormous impact.”
Her colleagues attest to this, stating that Professor Porter gives students an unmistakable sense that she will hold them and herself to the highest expectations, and that the rewards in doing so will be great. Her near perfect course evaluations reflect this with students emphasizing her care, kindness, engagement, intentionality, professionalism and commitment to the highest standards.
This academic year, Liz taught a special undergraduate course in support of a visit to the UW by Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor for whom she had the extraordinary opportunity during law school to serve as a judicial extern in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. After law school she went on to serve as a law clerk with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
Benjamin Gardner, assistant professor, interdisciplinary arts and sciences, UW Bothell, Distinguished Teaching Award
Professor Gardner has consistently proven himself as an outstanding and successful teacher, mentor and colleague. In the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, his course load ranges from 200-level pathway courses to 500-level electives covering significant breadth in global studies, environmental studies, cultural studies and geography.
Professor Gardner has impressed his colleagues by continually working to improve his own courses, as well as actively sharing new approaches and innovations and teaching workshops, allowing others to improve their own courses.
Professor Gardner’s mentoring skills are equally impressive. Two of his undergraduate students have received Mary Gates Research Fellowships and a third has received the UW Bothell undergraduate research award.
One of his former students stated that he hoped to one day inspire students the way Professor Gardner inspired him to learn, teach and engage challenging topics.
Another student says he “consistently goes above and beyond the obligations of a professor with the degree of substantive feedback and support he provides his students.”
Donald Chinn, associate professor, technology/computing and software systems, UW Tacoma, Distinguished Teaching Award
Whether teaching upper-division courses in computer science or those in the freshman core, Professor Chinn works to individualize student learning by working closely with graduate students and supervising undergraduate students in their internships. He strives to help students understand how computer applications they are building relate to the real world. For example, in his data course, he encouraged students to “cold call” people who would be users of their database application, requiring students to develop social skills for understanding and communicating the needs of the users.
Professor Chinn is also making an impact by mentoring young professionals – as a faculty advisor for the Women in Computer Science student group and the institute’s Math Science Leadership Program for seventh through 12th graders striving to develop skills in STEM fields.
One of these students wrote a note to him stating, “You are my favorite professor at UWT. Teaching is not an easy task, but you do it well, care about your students and have a sense of humor that makes you fun to be around. Thanks for teaching me … and being the advisor for my Microsoft internship.”
Margaret O’Mara, associate professor, history, Distinguished Teaching Award for Innovation with Technology
Joining the department in 2009 as an assistant professor, Margaret has emerged as one of the department’s most distinguished leaders by bringing curriculum and research into the digital age.
After gradually incorporating interactive technology and software into her teaching over time, Margaret realized her students were more comfortable navigating in a digital environment and suspected that utilizing digital tools would improve their ability to think critically and write persuasively in a variety of environments.
She made a multi-part digital history project the centerpiece of her lower-division undergraduate survey course in U.S. urban history with the goal of deeply engaging students in the rigor and excitement of original historical research.
Each of her 75 students was assigned one block in South Lake Union requiring primary source research. Using technology to connect students with each other and their lived environment she created opportunities to hone research and writing skills that were published on a course-created website about the history of South Lake Union. This experience provided students authorship of a web publication and Seattle history seekers a valuable public resource, making the past more legible, exciting and personally relevant to all.
Miles Coleman, graduate student, communication, Excellence in Teaching Award
Miles has a reputation among his colleagues for thinking expansively and dynamically about learning and for engaging students in and out of the classroom. He creates a welcoming, relaxed environment in class, which appears natural despite working very hard preparing for instruction. Miles is dynamic, funny, energetic, encouraging and demanding – committed to challenging his students, often by pushing them out of their comfort zone.
For a rhetoric class, he incorporates YouTube, Twitter and other forms of popular media into his instruction to make learning more relevant. He has also created a rhetoric blog to showcase student writing and analysis, establishing a forum that meets students in their own communication sphere while broadening their understanding of themselves and the world.
One student said, “Miles made rhetoric interesting and applicable to our lives by connecting it to pop culture and politics that affected us. He is a phenomenal teacher!”
Students were so engaged with the blog, they approached Miles about starting an undergraduate student club on rhetoric, which he now leads, and their enthusiasm about rhetoric analysis led the communication department to launch a public debate club for undergraduates.
Jennifer Lin LeMesurier, graduate student, English, Excellence in Teaching Award
Jennifer’s students and colleagues laud her creativity, generosity and commitment to organizing tasks that help students develop skills, identify stakes in what they are learning and understand how what they learn will apply in the real world.
A multilingual student from China noted that Jennifer’s instruction made him a more confident writer. Other students expressed appreciation for how she demonstrates that “she actually cares about each student” and goes “beyond her role as an instructor” in offering professional advice and reviewing work done for other courses.
Through her work in the Computer Integrated Classroom Program, Jennifer has been a leader in the use of digital technology in teaching composition. Also, she is leading the writing program’s transition to electronic portfolios by developing web resources, guidelines and templates for greater accessibility.
Kuen-Yuan Lin, professor, aeronautics and astronautics, Distinguished Contributions to Lifelong Learning
For more than 30 years, Professor Lin’s leadership in the department has been innovative and visionary. He has received the department’s Professor of the Year award twice. In 2004, he created a certificate in aircraft composite structural analysis and design – the first of its kind in the country – which has earned two prestigious national awards. This program, which represents a vital collaboration between the UW and Boeing, exemplifies Professor Lin’s passion for lifelong learning. More than 1,200 engineers have completed courses in the program, some of whom have an important role in the Boeing 787 development.
Regarded extremely highly by his students and colleagues, Professor Lin is a leading internationally recognized researcher in the area of composite materials and structures and was a co-developer of the “Mar-Lin” model for the fracture analysis of composites that is being used extensively by Boeing and other aerospace companies.
Thomas Halverson, senior lecturer, education, S. Sterling Munro Public Service Teaching Award
Believing that educational leadership and policy decisions take place in a broader context than the PreK-12 school system, Professor Halverson conceptualized, launched and leads the master’s in education policy program within the College of Education.
His understanding of the importance of moving our instruction out of the classroom and into the field where education – both teaching and learning – occurs is reflected in his leadership, curriculum design and collaborative approach.
Professor Halverson’s commitment to providing opportunities for students to learn by doing is demonstrated by his careful negotiation of multiple diverse internship placements. These placements provide students a real-world setting in which to practice the concepts and theories presented in coursework, and participating organizations receive real benefits from the intern’s work. To ensure success, Professor Halverson personally mentors each intern, providing months of preparation prior to their first day on assignment, and for the duration of the program.
Lillian McDermott, professor, physics, University Faculty Lecture Award
Lillian became an associate professor at the UW in 1976 and was the first woman to be tenured in the UW Physics Department. More than 40 years ago she recognized that learning and teaching physics and other sciences could be treated as a science, not just an art. She realized that the results of teaching could be documented systematically and be used to guide ongoing progress in student learning. Her vision and dedication helped create the field of physics education research, which has had a significant lasting effect on physics and physical science education. The impact has been felt from kindergarten through graduate school, not only in Washington state, but also at colleges and universities across the world. And her work has served as a model for the learning and teaching of other science disciplines.
Through Professor McDermott’s efforts, the UW Physics Education Group has set the standard for research-based physics instruction and curriculum development, arguably the most widely tested and assessed in the world. Recently, the American Association of Physics Teachers gave her the Melba Phillips Medal, their highest award.
Professor McDermott’s work not only transformed the field of science education but also brought special attention to helping students from underrepresented groups be prepared to enter careers in science and mathematics. She is receiving this accolade with the expectation that her lecture will demonstrate to the public the connection between research and teaching excellence and highlight the achievements of a woman pioneer in science.
Gaetano Borriello, professor, computer science and engineering, Marsha L. Landolt Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award
Professor Borriello believes that every student at every level – graduate, undergraduate and high school – is a potential future colleague, and as such he extends his respect and collegiality to each and every one. He also believes and demonstrates that students come first.
Professor Boriello’s students speak in superlatives about his commitment to them, both on an academic and personal level. Examples of his extraordinary efforts as a mentor include: sponsoring students’ attendance at international conferences, encouraging students to select research they are passionate about and supporting their choice by seeking collaborative opportunities with the UW and industry partners, offering a student recommendations for managing treatment options for a cancer diagnosis, officiating a student’s wedding and answering emails at all hours.
A number of Professor Borriello’s students have received UW, National Science Foundation, Fulbright and other awards, including Scott Hauck in the UW Department of Electrical Engineering, who received the 2010 UW Distinguished Teaching Award, so it makes perfect sense that Professor Boriello is leading a three-year NSF grant to develop and propagate best practices for postdoctoral mentoring.
It is evident he has a gift that has a profound effect on his students. One student said, “He is a great role model, advocate and leader. I only hope that when I become a professor I am half as good a mentor as Gaetano.”
Angelina Godoy, associate professor, law, society and justice, Outstanding Public Service Award
The tragic murder in Colombia of her uncle – a victim of political violence – led Professor Godoy to the human rights movement, a transnational coalition of justice that awed and inspired her and redeemed for her the concept of community.
Professor Godoy’s towering achievement is the establishment and development of the UW Center for Human Rights. For her Herculean efforts – which were required to overcome the naysayers who said that it couldn’t be done – she was named a 2011 “Woman of Courage” by the UW Women’s Center and the recipient of the City of Seattle’s 2013 Human Rights Award.
Currently, Professor Godoy is involved in human rights projects locally and internationally. A collaboration with the Seattle Human Rights Commission on the U.S. northern border has successfully captured the attention of authorities to prosecute individuals accountable for human rights violations and to change policies to better protect human rights. She leads students on annual Exploration Seminars in Guatemala, El Salvador and Kenya, to inspire them to engage in human rights work.
Professor Godoy’s colleague Peter Jackson said about her, “No one is more emblematic of scholarship as public service.”
Charles Matthaei, ’43, (posthumously), Distinguished Alumni Veteran Award
The award was presented at the UW’s annual Veteran’s Day ceremony last November. A few months ago, in late February, the UW received the news of Charles Matthaei’s passing at the age of 93.
Charles – known to his friends as Chuck – was a Naval ROTC student in chemical engineering at the UW when Pearl Harbor was bombed. For much of the war, Charles was on the USS Missouri where he had charge of the machine guns on the port quarter of the battleship.
Years after witnessing Japan’s formal surrender from the ship’s deck, Charles traveled to Hiroshima where he met several of the pilots who had attacked the Missouri. Recognizing their common humanity rather than thinking about the different uniforms they had worn, Charles formed lifelong friendships with several of the pilots.
After his service in the Navy, Charles entered the family business, becoming head of the Roman Meal Company and serving as chairman of the board. Throughout his career, Charles remained passionate about nutrition, exercise and healthy living. The MultiCare Health Foundation and the Center for Healthy Living recognized Charles and his late wife, Helen, for their efforts to create a healthier community by naming an award in their honor.
Charles has also earned accolades for his leadership of the Boy Scouts of America and the Tacoma Rotary.
In 2001, the Charles W. H. Matthaei Endowed Professorship in Chemical Engineering was established at the UW to fund innovative research that benefits people and society. In 2003, Charles was named a Distinguished Alumnus by the Department of Chemical Engineering. Today, his grandson James is carrying on his grandfather’s interest in chemical engineering and will earn his doctoral degree from the UW this year.
Emily Nitz-Ritter, President’s Medal for the student who has completed most of his/her degree requirements at the UW
As a student at Seattle’s Roosevelt High School, Emily assumed the UW wasn’t a good fit and focused her college search on other large schools. After her mother suggested taking a tour of the UW, Emily realized it would be a great school for her after all, a place where she would be able to carve her own path.
And she certainly has. During her first two years at the UW, Emily created some of her most cherished college memories with students who became her best friends as a member of the Husky marching band in the alto saxophone section. She ensconced herself in the UW Honors Program, where she served as an Honors 100 Peer Educator and student staff member and participated in an Exploration Seminar to Morocco. And she was the recipient of a number of scholarships and awards, including the Sophomore Class Medal.
Graduating summa cum laude with a double major in English and Comparative History of Ideas, Emily will begin a UW master’s program in education policy this fall.
Melissa Johnson, President’s Medal for the student who transferred to the UW from a Washington community college
With much trepidation, Melissa enrolled at Bellevue College in her late 30s. At the time, she had no idea that a university education was available to a mom and wife with a full-time job, and she never imagined she would attend a university of this caliber.
After a friend suggested she go to the UW, Melissa researched a bit, met with an adviser and realized that the UW really did have a place for people just like her.
While working full-time as a certified real estate appraiser, Melissa graduated with high distinction from Bellevue College and recently graduated summa cum laude from the UW with a triple major in communication, humanities and sociology.
Melissa describes her experiences at the UW as truly transformative. She is now pursuing a master’s in non-profit leadership to work with children in education.
Arthur Levinson, chairman of the board, Genentech, ‘72, Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus
Arthur grew up in Laurelhurst, just east of the UW. As a boy, Arthur’s uncle, a librarian, sent him books to cultivate his curiosity and expand his worldview. Carl Sagan’s “Intelligent Life in the Universe“ piqued his interest early on, and Arthur became fascinated with astronomy and physics.
Shortly after enrolling at the UW, Arthur realized he was more inspired by life at the molecular level. He crafted his own major based on genetics and molecular biology with the help of his professors, one of whom, Professor Leland Hartwell, would go on to become the president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and win a 2001 Nobel Prize.
Working in a research lab – which at the time was nearly unheard of for an undergraduate – with Professor John Keller, Levinson examined the differences between normal and cancerous cells, setting the foundation for his future achievements.
After graduating from the UW, Levinson earned a doctorate in biochemical science at Princeton, followed by a postdoctoral post at the University of California, San Francisco.
Recruited by a former UCSF researcher in 1980, Art was one of eight scientists to join a startup biotech company called Genentech. Their work researching genes and proteins led to the discovery that both were important drivers of human cancer, improving the method of manufacturing biotech drugs.
Levinson made other discoveries. After demonstrating the scientific and economic advantages of growing proteins in mammalian cells rather than in bacteria cells, his reputation as a scientist flourished. His passion for discovery led him to co-author more than 80 scientific articles as well as be named inventor on 11 U.S. patents.
Over the years, Levinson assumed management responsibilities as head of research, and then head of research and development until he was named CEO of Genentech in 1995. His ability to be both a scientist and businessman enabled him to examine projects from both a business and scientific prospective. As a result, Genentech focused on developing treatments for cancer, immunology and vascular biology, and successfully competed with international pharmaceutical giants with the drugs Avastin, Tarceva and Herceptin. Under Arthur’s leadership, company revenue climbed 30 percent.
Arthur’s reputation as CEO has earned him significant accolades: he was inducted into the Biotech Hall of Fame, named twice as Business Week’s Best Manager of the Year, recognized as America’s Best CEO four years in a row by Institutional Investor, honored as one of “The World’s Most Respected CEOs” by Barron’s, and elected as a Fellow to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2008.
His friend Steve Jobs invited Levinson to join the board of Apple in 2000 and served with him as co-lead director from 2005 until Jobs’ death in 2011, at which time Levinson became chairman. In addition to serving as chairman of the boards for Apple and
Genentech, Arthur has taken on a new role as CEO of Calico, a Google affiliate, focusing on the challenges of aging and its associated diseases to prolong life in a healthy state.
Arthur has never forgotten his roots at the UW. In 2006, he and his wife Rita established the Levinson Emerging Scholars within Undergraduate Academic Affairs with a generous donation. The program provides a transformative opportunity for exceptionally talented and highly motivated juniors and seniors to develop as creative, independent scholars through full immersion in the UW’s intensive research culture.
Arthur’s leadership and vision in the fields of biotechnology and business have made a tremendous impact on the world. In both the lab and the boardroom, he has had a profound influence in advancing biotechnology to the benefit of the greater good.
All Images by UW photographer Mary Levin except for Gaetano Borriello by Bruce Hemingway; Arthur Levinson, unknown photographer; Charles Matthaei by Ron Wurzer.