College of Liberal Arts Well Represented in 2011 Showcase Ceremonies
By Kelly Nemmers, Intern, College of Liberal Arts
Four outstanding faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts were honored at the 2011 Showcase banquet celebrating excellence.
Gregory W. Yasinitsky received the University's highest honor, the 2011 Eminent Faculty Award. Tim Kohler received an award for presenting the Distinguished Faculty Address earlier that day, Carol Ivory was recognized as the recipient of the 2010 Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award, and William Lipe was honored with the 2011 WSU Emeritus Society Legacy of Excellence Award.
The College of Liberal Arts proudly congratulates all of the 2011 Showcase awardees for their exceptional contributions to their respective professions and for their dedication and service to the college and the University. More on their awards and accomplishments follows below.
Eminent Faculty Award
The Eminent Faculty Award was created 11 years ago to honor career-long excellence at WSU.
A talented musician and composer, Gregory Yasinitsky, regents professor in the School of Music and coordinator of jazz studies, received this award for his many notable contributions to the music profession in general and the jazz world in particular.
"This is the highest honor awarded to faculty at WSU," Yasinitsky said. "Needless to say, I am humbled and honored to receive it. I hope to live up to the expectations implicit in receiving such a distinguished honor and will work hard to earn my spot among those academic giants who have previously received this award."
Yasinitsky is a widely recognized and awarded artist, having composed and published more than 150 jazz pieces. His numerous lifetime achievements classify him as one of the greats in the realm of jazz composition and music education.
In addition to his professional honors, Yasinitsky has made exceptional contributions as a WSU faculty member for almost 30 years, advancing the careers of many students.
"I am especially proud to accept [the award] on behalf of those of us who teach in the arts at WSU," he said. "I am so grateful to my colleagues in the School of Music and to everyone else at WSU who helped to make this award possible for me."
Distinguished Faculty Address
Tim Kohler, regents professor in the Department of Anthropology and a world-renowned researcher, was the ideal candidate to present this year's Distinguished Faculty Address, "Prehistory of the Pueblo Peoples: How We Learn and What We Know."
Kohler, who has spent his entire academic career at WSU, is an outstanding professor and mentor alike who has positively influenced the lives of students and colleagues.
Kohler spoke to local and televised audiences about his research with the Village Ecodynamics Project, where he has pioneered the use of virtual models to reconstruct landscapes and households from the 920 to 1280 A.D. era in the American Southwest Mesa Verde region.
Through this virtual process, he hopes to determine what led to the formation and the mysterious sudden depopulation of the region. Was it climate change? Warfare? Or simply more favorable conditions to the south that led to the mass migration more than 730 years ago? That discovery has the potential to provide insight into current climate change issues.
Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award
The Association for Faculty Women presented Carol Ivory, professor of fine arts, with the Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award for advocating the role of women at WSU and for her outstanding leadership and moral qualities.
Ivory, an expert in the art, history, and culture of the Marquesas Islands, is a well-known researcher and has been a WSU faculty member since 1992. She served as chair of the Department of Fine Arts for six years and currently serves as the associate dean of curriculum and instruction for the College of Liberal Arts.
WSU Emeritus Society Legacy of Excellence Award
A lifetime of exceptional teaching and research in the field of archaeology earned William Lipe the 2011 WSU Emeritus Society Legacy of Excellence Award.
Lipe was selected for his extensive contributions to research in Southwestern archaeology, his transformative role in the development of public archaeology, his devotion to teaching and mentoring students of archaeology, and his commitment to the service of archaeology.
Lipe, also known as a "founding father" of conservation archaeology, worked at the University for 32 years until his retirement in 2001. Retirement has not slowed him down; he continues to be a guest lecturer and to participate in annual association meetings. These efforts earned him this distinguished award.
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