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Campus Awards

Series of three circular images depicting aspects of Whitman College, includes faculty, the Whitman clocktower, and commencement image of graduates

Whitman College has many different ways of celebrating our community. Annual campus awards are one of the ways that we give students, student groups, faculty, and staff the recognition that they deserve.

Here you can learn more about these awards and nominate the people you know deserve a moment in the spotlight: whether it is a student for their exemplary leadership; a professor who should be recognized for their engaging teaching and scholarship; a staff colleague that you’d like to put forward for outstanding service, or a student organization that has embodied the practices of inclusive excellence, you are welcome to nominate them now.

Start A Nomination

Upcoming Deadlines

Nominations Open: Feb. 5, 2024

Nominations Close: Friday, March 8, 2024

Campus Awards Committees (various) review nominations in March and early April

Award Recipients announced: Late April/Early May

Frequently Asked Questions

Faculty & Staff Awards

Our distinguished faculty, teachers and scholars are dedicated to the college, their disciplines and their students. Each year Whitman recognizes outstanding contributions by individual faculty members, presenting them with awards for demonstrated excellence in teaching, advising, scholarship, and mentoring. Selection will be made by the Provost and Dean of the Faculty in consultation with the Committee of Division Chairs.

The great work at Whitman—across campus and divisions—would not be possible without the dedication of our amazing staff. In this section, you'll also find awards for staff members.

The Robert Y. Fluno Award for Distinguished Teaching in Social Sciences was established in 1994 by donations from the Whitman College Parent’s Association. The award is given without regard to academic rank or degree attainment to continuing Whitman faculty who have demonstrated excellence in teaching.

2022–2023 Shampa Biswas
2021–2022 Rachel George
2020–2021 Alvaro Santana-Acuña
2019–2020 Thomas R. Armstrong
2018–2019 Sarah H. Davies

The Thomas D. Howells Award for Distinguished Teaching in Humanities and Arts was established in 1994 by donations from the Whitman College Parent’s Association. The award is given without regard to academic rank or degree attainment to continuing Whitman faculty who have demonstrated excellence in teaching.

2022–2023 Michelle Jenkins
2021–2022 Christopher Leise
2020–2021 Kisha Lewellyn Schlegel
2019–2020 Lauren E. Osborne
2018–2019 Emily E. Jones

The A.E. Lange Award for Distinguished Science Teaching was founded in 1981. The award is given to a teacher of natural and physical sciences at Whitman College who has demonstrated skill and excellence in teaching and inspiring students in his or her discipline. The award is given without regard to academic rank or degree attainment to continuing Whitman faculty who have demonstrated excellence in teaching.

2022–2023 Machelle Hartman
2021–2022 Jim Russo
2020–2021 Nominee declined
2019–2020 Britney L. Moss
2018–2019 Nathan E. Boland

The George Ball Award for Excellence in Advising was established in 1995 by donations from the Whitman College Parent’s Association. The award is given to a continuing Whitman faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in advising Whitman students.

2022–2023 Chetna Chopra
2021–2022 Tarik Elseewi
2020–2021 Hitomi Johnson
2019–2020 Andrea K. Dobson
2018–2019 Jacqueline Woodfork

The G. Thomas Edwards Award for Excellence in the Integration of Teaching and Scholarship was established in 1998 with gifts from Whitman College alumni, former students, and friends of Tom Edwards and the college. This is an annual award for a Whitman College faculty member who is both an excellent teacher and excellent scholar.

2022–2023 Jakobina K. Arch
2021–2022 Arielle Cooley
2020–2021 Brian R. Dott
2019–2020 Alissa A. Cordner
2018–2019 Patrick R. Frierson

This award is named for Sally Hooker, who retired from Whitman College in 2013 as Associate to the Provost and Dean of Faculty after 28 years of service to the college, which also included serving as the administrative assistant in Division II. Sally was awarded the Janice Abraham Award for Significant Contributions and Outstanding Service in 2002. She served as friend, sounding board, endless source of information, and a shoulder to cry on when needed, for generations of faculty. Her death in 2014 left a deep void that we hope this award will help fill to some extent.

2022–2023 Bill Duncan
2021–2022 David Sprunger
2020–2021 Antonia Keithahn

The Suzanne L. Martin Award for Excellence in Mentoring was established in 2006 in memory of Martin and her exceptional mentoring ability and dedication to the Whitman College community. The award recognizes a staff or faculty member who has helped students get the most out of their time at Whitman.

2022–2023 Baker Weilert
2021–2022 Arash Davari
2020–2021 Robert Fricke
2019–2020 Daniel D. Schindler
2018–2019 Jennifer Lopez

The annual Janice Abraham Award is presented to Whitman College staff (non-faculty) members who have made significant contributions and provided outstanding service to the college. The award honors and celebrates staff who go above and beyond job expectations, bring forward creative and innovative ideas, promote the philosophy of customer service and contribute to the excellence found at Whitman. Nominations may come from staff or faculty and are submitted to the Human Resources office. Nominees will have served at least two years before May 1, and will not have previously received the award. The awards are presented at the staff luncheon held in June.

2022–2023 Jennifer McNeil, Phillip Schmatt
2021–2022 Greg Lecki, Joanie Lucarelli, Karri Mickelson, Victor Saldana
2020–2021 Linc Nesheim, Stuart Chapin, Sara Frey
2019–2020 Janice King, Juli Dunn
2018–2019 Lish Riley, Robert Fricke, Bridget Jacobson

Inclusive Excellence Awards

The Division of Inclusion Excellence gives awards to faculty, staff and students for their contributions to inclusive excellence. Guided by principles of cultural pluralism, cultural humility, and cultural wealth, the work of the Division is to enhance our collective awareness and capacity around issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism. Inclusive excellence is a shared responsibility of all members of the Whitman community. Principles of Inclusive Excellence provide a foundation for the community we are actively fostering. We recognize that our path towards inclusive excellence requires: diversity without dominance, equity without benevolence, inclusion without othering, belonging without assimilation, cultural humility, cultural wealth, and cultural pluralism. We are working together to make Whitman a place where people not only feel included and welcomed, but also valued and proud.

The Class of 1986 Award is presented to a student who warrants recognition for significant contributions to their home community and/or the Whitman community in terms of leadership or active engagement. The award is intended to recognize students whose contributions or service has advanced inclusive excellence (diversity, equity, inclusion, antiracism) with a particular emphasis on racial justice and/or service to Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities.

The 2024 David Nord Award recipient has been selected and this nomination is now closed. The David Nord Award is presented annually to support LGBTQIA+ focused projects on the Whitman College campus. This award encourages the Whitman community to engage critical issues facing LGBTQIA+ communities through a variety of creative and scholarly mediums. The 2025 David Nord application process will begin Fall 2024. 

Eligible: Students, Staff, and Faculty

Three Inclusive Excellence in Service Awards are presented annually: one to a student, one to a member of our faculty, and one to a member of staff. These folks could be vocal advocates, trusted co-conspirators, individuals operating outside of their formal role on campus. Their service efforts could occur on campus, in the form of an equity advocate on a campus search, service on college committees, or other work in service to others on campus. Service in the interest of inclusive excellence can also be based on work in the Walla Walla and surrounding community, including contributions to community based organizations, volunteer service to the local community in formal and informal roles and in ways that are responsive to critical needs and advocacy for marginalized folks in an ethical, intentional, and culturally humble way. These individuals have acted as resources to help others understand issues of exclusion, and have contributed to institutional efforts to address inequity and advance inclusive excellence: diversity without dominance, equity without benevolence, inclusion without othering, belonging without assimilation, cultural humility, cultural wealth, and cultural pluralism. 

Eligible: Students, Staff, and Faculty - one award is given to a person from each of these campus demographics 

Three Inclusive Excellence in Leadership Awards are presented annually to three separate recipients: a student, a student club or organization, and a member of staff. These awards are presented to those who help build coalitions, who educate and empower marginalized folks and who understand their role in elevating the needs, concerns, and voices of those most impacted. They practice “critical compassion” - skilled at calling others in and supporting others from a place of care and collective accountability. They display cultural humility and are actively engaged in their own learning journey. They are attentive and responsive to the authentic needs of the community and allocate or marshal resources - including their own time and energy - in ways consistent with our institutional principles of inclusive excellence: diversity without dominance, equity without benevolence, inclusion without othering, belonging without assimilation, cultural humility, cultural wealth, and cultural pluralism.

Eligible: Students, Student Clubs and Organizations, Staff

This award is presented to a faculty member who practices inclusive excellence in teaching; an educator who strives to make their classroom a Third Space where those most often marginalized are centered; who builds community across student differences; who seeks to remedy the absence of BIPOC scholars in the broader curriculum and among the faculty body; whose scholarly work is addressing issues of social injustice, and who inspires students to challenge systems of oppression that have real material consequences on the lives of marginalized communities. Inclusive excellence in teaching is understood as a faculty member who is regarded by students as safe, holistically supportive, responsive to community needs for healing, and approaches teaching as a liberatory act.

Eligible: Faculty

The Mohammad Nasir Khan Award is presented to a student who warrants recognition for significant contributions to diversity within the Whitman community. The award honors the legacy and contributions of “Nas” Khan who was an active member of his fraternity, the Gamma Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Chi, an engaged student, and a leader in the international student community.

Eligible: Student

Student Life Awards

Each year, Student Affairs honor students who have distinguished themselves and made significant contributions to the college through their involvement and leadership. These students have taken key leadership roles, inspired others to contribute, developed new programs to support students, and built relations that enable and grow the broader campus community.

The Ben Rabinowitz Student Project Endowment is given in honor of former Whitman College President, Tom Cronin, to assist students with demonstrated leadership skills who wish to implement new projects or learning opportunities that promote compassion in medicine or politics and enrich the campus community.

For strong leadership, achievement as a Greek system ambassador and positively impacting the Whitman College community

The Order of Waiilatpu is a senior honorary. Nominations to the Order of Waiilatpu are made in recognition of OUTSTANDING SCHOLARSHIP, ENTERPRISE, CITIZENSHIP AND SERVICE, AND TO THE COLLEGE AND COMMUNITY. Selection will be made by the Dean of Students senior staff a.k.a Dean’s Council. The Order of Waiilatpu was organized in 1920 by Dr. Penrose. It elected both men and women until 1927 when the women formed the Order or Mortarboard.   In 1985 the Order of Waiilatpu was reorganized to honor both men and women. Please keep in mind the significance of this award. The recipients’ names appear in the Commencement program.

Whitman College created awards to recognize and honor two graduating students who had contributed to the campus through their involvement as student leaders. These awards were named the Robert W. Graham and Colleen Seidelhuber Willoughby Awards for Excellence in Student Leadership. Graham and Willoughby are Whitman graduates who were active campus leaders while students and who continued to show strong leadership as both alumni and community members.

This award goes to a student involved in Student Affairs for at least two years and showing unusual dedication to their position.

The Unsung Heroes and Student Affairs Award of Merit recognizes graduating seniors who have given outstanding service to the college during their time at Whitman, with little public recognition for their service. Their service may have been distinguished leadership, devotion to duty, promotion of a cause, or causes of benefit to the entire campus. These “Unsung Heroes” are students who seldom receive an award, or are publicly honored, but who contributed steadily and quietly to building high morale and well-being of the College community actively and responsibly contributed to the success of student activities, co-curricular and extra-curricular given unselfishly to the community and to their fellow students contributed to the maintenance of high standards of campus citizenship, being highly regarded by fellow students, and achieved a creditable academic record, and have not obtained notable recognition or position of honor.

The Klockman Award recognizes students who best exemplify the ideals of Norman Klockman, a student who attended Whitman from 1973–1975. Norm’s life ended prematurely in 1979. In 1981, his family, friends and classmates established a memorial endowment to honor him. Nominations are open for a sophomore student living on campus who is genuinely unselfish, hardworking, motivates and inspires others, contributes to student engagement in their residence hall community, and enriches the lives of their fellow students with their presence.


Distinguished Teaching Award

Each year at Commencement, Whitman College is pleased to acknowledge an outstanding elementary, middle or high school teacher who contributed to the academic and individual success of a Whitman senior. By conferring the Distinguished Teaching Award, Whitman celebrates the exceptional contributions of special teachers who have guided and inspired members of your class. The winning teacher receives a monetary award and is invited to Commencement to be publicly acknowledged during the ceremony. It is an honor for both the teacher and the graduating senior who nominated them.

Frequently Asked Questions

The campus-wide nomination process is for student, faculty and staff leadership awards; department-specific accolades continue to reside within their respective campus departments.

There will still be awards committees, absolutely. This first step is merely the nomination process. The next step is for the information you enter to be collected and delivered to the folks who select recipients. This step will now happen automatically.

Please email awards@whitman.edu and we’ll make sure to include it. We’d love to hear from you!

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