Skip to main content Skip to navigation

2023 Staff and Faculty Awards

Administrative Professional Staff Excellence

Daniel Gorton

Dan Gorton is the Facility and Farm Manager for WSU Mount Vernon NWREC and oversees all aspects of managing the NWREC operations, maintenance and improvements, farm services, and both strategic and emergency responses for facility repairs. He also has responsibility for Federal Excess Property at NWREC and CAHNRS statewide locations. Dan first worked at WSU Puyallup in 1990 as a timeslip worker for the Dairy program. After attending Walla Walla Community College where he took classes in Ag Science, Ag Business, Animal Science and Diesel Mechanics, he worked for 2 years on a cattle ranch in Kittitas County. In 1998 Dan was hired as Farm Equipment Operator at WSU Puyallup and in 2000 he transferred to WSU Mount Vernon as Maintenance Mechanic 1 (MM1). He quickly moved through the ranks to MM2, Constructions and Maintenance Project Specialist, and in 2012 became AP Manager. Dan enjoys helping the research programs succeed, he works with our WSU family of coworkers statewide, and he especially likes that no two days are the same. Outside work, Dan loves spending time with his wife Valerie and their two sons, hunting, fishing, camping, and traveling. Dan and Val also raise beef and have a large garden they enjoy.

Administrative Professional Technical Staff Excellence Award

Michael Clouse

Mr. Michael Clouse works as Agriculture and Maintenance Manager at Prosser Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC). Since 2015, he is providing leadership for the management of Othello farm, an approximately 450 acres of farmland used for applied research, Extension, and education programs. In 2019, Mike’s responsibilities were expanded to provide overall management of the Honeybee Facility. He brought many years of experience with diverse cropping systems from the private sector to transform the Othello farm as one of the best locations in mid-Columbia region for applied research and outreach events conducted by CAHNRS and USDA faculty. Mike distinguishes himself through high level of entrepreneurship, professional integrity, collegiality, and enthusiasm to provide the best farm services for advancing WSU’s land-grant mission. He is a key member of IAREC’s Leadership Team in implementing best farm policies and practices, developing short-and long-range planning for improving facilities and operations at Othello and Prosser.

Classified Clerical/Fiscal Staff Excellence Award

Charity Johnson

Charity began at Washington State University’s Puyallup Research and Extension Center (WSU PREC) in June of 2019 as a timeslip employee following the resignation of her predecessor. Enjoying the people and environment of WSU PREC, Charity applied for the open recruitment and joined the team as the permanent Administrative Assistant in January 2020. Charity provides direct administrative support to the Director and Associate Director at PREC. She flawlessly coordinates all events including internal team building activities as well as campus visits, on-site tours, and special public events for WSU PREC. Charity also serves as the first point of contact for new employees including graduate students welcoming and providing onboarding for new employees and graduate students, class scheduler, and all around go-to person on campus. If Charity doesn’t have the answer to a question, she will track down the person that can answer it. When she is not at work, Charity is a mom to 3 great kids and a wife to a wonderful husband. And, as if her family doesn’t keep her busy enough, she has 5 dogs and 11 chickens that she likes to hang out with outside.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence Faculty Award

Rosa Karina Gallardo

R. Karina Gallardo is Professor and Extension Specialist in the School of Economic Sciences. She is stationed at the Puyallup Research and Extension Center and is affiliated with the Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems. Gallardo’s primary research and outreach program goal is to enhance value-added agribusiness opportunities for specialty crops in the state of Washington.  Gallardo’s research is centered on assessing consumers’ preferences for food quality (with an emphasis on fresh and processed fruits) and consumers’ acceptance for new food production and processing technologies. On the production side, Gallardo’s research includes the improving the understanding the profitability and various other factors affecting growers’ adoption of new technologies, such as new cultivars, improved pest management systems, and labor enhancing mechanisms. Gallardo collaborates with the Washington State Department of Agriculture Pesticide Technical Assistance and Education program offering Hispanic agricultural workers, the economics perspective of prevention and control of plagues.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence Staff Award

Colette Casavant

Colette Meda Casavant is CAHNRS’ Director of Student Success. She is the academic advisor for majors in Agricultural & Food Systems, Integrated Plant Sciences, and Viticulture & Enology as well as the founding advisor for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences WSU Chapter. Colette is the CAHNRS Liaison for WSU’s Team Mentoring Program, designed to support underrepresented students in STEM majors. Born and raised in Pullman, Colette pursued a BA in Sociology/Anthropology at Lewis and Clark College. In Sitka, AK Colette worked within indigenous communities in domestic violence and sexual assault prevention. Her MA is in theology/leadership and EdD in Educational Leadership. She joined WSU after a career in academic advising at Seattle University. Her research interest includes student community engagement as a strategy to increase student retention and success. Colette is passionate about supporting students from a holistic perspective, understanding that students’ complex stories and context affect their life choices, experiences, and paths.

Early Career Excellence Award

Jenifer McIntyre

Dr. Jenifer McIntyre is an aquatic toxicologist and fish biologist at the School of the Environment where she teaches courses on salmon ecology and environmental toxicology. Located at the Puyallup Research & Extension Center, she coordinates with the Washington Stormwater Center to research the ecotoxicology of aquatic pollutants in stormwater runoff, municipal wastewater, and common use pesticides. Among her primary achievements, Dr. McIntyre and colleagues discovered in 2020 a novel chemical leaching from vehicle tires that explains acute die-offs of coho salmon in watersheds receiving runoff from busy roads. This finding has spurred a renewed interest and urgency into understanding tire-derived chemicals as pervasive pollutants of water and air impacting ecosystems around the world.

Excellence in Advising Award

Adriana Thomas

Adriana Thomas received her Bachelor of Arts in Education and English from Seattle Pacific University in 2005. She also earned her Master of Science in Student Development in Higher Education from Central Connecticut State University in 2012. Adriana has been an advisor at Washington State University Vancouver since 2017. She joined the Department of Human Development in 2021 after advising graduate students in the Nursing program for four years. Adriana’s role in Human Development encompasses advising, internship coordination, and instructing HD 497 Professional Preparation and HD 498 Internship courses. She holds a Career Development Facilitator Certification from the National Career Development Association and weaves career development into her work with undergraduate students as they explore internship opportunities and future career paths. Adriana enjoys getting out in nature with her family and hiking, camping, paddle boarding, and exploring.

Faculty Administrator Award

Laura Lavine

Dr. Laura Lavine is Professor and Chair of the Washington State University Department of Entomology.  Her research program on the evolution of adaptation has focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying an organism’s ability to rapidly adjust to its environment. Her research has been funded by the NSF and the USDA as well as commodity commissions and she has published her work in diverse journals such as Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Dr. Lavine has held many formal and informal leadership roles while at WSU both nationally, regionally, and at WSU. A few highlights include Associate Director of the WSU CAHNRS Office of Research, Interim Director of ADVANCE at WSU, President of the WSU Association for Faculty Women, Chair of the WSU Conflict of Interest Committee, Chair of the Experiment Station Committee on Policy, Science and Technology committee, and member of the WSU Teaching Academy.

Faculty Excellence in Research Award

David Crowder

Dave Crowder is an Associate Professor in Entomology and the Director of the WSU Decision Aid Systems. He has been at WSU since 2009 after getting his PhD from the University of Arizona. His research laboratory focuses on insect ecology and sustainable agriculture, working on crops such as potato, peas, and tree fruit. As the director of the decision aid systems, Dave’s team works to deliver real-time information on pest populations to growers in the tree fruit and potato industries.

Faculty Excellence in Extension

Michelle Moyer

Dr. Michelle Moyer is from a small town in southern Wisconsin, growing up in her family’s wholesale and retail ornamental plant nursery and landscaping company. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, double majoring in Genetics and Plant Pathology. She earned her PhD in Plant Pathology at Cornell University working at the New York State Agriculture Experiment Station (Cornell AgriTech), majoring in Plant Disease Epidemiology, and minoring in general Plant Pathology and Urban Horticulture.

Michelle joined Washington State University in 2011 and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and will be joining the new Department of Viticulture and Enology in January 2023. She is based at WSU Prosser IAREC and has research and Extension responsibilities in wine and juice grapes, with an emphasis on integrated pest management. She lives in Prosser with her husband, Joshua Mott.

R.M. Wade Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Kathleen Boyce Rodgers

Kathleen Boyce Rodgers (Ph.D. in Child and Family Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison). An associate professor in the Department of Human Development (HD), Dr. Rodgers’ research explores contexts that influence adolescent and emerging adults’ understanding of romantic relationships, sexual scripts, and the negotiation of wanted and unwanted sexual behaviors. As an interdisciplinary scholar she has published in outlets such as the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Journal of Health Communication, Journal of Marriage and Family, and the Journal of Research on Adolescence. She co-authored a book with Dr. Stacey Hust, Scripting Adolescent Romance: Adolescents Talk about Romantic Relationships and Media’s Sexual Scripts. Dr. Rodgers has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on family relationships, family stress and coping, adolescent development, poverty, and human development theory. Within the WSU Honors College, she teaches a course on the causes and impacts of poverty on children and families in the US and globally.

Team Interdisciplinary Award

Johnson Hall Move Coordination Committee

The Johnson Hall Move Coordination Committee members were instrumental in moving 300+ WSU and USDA employees and students (~170,000 sq ft) into six buildings. The team members safely orchestrated the emptying and moving of 197 offices, 73 research labs, four classrooms, six conference rooms, and four mailrooms. Additionally, committee members navigated through four separate design and construction projects as part of the effort. The team members became a source of encouragement and mental and emotional support for faculty, staff, and students during the purging, packing, and moving process. The impact of this team’s organization efforts and communication resulted in a successful major event in CAHNRS and WSU history and created university-wide process improvements that continue to be utilized. The team members are:


Jessica Billings

Mary Lou Bricker

Laurie Byers-Brown

Karen Chase

Craig Cole

Tammy Cunningham

Jeanne DeBarber

Cyndi Arbour


Travis Frost

Dorothy Hall

Teri Hansen

Shanna Hiscock

Cindy Johnson

Dixie Kearney

Shari Lupien

Randy Fleharty


Bill Pan

Cameron Peace

Cheryl Rajcich

Arthur Scully

Monique Slipher

Ade Snider

Louise Sweeney

Carla Olson