Director of ADVANCE
Associate Professor of History
Dr. Jennifer Thigpen, Director of ADVANCE at WSU, oversees all the ADVANCE at WSU activities, coordinating events and trainings, as well as programs (i.e., the External Mentor, Transitions, and Leadership opportunities). Jennifer meets monthly with the Departmental Liaisons, and every semester with the ADVANCE at WSU Steering Committee. She provides oversight for program development and faculty friendly initiatives and informs academic units regarding ADVANCE at WSU activities. Dr. Thigpen’s mission is to expand upon the excellent mentoring initiatives already in existence at WSU and to build collaborative relationships across campus.
Laura Griner Hill
Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Affairs
Dr. Laura Hill advises the provost, deans, chancellors, vice chancellors for academic affairs, department chairs, and school directors on system-wide policy and procedural matters related to faculty, and on personnel issues related to individual faculty members as they arise. She assists with planning matters related to the faculty and advise the provost on promotion and tenure decisions, annual reviews, third-year intensive reviews, and professional leave decisions. Dr. Hill sponsors and directs training and development activities for department chairs and school directors, manages a dean on-boarding program, directs New Faculty Orientation, directs activities that foster the professional development of faculty, and manages faculty awards and recognition programs. In addition, she advises the provost regarding faculty diversity and work-life initiatives. Dr. Hill also acts as a liaison between the provost and groups involved in faculty governance, and acts on other matters at the discretion of the faculty.
Dr. Hill joined the WSU faculty in 2001 and is a professor in the Department of Human Development, where she previously served as chair. She held an administrative appointment as Associate Director for Health Promotion, Research, and Evaluation in the university’s Health and Wellness Services from 2011-2014. She is a founding faculty member of the interdisciplinary Prevention Science PhD program at WSU and served on the board of directors of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) from 2016-2019. Hill’s research focuses on risk and protective factors related to substance abuse, evidence-based prevention programs, and parent-child relationships in early adulthood. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and other federal and state agencies. Hill and her collaborators have received national awards for their work in translating research to practice.
Dean of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences
Dr. Wendy Powers is the inaugural Cashup Davis Family Endowed Dean of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. Joining CAHNRS on Aug. 15, 2022, Powers embodies the land-grant mission through her collaborative work with agricultural producers and research peers nationwide.
As a scientist, Powers linked research discovery with outreach to the livestock industry, providing knowledge and tools to help producers reduce their environmental impacts while staying competitive and meeting growing consumer demand. She holds a doctorate in animal science and a master’s degree in dairy science from the University of Florida, and a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Cornell University.
Dean, Carson College of Business
Larry W. (Chip) Hunter, a scholar of management, and, most recently, senior associate dean of the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the new dean of Washington State University’s Carson College of Business.
Hunter served Wisconsin for the past three years as senior associate dean and Pyle-Bascom Professor of Leadership. For two of those three years, he also led the school’s nationally ranked full-time MBA program. Prior to joining the University of Wisconsin in 2002, he spent eight years on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, winning teaching awards in both appointments. In recognition of his research and leadership, he was recently elected vice-president / president-elect of the Industry Studies Association.
He earned his doctoral degree in industrial relations and human resource management from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds a master’s degree from Oxford University in the United Kingdom and earned his bachelor’s degree at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Hunter was raised in the Palouse, graduating from high school in nearby Moscow, Idaho.
Dr. Christopher Keane is Vice President for Research and Professor of Physics at Washington State University. He received a B.S. degree in Physics and a B.S. degree in Engineering, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Rochester in 1980. He received his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Princeton University in 1986. Dr. Keane then joined the Inertial Confinement Fusion Program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), performing computational and experimental research in x-ray lasers, inertial confinement fusion, and ultra-high intensity laser–matter interaction. He also serves on a number of national and international governmental advisory committees regarding controlled thermonuclear fusion and related science.
Dr. Daryll DeWald joined Washington State University as Dean of the College of Sciences in January 2011 and became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences effective July 2012. He currently serves as the Chancellor of the Spokane Campus. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming and his doctoral degree in biochemistry from Texas A&M University. He joined Utah State faculty in 1995 and became chair of the Biology department in 2006. As a biochemist, DeWald’s research programs and projects focus on synthetic biology, plant cell signaling and mammalian cell signaling. His work has explored the role of lipids that control cellular communication during plant stress, the regulation of cellular protein trafficking and how lipids regulate cancer cell metastasis.
Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Dori Borjesson currently serves as a Professor and Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. She earned her veterinary degree from the University of California, Davis in 1995 and completed a residency at UC Davis in Clinical Pathology in 1999 followed by a Ph.D. in Comparative Pathology at the Center for Comparative Medicine, UC Davis, in 2002. She joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota for 4 years before returning to UC Davis as an Associate Professor in 2006, where she previously served as a Professor and the Department Chair in the School of Veterinary Medicine, Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology Department. She has served as the leader of the Integrative Pathobiology Graduate Group at UC Davis and is actively engaged in veterinary and graduate student curriculum development, teaching, and mentoring.
Dr. Borjesson is still active as a clinical pathologist and is engaged in clinical service and laboratory test development. She has served as Director of the Clinical Pathology service both at the University of Minnesota and at UC Davis. She directed the clinical Regenerative Medicine Laboratory and was the inaugural Director of the Veterinary Institute for Regenerative Cures (2015-2019) whose mission is to pioneer regenerative medicine cures for people and animals.
Her research focuses on mesenchymal stem cells and long-term immune cell reprogramming, including how stem cells modulate CD8 T cell function and phenotype, in vitro and in vivo. Her team works to define and develop naturally occurring animal models of disease to test cell therapies to improve animal health and inform human medical practice. She holds 2 patents in the area of mesenchymal stem cells and immunomodulation. She has over 100 peer-reviewed publications and has been the recipient of the Zoetis Research Excellence award.
Dean, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture
Dr. Mary Rezac is currently the dean of Washington State University’s Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.
Rezac received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Kansas State University in 1987. She worked for the Phillips Petroleum Company’s research and development division before returning to graduate school at the University of Texas in Austin where she received a master’s degree and doctorate in chemical engineering. In 1994, she joined the faculty of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Chemical Engineering. She was promoted to associate professor in 1998 and served in numerous administrative capacities for both the school and the college.
She returned to Kansas State in 2002 as an associate professor. She was promoted to professor and department head in 2004 and served as department head until 2009. During that period, Rezac recruited and hired three new faculty members, expanded the Ph.D. program and led efforts to increase the undergraduate enrollment by more than 50 percent. In 2015, she was named the first recipient of the Tim Taylor Professor of Chemical Engineering and selected to serve as the interim associate vice president for research at Kansas State. In 2017, Rezac was named dean of Washington State University’s Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.
Professor – Department of Entomology
Dr. Laura Lavine is Assistant Director of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences Office of Research and a Professor in the Department of Entomology. A few of the highlights of her time at WSU include serving as interim Director of ADVANCE at WSU, President of the WSU Association for Faculty Women, and a proud member of the WSU Teaching Academy. Her research interests include the evolution of adaptation, especially concerning the development of the weapons of sexual selection and the evolution and management of insecticide resistance in crop pests. Her research is funded by the NSF and the USDA and she has over 50 publications in journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature, and Science.
In Memoriam: Kelly Ward
Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Recognition
Kelly Ward was the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Recognition and Professor of Higher Education. She previously served as chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, Sport Studies, and Educational/Counseling Psychology. Her administrative roles provided the opportunity for Dr. Ward to connect her research expertise to current problems of practice. At WSU, she had taught Administration of Higher Education, Critical Issues in Higher Education and Student Affairs, Student Services, Seminar in Higher Education, and College Teaching. She previously taught at Oklahoma State University and worked as an administrator and faculty member at the University of Montana. Dr. Ward’s input as a steering committee member was invaluable, the ADVANCE at WSU team will continue to focus on university issues that Kelly deemed important.
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Todd Butler has served as a faculty member in WSU’s Department of English since 2003, including two terms as department chair (2012-2018), and currently serves as associate dean for faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Butler is also the founding director of WSU’s Center for Arts and Humanities, which focuses on catalyzing public engagement and collaborative, interdisciplinary scholarship and creative activity. In that capacity, he leads the Center’s Publicly Engaged Fellows program for graduate students and is the co-principal investigator for Humanities Extended, a Spencer Foundation-funded initiative to develop a network of humanities and Extension collaborations at more than 10 land-grant universities across the United States. He previously helped lead the development of the Office of Research’s “Advancing Opporutintiy and Equity” Grand Challenge, working with faculty in Arts and Sciences, Education, Communications, and Business to create a university-wide framework for trans-disciplinary research in areas such as poverty, discrimination, and educational inequality.
ADVANCE at WSU Lighty Building, Room 190F P.O. Box 641061 Pullman, WA 99164-1061
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