Women of Distinction


The rich tradition of women’s contributions to Washington State University encompasses teachers and scholars, staff and advisors, students and alumni, administrators and regents, volunteers and friends. The WSU Women* of Distinction and Woman* of the Year Awards are traditionally presented annually during National Women’s History Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of women to the academic and local community, and to our society.

Women* of Distinction awardees usually include an alumna, a faculty member, a staff member, or a student (undergraduate or graduate). Individuals not affiliated with WSU but who work with WSU in community engagement, development, student engagement, or other areas can also be nominated.  All nominees for Women* of Distinction awards are eligible for the Woman* of the Year award, and nominations from all WSU campuses and locations, as well as self-nominations, are encouraged.

Due Date has been moved to March 22 at 5:00 pm

To nominate distinguished alumna, faculty, staff and students for the Women of Distinction awards, please submit a nomination.


These prestigious awards recognize women* for their accomplishments and contributions to society and the lives of women.

To Be Considered for the Awards, the Nominee Must:

  • Have distinguished themselves in academic work, career, leadership, public service, or any combination thereof.
  • Have contributed to the personal growth and success of others, especially women, through education, research, or public volunteer service beyond expected job responsibilities.
  • Have created positive social change, increased equality for all, and helped build community through service.
  • Have not honored with this award in the last five years.

Requirements for Nomination:

Please note you will be able to attach all the requested documents later in this form. 

  1. With the list of qualifications in mind, provide a statement indicating the nominee’s distinguished contributions and achievements that addressed each of the qualifications above (limit 2 pages).
  2. In addition to the statement, provide any supporting documents to assist the committee in making this decision (limit 2 pages each and no more than 4 supporting documents). Examples include letters of support, additional nominations, and/or statements of reference).
  3. If you choose to include references, please include the names and contact information for references for the nominee.

This award is for people who identify as women and their allies, who have worked to elevate the status and equality of women.

Award Presentation

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women at WSU coordinates the award selection process.

Congratulations to the 2022 Awardees

Undergraduate Student: Amanda Westbrook
Graduate Student: Ayumi Manawadu
Alumna: Michelle Kelly
Staff: Olivia Yang
Faculty: Michelle Carter
Woman* of the Year: Nairanjana (Jan) Dasgupta

Past Awardees

Previous Women of the Year

Dr. Anna Plemons, 2019

Dr. Katrina Mealey, 2018

Sheila Kearney Converse, 2017

Anna King, 2016

Nikki Finnestead, 2015

Laura Griner Hill, 2014

Lisa Brown, 2013

Julia Pomerenk, 2012

Cathryn Claussen, 2011

Rebecca Craft, 2010

Joan O’sa Oviawe, 2009

Sue Armitage, 2008

Christine Gregoire, 2007

Rebecca Miles, 2006

Previous Women of the Distinction


  • Lysa C. Salsbury, Community
  • Christine Oakley, Faculty
  • Davi I. Kallman, Graduate Student
  • Gillian Khoo Coldsnow, Staff


  • Marie Dymoski, Community
  • Amy G. Mazur, Faculty
  • Melanie Thornton, Graduate Student
  • Marcela Carrillo Pattinson, Staff
  • Fadumo Ali, Undergraduate
  • Jacqueline van Wormer, Alumna
  • Sue M. Durrant, Lifetime Achievement


  • Kimberly Garland Campbell, Community
  • Candis Claiborn, Faculty
  • Faith Lutze, Faculty
  • Katherine Bittinger, Graduate
  • Melynda Huskey, Staff
  • Dominique “Nikki” Norman, Undergraduate
  • Dorothy Wiley, Lifetime Achievement Award


  • Beatriz Schweitzer, Community
  • Catherine Cooper, Faculty
  • Lynn M Becerra, Graduate
  • Sita Pappu, Staff
  • LaKecia Farmer, Undergraduate
  • Jalisa Harris, Undergraduate


  • Carol Guthrie, Community
  • Roberta Paul, Faculty
  • Amber Morczek, Graduate
  • Vanessa Delgado, Undergraduate
  • Susan Rahr, Alumna


  • Carmento Floyd, Community
  • Rev. Kristine Zakarison, Community
  • Elizabeth “Libby” Walker, Faculty
  • Sina Sam, Student
  • Kimberly Green, Staff
  • Judy Rogers


  • Susan Wofford, Community
  • Peg Motley, Community
  • Kimberlee Kidwell, Faculty
  • Sharon Morgan, Staff
  • Francesca White, Undergraduate


  • Robin Woltering, Community
  • Amy Skinder-Meredith, Faculty
  • Katherine Baril, Staff
  • Deborah Gracio, Alumna


  • Rebecca Craft, Faculty
  • Alice Smethurst, Staff
  • Bernadette Mencke, Graduate student/staff


  • Lori Carris, Faculty
  • Heidi Stanton, Staff
  • Margo Tamez, Student
  • Theresa Schulz Norris, Alumna
  • Gladys Jennings, Lifetime Achievement Award


  • Xyanthe Neider, Graduate


  • Jean Johnson, Faculty
  • Andrea Hall, Student


  • Samantha Swindell, Faculty
  • Vicki Owens


  • Lucy Luginbill, Staff
  • Lucy Loera, Graduate
  • Donna Shavlik, Graduate
  • Pauline Seals, Alumna