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Washington State University
Washington State University Office of the Provost

Faculty Awards

Annual Awards

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award

The annual Washington State University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award honors a WSU faculty member whose scholarly contributions and associated outreach efforts have measurably and significantly improved the lives of people through engagement with industry or other elements of the private sector. This award may recognize contributions by faculty from any academic discipline and at any stage of a career- or tenure-track appointment.

Consistent with the highest goals of a land grant institution, this award highlights the extraordinary accomplishments of WSU faculty in activities that raise visibility or deepen external partnerships with the private sector, including industry, philanthropic, advocacy, and other organizations. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award recognizes WSU faculty who, through their scholarly and creative work, have made notable contributions to both their fields of research and scholarship, and to the public through entrepreneurial endeavors or industrial engagements. The award demonstrates WSU’s commitment to fostering a culture that supports research and outreach that will create positive economic and societal impacts through workforce, innovation or community development.

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award is presented annually to an outstanding faculty member whose distinguished innovation and outreach activities involving industry or other elements of the private sector have produced a measurable societal impact.


The criteria for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award are as follows:

  • Recognized as an outstanding innovator within their academic discipline;
  • Leadership role in either an entrepreneurial or research focused effort to translate scholarly and creative academic work that has yielded measurable societal impact via interaction with industry or other elements of the private sector.
  • Spearheading collaborative research or scholarly efforts with private organizations that have led to an economic or societal impact of innovations at WSU.
  • Sustained, high impact contributions to WSU’s land grant mission via innovation, entrepreneurship, and private sector engagement.

Application Process

Nominators are asked to submit the nomination form, a copy of the nominee’s curriculum vitae, and a narrative of 1000 words or less, stating why the nominee meets the award criteria and is deserving of the award.

Please do not submit additional information during the initial phase.  At a later date, for those nominees moving forward for secondary consideration, the nominator(s) will be asked to provide additional supporting information. Representative examples of additional information may include:

  • A brief description of the nominee’s position at Washington State University and the approximate percentages of assignment to instruction, service, and research, scholarship or arts.
  • An interpretive evaluation of the nominee’s contribution in relation to the award, including a summary of major accomplishments and evidence of impact on the nominee’s field and students.  In the evaluation, please directly address the criteria for the award.
  • Up to three letters of endorsement from individuals who can evaluate the nominee’s contribution relevant to the award.
  • A list of honors or recognitions received.
  • A list of invited addresses and other honors related to the nominee’s contribution.
  • A list of graduate students for whom they served as major professor.
  • A recent summary of teaching evaluations, courses taught (going back five years, and including, if available, response rates and college average) and class sizes.

Previous Award Recipients

2024 recipient Brandon Hopkins
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2023 recipient Danh Pham
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2022 recipient Shulin Chen
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2021 recipient Joseph Harding

2020 recipient Kimberly Christen

2019 recipient Katrina Mealey
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 2018 recipient Juming Tang
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2024Brandon HopkinsResearch Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology
2023Danh PhamAssociate Professor, School of Music
2022Shulin ChenProfessor, Department of Biological Systems Engineering
2021Joseph HardingProfessor, Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience
2020Kimberly ChristenProfessor, Digital Technology and Culture; Director, Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation
2019Katrina MealeyAssociate Dean for Research, Professor, and Richard L. Ott Endowed Chair in Small Animal Medicine and Research
2018Juming TangRegents Professor, Biological Systems Engineering