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Washington State University
Washington State University Office of the Provost

LIFT Faculty Fellowship

Learn. Inspire. Foster. Transform.

Since 1890, the faculty at Washington State University have demonstrated a strong commitment to educating students. Our faculty are passionate about their work in classrooms, research settings, and one-on-one with WSU students. This commitment to and passion for education are what drive us to continuously improve the WSU student experience.

The LIFT Fellowship (Learn.Inspire.Foster.Transform.) is designed to support instructors in this work. We use teaching methods and modules that have been shown to improve students’ engagement, connection, and learning, to decrease course withdrawal and fail rates, and to increase retention.

Once accepted to the program, faculty fellows are engaged in an intensive learning environment as they explore and integrate evidence-based active learning and behavioral interventions in their teaching plans. We’re excited to welcome our fourth cohort of LIFT faculty this coming spring (2020) and congratulate our most recent program graduates (December 2019)! Here’s looking forward to another successful year of connection and collaboration as we forward our commitment to students’ success at WSU. Faculty fellows’ willingness to engage and practice innovative techniques demonstrates evidence of their commitment to the undergraduate experience and to excellence in instruction and student mentoring.

Learning outcomes

After participating in LIFT, faculty fellows will be able to transform their courses using methods that have been shown to increase student engagement, connection, and learning. Through participation in LIFT, faculty will:

  • Increase knowledge of theory and research related to active learning approaches and brief behavioral interventions
  • Apply active learning techniques and brief behavioral interventions in their classes
  • Support and be supported by your colleagues who share your commitment to student success

Faculty members highlight value of LIFT

Leticia Fanucchi, DVM, PhD, WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital

“The training program was very useful for me and I certainly learned a lot from it. The lectures and assignments were flexible and I did not feel overwhelmed by it. The team organized it really well, and gave us several opportunities to discuss our plans and activities. Also, the scholarship was much appreciated.

The highlights of the training for me were:

 Learning how to be more mindful of oneself, of the teaching (content), and more mindful of the students and their impressions/perspectives.

 Plan and gradually execute active learning without having to change your entire course overnight. You can take your time and implement one small change at a time.

 The peer observation activity was my favorite homework of the program, and I learned a lot from observing my colleague.

I highly recommend the LIFT program, not only for junior faculty, but for those who want to stay current on teaching strategies.”

Krista R.A. Nishida, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Dept. of Chemistry

“The LIFT program has gotten a lot of us in chemistry implementing and researching additional things to benefit the students and their learning, so it was a very much appreciated opportunity. Thanks, again to the LIFT team!”

Application overview

The following questions are included in the online application. Please take a moment to peruse the questions before applying. We look forward to hearing from you!

  • What is the course number for the class in which you will be implementing LIFT practices? 
  • What is the average enrollment for this course?
  • Why are you interested in participating in the LIFT Faculty Fellows Program?
  • Address how you would like to transform the way you teach and/or the ways your students learn.
  • What are your intended outcomes for your students’ learning?
  • Address your time commitment to adopt new practices.
  • What challenges do you anticipate in implementing change to the way you teach or how students learn?

Commitment to participate in the LIFT Faculty Fellows Program

As a faculty fellow with the LIFT program, you are committing to the following meeting schedule and training requirements:

Date-specific meetings and trainings

  • Attend Teaching Innovation Forum on February 17, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Attend LIFT orientation meeting on Feb. 26, 2019 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
  • Attend two face-to-face behavioral intervention workshops facilitated by LIFT Trainers and complete homework following the workshops.
    • Pullman Workshop 1: March 24 or March 25
    • Pullman Workshop 2: April 21 or April 22
    • Everett, Tri-Cities, and Vancouver Workshops 1 and 2 at WSU Tri-Cities: May 13 and 14
  • Attend peer observation training session on Tuesday, April 14, 2019 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • Attend LIFT fall 2020 kick off meeting on Tuesday, September 8 from 5:00 – 6:15 p.m.

Trainings and requirements to be completed between August 24 (first day of fall term instruction) and December 11 (last day of fall term instruction), 2020.

  • Attend at least two of the pedagogical trainings associated with active learning strategies offered in conjunction with AOI.
  • Incorporate at least one behavioral intervention using a high-impact practice/active learning (e.g., POGIL, team-based learning, service learning) in your classroom to increase resilience/enhance applied problem-solving and increase collaborative learning.
  • Conduct an observation of a former LIFT faculty fellow and debrief.
  • Observe and be observed by a current, peer LIFT Fellow and debrief.
  • Administer LIFT-specific pretest and posttest assessments to students.
  • Complete your own pretests, posttests and long-term LIFT evaluations.
  • Complete a final progress report.

Additional information about these requirements will be offered by the LIFT team during orientation and at subsequent times throughout the year. We work diligently to make sure you are on track and successful.

Here is a visual representation of these requirements for your reference:

LIFT Schedule and Requirements

Apply now

Upon completion of the program

We recognize that LIFT involves a substantial time commitment.  For your participation, you will receive:

  • A $1,200 payment in the form of faculty time card for completion of all LIFT Faculty Fellow requirements including the adoption and implementation of at least one brief behavioral intervention in an active learning style related to connection/social belonging, values/value-based decision-making, mindfulness/self-compassion or growth mindset/resiliency.
  • A certificate of completion.
  • A letter of thanks, copied to your department chair and dean.

LIFT Faculty Fellows 2019

Name Campus College Department
Brianna Valliere Everett CAHNRS Food Science
Corrie Wilder Everett Communication Marketing & Communications
Mark Billings Pullman CAHNRS/CAS School of the Environment
Blythe Duell Pullman CAS Psychology
Eman Elturki Pullman International Programs Intensive American Language Center
Sharon Fraser-Allen Pullman International Programs Intensive American Language Center
Megan Hall Pullman CAS English
Emily Harmon Pullman International Programs Intensive American Language Center
Laci Hubbard-Mattix Pullman CAS Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs
Michelle Kistler Pullman Communication
Sue Lani Madsen Pullman VCEA Architecture
Robert McCoy Pullman CAS History
Julie Menard Pullman CAHNRS/CAS School of the Environment
Brenna Miller Pullman CAS History
Wannaporn Phipps Pullman International Programs Intensive American Language Center
Kathleen Rodgers Pullman CAHNRS Human Development
Michael Salamone Pullman CAS Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs
Eugene Smelyansky Pullman CAS History
Alexander Spradlin Pullman CAS Psychology
Raymond Sun Pullman CAS History
David Torick Pullman VCEA Mechanical & Materials Engineering
Lisa Waananen Jones Pullman Communication Journalism & Media Production
Kayla Wakulich Pullman CAHNRS/CAS School of the Environment
Sarah Whitley Pullman CAS Sociology
Brett Bell Tri-Cities CAS History
Shannon Calderone Tri-Cities Education Educational Leadership
Gina Cronrath Tri-Cities Nursing Nursing
Brigit Farley Tri-Cities CAS History
Rhonda Hammond Tri-Cities CCB Hospitality Business Management
Maria Moscatelli Tri-Cities Education Teaching and Learning
Meagan Lobnitz Vancouver CAS English
Mark Stephan Vancouver CAS Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs


LIFT Faculty Fellows 2018

Name Campus College Department
Jacob Murray Everett VCEA Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Lucrezia Paxson Everett COMM Communication
Soobin Seo Everett CCB Hospitality Management
Caitlin Bletscher Pullman CAHNRS Human Development
Shira Broschat Pullman VCEA Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Chris Cooney Pullman COMM Communication
Rebecca Cooney Pullman COMM Strategic Communication
Christine Curtis Pullman COMM Communication
Lee Daffin Pullman CAS Psychology
Anne Drobish-Shahat Pullman International Programs Intensive American Language Center
Dave Evans Pullman CAS Biological Sciences
Sam Gizerian Pullman CVM Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience
Amy Heile Pullman CAS English
Matthew Hudelson Pullman CAS Mathematics
Chanmi Hwang Pullman CAHNRS Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles
Babu John Mariadoss Pullman CCB International Business
Michelle Mann Pullman CAS History
Ali Mehrizi-Sani Pullman VCEA Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Hallie Meredith Pullman CAS Fine Arts
Margaret Mount Pullman International Programs Intensive American Language Center
Holly Neibergs Pullman CAHNRS Animal Sciences
Samanthan Noll Pullman CAS Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs
Somava Pande Pullman COMM Communication
Sammy Perone Pullman CAHNRS Human Development
Karen Phoenix Pullman CAS History
Jenni Sandstrom Pullman CCB Hospitality Management
Michael Thomas Pullman CAS English
Raven Weaver Pullman CAHNRS Human Development
Jennifer Lodine-Chaffey Tri-Cities CAS English
Robin Ebert Mays Tri-Cities CAS English
Lodi Nelson Tri-Cities CAS Biological Sciences
Jodi Rosso Tri-Cities CAHNRS + CAS Geology
Gunjan Gakhar Vancouver CAS Biological Sciences
Kristin Huggins Vancouver COE Administration and Supervision
Liz Reilly Gurocak Vancouver CAHNRS Economic Sciences
Kimber Saville Vancouver CAS Psychology
Praveen Sekhar Vancouver VCEA Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Nanette Thrush Vancouver CAS Fine Arts

LIFT Faculty Fellows 2017

Name Campus College Department
Paul Buckley Pullman CAS Chemistry
Lisa Carloye Pullman CAS Biology
Sandra Cooper Pullman CAS Math
Asaph Cousins Pullman CAS Biology
Leticia Fanucchi Pullman CVM Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience
Michael Finnegan Pullman CAS Chemistry
Erin Gallagher Pullman COMM Communication
Mark Gibson Pullman CAHNRS School of Economic Sciences
Deborah Handy Pullman CAHNRS Human Development
Hanjo Hellmann Pullman CAS Biology
Joseph Hewa Pullman CAHNRS Human Development
Leeann Hunter Pullman CAS English
Jennifer Johnson Pullman CAHNRS/CAS Environmental Science
Allyson King-Beall Pullman CAHNRS/CAS Environmental Science
Lyudmyla Kompaniyets Pullman CAHNRS School of Economic Sciences
Krista Nishida Pullman CAS Chemistry
Anna Plemons Pullman CAS English
Donelle (Dee) Posey Pullman CAS Psychology
Alejandro Prera Pullman CAHNRS School of Economic Sciences
Marsha Quinlan Pullman CAS Anthropology
Judy Schultz Pullman COE Sport Science
Jihyeong Son Pullman CAHNRS Apparel, Merchandising, Design & Textiles
Sam Swindell Pullman CAS Psychology
Paul Verrell Pullman CAS Biology
Kate Watts Pullman CAS English
Elizabeth Weybright Pullman CAHNRS Human Development
Anna Whitehall Pullman CAHNRS Human Development
Kara Whitman Pullman CAHNRS/CAS Environmental Science
Srinivas Allena Tri-Cities VCEA Civil and Environmental Engineering
Katherine Banks Tri-Cities CAS School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs
Jesus Bravo Tri-Cities CCB Management
Vanessa Cozza Tri-Cities CAS English
Sena Clara Creston Tri-Cities CAS Fine Arts
Gibran Escalera Tri-Cities CAS English
Jonah Firestone Tri-Cities COE Science Education
Mark Mansperger Tri-Cities CAS Anthropology
Byron Marlowe Tri-Cities CCB Hospitality Business Management
Allison Matthews Tri-Cities CAS Psychology
Sarah Newcomer Tri-Cities COE Literacy Education
Janet Peters Tri-Cities CAS Psychology
Elsa Silva Lopez Tri-Cities CAS Chemistry
Sara Sorensen Petersen Tri-Cities COE Special Education
Elly Sweet Tri-Cities CAS Biology
Cynthia Cooper Vancouver CAS Molecular Biosciences
Dale Fortin Vancouver CVM Neuroscience
Brenda Grell Vancouver CAS Digital Technology and Culture
Adam McKee Vancouver CAS Sociology
E. Regina McMenomy Vancouver CAS English and Women Studies
Wendy Olson Vancouver CAS English
Cynthia O’Rourke Vancouver CAS Biology
Michael Rabby Vancouver CAS Digital Technology and Culture
Aaron Whelchel Vancouver CAS History
Debra Wilmington Vancouver CAS Biology

Acronyms: College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS), College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), College of Education (COE), College of Veterniary Medicine (CVM), Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture (VCEA), Carson College of Business (CCB)

LIFT trainers 2020


From the Center for Transformational Learning and Leadership:

Denise Yost, Mary Kay Patton, & Anna Whitehall

Instructors, Human Development



Kara Whitman

Instructor, School of the Environment

Many students entering college have not yet fully developed their learning skills, nor gained the confidence to self-direct that learning, and propose novel ideas and solutions.   Students at this stage in their education are also in a time of transition and are particularly susceptible to influences that will shape the mindset that will guide the type of learner they become, the skills that they acquire, and the experiences that they have during their time at the University and beyond. LIFT provides the evidence as well as ideas for approaches to enhance student self-confidence, sense of belonging, and provide a structured process to transform and/or enhance each student’s approach to growth, learning, and problem solving. I am very excited to be a LIFT Trainer and look forward to building a larger collaborative community of student-centered teachers!


Katie Banks

Instructor, School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs

My name is Katie Banks, and I stand for community building, creating, and seeking wisdom. To me, wisdom encapsulates both knowledge and understanding, and when my values are aligned, I’m able to help co-create and shape the communities I belong to through promoting knowledge and understanding. I am passionate about helping those who are underrepresented—either in higher education or in our larger sociopolitical systems—to find voice and identity and, ultimately, to become empowered. My teaching, research, and service are extensions of these values: I teach classes in global leadership, good-enough activism, and civic engagement; I advise the campus’ GSA organization (Queers and Allies), supervise the GSA Internship, and serve on the President’s Commission for Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation (GIESO) and the Vice President’s Working Group on Executive Policy 15; and I research global health policies and politics in international development. I’m part of the CTLL TCI’s LIFT program because I believe that the best pedagogical practices approach more than just course content; we must use more varied strategies to promote student academic, professional, and personal success—inside and outside of the classroom.

Janet Peters

Instructor, Psychology

As a teacher, I strive to engage, challenge, and spark intellectual curiosity in my students. In a perfect world, I would accomplish those goals within each course, class session, and assignment. But the reality is that teaching, good teaching, is hard. Maybe that’s why I’m passionate about it, because I like the challenge and complexity of the problem. I enjoy analyzing my classes for areas of improvement, scrutinizing my grading and course policies, developing new projects, and evaluating my own performance. But, like anyone else, I get stuck. After participating in the LIFT program as a faculty fellow, I was re-energized with fresh ideas to incorporate into my most difficult courses. Now, as a LIFT trainer, I am thrilled to be able to work with other faculty who want to positively impact their students through empirically supported interventions. I love the collaborative nature of the LIFT program and am happy to share my experiences and resources with anyone interested.


Aaron Whelchel

Instructor, History

My interest in student success developed out of my experiences teaching first year courses at WSU. I was struck by the pivotal role student motivation and mindset play in successful completion of those courses and intrigued by the evidence suggesting even brief interventions can impact these factors. After participating in the LIFT program as a Faculty Fellow, I implemented some brief interventions in my classroom. Both students and I viewed these activities as engaging, relevant, and effective in fostering a sense of belonging and encouraging resilience and “grit.” Based on these positive experiences, I was enthusiastic about the opportunity to become a LIFT trainer and help promote these techniques to the wider WSU community, especially at the Vancouver campus.

Jenni Sandstrom

Instructor, Business

woman smilingI participated in the LIFT program during the 2017-2018 school year and found a home within this community of engaged learners. I am looking continuously for new ways to connect with my students, and the LIFT program helped me to encourage social belonging and mindfulness in the classroom. The LIFT Fellows explore small interventions in the classroom that can be made to increase student learning and engagement, without having to implement a major overhaul to the course. I found these stealthy moves to be fun and rewarding and they sparked a positive response from my students. I am looking forward to participating in LIFT in a new capacity this year as a trainer, working with the next cohort of LIFT Faculty Fellows.

In the news: LIFT inspires WSU Everett colleagues to go above and beyond in support of student success

EVERETT, Wash. – Jan. 24, 2019 – Engineering, communication and business students are working together at WSU Everett under a merged coursework project launched this spring by three faculty members exploring greater opportunities for interdisciplinary studies. Full story…


2020 LIFT Fellows Application

Apply now