Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award

The Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award recognizes a WWU faculty member* who has made outstanding and impactful efforts that have enriched the intellectual vitality of the campus and/or the broader community. This work may include service to the University, to service-learning programs, to outreach programs to the local and broader community, and service to the profession. 

*Please Note: Only Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, or Professors are eligible for this award. (Instructors, Lecturers, Senior Instructors are not eligible. Please check the staff directory for faculty titles.)


The award recipient will be presented with a Western medallion award at the Celebration of Excellence Awards in May. The recipient will also receive a payment for $1,000, made possible by the Western Washington University Foundation. (Please note: for each payment, the University also contributes approximately $421 for tax related deductibles plus benefits for a total expenditure of approximately $1,421 per award).

Award Administration

College of Business and Economics Dean's Office

Nomination Process

Nominations for the 2024 award are currently CLOSED. Thank you to those that took the time to nominate someone!


Dr. Theresa Warburton stands in dappled sunlight wearing a WWU award medallion

Theresa Warburton - English

Associate Professor of English Theresa Warburton is an educator, scholar, and community member. She is interested in the role that stories play in social movements. At Western, she teaches courses across a variety of topics related to US multiethnic literatures and social movements which often focus on Native literatures, prison abolition, and gender studies. She has also served in a number of supportive capacities, including most recently as the president of the United Faculty of Western Washington. 

Beyond Western, she works closely with the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center and its Transformative Justice Learning Lab while also serving on the board of the Institute for Anarchist Studies and the editorial collective of the social movement journal Perspectives on Anarchist Theory. She’s written and edited books and articles in the interest of helping foster conversations around the stories we tell and why. 

You’re most likely to find her in a bookstore, at a women’s basketball game, baking vegan treats, or walking around Lake Padden. Above all, she supports the efforts of people working to honor just visions of how we live together, especially students who continue to demand that their institutions live up to the values they claim.

Past Awardees

1 awardee(s) for this year

2023 Awardees

Shirin Deylami smiling warmly and wearing a black top and a WWU award medallion on a neck ribbom

Shirin Deylami - Political Science

Shirin Deylami is a professor in the Department of Political Science and affiliate faculty in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Program.  She started her career at Western after finishing her graduate work in political theory from the University of Minnesota in 2008. She received her undergraduate degree in politics and women’s studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz. As a political theorist, she has always been interested in the relationship between gender, sexuality, ethnicity and the production of the Other in both western and Islamic political thought. Her current research is interested in the role of emotions in feminist solidarity movements across the globe.
In her leadership roles, Deylami has made significant contributions to developing the WGSS minor and major. She was the inaugural director of the Faculty Mentoring Program, which pairs new faculty with more senior colleagues across campus in the hopes of retaining these excellent new faculty. From 2020 to 2022 she was the vice-president and then president of the Faculty Senate. Alongside this work she has served on a number of initiatives to promote inclusion, diversity and equity across campus and in the discipline of political science. She was the Chair of the Governance of Council of the Association for Political Theory, a representative to the Western Political Science Association, and currently serves on the editorial board for the American Political Science Review, the flagship journal in political science.