Paul J. Olscamp Research Award

Named after the eleventh president of Western, the Paul J. Olscamp Research Award goes to a faculty member from either the College of Humanities and Social Sciences or the College of Science and Engineering in recognition of their impressive record of achievement in scholarship and research during their time at Western.

*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.)

Nominations are currently OPEN and can be submitted via the online nomination form by December 1, 2022.

Selection Criteria

While the award is intended to recognize all of one’s excellence in scholarship while at Western, supporting research and scholarship materials from the candidate shall be limited to no more than five years, but should include the last three.

Award/Recognition

The award recipient will be presented with a Western medallion award at the Celebration of Excellence Awards in May. This award also includes a payment of $2,500, made possible by the Western Washington University Foundation. (Please note: for each payment, the University also contributes approximately $1,553.66 for tax related deductibles plus benefits for a total expenditure of approximately $3,553 per award).

Award Administration

College of Humanities and Social Sciences and College of Science and Engineering Dean’s Offices (rotating)

Nomination Process

Only WWU faculty members, department chairs, and academic deans may nominate their faculty colleagues for a Scholarship/Research award. Nominations are currently OPEN and are due by December 1. (Please see the link to the nomination form above.)

2022

Melissa Rice wearing WWU award medallion

Melissa Rice - Geology

Dr. Melissa Rice is an Associate Professor of Planetary Science at Western Washington University, where she has held a joint appointment in the Geology Department and the Physics & Astronomy Department since 2014. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University in 2012, and was a NASA Astrobiology Institute Postdoctoral fellow at Caltech from 2012-2014. Dr. Rice has established a top-flight, highly productive, research program in Planetary Geology here at WWU, with a focus on the evolution of landforms and evidence for water-involved mineral and landscape processes on the surface of Mars. Her active work on four separate Mars lander/rover missions is one excellent indicator of the top-flight quality of her scholarly work. Her research focuses on the history of Mars, and she and her students are part of NASA’s active Curiosity and Perseverance rover teams. Specifically, she works with the Mastcam-Z cameras, which are the “scientific eyes” of the mission. She also manages a reflectance spectroscopy laboratory facility at WWU.  When she’s not exploring Mars, she enjoys traveling and exploring the best planet in the solar system: Earth! 

Past Awardees

1 awardee(s) for this year

2021 Awardees

No recipient for 2020/2021 - ---