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Association for Faculty Women Nancy Magnuson

Nancy Magnuson

Dr. Nancy Magnuson, Recipient of the 2005
Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award
from AFW

KNona Liddell
Dr. Nancy Magnuson (middle, with Jean Johnson, left, AFW President, and Jill McCluskey, right, Chair of the 2005 selection committee) was the 2005 recipient of AFW’s Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award.  The award was named after former WSU President Sam Smith to honor his efforts to promote women at WSU. It is presented annually to AFW members who have advanced the cause of women at WSU through their leadership.


AFW Dr. Nancy Magnuson, Eastlick Distinguished Professor, School of Molecular Biosciences, has achieved international distinction for her research in immunology and has lectured in Denmark, Canada, Korea, India, Australia, and P.R. China. She has over 90 peer-refereed publications and has served on review panels and study sections for U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, and National Institute of Health.Dr. Magnuson has spent her entire career at WSU, since receiving her Ph.D. here in 1978. Dr. Magnuson has chosen to be very active in the classroom, coordinates the Distinguished Lecture Series in Immunology, and has been an outstanding mentor of graduate students and younger faculty.  Notable is how many of her graduate students have gone on to prestigious positions.  She has also mentored and provided research experience to a large number of undergraduate students in her lab.  Dr. Magnuson is exceptionally committed and effective in outreach and public service, involved in public education and peer review of research for the American Cancer Society since 1986, and a member of the Advisory Committee for WSU’s Cancer Prevention and Research Center since 2000.

Dr. Magnuson’s leadership within the university community includes serving on the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee and the Conflict of Interest Committee.  She was the faculty co-chair of the WSU Strategic Plan implementation team for “developing a culture of shared commitment to quality in all of our activities.”  In the last five years, Dr. Magnuson has done academic program reviews, served on WSU’s Athletic Council, and been a member of tenure and promotion committees in both College of Sciences and College of Engineering and Architecture.

Nancy has been heavily involved in AFW from its earliest years.  She was secretary for six years and president in 1991-92.  In addition, she was very active on AFW’s ad hoc committee that worked closely with President Sam Smith in the mid-to-late 1980s.  This committee was responsible for a number of key advances for women faculty, when the President’s Office placed priority on hiring and promoting women in order to achieve critical mass.  Nancy is currently AFW President-Elect and will have a second term as President in 2006-07.

In addition to her record of professional achievements and leadership, Nancy always generously provides positive, constructive, and pertinent suggestions to those seeking her help and is known as a valued resource well beyond her own field.