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Association for Faculty Women Awards

Laura Lavine Receives Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award

Association for Faculty Women’s 2015-2016 Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award

The Association of Faculty Women is happy to announce that the 2015 winner of the Sam Smith Leadership Award is Dr. Laura Lavine from the Department of Entomology. Dr. Lavine is not only an excellent researcher in her field, she is a natural leader and an excellent scientist who has worked tirelessly to encourage and invigorate colleagues on campus and in her field. She has boundless enthusiasm and energy, which she brings to her teaching as well as to her interactions with everyone. After you hear her talk about dung beetles, you will wonder why you hadn’t chosen them as a field for research.

Laura Lavine and Sam Smith

Dr. Lavine has been an active member in the Association for Faculty Women (AFW) for 10 years with 5 of those as an officer. Additionally, she played an active role with ADVANCE at WSU.  ADVANCE supports efforts to increase the number of female faculty in the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).  As part of that effort, Dr. Lavine talked to more than 40 faculty candidates during their visits to WSU in 2013-2014. She explained the objectives of the ADVANCE program and discussed the faculty friendly policies already in place at WSU.

As a result of her participation, Dr. Lavine was asked to serve as Director of ADVANCE at WSU at the same time she was asked to serve as Assistant Director of the Agricultural Research Center. She wisely decided that trying to do both jobs and to keep up with her research was too much, so she found someone with the same passion for addressing female faculty issues to take the leadership of ADVANCE.

Dr. Lavine has established a successful and well-funded research program in the field of entomology that involves understanding the biological mechanism for growing massive weapons and ornaments in beetles. She has trained or contributed to the training of high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs and visiting scholars as well as high school teachers in her laboratory. She is frequently asked to serve on NSF grant review panels. She reviews research manuscripts for more than 30 journals, most of which are considered in the top tier of research journals in science. She has an impressive list of research publications. She gives research seminars all over the country as well as overseas in countries such as Japan, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Turkey, and England. She helps with decisions on promotion and tenure in her department and in the university as well as in other institutions.

This is an impressive list of accomplishments, but it doesn’t quite capture the essence of Dr. Laura Lavine, which is to be an energetic, always positive, enthusiastic supporter of everyone she comes in contact with. She is a leader by example and by practice.