Four CWU faculty members were honored last spring as the 2021 Distinguished Professors. The annual awards recognize faculty who have excelled in teaching, research or artistic accomplishment, and public service.
The awards, established in 1977, are presented by the CWU Board of Trustees and represent the highest level of performance and achievement by faculty. Honorees receive a monetary award and their names appear on a continuing plaque.
This year’s recipients are:
Christopher Schedler — Distinguished Professor in Teaching
Schedler (English) has presented 30 different courses during his 18 years at Central. His teaching embraces both undergraduate and graduate, face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses, not only in his areas of expertise, but also in other areas that he has researched in order to meet students’ needs.
In addition, Schedler helped pave the way for many faculty to be able to teach online during the pandemic while serving as director of Multimodal Learning for several years. His expertise in online teaching goes far beyond CWU, and he often shares his knowledge and experience at regional and national conferences.
Robert Holtfreter — Distinguished Professor in Research/Artistic Accomplishment
Holtfreter (business) is a locally, regionally, and nationally recognized scholar, specializing in the area of cyber fraud. He has been teaching in the College of Business for 30 years. His research credentials are extensive, with 112 double-blind peer-reviewed articles in numerous academic professional journals; four editorial-reviewed journal articles; 50 research-related conference proceedings and panel presentations; and 27 book chapters.
Holtfreter’s research is widely regarded around the country, and he is considered a leading authority around the world in the identity theft/cyber security-related research areas. As a result, he is also in high demand as a speaker, serving on the editorial review boards of 21 academic and professional journals. He also received a Distinguished Professor award from CWU in 2010.
Susan Kaspari — Distinguished Professor for Service
Kaspari has been a faculty member in the Department of Geological Sciences and the environmental studies program since 2009. She was chosen for the 2021 service award because of her efforts as an advocate for sustainability on campus, in the community, and through her research.
Kaspari’s service has made CWU a greener campus, with a burgeoning culture of sustainability. She has spearheaded numerous efforts on campus that have both improved sustainable practices and created a community of faculty, students, and staff. She chaired the CWU Sustainability Council from 2018-20 and helped organize regular Sustainability Cafes, where members of the CWU community work to implement sustainability projects across campus.
Robert Shaffer Claridge — Distinguished Non-Tenure Track Faculty, Teaching
Claridge (law and justice) has contributed to the Department of Law and Justice in countless ways since coming to Central in 2014, first as a lecturer and then as a senior lecturer. He was selected because of his dedication to teaching, the inventiveness of his methods, the consistently high evaluations and appreciation he receives from students, and the many contributions he has made to both the law and justice and the family and consumer sciences programs.
Among his accomplishments, Claridge has developed six new courses, revived and advised the Mock Trial Club, and regularly mentored award-winning presentations at the SOURCE research conference. A practicing lawyer in Ellensburg, Claridge has covered 23 unique courses over six years.