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College of Arts and Humanities

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Department of Communication
Lind Hall 109
(509) 963-1055


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Department of Communication
Central Washington University
400 E University Way MS 7438
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7438


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Backlund Chosen as a 2015 Distinguished Professor

The designation of Distinguished Professor is the highest award attainable at Central Washington University and represents the highest level of performance. Each year, nominations are sought in four categories—teaching, service, and research/creative expression for tenured professors, and a non-tenure track distinguished faculty award for teaching. Phil Backlund, communication, received the Distinguised Professor honor for teaching.

Backlund, who has taught at CWU for 35 years, is considered a legend among communication students. As an advisor to the CWU chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the Communication Honor Society, he guides a RotarAct Community service student organization, and consistently encourages students to submit to regional and national conferences for presentation. He is not only a strong record of teaching in the classroom, but also a teaching force within the department, offering encouragement and support to his colleagues. In addition, he has expanded his classroom to include students involved in CWU’s Asia University America Program (AUAP) and has created and taught courses for international graduate students from China.  He has also taught students in Macau and Hong Kong, China, and in Pakistan and South Sudan. According to his colleagues, “His passion for communication and instruction is not bound by language, country, or culture."

Distinguished professors will be recognized at the Honors Convocation on June 12.

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