CWU News

CWU announces three Distinguished Professors for 2017

During its meeting on Friday (May 19), the Central Washington University Board of Trustees officially recognized Elaine Glenn, geography; Jason Knirck, history; and Patrick Lubinski, anthropology and museum studies; as this year’s CWU distinguished professors.

Glenn will receive the 2017 Distinguished Non-Tenure Track Faculty Award for Teaching; Knirck was named the university’s Distinguished Professor of Research and Artistic Accomplishment; and Lubinski, the Distinguished Professor for Teaching.

Glenn has been on the university faculty since 1994. She teaches a wide range of subject matter, from introductory to upper division courses, including political geography, along with regionally specific courses, including her specialty, which is the Middle East and Russia.

She is regarded as CWU’s “departmental expert on the Middle East, and Russia, arguably the two most significant world regions today.”

Glenn also uses different approaches and technologies in the classroom, helping students learn about and prepare to meet the demands of an increasingly interconnected world. As one CWU alumnus noted, “She made such a strong impression on some of us that we continue to stay in contact with her, years later.”

Her passion for her field extends to assisting and mentoring students, and offering presentations about the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Middle East to regional Rotary clubs.

Knirck, at CWU since 2004, is known for his expertise on Irish politics and political culture during and following the Irish Revolution. His has authored three books and co-edited a fourth. All are considered important research into the significance of modern Irish history.

Knirck has also published five peer-reviewed journal articles, two chapters in scholarly anthologies, and two Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World entries.

Other historians regard Knirck as “one of the finest historians of 20th-century Irish politics anywhere.”

In 2008, Knirck was a Visiting Fellow in Irish Studies at Boston College’s Dublin Centre, presented the 2009 keynote address at the Irish Women’s History Conference at Drew University, received the 2014 American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grant, and addressed the 2015 Midwest Conference for Irish Studies.

In 2018, he will be Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies at Boston College.

Over nearly 17 years on the CWU faculty, Lubinski has taught 20 different general education to upper division, and master’s degree courses in anthropology and cultural, and environmental resource management. His teaching has been done in classroom lectures, online courses, and in the laboratory, and through field schools. 

One colleague commented, “He wants the best for his students and the best from his students.”  As further recognition from his colleagues, he is often sought out by new faculty to serve as a teaching mentor. 

Lubinski is also regarded as meticulous researcher, who has published peer-reviewed journal articles, technical reports, and presentations on his research.   

It was also noted that Lubinski “has helped shape the field of Cultural Resource Management in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere through his excellent teaching and the research opportunities that he shares with students.”

Lubinski, Knirck, and Glenn were special guests at a recognition ceremony and reception last night in the Student Union and Recreation Center Ballroom. They each will also receive a $2,500 monetary award for being named, by CWU’s Distinguished Professor Selection Committee, as its 2017 honorees.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,