About the Pastega Award

The Mario & Alma Pastega Awards represent Western Oregon University’s highest recognition for faculty and staff excellence. Two awards are given each year to faculty: The Pastega Award for Excellence in Scholarship recognizes significant and enduring scholarly or creative achievement; the Pastega Award for Excellence in Teaching honors teaching that engages, inspires and educates students in the greatest possible learning. The Pastega Staff Excellence Award recognizes classified or administrative staff members who demonstrate exceptional service to the university.  Each award provides a $1,000 honorarium.

Ongoing distinguished faculty awards were established at Western in 1979 when  Dr. J. Morris Johnson, professor of biology, received the Western Oregon State College Faculty Honors Award for his work cloning carrot cells.  Beginning in 1985, three awards for scholarship, teaching and staff excellence were created through generous annual gifts from Mario Pastega (1916-2012), an Oregon soft drink bottler and one the state’s leading philanthropists and benefactors of education, serving as a trustee on the foundation boards of both Oregon State University and Western Oregon University.  In 1986, the first paired Pastega-funded awards in scholarship and teaching went to philosophy professor, Dale Cannon, for his work in philosophy for children, and Pat Gallagher, professor of education for her work in early childhood literature.  The first recipient of the staff excellence award in 1985 was Forrest Hiner, lead painter with the Physical Plant.  In 1997,  Mario Pastega and his wife, Alma, donated an additional $40,000, matched by the Oregon State System of Higher Education, to permanently endow the three annual awards in their name: the Pastega Award for Excellence in Scholarship, the Pastega Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Pastega Staff Excellence Award.

Faculty award recipients are honored at a ceremony in May, during which each recipient makes a presentation about his or her work. Staff award recipients are traditionally recognized at the commencement breakfast in June. Candidates for all Pastega Awards are considered through nominations by colleagues, students and coworkers. The faculty award recipients are selected by a committee comprised of past Pastega recipients and one student appointed by student government. Final selections are subject to approval by the university president.  The Pastega Staff Excellence Award is coordinated through Human Resources and a committee of past staff award recipients who recommend three candidates to the university president for final selection.

2018 – 19  award recipients

Excellence in Scholarship

Dr. Rachel Harrington (2019)

Dr. Rachel Harrington, Education and Leadership

Rachel Harrington grew up on an island in Petersburg, Alaska before earning her undergraduate degree in mathematics education at Western Washington University. She taught high school mathematics in Bellingham and coordinated a PT3 Grant at Clarion University in Pennsylvania before her mentor convinced her she should get a Ph.D. In 2008, she finished her Ph.D. at Oregon State University and started at WOU as an assistant professor of mathematics education. Today, she coordinates the Elementary Mathematics Instructional Leader graduate program in the Division of Education and Leadership. She also teaches mathematics pedagogy and methods in the undergraduate and MAT teacher licensure programs. Her research interests include the development of mathematics teacher leaders and understanding the ways preservice and inservice teachers teach with technology. She has recently begun work inquiring into how we can support paraprofessionals as collaborators in the mathematics classroom.

Rachel has worked for over a decade with a national team of researchers who are interested in technology and its impact on mathematics teaching and learning. In 2019, her first book, How Students Think When Doing Algebra, was published with her coauthors Steve Rhine and Colin Starr. In addition to this work, her recent scholarship includes collaboration with her colleagues at WOU, Drs. Cheryl Beaver and Laurie Burton. She is very proud of her relationship with the faculty from “across the street.” Rachel has numerous publications and presentations, but is most proud of the publications that her students have generated from their work in her courses.

Rachel did not always love mathematics. In her junior year at WWU, she had run out of required classes to take and her mother told her, “You should take another math class. You were always good at math.” After taking Linear Algebra, she realized there was math that was not Calculus and her world opened up. She is now proud to be a math nerd and owns wide collection of t-shirts, shoes, and jewelry w th math themes.

Rachel lives in Corvallis with her husband, Ryan, and their two children: Seamus and Ellie. She loves the Pittsburgh Steelers, Burgerville milkshakes, and canning the food from her garden. Her students will tell you that she dislikes ability grouping in mathematics, homework in elementary schools, and high stakes testing of young children. Her office is filled with puzzles, toys, and games and she always appreciates having visitors who enjoy them, too.

Excellence in Teaching

Dr. Scott Beaver (2019)

Dr. Scott Beaver, Mathematics Department

Scott Beaver was born in Anchorage, Alaska and grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, graduating from Lehigh University in June 1990 with a B.S. in Engineering Physics. While working as an engineer at Augat Wiring Systems in Montgomery, Alabama Scott earned a second B.S., in Mathematics, at Auburn University Montgomery in March 1994. Scott started graduate school in August 1995 at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He completed an M.S. in Mathematics in August 1997, and moved from Tucson to Berkeley, California. After a year tutoring high school and university students in the Bay Area, Scott returned to graduate study at the University of California Davis in September 1998. In 1999 Scott married Cheryl DeLorme, the love of his life. Dr. Cheryl Beaver is also a mathematics professor at Western Oregon University and the recipient of the 2016 Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Scott’s dissertation research centered on Banach algebras and signal analysis, leading to a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics in June 2004. Following a year in a postdoctoral teaching position at the University of New Mexico, he accepted a position in the Mathematics Department at WOU in 2005 (as did Cheryl).

Scott’s focus since he arrived at WOU has been a continual search for how to teach well. Each mathematics course presents unique pedagogical challenges. His goal is to break down mathematical language barriers and to get and keep students engaged.

At WOU Scott has taught 27 different mathematics courses since 2005, and has had a number of active service roles on campus. He is currently Western Oregon Federation of Teachers President and has served as WOUFT Treasurer, Secretary and Bargaining Team Chair, and as Faculty Senate Vice-President and Secretary. Scott is a member of the honor societies Pi Mu Epsilon and Phi Kappa Phi.

Staff Excellence 2019

Anna Hernandez-Hunter

Anna joined the Western community in 1996 and has served as the Director of the Multicultural Student Services and Programs office for over 20 years.


Award recipients




2019 Rachel Harrington Scott Beaver Anna Hernandez-Hunter
2018 Marie LeJeune Peter Callero Jeanie Stüntzner
2017 Eliot Dickinson Vivian Djokotoe Bruce Tuma
2016 Darryl Thomas Cheryl Beaver Sharyne Ryals
2015 Kevin Walczyk Maureen Dolan Kellen Hendrickson
2014 David Doellinger Katherine Schmidt Sue Thompson
2013 Tom Bergeron Julia Smith Linda Kunze
Jake Whisenhunt
2012 Henry Hughes Maria Dantas-Whitney Kathy Hill
2011 Kim Jensen Chloe Hughes Nathan Sauer
2010 Mark Girod Karie Mize Ann Barton-Brown
2009 Henry Bersani Jessica Henderson Jon Tucker
2008 Marita Cardinal Kit Andrews Teresa Hutchinson
2007 Gavin Keulks Dean Braa Alice Sprague
2006 Eduardo Gonzalez-Viana Sharon Oberst Lori Pagel
2005 Rob Winningham Diane Baxter John Henslee
2004 Lonnie Guralnick Martha Sargent Twila Domine
2003 Sarah Boomer Lowell Spring Patrick Moser
2002 Richard Davis Kimberly Jensen Jeanne Deane
2001 Victor Savicki Jerry Braza Gary Jensen
2000 H. Del Schalock
Ed Dover
Curtis Yehnert Rudolfo Rodriguez
1999 Marion Schrock Kevin Walzyk Tina Fuchs
1998 Dennis Eddings Denis Moran Rick DeMars
1997 Kim Hoffman Ray Brodersen Don Boderman
1996 Peter Callero George Cabrera Martha Smith
1995 Thomas Ferte Sandra Gish Darin Silbernagel
1994 Richard Meyer Joe Soldati Randy McCauley
1993 Diane Baxter Gary Huxford Ligoy Gamaney
1992 Narasingha Sil Ajmer Singh
Ray Broderson
Barbara Lass
1991 Robert R. Ayres
Eric J. Cooley
Cornelia Paraskevas Larry Spani
1990 Ross R. Cotroneco Erhard Dormund Mona K-Hinds
1989 Kenneth Holmes Lewis Pennock Jill Summers
Margaret Manoogian-O’Dell
1988 David McCorkle Roshani Shay Dori Beeks
1987 Donald H. White Bonnie Staebler Betty Hoyt
1986 Dale W Cannon Pat Gallagher Neal Werner
1985 James T Mattingly Forrest Hiner
1984 Neal R Bandick
1983 A. Laurence Lyon
Lloyd T. Hansen
1982 C. David Jennings
1981 Ruth Million
1980 Erhard Dormund
1979 J. J. Morris Johnson