You’ve probably read about Susan Finley winning the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award, and Cathryn Claussen being named the 2011 WSU Woman of the Year. But you might not have seen:

Associate Professor Susan Finley
Associate Professor Susan Finley

Susan talking about her work in a fine video that WSU’s Adam Ratliff created for the Academic Showcase presentation. Susan is featured at 3:30 and gives a spirited “Go Cougs!” at the end.

Cathy’s catchy acronyms, as described in today’s Moscow-Pullman Daily News article, posted below with permission.

Washington State
sport management prof
awarded Woman of the Year

By Kelsey Husky

Cathryn Claussen is an acronym user.

When people ask what makes Washington State University’s sport management program tick, she responds, “We’ve got a good TIQR, and that’s what keeps us going.”

That stands for teamwork, integrity, quality and readiness.

Claussen was recognized as WSU’s Woman of the Year award recipient March 22 at the annual Women’s Recognition Luncheon, and she credits part of her success to PUCCOs, or “people you can count on.”

“TIQR and PUCCOs are what made that award possible,” she said. “It’s never about just one person. To be an effective leader, you’ve got to have people willing to trust you and follow and jump in.”

Professor Cathryn Claussen
Professor Cathryn Claussen

To be considered for the award, candidates had to distinguish themselves in academic work, career, leadership and public service. Also, each had to contribute to the personal growth and success of others, especially women, through education, research and public or outstanding volunteer service.

She was nominated by sport management faculty member Tammy Crawford.

Claussen said she was surprised to win the award.

“I was flabbergasted at that point,” she said. “Sometimes you get to feeling undervalued,” she said. ” … It was really humbling and I was deeply honored to receive (the award).”

Claussen has come a long way from her beginnings as a college basketball and tennis player at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where she majored in physical education.

She received her master’s from the University of Iowa in sport studies, which looks into the “dark side” of sports to identify racism, violence and drug abuse of athletics. After a few years of wondering what to do with her degree, she earned a juris doctor from Georgetown.

She landed professorships at Bowling Green State University and Clemson University teaching sport law, but soon she longed for the West Coast.

Claussen, a Southern California native, took a job at WSU about 10 years ago. Although she’s far away from home, she lives with an “adopted” mother – Carol Gordon, the chair of WSU’s physical education department from 1963-83.

“She was a real leader in gender equity in sports,” Claussen said.

That’s why she dedicated her award to the 84-year-old.

“I’ve got a real hero that I’m living with,” she said. “She’s my inspiration.”

Claussen has quite the list of responsibilities, including coordinating the sport management program, being the chair-elect of faculty senate and representing WSU faculty in Olympia this semester, which she said is “absolutely fascinating.”

She’ll take over as chairwoman of faculty senate next year and has been a member for about five years.

Part of her job as chair-elect is to act as a liaison between the faculty and university administration.

“Controversial issues come up, and you do your best to represent your constituents,” she said. “It’s a side of the university a lot of people don’t get to see.”

Katherine Baril, Deborah Gracio, Amy Skinder-Meredith and Robin Woltering were runners-up and received Women of Distinction awards at the luncheon.