The Mario & Alma Pastega Awards

About the Pastega Award

Mario and Alma PastegaThe 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.

History of the Awards

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.

Award process

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.

2023 Winners

Western Oregon University’s annual Pastega Awards of Excellence ceremony will be on Wednesday, May 24th. Join us in congratulating this year’s recipient and recognizing the faculty who received awards in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

This year’s recipients:

Excellence in Scholarship Award: Isidore Lobnibe, Ph. D.
Excellence in Service Award: Leigh Graziano, Ph. D.
Excellence in Teaching Award: Misty Weitzel, Ph. D.
Staff Excellence Award: Rosario Peralta-Cortez

Award Recipients





2022 Gareth R. Hopkins Breeann Flesch Allen Risen Erin Baumgartner
2021 Cornelia Paraskevas Melanie Landon-Hays Debbie Braun Jaime Cloud
2020 Kenneth Carano Cindy Ryan Susan Griffin Kristin Latham-Scott
2019 Rachel Harrington Anna Hernandez-Hunter Scott Beaver
2018 Marie LeJeune Jeanie Stüntzner Peter Callero
2017 Eliot Dickinson Bruce Tuma Vivian Djokotoe
2016 Darryl Thomas Sharyne Ryals Cheryl Beaver
2015 Kevin Walczyk Kellen Hendrickson Maureen Dolan
2014 David Doellinger Sue Thompson Katherine Schmidt
2013 Tom Bergeron Linda Kunze
Jake Whisenhunt
Julia Smith
2012 Henry Hughes Kathy Hill Maria Dantas-Whitney
2011 Kim Jensen Nathan Sauer Chloe Hughes
2010 Mark Girod Ann Barton-Brown Karie Mize
2009 Henry Bersani Jon Tucker Jessica Henderson
2008 Marita Cardinal Teresa Hutchinson Kit Andrews
2007 Gavin Keulks Alice Sprague Dean Braa
2006 Eduardo Gonzalez-Viana Lori Pagel Sharon Oberst
2005 Rob Winningham John Henslee Diane Baxter
2004 Lonnie Guralnick Twila Domine Martha Sargent
2003 Sarah Boomer Patrick Moser Lowell Spring
2002 Richard Davis Jeanne Deane Kimberly Jensen
2001 Victor Savicki Gary Jensen Jerry Braza
2000 H. Del Schalock
Ed Dover
Rudolfo Rodriguez Curtis Yehnert
1999 Marion Schrock Tina Fuchs Kevin Walzyk
1998 Dennis Eddings Rick DeMars Denis Moran
1997 Kim Hoffman Don Boderman Ray Brodersen
1996 Peter Callero Martha Smith George Cabrera
1995 Thomas Ferte Darin Silbernagel Sandra Gish
1994 Richard Meyer Randy McCauley Joe Soldati
1993 Diane Baxter Ligoy Gamaney Gary Huxford
1992 Narasingha Sil Barbara Lass Ajmer Singh
Ray Broderson
1991 Robert R. Ayres
Eric J. Cooley
Larry Spani Cornelia Paraskevas
1990 Ross R. Cotroneco Mona K-Hinds Erhard Dormund
1989 Kenneth Holmes Jill Summers
Margaret Manoogian-O’Dell
Lewis Pennock
1988 David McCorkle Dori Beeks Roshani Shay
1987 Donald H. White Betty Hoyt Bonnie Staebler
1986 Dale W Cannon Neal Werner Pat Gallagher
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
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