The Washington State Association of College Trustees has selected Centralia College Professor Pat Pringle for the 2016 Faculty Member Award for demonstrated excellence in teaching in the community and technical college system.
“Professor Pringle is one of the most dynamic, engaging, and exciting professors I’ve ever seen in the classroom. His enthusiasm for the geosciences is infectious, and his commitment to student research at all levels is inspiring,” said Joanne Schwartz, chair of the Centralia College Board of Trustees. “His presence on campus is powerful – his classes are always full with many students taking everything he teaches.”
Throughout his 11 years at Centralia College, Professor Pringle has been a strong advocate of hands-on learning. He uses integrated field trips as labs and incorporates tree-ring and geologic research exercises and projects into his classes and independent research projects. He’s been able to share the insights and broad experiences of more than 23 years of geoscience research, science outreach, and public information with Centralia College students.
“Many of Pat’s students have gone on to follow in his footsteps. That is the sign of a great teacher and mentor. Pat is a very humble individual, but I can see how proud he is when his students get recognized for their accomplishments,” said Dr. Jim Walton, Centralia College president. “Pat is a great scientist in his own right, but being a teacher and mentor of community college students is the calling in which he excels above all else.”
Professor Pringle is a leader in regional geosciences, providing professional guidance and insight into the exploration and interpretive understanding of the region’s most beloved resources, including Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood, and Mount Rainier, and some of the lesser known features, such as Lake Kapowsin, which was recently nominated to be Washington State’s first freshwater aquatic reserve. His expertise on these geologic matters is widely sought by other experts and agencies, including the Department of Natural Resources, local emergency support and response groups, and the Nisqually and Chehalis Tribes.
He is widely published. His work includes the definitive guidebook to the geology of Mount Rainier National Park, Roadside Geology of Mount Rainier National Park and Vicinity. Pringle’s book details the geologic history of the mountain and all of its associated features, including the lahar patterns, glaciers, lava domes and flows, caves, lakes, and more.
Professor Pringle will be honored at the 2016 ACT Awards Dinner at May 12 at the Bellevue Hyatt Regency Hotel.