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Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology Criminal Justice and Criminology Awards


  • Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award
  • Distinguished Criminal Justice Innovation Award
  • Distinguished Professional Achievement Award


  • Greg and Pierce Faculty Award in Criminal Justice and Criminology
    • The Greg and Beth Pierce Faculty Award in Criminal Justice and Criminology was established in 2012 through a generous donation from Greg and Beth Pierce. The Pierces have been long time supporters of criminal justice at WSU. Greg earned an MA in Criminal Justice from WSU in 1975. After earning his degree, Greg pursued a career in criminal justice education. He worked many years as a criminal justice professor and department chair at several community colleges, most notably Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon. He was also elected by his peers to serve as representative of the Community College Section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. The Pierces not only have been longtime supporters of criminal justice, but are lifelong Cougs, as well. In 2011, after learning that criminal justice had become an independent department at WSU, they explored ways of supporting the department, and in particular, its faculty. After discussing available options with the department and WSU Foundation, the Pierces decided to establish the Greg and Beth Pierce Faculty Award in Criminal Justice and Criminology. The award, which is made on a competitive basis, provides financial assistance to a faculty member to support any work, research, or professional development the faculty wanted to pursue.
  • Outstanding Criminal Justice Professor (chosen by undergraduates) 
  • Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award (chosen by graduate students) 


  • Community Partner Award
  • Distinguished Criminal Justice and Criminology Appreciation Award

Graduate Students

  • Dr. Otwin Marenin Outstanding Doctoral Student Award
  • Outstanding Criminal Justice Graduate Student Instructor Award
  • Outstanding Masters Student Award
  • Outstanding PhD Instructor

Undergraduate Students

  • Craig A. Bowling Scholarship
  • Kathleen E. Taylor Scholarships in Criminal Justice

    • This scholarship is for full-time undergraduate majors certified in criminal justice and is awarded based on academic achievement and a passion for service. Ms. Taylor graduated from Washington State University in 1961 with a degree in Police Science (the previous name for Criminal Justice).  She was particularly influenced by the founder of this program, Dr. V.A. Leonard, and throughout her lifetime, maintained an interest in crime and law.
  • Moreno Diego Memorial Scholarship 
    • This scholarship is open to seniors, certified in criminal justice with priority given to students who graduated from a high school in Kent, WA. Officer Diego Moreno graduated from Washington State University in 2005 with a B.A in Digital Technology and a minor in Criminal Justice. After the 2009 Lakewood tragedy that killed four police officers, Diego decided to join the police force serving as a Kent Police Officer. On the 3rd anniversary of that Lakewood shooting, Diego stated: “Three years ago I paid respect because I wanted to be one of them. Today, I pay respect because I am one of them.” And as one of them, Officer Diego Moreno, was killed in the line of duty on July 22nd, 2018.Officer Diego Moreno served with compassion, touched countless lives, and earned many awards. He was honored with:
      • Three Life-Saving Medals: one for saving the life of a boy who had drowned (2011); one for rescuing an elderly woman from a burning building (2016); and one for resuscitating a woman who had overdosed (2017).
      • The Chief’s Award of Exceptional Duty: for crawling to assist other officers, after he was injured by a suspect, rendering him unable to walk (2015).
      • The Award of Duty and Sacrifice (awarded posthumously).
      • Washington State Law Enforcement Medal of Honor (awarded posthumously).
  • Outstanding Undergraduate Senior 
  • Outstanding Undergraduate Students 
  • V.A. Leonard Scholarship 
    • This scholarship is for full-time undergraduate majors certified in criminal justice and is awarded based on financial need and/or academic achievement. Dr. Leonard established the Department of Police Science back in 1943 at Washington State University and founded Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society.