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2016 AP Contribution Award Winners

Nikki Hinshaw

Student Activities Advisor

Office of Student Involvement, Student Affairs at WSU Vancouver

Nikki Hinshaw and Nolan Yaws
Nikki Hinshaw stands with Nolan Yaws who nominated her for her outstanding contributions to WSU Vancouver.

As Student Activities Advisor, Nikki Hinshaw constantly goes above and beyond the call of duty and the responsibilities listed within her role to ensure the students she is working with and advising have the resources, support and tools they need! Nikki has worked hard to make the Office of Student Involvement a place students enjoy visiting and the student groups she works with frequently speak positively about Nikki, her work ethic and all she does to nurture, support and guide them. Nikki often comes in early, stays late and pops in on the weekends to have office time so that during the week she can focus her time and energy on the students she serves. As a colleague, I cannot speak highly enough about Nikki and her work. Every project she works on is well-done and helps make WSU Vancouver a better place. Our campus and the Office of Student Involvement would not be the same without Nikki’s leadership, kindness, warmth and passion!

Darrel Nelson

Instructional Lab Supervisor
Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience

Darrel Nelson and co.
Darrel Nelson, second from left, stands with Steve Simasko, Cynthia Faux and Becky Morton who all nominated Darrel for his outstanding contributions to WSU Pullman.

I would like to strongly recommend Darrel Nelson for the A/P Excellence Award. He has worked in the department for over 15 years managing our anatomy laboratories for the DVM and Neuroscience students. Darrel is responsible for managing the anatomy labs for the DVM program as well as for the undergraduate neuroscience courses. Darrel strives for excellence in all he does and he expects that from those that work for him. He is a good mentor training DVM students in skeletal prep as well as overseeing and training the students or employees that work in the anatomy lab. Darrel is always timely in meeting deadlines no matter what it takes to meet the deadline. He’s an excellent craftsman with attention to detail. He’s responsible for maintaining the specimens in the Worthman Anatomy Museum. He takes great pride in keeping that facility shipshape. Darrel takes initiative and goes above and beyond often. He never complains when he has to come in early or stay late to prepare for an exam or clean up after a late lab. He will never ask his employees to do something that he himself doesn’t do. He is exceptional about making sure specimens and the anatomy lab are ready for class. He is creative in solving problems relating to specimens needed for the CVM which results not only in good customer service but much of the time in financial savings to the department or client. College personnel wonder into the anatomy lab knowing that Darrel will be able to help them figure out how to make/fix something. He provides exemplary service to all those that he comes in contact with. He is responsible for the Museum tours and puts a professional face on the CVM/WSU through those tours. He instills his sense of excellence and knowledge to those that he is teaching. He is in charge of lab cleanup at the anatomy labs even though the DVM students help with the work so he is overseeing many different personalities and abilities and is positive in these interactions. The students respect Darrel because of his professionalism in working with them. Darrel is the first responder whether to change the water out for clients, be the moving crew or assist anatomy faculty. He prepared a camel specimen for the CVM to send to Qatar as a gift which was the first camel he had ever processed. This project had to be fit into his otherwise busy laboratory schedule. He’s a solid part of the CVM whom never expects anything in return for what he does. Darrel is an unspoken hero in the CVM. I was recently walking through the anatomy lab when the Clinic called with a need for a very small size of lab coat. I asked Darrel if he had any he could spare. He climbs down on his knees into the back cupboard and starts pulling out coats that they could have. As I was leaving the area he was climbing up a ladder to a storage area to pull out more coats. Within minutes he had already taken the lab coats over to the Clinic. This is an example of his willingness to provide excellent service. When Darrel is “on duty” there is no need to worry.


Darrel Nelson is the anatomy lab supervisor for the WSU – College of Veterinary Medicine. He is instrumental in making the anatomy courses function smoothly, includling small animal anatomy, large animal anatomy, large animal applied anatomy, small animal applied anatomy, neuroanatomy, and an undergraduate anatomy course. He works to maintain the Worthman Anatomy Teaching Museum and provides public tours of the facility to youth groups and other interested persons. I rely on his talent and expertise in course support, specimen preparation and lab care and logistics. He is a creative problem solver and an essential member of the team. I appreciate his strong work ethic, attention to detail, teaching skills, and supervisory skills and insight. He has brought national and international acclaim to the department with his outstanding skeletal preparation and mounting skills. I feel Darrel is instrumental in my success as a teacher. He is much deserving of recognition.


Darrel is exemplary in carrying out his assigned responsibilities. One of the most grueling aspects of putting on anatomy lab classes is acquisition and preparation of specimens. Darrel has performs these tasks flawlessly. He anticipates needs, makes the external contacts that are needed, and is quite skilled in both dissection and preservation of specimens. This is an immense relief for faculty who can now focus on teaching and not the mechanics of the lab. In fact, his skills are recognized beyond WSU in that he operates a service center for preparation of anatomical specimens that can be ordered from other academic institutions. For example, one can observe his work in the following link in which he assembles a camel skeleton for the veterinary school in Qatar Another example is his assistance in the redesign of IPN teaching labs. He thoughtfully examined plans, anticipated how activities would flow in the labs, and made significant suggestions in how we should layout the facilities. The redesigned labs, which came on line last year, have been considered a resounding success by both faculty and students. This is due to in part to Darrel’s thoughtful input into the functionality of the space. Darrel not only sees to the needs of faculty in IPN, but he is also of assists others who need assistance with anatomical specimens. For example, he assists Bonnie Campbell (VCS) with lab specimens in her Applied Small Animal Anatomy Course. He also assists numerous student clubs (Am Assoc Equine Practioners, Orthopedics, Zoo, Exotic and Wildlife) with specimen preparation and transport of specimens for display booths. Of recent, he has also been of tremendous assistance with helping faculty in the regional program (USU and MSU) get their anatomical specimens ready for teaching. He also takes on the responsibility of dealing with non-WSU student tour groups who occasionally visit the Worthman Anatomy museum. He also teaches veterinary students on skeletal preparations (dog/cat), a popular item that students take with them when they leave. Darrel is generous with his time and never leaves for the day unless the lab area is in tip-top shape and ready for the next day. In all his activities he is friendly, helpful and focused on getting the job done with the highest professional standards. He is an excellent example of what it means to provide a service that exceeds what is required or expected. We greatly appreciate what he does for our department and he is deserving of recognition for his consistent and high quality efforts on behalf of the CVM.