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Bruce Larson named Vikings' Faculty Athletics Representative

Dr. Bruce Larson

Dr. Bruce Larson

July 22, 2013

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Bruce Larson, a professor at Western Washington University's Woodring College of Education, has been appointed the school's new Faculty Athletics Representative. His three-year term officially began July 15.

The 51-year-old Larson, who came to WWU in 1996, is beginning his fifth year as chair of the Secondary Education Department. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in curriculum development, educational psychology, instructional strategies, assessment and history/social studies teaching methods. Larson also observes and evaluates student teachers earning their 5-12 teaching certificates.

"I am very pleased that Bruce has agreed to serve as Faculty Athletics Representative," said Western President Bruce Shepard. "He brings a wealth of experience as an athlete, a coach, and an educator to the role, and knows how important it is to strike the right balance between athletics and academics at an institution like Western. I look forward to our work together to support Western's high-achieving student athletes and outstanding coaches."

Larson, who was a 2003 recipient of Western's Excellence in Teaching Award, obtained his bachelor of arts and education degree at Pacific Lutheran University in 1984 and received masters of education (1991) and doctorate (1995) degrees at University of Washington.

At PLU, Larson competed in football as an offensive guard. As a senior in 1984, he earned first-team NAIA All-America honors as well as Little All-Northwest, all-district and all-conference recognition. He also received All-America honorable mention as a junior on a team that won the Northwest Conference championship.

Larson also excelled in the classroom as a Lute. He was a first-team NAIA National Scholar-Athlete as a senior and was a second-team pick as a junior.

Prior to his arrival at Western, Larson taught and coached for nine years at the high school level. That included one semester at Renton High School and two four-year stints (1986-90 and 1992-96) at Thomas Jefferson High School in Federal Way. During that time, Larson was an assistant coach in football, track, basketball, baseball and softball.

Larson has published over 34 journal articles, curriculum guides and book chapters about effective uses of classroom discussion, and about integrating computer-based technology into classrooms. He has written two books (along with former WWU professor Tim Keiper) on the effective use of instructional strategies (Instructional Strategies for Middle and High School, 2nd Ed. 2013, and Instructional Strategies for Middle and Secondary Social Studies: Methods, Assessment, and Classroom Management, 2011. He co-authored an elementary grade basal reader series that won a first place award at the 2003 New York Book Show. Larson currently serves on the editorial advisory board for "Theory and Research in Social Education."

"I am looking forward to serving WWU, the coaches, and the student athletes in this role," said Larson. "Intercollegiate athletics play an important role at the university, and I am very pleased to be involved in a small way with the tradition of excellence that is carried forward by WWU's outstanding coaches and talented student-athletes."

Larson and wife Jermaine have three children, twin sons Josh and Zach, who will be juniors at Sehome High School and daughter Ellie, a sophomore at Whitworth University.

The Faculty Athletics Representative position is appointed by the university President and reports to the President on academic and compliance matters in athletics. In particular, the FAR plays an important role in ensuring academic integrity, facilitating institutional control of intercollegiate athletics and enhancing the student-athlete experience.

Larson replaces Brent Carbajal, who served in the post for seven years. Carbajal, who also chaired the GreatNorthwest Athletic Conference FAR committee, was recently appointed WWU's Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

In 2012-13, WWU placed 12th nationally among nearly 300 NCAA Division II schools in the Learfield Sports Director's Cup standings. It was the school's fifth straight Top 15 finish.

The Vikings also won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference all-sports title for the fifth straight year and for the ninth time in the 12-year history of the league.

And, while having success in competition, WWU student-athletes were outstanding in the classroom. The Vikings' graduation rate of 69 percent was 14 percent higher than the NCAA II national average. Using the NCAA Academic Success Rate, WWU graded out to 88 percent, 15 percentage points higher than the NCAA II national average.

Bruce Larson - Faculty Athletics Representative

In first of three-year term as FAR at Western ... Professor at WWU's Woodring College of Education ... In 18th year overall at WWU and beginning fifth year as chair of Secondary Education Department ... Teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in curriculum development, educational psychology, instructional strategies, assessment and history/social studies teaching methods ... Also observes and evaluates student teachers earning 5-12 teaching certificates ... 2003 recipient of Western's Excellence in Teaching Award ... Obtained bachelor of arts and education degree at Pacific Lutheran University in 1984 and received masters of education (1991) and doctorate (1995) degrees at University of Washington ... Competed in football at PLU as offensive guard ... Earned first-team NAIA All-America honors as senior as well as Little All-Northwest, all-district and all-conference recognition ... Also received All-America honorable mention as junior on team that won Northwest Conference championship ... First-team NAIA National Scholar-Athlete as senior and second-team pick as junior ... Prior to arrival at WWU, taught and coached nine years at high school level ... That included one semester at Renton High School and two four-year stints (1986-90 and 1992-96) at Thomas Jefferson High School in Federal Way ... During that time was assistant coach in football, track, basketball, baseball and softball ... Has published over 34 journal articles, curriculum guides and book chapters about effective uses of classroom discussion, and about integrating computer-based technology into classrooms ... Has written two books (along with former WWU professor Tim Keiper) on the effective use of instructional strategies (Instructional Strategies for Middle and High School, 2nd Ed. 2013, and Instructional Strategies for Middle and Secondary Social Studies: Methods, Assessment, and Classroom Management, 2011 ... Co-authored elementary grade basal reader series that won first place award at 2003 New York Book Show ... Currently serves on editorial advisory board for "Theory and Research in Social Education." ... He and wife Jermaine have three children, twin sons Josh and Zach, juniors at Sehome High School, and daughter Ellie, a sophomore at Whitworth University ... 51 years old.

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