Trustees’ Medal 2014: Sally Winkle, PhD

The Trustees’ Medal Award is the university’s highest form of recognition for faculty achievement. Each year since 1978, the award has honored teaching excellence, significant contributions to scholarship and research, and accomplishments in the development of academic programs and curriculums. The award consists of a bronze medallion and a $1,500 cash prize from the EWU Foundation.

By Cameron Pilkinton

Having long been an integral and productive member of the EWU community, Sally Winkle, PhD, is the current director of the women’s and gender studies program and a professor of German. Winkle is a dedicated professional and gifted scholar who consistently goes above and beyond the expectations of her designated responsibilities. She simultaneously succeeds at encouraging community collaboration while fostering leadership skills in others. As such, Winkle has been chosen as the 2014 Trustees’ Medal Award recipient.

Winkle came to Eastern in 1983 as an assistant professor of German. In her most fundamental role as a faculty member, Winkle instructed and supported large numbers of students successfully through both the women’s and gender studies and modern language and literature curricula. She receives high praise from students and faculty alike for her outstanding mentoring abilities. Her teaching has been highly effective and closely coordinated with her external work as a gender rights educator and activist scholar. Since 1998, she has shepherded the women’s and gender studies program through good times and lean times, dealing effectively and optimistically with the challenges of building the major and the program.

Under her leadership, the women’s and gender studies department hired its first tenure-track faculty member, created a gender studies certificate, developed an undergraduate major, expanded course offerings and created a system for maintaining affiliate faculty who teach cross-listed courses. She has worked with the Women’s Studies Center to create and host the new Activist-in-Residence program, and initiated a graduate certificate in gender and sexuality studies to be offered fall quarter 2014.

EWU has become the only university in the area to offer a major in women’s and gender studies. Winkle has developed a strong program that draws from the expertise of more than five colleges at the university. Graduates of the program are encouraged to become advocates for social change in their personal lives, places of employment and communities.

In addition to her role in the women’s and gender studies program, Winkle has also become an expert in modern German literature, feminist theory and film studies. She is an active scholar in all three areas, having published a book and co-authored an anthology of texts, published dozens of articles, conference papers and reviews. In her research, Winkle explores pivotal moments in German history through the lens of women’s experiences and how those moments were subsequently processed by German artists in literature and film. She’s an important interpreter of the works of “New German Cinema” director Magarethe von Trotta. Her anthology (with Roderick Stackelberg), The Nazi Germany Sourcebook, is the only single-volume English-language collection of texts on the Nazi period to provide broad historical selections from women who were Nazis, resisters, Jewish, other victims of Nazism and “ordinary Germans.” Among Winkle’s contributions to this volume are translations of many texts never before rendered into English. The choice of these texts, and her elegant translations, are praised in scholarly reviews of the book.

Winkle is a dedicated professional and gifted scholar who models a level of academic collegiality that inspires vision, motivation and continual growth in the individuals with whom she works. As a leader, Winkle simultaneously succeeds at encouraging community collaboration while fostering leadership skills in others. She is a vital and steadfast contributor to the programmatic and institutional betterment of the university. Her work and teaching have touched several individuals and will forever be invaluable to making Eastern a place of limitless learning.