2021 Alumni Awards

Meet this year's award-winning Vikings
Story by Frances Badgett

Every year, Western honors distinguished and dedicated alumni who have shaped the world, strengthened the university community, and supported student success. Each recipient has made a lasting impact through outstanding professional, philanthropic, or volunteer accomplishments.

This year’s four awardees were honored on May 14 during a virtual awards presentation that included remarks from President Randhawa and a discussion with the honorees moderated by Craig Dunn, Western's Wilder Distinguished Professor of Business and Sustainability.


Julie Larson-Green, ’86

Lifetime Achievement Award

Product design and engineering leader Julie Larson-Green, B.A., business administration, spent a long and distinguished career at Microsoft, where she led the definition and design of many of the company’s most iconic products from the Microsoft Office Suite to the Windows operating system.

Larson-Green also headed Microsoft’s Devices and Studios Engineering Group, which included products like the XBOX One and Surface tablet. She became the chief experience officer for the company, working across all products. Larson-Green’s multiple awards include the 2015 Woman of Vision ABIE Award for Leadership from the Anita Borg Institute.

Three years ago, Larson-Green began a new adventure as chief experience officer at Qualtrics. She retired in February, and is an investor at Flying Fish Partners, Madrona Venture Group, and Female Founders Alliance. She mentors startups and is an adviser at Magic Leap and Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, in the health and wellness category. She also serves on boards including Goleadoras, an organization that empowers girls through soccer.

Tyler Malek, ’10

Entrepreneur of the Year

Tyler Malek, B.A., East Asian studies, is the co-founder and head ice cream Maker for Salt & Straw Ice Cream based in Portland. Using an ice cream maker from Goodwill, Malek began his sweet journey in his cousin Kim’s kitchen, experimenting with unorthodox flavors that upend our notions of what ice cream can be.

Today, Salt & Straw has scoop shops in Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, San Diego, Seattle, and the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, California. Salt & Straw ice creams are also served on first-class flights on Alaska Airlines.

Malek was selected as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 for “Changing the Way America Eats,” named Zagat 3 n0 Under 30 for 2017, one of the Portland Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 and one of the Eater Young Guns Semi- Finalists.

He lives in Southwest Portland with his wife, daughter, two dogs and a blind cat. In 2019, he debuted “The Salt & Straw Ice Cream Cookbook.

Deborah Dull, ‘07

Young Alumna of the Year

Deborah Dull, B.A., operations management, has dedicated her career and her considerable expertise in the supply chain field to solving complex and challenging global problems. She has served in senior roles at Microsoft, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, General Electric, and the Circular Supply Chain Network.

Dull received more than a dozen scholarships at Western. In 2016 in the spirit of giving back, she endowed the Available to Promise scholarship for supply chain management. The application process for the award is a problem-solving competition.

She earned a master’s degree in supply chain and operations management at the University of Liverpool and spent a year in Ethiopia with the Gates Foundation.

Currently, Dull is exploring the relationship between supply chain and the economy for her doctorate at Hariot-Watt University in Scotland. She is also developing the circular economy practice at General Electric and connecting global supply chain professionals through the Circular Supply Chain Network. She serves on the advisory board for the Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management undergraduate program, and often recruits new board members and donors.

Don Hardwick, ’84

Larry “Go Vikings!” Taylor Alumni Service Award

Don Hardwick, B.A., business administration, takes little for granted, including his Western education. Don and his two sisters Mary Hardwick, ’76 and Mardi Hardwick, ’96, were first-generation college students who today count themselves as proud alumni.

Hardwick entered the computer industry fresh out of Western, starting in sales at Data General Corporation and then moving on to a variety of national and international leadership positions at Microsoft.

Although now retired from Microsoft, Hardwick has been an enthusiastic supporter of WWU. He served on the WWU Alumni Association Board of Directors on the executive committee, supported student scholarships, served as a mentor for the first Leadership Studies program, and chaired the first alumni legislative advocacy committee.

During the Washington State legislative sessions, Hardwick takes an active role in ensuring that higher education is a priority for state lawmakers. He also serves on the committee for Building Washington’s Future, a $20 million campaign that will yield a net-zero energy engineering and computer science building.