Brandman University at Lacey to recognize two distinguished faculty at commencement

April 16, 2015 by Brandman University

Brandman University’s Lacey campus is honoring two faculty members, Dr. Russell Hicks and Dr. Benedict Lastimado, for their outstanding service to students at its upcoming graduation ceremony on April 30, 2015. Brandman’s Lacey Campus Director Dr. Margo Deegan said this year’s recipients are clearly standouts in education, “I’ve worked with Dr. Hicks for 10 years now and I continue to marvel at the depth of his knowledge and compassion for our students,” said Dr. Deegan. “He is a coach, a mentor and a bastion of knowledge in the area of Psychology. Dr. Russell Hicks is truly a gentleman and a scholar.”

The other recipient, Dr. Lastimado, is equally impressive in his work with students. “Dr. Lastimado has the unique ability to bring the course content to life for the students,” said Dr. Deegan. “He has them take their learning to the next level with real-time case studies and vigorous class discussions on the solutions to these issues. The Lacey Campus is so fortunate to have Dr. Ben Lastimado leading our HR and MBA students.”

Dr. Russell Hicks teaches in the Psychology program, including classes in group therapy, psychopharmacology, substance abuse, and advanced psychopathology. He started teaching at Brandman in 1997, and in addition to his faculty role, currently provides inpatient and outpatient care for CHI Franciscan Health Care. Dr. Hicks received his medical degree from the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine in 1967. He trained in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, practicing for 20 years, and serving on the faculty at the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine. Dr. Hicks returned to school, training as a Psychiatrist at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii. He completed 36 years of military service in 2004 as Chief, Department of Psychiatry, at Madigan Army Medical Center.

“The exciting thing about teaching at Brandman University is that many students are coming back for a second career,” said Dr. Hicks. “I made a career change at age 50, and was willing to come back and be a student again. I enjoy teaching people who are willing to learn, and willing to make the sacrifices to do that.” Dr. Hicks said he is “appreciative” of the Distinguished Faculty Award, marking the second time he’s been recognized as such. Brandman’s campuses at Joint Base Lewis-McChord recognized him in 2011.

This year’s other recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award is Dr. Ben Lastimado, who teaches classes in human resources and organizational leadership. The current human resources operations manager for the Washington State Patrol also counts on his resume, a 21-year career in the U.S. Army as a human resources officer. There’s the 16 years as a chief labor negotiator, and nine years as a former private consultant. Most importantly for his students, he’s spent nearly 20 years as a professor teaching HR and organizational leadership.

“I started teaching and kept on teaching,” says Lastimado. He finds one of the things he most enjoys about teaching is showing students how to apply what they’re learning to real-life situations. “Most of my students are working students who hold down a full-time job,” explains Lastimado. “I love seeing students have those ‘Aha’ moments when they can take a concept that they’ve read in a book, and then apply it in their workplace.”

Dr. Russell Hicks and Dr. Ben Lastimado will both be honored at Brandman University’s Lacey campus graduation ceremony on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at Indian Summer Golf and Country Club

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