Awards and Highlights - April 2016

​​​​​​​​College of Business Administration

Adam Epstein recognized for legal expertise

Adam Epstein, professor of legal studies in the department of finance and law, received the 2016 Betty van der Smissen Leadership Award. This award is presented to an individual who is recognized for leadership and vision in the study of legal aspects of sport and physical activity. Epstein received the award on Feb. 26 at the annual conference in New Orleans of the Sport and Recreation Law Association, the country’s leading association devoted to the teaching and research of sport and recreation law and risk management.​

​​​​College of Communication and Fine Arts

Larry Burditt’s 3-D artwork awarded best in show​

Larry Burditt, chair of CMU’s department of art and design, won best in show for his piece titled “Gender Chess” in the Equality Matters exhibition at the Mildred M. Cox Gallery at William Woods University outside of St. Louis, Missouri. The exhibition — a collection of more than 50 paintings, mixed media, fiber arts, digital arts, 3-D printing and video — focused on societal inequalities and the hopes for a world where those disparities are remedied.

Music students place in national competition

Neil Mueller, assistant professor of music, took a student trumpet septet to the National Trumpet Competition in April. The competition included students from the most renowned music schools in the country, and CMU’s students took third place overall.

College of Education and Human Services

Professor recognized for contributions to veterans

Larry Ashley, CMU counseling and addictions curriculum project manager, has been named Professional of the Year by the Military Counseling Association. Ashley has worked closely with veterans suffering from PTSD, combat trauma, gambling and addictions, and he developed the curriculum for the upcoming Addiction Studies certificate.

College of Science and Engineering

Engineering recognized at SAE Congress

CMU’s SAE Collegiate Branch has been selected as the Class 3 recipient of the 2015 SAE Honeywell Outstanding Collegiate Branch Award, which recognizes SAE Collegiate Branches for exemplary performance in the areas of technical meetings, networking opportunities, promoting SAE membership, activities including the Collegiate Design Series and community service programs.

Benjamin Swarts to receive 2016 Young Researcher Award

The International Carbohydrate Organization recognized Benjamin Swarts, assistant professor of chemistry, as the 2016 Young Researcher Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry. He will receive the award at the upcoming International Carbohydrate Symposium in New Orleans, July 17 through 22, 2016.

Matthew Redshaw awarded DOE Early Career Grant

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Matthew Redshaw, assistant professor of physics, an Early Career Research Program Grant. This is the first time a CMU faculty member has won this award. Of the 720 proposals, only 49 awards were given across all Department of Energy disciplines. Redshaw will receive $750,000 over the next five years.

University News

Office of Institutional Research wins presentation award

The Michigan Association of Institutional Research recognized Robert Roe, executive director of institutional research and planning, and Emma Gunu, research analyst in the Office of Institutional Research, with the best presentation award at a recent annual meeting. The team has been invited to present at the national conference in early June.

University Communications’ photography interns recognized

Photojournalism students and University Communications photography interns Emily Mesner and Claire Abendroth earned high honors in the 2016 Michigan Press Photographers Association Photographer of the Year competition. Mesner was named runner-up College Photographer of the Year, and Abendroth took third place in the category.

President’s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity

This honor was created to allow peers to select and recognize outstanding senior faculty members for scholarship of national and international merit.

  • Solomon Addis Getahun, history, is a distinguished scholar in the field of African and African diaspora history, with a special focus on contemporary Ethiopian refugee and immigrant communities in the United States. He has been awarded national-level funding for support of field research in Africa, including the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. His impressive publication record spans the globe, and he has presented his research at countless conferences throughout his career.
  • Juan Peralta, physics, is an internationally recognized physicist pioneering the development of computational tools for non-collinear magnetism in the density functional theory framework. His work has been cited more than 3,000 times, and he has been invited to speak in countries around the world. Peralta has been at CMU since 2007 and was awarded the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity in 2009. He has published work in some of the top physics journals, including Journal of Chemical Physics and Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation.

Provost’s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity

This honor was created to allow peers to select and recognize accomplished up-and-coming faculty members for scholarship of national and international merit.

  • Prakash Adhikari, political science and public administration, is a widely respected political scientist whose research focuses on comparative politics and international relations, with specific focus on civil war, forced migration and transitional justice. In just the past few years, his research has been widely published in several top-tier journals in the fields of political science, conflict resolution, sociology, anthropology and human rights.
  • Benjamin Swarts, chemistry, uses his research in chemistry and biology to solve the mystery of the deadly disease tuberculosis. Since the creation of his CMU lab in 2013, Swarts has mentored many undergraduate and graduate student researchers and continues to do interdisciplinary work with scientists from around the country. He has published articles in several top journals in his field and has presented at conferences around the U.S.

Faculty Distinguished Service Award

The Office of the Provost created this award in 2002 to acknowledge faculty with a record of sustained and distinguished service.

  • Carl Lee, mathematics, has earned numerous awards during his tenure at CMU and was instrumental in developing one of the first data mining programs in the state.

Lorrie Ryan Memorial Excellence in Teaching Award

This award is given each year to a faculty member who inspires students through exemplary commitment to community service and demonstrates a profound mentorship and respect for others.

  • Carlin Borsheim-Black, English language and literature, is credited with building a strong sense of classroom community and interpersonal relationships, encouraging the celebration of diversity and differences of opinions.

Excellence in Teaching Awards

This honor was created by the Academic Senate to provide special recognition to faculty members who exceed the usual standards and expectations.

  • Carlin Borsheim-Black, English language and literature, is described by her students as having unbridled enthusiasm for her subject matter and that her curiosity, intellect, emphathy and passion for the discipline is contagious.
  • Joanne Dannenhoffer, biology, has a teaching philosophy that states, “I believe excellent teaching is active and engaging, relevant to everyday experiences, and mindful of what students need to learn for success in future courses and careers.”
  • Alysa Lucas, communication and dramatic arts, approaches her teaching realizing that learning is challenging and exciting so her goal is to “fire up the classroom” to motivate students to engage, think, innovate and learn.
  • Jennifer Schisa, biology, is described by a colleague as a strong role model for young scientists by modeling scientific thinking in the classroom, providing challenging real world problem-solving exercises, and encouraging deep thinking and spirited debate.
  • Catherine Willermet, sociology, anthropology and social work, says she designs classroom activities that allow students to deconstruct their biases, adding students are inspired to work toward change when they feel injustice personally.

Student Choice Award for Excellence in Teaching

This award allows students to express their appreciation toward their professors and to recognize a faculty member for their excellence in overall instructional effectiveness.

  • Rachael Nelson, health sciences, is described by a nominee as always having an answer to problems that arose while encouraging students to find their own answers if at all possible. She is the type of professor that goes out of her way to give her students the best experience possible.

CMU Staff honored by Michigan Campus Compact

Michigan Campus Compact recognized Shawna Ross, director of the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center, with the Network Leader award at its annual Michigan Campus Compact Awards Gala April 7. Caitlin Clough and Stephanie Ralls were each recognized with Commitment to Service student awards.

Global Campus staff member honored

Ruthie White, associate director of marketing and sales at CMU’s Global Campus, was chosen as one of Michigan Chronicle’s 2016 Women of Excellence. The award celebrates African-American men and women who inspire others through vision and leadership, exceptional achievements, and participation in community service.

CEHS dean joins elite group of higher education leaders

Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, professor and dean of the College of Education and Human Services, has been named an ACE Fellow for the 2016-2017 academic year. ACE, the major coordinating body for the nation's higher education institutions, represents more than 1,600 college and university presidents and related associations. Nationally, 33 fellows were selected this year following a rigorous application process and nomination by the senior administration of their institutions.

CMU professor awarded Fulbright

CMU statistics professor Felix Famoye has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program grant to Nigeria in mathematics from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Famoye will research and lecture at the University of Lagos as part of a project to conduct research and implement hands-on activities and technology in statistics courses.​