The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) Excellence in Teaching & Learning Awards recognize regular (Maroon Award) and fixed-term (Gold Award) faculty members who go above and beyond what is expected in creating exceptional learning opportunities for our students. The recipients are​ selected by the CLASS Excellence in Teaching & Learning Committee, which is composed of the committee chair Dr. Marcy Taylor, Associate Dean, and a representative from each department within the college.

Our recipients are experts in their fields, effective and creative in promoting student learning, inspire students to high achievement and receive high praise from them in return, and are admired advisors and mentors​ to future educators.​

2020 CLASS Excellence in Teaching Awards

Maroon Award
  • Brittany Fremion, Department of History

Gold Awards
  • Dusty Myers, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work
  • Elizabeth Whitaker, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work

Brittany Fremion - History

Brittany Fremion

The Maroon Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes a ​regular faculty member who goes above and beyond what is expected in creating exceptional learning opportunities for our students. The committee selected Brittany Fremion as this year's winner because she is an expert in her field, she is effective and creative in promoting student learning, she inspires students to high achievement and receives high praise from them in return. 

Dr. Fremion's teaching expertise includes environmental, U.S., women's, and oral histories. She has helped organize and direct the The Michigan PBB Oral History Project. She believes teaching is an important and unique form of activism. 

"My courses are designed to get students out of their comfort zones, listen with open minds, and attempt to digest and understand the significance of multiple perspectives," said Fremion. "My goal is to inspire them to create proactive, passionate, and informed responses to the many issues and events influencing their lives, making my courses valuable not only on paper, but beyond the walls of the classroom."

Her impact is perhaps best summed up by the words of the students and colleagues who nominated her.

One of her students wrote: "Her commitment to student success inspired me to do well in her class. Her ability to consubstantiate with students made all the difference--she really gets how to work with college students. Her teaching style is very engaging . . ."

Her department chair wrote: "Dr. Fremion is one of our department's most effective, innovative, and best loved instructors, and her nomination for this award is richly deserved."

Brittany Fremion surprise award announcement through video call.
Brittany Fremion's surprise video meeting announcement that she received the award.

Dusty Myers - Sociology

Dusty Myers

The Gold Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes a ​fixed-term faculty member who goes above and beyond what is expected in creating exceptional learning opportunities for our students. The committee selected Dusty Myers as one of this year’s winners because he is an expert in his field, he is effective and creative in promoting student learning, he inspires students to high achievement and receives high praise from them in return.

Dr. Myers is known for his expertise in and enthusiasm for the content he teaches, his detail-oriented preparation and organization skills, and his respect for students’ voices, ideas, and non-academic lives. His teaching expertise includes cultural anthropology, cultures of Africa--with a focus on development in Ghana, racism and discrimination, social justice in a global society, and intercultural dialogues. He co-designed a faculty-led study abroad course to Ghana.

His impact is perhaps best summed up by the words of the students and colleagues who nominated him.

One of his students wrote: "He inspires students to deepen their own learning, build critical thinking skills, and apply their knowledge to the real world."

Another student wrote: "He doesn't just teach at us, but with us, as learning is never ending."

Another student wrote: "Our class learned so much from his teachings, and I can confidently say that he was one of the best professors I had at Central Michigan University. I couldn't think of a better person to receive an excellence in teaching and learning award."

His department chair wrote: "Creating an environment of trust so that students feel free to ask questions and comment takes patience and focus on the students. Dusty spends time developing this positive learning environment, and the students benefit from it."

Dusty Myers surprise award announcement through video call.
Dusty Myers' surprise video meeting announcement that he received the award.

Elizabeth Whitaker - Sociology

Elizabeth WhitakerThe Gold Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes a ​fixed-term faculty member who goes above and beyond what is expected in creating exceptional learning opportunities for our students. The committee selected Elizabeth Whitaker as one of this year’s winners because she is an expert in her field, she is effective and creative in promoting student learning, she inspires students to high achievement and receives high praise from them in return.

Dr. Whitaker's teaching expertise includes quantitative analysis, research methods, family and society, and sociology of work. She is a dedicated teacher who says her first concern is the development of students into thoughtful and capable thinkers with the confidence and skills to contribute to their communities and be successful in their chosen pursuits. 

"Like most sociology professors, I want students to really see the role of social forces in individual lives," said Whitaker. "I want them to have trouble taking their ‘sociologist hat’ off as they go through life, always seeing that connection being the individual and society, always seeing more than is right on the face of things. I want to have students’ level of excitement and passion to act grow under my tutelage; and even further, I want to help them be in a position to be effective in their actions by improving their written and oral communication skills."

Her impact is perhaps best summed up by the words of the students and colleagues who nominated her.

One of her colleagues wrote: "Dr. Whitaker is a student favorite and is known to be empathetic, patient and engaging. She has consistently gone beyond the extra mile concerning her availability to her students. For instance, students who are not even in her classes frequently seek her out for help."

Her department chair wrote: "Beth Ann teaches sociological statistical methods, social problems, family studies, and social inequality courses. Her classes are among the first to fill: students talk about her reputation for clarity in teaching each course's subject matter. She designs projects in her social methods classes (both social statistics and upper-level methods classes) so that students gain specific skills in applying quantitative methods to social problems. Students leave her classes knowing how to use these methods in any professional field they enter." 

Elizabeth Whitaker surprise award announcement through video call.  
Elizabeth Whitaker's surprise video meeting announcement that she received the award.