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CMU to honor top faculty

Faculty Excellence Exhibition scheduled March 23

Contact: Heather Smith


​Central Michigan University will honor several outstanding faculty members at the 2016 Faculty Excellence Exhibition at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, in Park Library Auditorium. President's and Provost's Awards, Excellence in Teaching Awards, the Faculty Distinguished Service Award, the Lorrie Ryan Memorial Teaching Award and the Student Choice Award for Excellence in Teaching will be presented at that time to 12 faculty members.

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 GetahunSolomon 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 PeraltaJuan 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 physics' top 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 AdhikariPrakash 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 SwartsBenjamin 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

  • 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

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-BlackCarlin 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

Created by the Academic Senate to provide special recognition to faculty members who exceed the usual standards and expectations.

  • Carlin Borsheim-BlackCarlin Borsheim-Black, English language and literature, is described by her students as having unbridled enthusiasm for her subject matter and that her curiosity, intellect, empathy and passion for the discipline is contagious.

  • Joanne DannenhofferJoanne 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
  • 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 modeJennifer Schisal for young scientists by modeling scientific thinking in the classroom, by providing challenging real world problem-solving exercises, and by encouraging deep thinking and spirited debate.

  • Catherine WillermetCatherine 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.


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