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Honoring faculty for teaching and service

Eight awards highlight leadership, inspiration in the classroom

Contact: Heather Smith

​Eight Central Michigan University faculty members will be recognized for their impact on students at the Faculty Excellence Exhibition on Thursday, March 23. Teaching and service award recipients are selected based on their commitment to students and creativity in teaching. 

Of these eight faculty members, one will receive the Faculty Distinguished Service Award, one will receive the Lorrie Ryan Memorial Excellence in Teaching Award and five will be honored with Excellence in Teaching Awards. Additionally, one faculty member will receive the Student Choice Award for Excellence in Teaching.

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.

En-Bing Lin, mathematics, has served in an important role within Multicultural Academic Student Services by coordinating the supplementary instruction program and helping establish several foundation mathematics online summer camps for incoming freshmen. He has served on several university committees, supervised seven doctoral students and worked with 32 undergraduate students on various projects the past eight years.

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. This year's recipient is Robert Miller, business information systems.

"Dr. Miller helps students function as real teams. Students feel they belong and own the class, that they provide an active role in making the class experience successful. Students freely help other students in appropriate ways to see that content is mastered," a colleague noted.

Excellence in Teaching Awards

These awards were created by Academic Senate to provide special recognition to faculty members who exceed the usual standards and expectations.

  • Brittany Bayless Fremion, history, views teaching as an important and unique form of activism. Her goal is to "inspire students to create proactive, passionate and informed responses to the many issues influencing their lives, making her courses valuable not only on paper, but beyond the walls of the classroom."
  • Kelly J. Murphy, philosophy and religion, seeks to inspire students to learn, to strive for excellence, and to make connections between course content and everyday life.
  • Tierney Popp, human environmental studies, is described as respectful of students and that, because she shares her past higher education challenges and accomplishments with students, "she is very inspirational in terms of learning." 
  • Kyle C. Scherr, psychology, teaches with three main principles: communication, community and diversity. One student said, "Dr. Scherr renewed my enthusiasm for my research, helped me rebuild my confidence in attaining my goals, but maybe more importantly, he renewed my faith in the process and value of my advanced degree."
  • Holly Hoffman, human environmental studies, believes teaching is an opportunity "to create an environment that is enriched and supportive. I believe creativity, open-mindedness, and the ability to build a level of trust and security are key." She especially loves being a mentor to students.

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 creative excellence in overall instructional effectiveness. This year's recipient is Jennifer Kitchen Schaeffer, music.

One student described her class as "feeling like home, which makes students excited to go. Everyone worked together, and it was just one big learning community that extended to all sections of their classes. If I could have her as an instructor for every class, I would."

The 2017 Faculty Excellence Exhibition will take place at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, in the Bovee University Center Rotunda. Other awards presented will include three President's Awards for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity and two Provost's Awards for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity.

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