Awards honor faculty excellence and service
Nine faculty recognized for nurturing strong connections inside the classroom
Central Michigan University is celebrating faculty members who set the leadership standard by prioritizing student success, providing rich knowledge-based experiences and nurturing strong connections inside the classroom.
Faculty Distinguished Service Awards
Created by the provost in 2002, the award recognizes faculty members with a record of sustained and distinguished service at CMU. Nominations are reviewed by members of the Instructional Development Advisory Council, a subcommittee of CMU's Academic Senate.
Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work
Susan Grettenberger joined CMU in 2002 as the field director and has been the program director of CMU’s accredited social work program since 2006. Grettenberger is a licensed clinical social worker with her practice experience including direct services and administration, in the areas of child welfare, domestic violence, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS, primarily in Latino communities in Michigan and Chicago.
Department of Biology
Bradley Swanson joined CMU in 2001 and works in the field of conservation genetics. During his time at CMU he has served as the director of Environmental Studies for four years, as the chairperson of the Academic Senate for three years and is currently the director of the Office of Graduate Studies. In addition, he served as the major advisor for 40 Master’s students and mentored 56 undergraduate student researchers at CMU.
Excellence in Teaching Awards
Created by CMU in 1985, the Excellence in Teaching Awards recognize outstanding teaching efforts by faculty. Awardees are selected from faculty members nominated and supported by their peers and students, who then undergo a rigorous selection process by the Excellence in Teaching Awards Committee.
Department of Physical Therapy
John Andraka is an assistant professor of Physical Therapy in the Hebert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions. Andraka designs his classroom activities in an extremely intentional way to convey the subject matter and elicit a productive learning experience for students. He is highly praised and loved by students for providing clear and high expectations for his courses. His biggest asset is his ability to inspire students and encourage them to be curious and ask questions that help their understanding. He builds a sense of community within the classroom by including interactive and collaborative activities within his lessons providing a chance to practice professional collaboration with peers.
Department of Counseling and Special Education
Allison Arnekrans is an associate professor of Counseling and Special Education in the College of Education and Human Services. Her colleagues describe her as warm, enthusiastic and humble. She engages students with respect and integrity and works to include various learning activities in her teaching. Students know they can discuss any concerns or questions they may have with her and frequently seek her out both in her role as a faculty member and as the advisor for the department’s registered student organization, Mu Kappa Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota. Arnekrans adapts to the unique needs and personalities of each group of students she teaches, all while remaining transparent in her expectations and thorough in her instructional design.
Department of Biology
Stephen Juris is an associate professor in Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry within the College of Science and Engineering, teaching at multiple levels. Juris is committed to helping students learn, think and work independently and in teams. His classes are designed to engage students and build their confidence and community. Students say he teaches a difficult subject in a way that was understandable and gives them the tools to study the content on their own time outside of class. Students also say that he is one of the most upbeat and approachable professors.
Department of Theatre and Dance
Keeley Stanley-Bohn is a professor of Theatre in the Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Arts and Media. At the heart of Stanley-Bohn’s teaching is the building of a strong rapport with students. She believes that to set students up for success in their chosen field, they need to understand how valuable they are regardless of status, grades and titles. In her own words, Stanley-Bohn affirms that, “providing guidance from the beginning sets them up for success, and I always honor my word to them.”
School of Health Sciences
Leslie Wallace is a fixed-term faculty member in the Exercise Science Division, School of Health Sciences in the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions. As an educator, she describes herself as a cheerleader and coach encouraging students to become better versions of themselves in and out of the classroom. Colleagues note Wallace uses personal and real-life examples and case studies to illustrate applications and capture students’ interest, helping students visualize and conceptualize processes. This gives students ownership in the course and fosters a sense of community in the classroom.
Student Choice Excellence in Teaching Award
The Student Choice Award allows students to recognize a faculty member for creative excellence in overall instructional effectiveness.
Department of Physical Education and Sport
Daniel Ballou is an assistant professor of Physical Education and Sports within the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions. Ballou has taught facility management, statistics, economics, and finance courses at multiple course levels. Students say he has made math and finance accessible, leaving them wanting more experience. He engages students in discussion, allowing them to develop their own deeper understanding of the material. Ballou’s lessons are designed in a student-friendly manner that gives real-world experience and prepares students for the future.
Lori Ryan Memorial Excellence in Teaching Award
Lorrie Ryan was a faculty member in human environmental studies and an awardee of the 2002 Excellence in Teaching Award. This award, established in 2006, is given in her memory each year to a faculty member who inspires students by building a sense of community within the learning environment and demonstrating a profound mentorship and respect for others.
Department of English Language and Literature
Jeffrey Weinstock is a professor of English Language and Literature in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Students appreciate how Weinstock creates a sense of shared ownership of the learning experience providing them with new ideas and opportunities for exploring life and literature. Described by his students as an instructor with high expectations, he also offers students the support they need to succeed. His enthusiasm and attention to detail are shown in his assignment design and classroom rapport. One student noted, “He really cares about us as people, and this makes us more engaged with his teaching and the rest of the course.”