May 1, 2020

Academic Recognition Week celebrates faculty, staff virtually

As the winter 2020 semester concludes, faculty and academic staff from across campus will be celebrated for their contributions to the university, academic community and professional development during Academic Recognition Week. Hosted May 4–8 in place of the traditional in-person ceremony led by President M. Roy Wilson and Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Keith E. Whitfield, Academic Recognition Week will virtually honor the accomplishments of individuals nominated by their peers. The week will also include ongoing communications and social media shout-outs, so be sure to follow @WSUFacSuccess on Twitter.

“Wayne State University’s core mission is to prepare our diverse student body to thrive. These individuals have helped us fulfill that responsibility through their exceptional service, scholarship, and teaching and mentoring,” said Wilson. 

“I am pleased to be able to celebrate faculty, academic staff and graduate students who have achieved significant accomplishments in furthering the mission of Wayne State,” said Whitfield. “Their work is inspiring to us all, and I thank them for their dedication and commitment.”

The President’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching recognizes faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to teaching. Since 1977, 278 faculty members have been recognized with this honor. This year’s recipients are:

  • Nicole Coleman, assistant professor, department of classical and modern languages, literatures and cultures in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Shooshan Danagoulian, assistant professor, department of economics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Brandon Hensley, lecturer, department of communication in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts
  • Michelle Jacobs, assistant professor, department of sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Adrienne Jankens, assistant professor, department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Aaron Martin, senior lecturer in the Irvin D. Reid Honors College
  • Alisa Moldavanova, associate professor, department of political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • David Pitts, associate professor, department of pharmaceutical science in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Lee Wurm, professor, department of psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Sandra Yarema, assistant professor (clinical), division of teacher education in the College of Education

The Charles H. Gershenson & Board of Governors Distinguished Faculty Fellowship Awards recognize faculty members whose continuing achievements and current activities in scholarship, research, or the fine and performing arts are nationally distinguished. The Charles H. Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Fellowships are part of the benefaction to Wayne State by the late Charles H. Gershenson, who served on the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors Distinguished Faculty Fellowships are derived from revenues especially available to the board. The term of each fellowship is two years. Since 1985, 87 Charles H. Gershenson Fellowships and 91 Board of Governors Fellowships have been awarded. This year’s recipients are:

Charles H. Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Fellowship:

  • Anne Duggan, professor, department of classical and modern languages, literatures and cultures in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Board of Governors Distinguished Faculty Fellowship:

  • Ljiljana Progovac, professor, department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The president is authorized to create a new faculty classification of Distinguished Service Professor. This classification is to be used in rare instances to designate senior faculty members who have made extraordinary contributions to the university outside their own disciplines or who, by unusual service outside the university, have brought great honor and recognition to Wayne State.

2018-2019 recipients:

  • Herman Gray, department of pediatrics in the School of Medicine
  • Loraleigh Keashly, department of communication in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts
  • Peter Lichtenberg, Institute of Gerontology, Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute
  • Kameshwari Pothukuchi, department of urban studies and planning in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • William Volz, department of accounting in the Mike Ilitch School of Business

2019-2020 recipients:

  • Marc Kruman, department of history in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Daphne Ntiri, department of African American studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Frederic Pearson, Center for Peace and Conflict Studies

The Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Awards are given each year to members of the regular full-time faculty in recognition of a work of merit brought to fruition in the 12-month period immediately preceding the year of the award. The work of merit is a single act or event that constituted an outstanding contribution to scholarship and learning. Since 1975, 223 faculty members have received this award. This year’s recipients are:

  • Henry (Hong-Qiang) Heng, professor, Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics in the School of Medicine
  • Yuson Jung, associate professor, department of anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Elena Past, associate professor, department of classical and modern languages, literatures and cultures in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Ljiljana Progovac, professor, department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Sarah Trimpin, professor, department of chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The Murray E. Jackson University Creative Scholar in the Arts Award supports a faculty-artist in residence program. This presidential initiative showcases exceptional faculty talent in the traditional performing, creative and visual arts, as well as more non-traditional arts, in pursuit of the university’s missions. This annual award was created to honor the memory of Murray E. Jackson, a valued member of the WSU community who was a poet, professor, and community and civil rights activist who served on the Board of Governors from 1981 to 2001.

  • Christopher Collins, professor, department of music in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts

Career Development Chairs are awarded to as many as 10 recently tenured faculty as part of the university’s program to support the teaching and research endeavors of faculty members in the developmental stages of their scholarly careers. Since 1982, 263 faculty members have held Career Development Chairs. This year’s recipients are:

  • Danielle Aubert, associate professor, department of art and art history in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts
  • Jennifer Hart, associate professor, department of history in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Yuson Jung, associate professor, department of anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Chera Kee, associate professor, department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Noa Ofen, associate professor, Institute of Gerontology, division of research, and department of psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Jennifer Stockdill, associate professor, department of chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Ryan Thummel, associate professor, department of ophthalmology, visual and anatomical sciences in the School of Medicine
  • Abderrahman Zouhir, associate professor, department of classical and modern languages, literatures and cultures in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Academic Staff Awards

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes significant service to students, the university, department or community organizations, and committee work or other service beyond job responsibility. This year’s recipient is:

  • Diane Fears, director, public interest and judicial clerkship advisor in the Wayne State University Law School Office of Career and Professional Development; director of the Wayne Law Student Voluntary Pro Bono Program

The Professional Achievement Award is given for demonstrated leadership, significant accomplishments in professional organizations, and presentations and/or publications. This year’s recipient is:

  • Shantalea Johns, academic services officer and part-time faculty in the School of Social Work

The Outstanding Contributor Award is presented in recognition of significant accomplishments during the previous academic year and emerging leadership among junior academic staff. This year’s recipients are:

  • Jozyane Hayek, academic services officer, division of pharmacy in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Nawana Lawson, academic services offer and solutions room manager, department of chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  

The Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award recognizes outstanding scholarly activities that have contributed significantly to WSU’s graduate programs. Since 1974, 49 graduate faculty members have earned the Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award. This year’s recipient is:

  • Jeff Pruchnic, associate professor, department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award honors graduate faculty who are recognized by their departments and their graduate students as excellent mentors. This year’s recipients are:

  • Matthew Allen, professor and chair, department of chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Stephen Chrisomalis, associate professor, department of anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Maik Hüttemann, professor, Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics in the School of Medicine
  • Julie Novak, associate professor, department of communication in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts

The Outstanding Graduate Director Service Awards are co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Graduate School to highlight the important service by graduate directors in advancing graduate education in their programs. This year’s recipients are:

  • Kyu-Nahm Jun, associate professor, department of political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Jeremy Kodanko, associate chair and associate professor, department of chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Jeffrey Stanley, professor, department of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences in the School of Medicine

The Garrett T. Heberlein Endowed Awards for Excellence in Teaching recognize graduate students who demonstrate instructional excellence. The award is designed to elevate the attention given to teaching as part of graduate education while preparing graduate students to serve as college and university teachers. This year’s recipients are:

  • Christine Cook, Ph.D. candidate, department of history in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Annamarie Formicola, Ph.D. candidate, department of physics and astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Despina Tsitlakidou, Ph.D. candidate, department of biological sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Learn more about awards and recognition from the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs online. Additional information about faculty and staff development and success initiatives can be found online at provost.wayne.edu/resources/facultysuccess.