May 22, 2024

Academic Recognition Ceremony celebrates faculty, staff excellence

Following the winter 2024 semester, faculty and academic staff from across campus were celebrated for their contributions to the university, academic community and professional development. Faculty and staff members were recognized at the annual Academic Recognition Ceremony. View photos from the event here.  

"I’m so impressed by our incredible faculty and staff, whose dedication is critical as we work together to fulfill the shared promise in our Prosperity Agenda to better the lives of our students, push the boundaries of knowledge further, and strengthen the bonds that interconnect Wayne State and our community,” said President Kimberly Andrews Espy, Ph.D. “Their efforts are propelling Wayne State’s future.”  

“Wayne State’s faculty and staff continue to go above and beyond to support Wayne State University’s core mission of providing a world-class education and being an engine for opportunity,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Laurie Lauzon Clabo. “I am grateful for the innovative spirit that so many leaders on campus have displayed in their exceptional service, scholarship, and teaching and mentoring. Their work is an inspiration for us all.”  

2024 Academic Recognition Awardees 

Faculty Awards 

The President’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching recognize faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to teaching. This year’s recipients are: 

  • Ronald Brown, professor, Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

  • Erin Carmany, associate professor (clinical), Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics in the School of Medicine 

  • Simone Chess, associate professor, Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

  • Helen Durand, associate professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science in the College of Engineering 

  • Katie MacDonald, assistant professor (teaching), James Pearson Duffy Department of Art, Art History and Design in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts  

  • Andrea Matti, assistant professor (teaching), Department of Chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  

  • Tim Moran, assistant professor (teaching), Irvin D. Reid Honors College 

  • Sylvia Taschka, associate professor (teaching), Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

  • Caisheng Wang, professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering 

  • Mary Width, associate professor (teaching), Department of Nutrition & Food Service in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

The Charles H. Gershenson and Board of Governors Distinguished Faculty Fellowships 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. 

This year’s Charles H. Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Fellowship recipients are: 

  • Moh Malek, professor, Department of Health Care Sciences in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences 

  • Claude Pruneau, professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

This year’s Board of Governors Distinguished Faculty Fellowship recipients are: 

  • Kirsten Matoy Carlson, professor, Law School 

  • Carolyn Loh, professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

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. This year’s recipients are: 

  • Maik Hüttemann, professor, Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics in the School of Medicine 

  • Daniel Isaksen, professor, Department of Mathematics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

  • Michelle Jacobs, associate professor, Department of Sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

  • Daniel Kashian, professor, Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

  • Kidada Williams, professor, Department of History 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 nontraditional 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. 

  • Norah Duncan IV, professor, Department of Music in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts  

Career Development Chairs are awarded to as many as 8 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. This year’s recipients are: 

  • Helen Durand, associate professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science in the College of Engineering 

  • Michael Fuhlhage, associate professor, Department of Communication in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts  

  • Sarah Lenhoff, associate professor, Division of Administrative and Organizational Studies in the College of Education 

  • Julie Lesnik, associate professor, Department of Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  

  • Samantha Noël, associate professor, James Pearson Duffy Department of Art, Art History and Design in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts  

  • Aaron Rury, associate professor, Department of Chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

  • Marianna Sadagurski, associate professor, Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

  • Chun Shen, associate professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

Academic Staff Awards 

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

  • Veronica Bielat, Librarian IV, University Libraries 

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:  

  • Geoffrey Jones, academic services officer II, School of Social Work 

  • Lauren Orr, academic advisor II, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

The General Education Teaching Award recognizes instructors at all levels who have demonstrated excellence. This year’s recipients are: 

  • Lauren Duquette-Rury, associate professor, Department of Sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  

  • Peter Marra, assistant professor (teaching), Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  

  • Felice Sperone, assistant professor (teaching), Department of Environmental Science and Geology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  

The Community Engagement Award recognizes full-time or part-time faculty member(s), academic staff member(s), or faculty-staff team(s) in recognition of community-based research, creative activities, teaching and service collaborations that positively impact both the community and scholarship. This year’s recipients are:  

  • Rhonda Dailey, assistant professor (research), Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences in the School of Medicine 

  • Joseph Fava, assistant professor (clinical), Department of Pharmacy Practice in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences 

  • Holly Feen-Calligan, professor, Division of Theoretical and Behavioral Foundations in the College of Education 

  • Saeed Khan, associate professor (teaching), Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

  • Tareq Ramadan, adjunct professor, Department of Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

  • Krysta Ryzewski, chair in the Department of Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

Academy of Teachers 2023-24 Inductees 

The Academy of Teachers (AoT) is committed to promoting the shared value and culture of teaching excellence and student achievement at Wayne State University. The AoT strives to engage faculty, students and staff in conversations about learning, and to move from conversations to concrete actions that improve the educational experience for all students. It also works to encourage policies at the university, local, state and national levels that support teachers, and promote and reward effective teaching. The academy selects up to five new members each year from nominees who have had a significant impact on the WSU undergraduate learning experience, practice innovative pedagogy and demonstrate instructional excellence. This year’s inductees are:  

  • Mohsen Ayoobi, associate professor, Division of Engineering Technology in the College of Engineering  

  • Lisabeth Hock, associate professor, Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

  • Katie MacDonald, assistant professor (teaching), James Pearson Duffy Department of Art, Art History and Design in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts  

  • Katheryn Maguire, professor, Department of Communication in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts 

  • MaryAnne Stewart, assistant professor (clinical), Department of Medical Laboratory Science in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences  

The Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award recognizes outstanding scholarly activities that have contributed significantly to WSU’s graduate programs. This year’s recipient is: 

  • Jazlin Ebenezer, professor, Division of Teacher Education in the College of Education  

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

  • Donovan Hohn, professor, Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

  • Zhenfei Liu, assistant professor, Department of Chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

  • Jessica Robbins-Panko, associate professor, Department of Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

  • Ryan Thummel, associate professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Visual and Anatomical Sciences in the School of Medicine 

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: 

  • Jeremy Kodanko, associate professor, Department of Chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  

  • Robert Wessells, associate professor, Department of Physiology in the School of Medicine  

  • Zhengping Yi, professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences  

The Garrett T. Heberlein Endowed Awards for Excellence in Teaching recognize graduate students who demonstrate instructional excellence. The awards are 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: 

  • Iryna Hatala, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

  • Kristi Morris, Ph.D. candidate, Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

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