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Faculty awarded for achievements in teaching, research at Faculty Excellence Exhibition


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CMU Provost Michael Gealt, right, awards English language and literature faculty April Burke, left, at the Faculty Excellence Exhibition on March 21 in the Bovee University Center Rotunda.

Twelve Central Michigan University faculty members were awarded at the annual Faculty Excellence Exhibition March 21 for their achievements in research, excellent teaching and service. 

The awards included the President's and Provost's Awards for Research and Scholarly Activity, Excellence in Teaching Awards and the Faculty Distinguished Service Award. 

English language and literature faculty Robert Fanning was awarded the Faculty Distinguished Service Award for founding and facilitating "The Wellspring Literary Series."

The Excellence in Teaching Awards for awarded to five faculty members, who each received a plaque and professional development funding. 

This year's winners were:

  • Amy Beth McGinnis, management faculty
  • April Burke, English language and literature faculty
  • Brian DeJong, engineering faculty
  • Carolina Gutiérrez-Rivas, world languages and cultures faculty 
  • Natalie Douglas, communication disorders faculty 

Two separate Excellence in Teaching awards were also presented. Teacher education faculty Shane Cavanaugh won the Lorrie Ryan Memorial Excellence in Teaching Award, an award created to honor the memory of former faculty member Lorrie Ryan. Additionally, art and design faculty Rachael Barron-Duncan was awarded the Student Choice Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The President's Awards for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity were awarded to medical faculty Ute Hochgeschwender and philosophy and religion faculty Guy Newland. The Provost's Awards for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity were awarded to medical faculty Julien Rossignol and music faculty Alicia Marie Valoti. 

"At (CMU) we're about teaching, research and faculty excellence," Davies said. "If we are able to gather as a community and celebrate the excellence teaching, and creative activities and scholarship, it exemplifies what Central Michigan University is all about."   

The event was sponsored by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and the President's Office. 

To receive one of the accolades, the faculty's colleagues and peers had to send in letters of recommendations, nominations and proposals. Once those were sent in, an evaluation committee read them and sent names of candidates to the president and provost.

The committee also analyzes the material of each candidate. Nominated faculty members present their own materials that can range from published papers and books to artwork and music CDs. Once they've reviewed all the nomination proposals and the provided materials, the committee awards the winners. 

"I do think it's important to acknowledge faculty, we do a lot of work to help our students be successful," Burke said. "I also think it's important to be in a supportive environment and the students play a huge factor in the success of the faculty."

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