by Geoff Larcom, Published March 24, 2011
LANSING - Eastern Michigan's Robert Winning has been selected as a recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Professor of the Year award, sponsored by the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan.
Winning, a professor of biology, is one of four winners of the fifth annual award.
"Higher education is one of the few good investments in these hard economic times," said Michael Boulus, Executive Director of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, "We need to honor those who continue to contribute to its success and produce well prepared and intelligent graduates of Michigan's 15 public universities. These outstanding professors are actively involved in developing the minds of Michigan's future, and deserve recognition for their work."
The Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year recognition program recognizes the outstanding contributions made by the faculty from Michigan's public universities to the education of undergraduate students. Each of Michigan's 15 public universities were invited by the Presidents Council to nominate a faculty member who has had a significant impact on student learning through various mediums, including work in the classroom and student advising.
In honoring Winning, the Presidents Council described him in this way: "(Winning) approaches his work with innovation, thoughtful engagement, and effective incorporation of technology. Dr. Winning was the 2009 recipient of the EMU Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Award (at EMU) in teaching, and has made a significant impact on student learning in and out of the classroom. From curriculum development to service to the university community, he is committed to serving all students who seek guidance, mentoring, and career development.
Winning has said he values his experience at Eastern because teaching is emphasized along with research. "
"I always valued teaching, so when I looked for a faculty position, I wanted to find a place that would allow me to do both teaching and research. EMU offered me the balance I was looking for." Winning said. "My interactions with undergraduate students in the classroom and in my laboratory have been hugely rewarding. To receive an award for doing what I love almost makes me feel guilty."
Winning says that to him, teaching is like making an investment in Michigan.
"Our students are the future of this state," he said. "We need to make that investment in their education to bring the state back and get it moving forward again."
Winning earned his bachelors and masters at the University of Calgary (Alberta) and his doctorate at the University of Waterloo (Ontario). His general research interests concern the molecular analysis of early developmental events in amphibian embryogenesis. He studies how cellular interactions and cell signaling affect cell fate and cell behavior in embryos.
Other winners included Paul Kelso, of the department of geology and physics at Lake Superior State University; Robert LaDuca, Jr., who teaches science at Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University; and Gopalan Srinivasan, of the department of physics at Oakland University.
The Presidents Council will host an awards luncheon on May 12 at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing.