Outstanding EMU faculty members to be honored with Teaching Excellence Awards

by Pamela Young, Published October 21, 2011

YPSILANTI: Eastern Michigan University alumni and students have voted for the best of the best in teaching, and six outstanding professors have "made the grade" for the impact they've had on the EMU community and their students' lives.

The winners will be presented with EMU's Teaching Excellence Award, Saturday, Oct. 29, 9:30 a.m., in the Student Center ballroom, 900 Oakwood, Ypsilanti. 

The 2011 recipients are:

Ann Arbor

Glenn Walker, professor in biology, is a widely published researcher and a member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. He conducts his classroom in a way that makes students enjoy class and presents a large amount of information in a concise and meaningful way. His attention to detail encourages students to not only appreciate course content, but to relate the material to professional contexts. He has served as a consultant to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, The Department of the Army, and the University of Michigan's Dental Research Institute.


Sally Burton-Hoyle is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education. Described by her students as an inspiration, Burton-Hoyle has a gift for education. An expert in the area of autism, she launched KIDPOWER, a program she developed for siblings of children with disabilities. Her wealth of knowledge benefits her students as they pursue careers in special education. She provides realistic experiences and information to her students during her presentations. Her students say her teaching has made them great and independent teachers.


Geoffrey Hammill is a professor in communication, media and theatre arts. Hammill has taught at Eastern for nearly 25 years and his passion for his field translates effortlessly into his classroom, according to his students. They note that Hammill goes out of his way to assist his students both in and out of the classroom. His nominators cited that his true legacy lies in the relationships he forms with his students. Drawing on his media background, Hammill continuously challenges them to be inspired professionally and to be the best they can be.


Gretchen Reeves is a professor in occupational therapy. An expert in occupational therapy and psychology, Reeves' enthusiasm for academia and the development of research in therapeutic techniques allows her students to benefit from her significant experience. She encourages hands-on learning, and interweaves theory, research and application for the benefit of the EMU community. Her nominators say Reeve's passion for pediatric therapy and children with autism spectrum disorders and emotional impairments makes her an incredible educator.


Jamil Baghdachi, professor in the School of Engineering Technology, was nominated for his work as both a graduate adviser and exceptional educator. Baghdachi's ability to present and effectively teach complex material and intricate scientific concepts has greatly influenced his students. His work in emerging technologies and smart coatings has made an impact in his field, and these skills enhance his effectiveness as a teacher. He currently is coordinator of the polymer technology graduate program, and director of the Coating Research Institute.

Stewart Tubbs, professor of management, is the Darrell H. Cooper Professor of Leadership and former dean of the College of Business at EMU. His nominators said Tubbs always challenges students to perform at their best. His uniquely relevant style of teaching includes incorporating current news stories in his classroom, which has a powerful impact on his students. He is the author of several best-selling books.




Pamela Young

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