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Jan. 13 , 2005
CONTACT: Carol Anderson

Seven professors to be honored with EMU teaching excellence awards Jan. 15

YPSILANTISeven Eastern Michigan University professors will be honored at the 14th Annual Teaching Excellence Awards Jan. 15 at McKenny Union. The event, hosted by the EMU Alumni Association and the Office of Alumni Relations, honors faculty who have distinguished themselves in the classroom. Faculty members are nominated by former students or other faculty.

“The Teaching Excellence Awards are a wonderful way for the alumni association to salute some of EMU’s outstanding teachers. One of EMU’s strengths has always been its faculty and these awards highlight their dedication to providing a quality education for our students,” said Vicki Reaume, executive director of alumni relations at EMU.

The recipients are:

P. George Bird, of Ypsilanti, professor, communication and theatre arts. Bird is being honored

for his 50 years at EMU as a teacher, director, designer, carpenter, electrician, sound engineer, shop supervisor, mentor and custodian. He has directed more than 60 plays and designed scenery and lighting for some 295 theatre productions.

Bird is not only among the best, he is the best, said one of his former students. Having started his career in the circus, he developed a great sense of humor that he uses with entertaining anecdotes from his career in the theatre. His overall knowledge of the theatrical process enables him to reach his students and, after half a century, Professor Bird knows it all and still teaches with the enthusiasm of a first-time professor, said a student. Bird received the 1997 Distinguished Faculty Award for Service and has a doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Betty Beard, of Brooklyn, professor, school of nursing.  Beard, who has been at EMU since 1976, is being honored as an outstanding teacher who is a role model for life-long learning and professionalism. She also is an example for new faculty who are learning to be effective educators and to colleagues who want to be successful researchers, said a former master’s degree student.

Beard designed and implemented the nurse educator certificate in the graduate program and has received a Fulbright Award involving research in Africa, where she worked with children orphaned due to AIDS.  She has a doctoral degree from the University of Michigan.

D. Kay Woodiel, of Canton, associate professor, health promotion/ human performance.  Woodiel is being honored as an outstanding teacher, mentor and resource for her students. She has an ability to translate her passion and scholarly knowledge of health education into an effective program of teaching, said a student. She creates a supportive and intellectually-challenging environment that fosters learning both inside and outside the classroom, said the student. Woodiel received a doctorate from the University of Arkansas.

Phillip Cardon, of Ypsilanti, associate professor, business and technology education. Cardon is being honored for his outstanding abilities as a teacher and his concern for the welfare and achievement of his students. Cardon connects with his students and has high expectations for their achievement, according to colleague Alvin Tessmer. Cardon received the Learning Institute for Technology Education Firefly Award in 2001 for his enthusiasm in the promotion and teaching of technology education. He has a doctorate from The Ohio State University.

Jean Bush-Bacelis, of Novi, professor, school of management. Bush-Bacelis is being honored as a teacher and researcher who inspires her students. Bush-Bacelis exemplifies teaching excellence in her classroom style, her ability to motivate and her long-lasting concern for her students, said a former student. She was a pioneer in the management department in the use of Academic-Service Learning and was one of the first professors in the department to put a course online. She has a doctorate from Wayne State University.

Betsy Morgan, of Canton, department head and professor, foreign languages and bilingual studies. Morgan is being honored for her style of teaching English as a second language. Morgan also creates a classroom atmosphere where students are free to make mistakes while learning the correct use of a word or words. “Dr. Morgan respects and accepts each individual beyond the differences [of] nations and races,” said a student. Morgan has a doctoral degree from SUNY Buffalo.

Michael McGuire, of Ypsilanti, professor of music, and director of music therapy.  McGuire is being honored for his motivational teaching skills and devotion to his students. 

“He has helped make it possible for me to learn to challenge myself and to grow in confidence,” said a former student. McGuire also has been a role model of community service, she said.

McGuire chairs the National Association for Music Therapy Subcommittee on Professional Competencies and is a board member for the Certification Board for Music Therapists. He has a master’s degree from State University College of New York at Fredonia.

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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