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Feb. 26, 2004
CONTACT: Carol Anderson

Two EMU lecturers honored for outstanding teaching achievements

YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University lecturers Pamela Becker, interdisciplinary technology, and Annette Wannamaker, English language and literature, have received the 2003 EMU Full-time Lecturers Outstanding Teaching Award. Each was awarded a plaque and $1,000.

The two were selected from among 120 eligible full-time lecturers on campus. The award criteria is based on a lecturer's commitment to the education of students and their ability to facilitate student learning through effective teaching.

"I always loved education. It helps women move ahead and gives them more options in life," said Becker, who once worked on the assembly line at Willow Run before coming to EMU.

One of Becker's major accomplishments was to develop and implement a bachelor's degree in technology management. As program coordinator for this program, she is currently advising students and performing marketing activities with the University and agencies, businesses and industries.   In addition, she worked to establish articulation agreements with community colleges in southeast Michigan so transfer students wouldn't lose credits when transferring into the program.

Becker also designed and taught EMU's on-line course "Understanding Technology," and has incorporated the use of computers and the Internet into her classes and research.

"Her most obvious and impressive traits are her willingness to embrace innovation while demonstrating a high level of concern for students and maintaining very high student expectations," said John Dugger, dean of EMU's College of Technology.

Becker, who lives in Superior Township, has a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, a master's degree from EMU, and is currently working on a doctorate in education leadership at EMU.

"I was in journalism to make the world a better place, but teaching is what I love. The most valuable lesson I've learned has been to listen to students and to adapt to their needs," said Wannamaker, who was a reporter covering higher education in Charlottesville, Va., before coming to EMU.

In her argumentative writing class, she restructured the course for her night students and focused the essays on the role of work and leisure in contemporary America.

"Outstanding teaching is easy to recognize, but difficult to master," said James Knapp, assistant professor, English language and literature department. "Annette works tirelessly to improve the quality of her classes and she makes it look easy."

Wannamaker also took on teaching assignments on short notice and developed courses using innovative ideas. She developed a "Rent-a-Kid" project for her children's literature class where students go out into the community and read to children. Sometimes the students read to a cousin and other times to a child in a homeless shelter. The students then write a paper on their experience.  

Wannamaker, who resides in Ypsilanti, has a bachelor's degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a master's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a doctorate from Bowling Green State University.


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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