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Nov. 10, 2006
CONTACT: Leigh Soltis

Eastern Michigan University regents award emeritus status to four

YPSILANTI — The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents granted emeritus status to two former staff members and two former faculty at its regular meeting Nov. 14.

To be awarded emeritus status, faculty and staff must have served EMU for at least 15 years and be nominated for emeritus faculty status upon retirement.

Staff granted emeritus status are:

• Theophilus Hamilton, College of Education satellite office coordinator, career services center, retired after 37 years of service. Hamilton, of Ypsilanti, received his master’s degree in school administration; his bachelor’s degree in music education; and his specialist’s degree in education leadership, all from Eastern Michigan University.

Hamilton became the first African-American teacher in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula when he accepted a position with the Pickford Public Schools in 1955. He later served as principal and assistant principal with the Highland Public Schools and, upon request of President Sponberg, became EMU’s first black professional in 1967. For almost four decades, Hamilton helped tens of thousands of students and alumni prepare for and find teaching and administrative positions. His unique combination of optimism, professionalism and genuine concern for people led to countless awards from the University, the community and his profession.

• Jill Nugent, teacher/placement specialist, department of mathematics, retired after 20 years of service. Nugent received both her master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Eastern Michigan University.

Nugent, of Canton, was an integral part of the developmental mathematics program, helping to shape its goals, philosophy and methods. One of her greatest contributions has been enabling students to succeed in programs that they thought were out of reach due to weak mathematical skills and background. Her hard work and dedication have helped numerous students prove to themselves that they were capable of mastering, and even enjoying, a subject that had previously represented only fear and frustration.

Faculty granted emeritus status are:

• Stuart Karabenick, professor, department of psychology, retired after 40 years of service.

Karabenick, of Ann Arbor, received his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan.

Karabenick has been an active researcher in the areas of teaching and learning. He has written articles which have appeared in some of psychology’s most prestigious and competitive journals, and his research projects have attracted substantial amounts of external funding. As director of the Center for Research Support, Karabenick assisted countless faculty and students in their research efforts. In addition, he worked to promote the use of computers in instruction and helped to develop the Center for Instructional Computing.

• Patricia Williams, professor, department of art, retired after 30 years of service. Williams has a bachelor’s degree from Carlton College and a master’s degree from Indiana University.

Williams, of Brighton, has an extensive exhibition record and has received many awards over the years. She is a superb weaver, highly skilled in the use of optical color mixing for Jacquard tapestry weaves. While at EMU, Williams inspired hundreds of students who now work as teachers and professional artists. She continues to be engaged in professional development, actively pursuing textile experiments while creating and exhibiting new work. She served on the art department’s assessment steering, advisory and scholarship committees.




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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