Provost's Wednesday Briefing - January 8, 2020

Student Success

Institutional Priority #1:

Promote Student Engagement & Success

Call for Applications: Undergraduate Research Stimulus Program

The Undergraduate Research Office invites undergraduate students, with the assistance of their faculty mentors, to submit applications for the Summer 2020 Undergraduate Research Stimulus Program (URSP) Award.

The URSP is intended to facilitate research partnerships between undergraduate students and Eastern Michigan University faculty.  Successful student applicants will receive a $2,000 fellowship in support of their research efforts.  The collaborating faculty member may receive $500, which can be used for lab/studio supplies or equipment, professional travel, or other professional expenses.  Applications will be accepted through February 17, 2020.  Information on the application process and award guidelines are available online.

Reminder: Signature Learning Arc Dialogue

The Bringing Theory to Practice grant team invites the campus community to participate in the second in a series of three dialogues about creating a signature learning arc at EMU. The first session focused on the first year component of a signature learning experience, while this dialogue will consider the middle component from sophomore to junior year.  The data from the November dialogue is being analyzed and an executive summary will be shared in January. From information gathered in the post-dialogue feedback form, we will convene a working group to design the first year experience in Winter 2020.

Please consider joining this important conversation on January 10, 2020.  Refreshments and socializing begin at 9:45 a.m. The dialogue will run from 10 a.m. to noon in room 310A of the Student Center. RSVP online today!

You’re Invited!  An Evening with Michael W. Twitty

On January 15, 2020 the EMU Center for Jewish Studies and Hillel at Eastern Michigan University present "An Evening with James Beard Award-Winning Author Michael Twitty" at 7 p.m. in the Ballroom of the EMU Student Center.  Winner of the 2018 James Beard Foundation Book of the Year Award for The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South, Michael is an African American, Jewish, gay, culinary historian and activist.  At the event, he will discuss food, identity, and "Navigating Intersectionality." There will be a dish from a Michael Twitty KosherSoul recipe and a book-signing as well.  This lecture is free and open to the public.

Tell Your Teaching Story and Win a $1,000 Scholarship

The Liggit Family and Friends Teaching & Learning Partnership Scholarship endowment annually awards a $1,000 scholarship to an instructor-student pair who exemplify an outstanding example of an effective teaching and learning partnership. Applicants will describe how each contributed to the process of creating this partnership in learning. The $1,000 award will be split between the instructor and student. (spacing?)  The student need not be enrolled the semester the award is given.

All tenured and tenure-track faculty, full- or part-time lecturers, and adjunct faculty are encouraged to apply. The student may be an undergraduate or graduate and must be in good standing with all university policies. The winner of the Teaching and Learning Partnership will be announced on April 17, 2020 in conjunction with the Thank-an-Eagle Celebration from 9:30–10:00 a.m.

Academics & Research

Institutional Priority #2:

High Performing Academic Programs & Quality Research

Eastern Faculty Secures NSF Grant

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Eric Portenga, Assistant Professor, Geography and Geology, on his recent $221,014 award from the National Science Foundation for his project, “RUI: Quantifying the effects of wildfire burning on 10Be concentrations in river sand – A study of the Woosley Fire, Santa Monica Mountains, CA.”  This award is further evidence of Eastern’s continued success and commitment to involving undergraduate students in research in a meaningful way.  

Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activity Showcase

The Office of Research Development and Administration is hosting the third annual faculty research showcase and strolling reception on March 19, 2020.  In conjunction with the George Liepa Sigma Xi Lecture, this event celebrates faculty and their recently disseminated research, scholarly, and creative activity.  All tenured and tenure-track faculty are invited to display posters, journal articles, books, artwork, videos of performing arts, etc., that highlight scholarly/creative activities from the 2019 calendar year.  Applications are due by February 7. Space is limited and places are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so submit your application early!

Graduate Students Publish Article in Journal of Professional Nursing

Congratulations to Nursing graduate students Melissa Kachaturoff and Michelle Gee and faculty Meriam Caboral-Stevens and Virginia Lan on their recently published article in the Journal of Professional Nursing, “Effects of peer-mentoring on stress and anxiety levels of undergraduate nursing students: An integrative review.” 

You’re Invited! CONNECT Mini-Conference

The CONNECT Mini-Conference is a day to celebrate, create, and communicate together across disciplines and departments. Join the Faculty Development Center and EMU partners for the 9th Annual event packed full of presentations, demos, giveaways, with snacks and a light lunch included. Drop in for one or two sessions or stay the whole day.  Learn about the eFellows grant program, SoTL and Research Writer's Collaboratives, CANVAS, high impact practices, research strategies and much, much more!

Register today and join us on February 14, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., in Halle Library. 

Reminder: Call for Nominations – Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Awards

The Faculty Senate is pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted for the Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Awards for tenure-track and tenured faculty. The awards are offered annually in the following categories: Teaching I, Teaching II, Research I, Research II, Creative Activity, and Service.  Nominations will be accepted through January 20, 2020. Information on the nomination process and award guidelines are available online.

Faculty Research Fellowship and Sabbatical Proposal Writing Workshops

Are grant proposal rejections getting you down? Faculty who come to these sessions have an 80% success rate for receiving the FRF or Sabbatical award because they get tips on writing a successful grant, get their questions answered about the application, submission, and review process, AND receive important peer-feedback on their proposal drafts. The workshops consist of two 1.5-hour sessions presented on different days, Day 1 and Day 2:

  • Day 1 - A University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee (URSLC) representative and FDC Director will go over academic writing verses grant writing differences, the grant application requirements and strategies for writing successful proposals, and provide model proposals from previous winners.
  • Day 2 - Bring 2 copies of your draft! Peers read and provide valuable feedback for revising application narratives.

Find the workshop dates that fit into your schedule and register today!

  • Monday, Jan. 13, 9–10:30 a.m. and Monday, Jan. 27, 9–10:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 16, 3:30–5:00 p.m. and Thursday, Jan. 23, 3:30–5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 21, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Jan. 28, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Service & Engagement

Institutional Priority #3:

Service & Engagement

Star Speaker Series Features Dr. Zuzana Tomaš

Dr. Zuzana Tomaš, Associate Professor, World Languages, will reflect on the development and impact of a service-learning study abroad program that enhances the lives of teachers from Eastern Michigan University and learners, educators, and families in an underserved Montenegrin community. We hope you can attend this exciting talk on January 14 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. in the Honors College Auditorium.

Academic Service-Learning Highlight

Congratulations to EMU Associate Professors Raul Leon and Rhonda Kraai on their recently published article in the International Journal of Research on Service-Learning & Community Engagement, “Preparing Teachers for Special Education: Lessons from a Service-Learning Class.”  Their study focused on the experiences of 27 students majoring in special education who completed a service-learning course on intellectual and developmental disabilities.  This publication further highlights the value of experiential learning and our connection to the Ypsilanti community.  Read the full article here.

Effective Operations

Institutional Priority #4

Institutional Effectiveness

You’re Invited! New Employee Welcome Reception

All University employees are invited and encouraged to attend the next New Employee Welcome Reception on Friday, January 10, from 12:15 – 1 p.m. in the Atrium of Strong Hall.  This event is held three times per year to encourage current EMU employees to meet and interact with new employees who have joined the University in recent months. Heavy hor d’oeuvres will be served and no RSVP is required.  We hope to see you there!

Personnel Updates

Please join us in congratulating these colleagues on their new leadership roles!

  • Julie Becker, Interim Director, School of Technology and Professional Services Management
  • Mehmet Yaya, Interim Department Head, Economics

CPR and AED Training Available

Faculty and Staff are encouraged to participate in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) certification training.  Reserve your spot at an upcoming training by emailing Katherine Wilhoff, Director of Environmental Health and Safety, at [email protected].

  • January 14, 8:30 a.m. – noon
  • February 12, 1:30 – 5 p.m.
  • March 19, 8:30 a.m. – noon
  • April 20, 1:30 – 5 p.m.
  • May 15, 8:30 a.m. – noon
  • June 16, 1:30 – 5 p.m.

All trainings will be held in 300 Halle.

Mark Your Calendar

Be sure to bookmark the EMU Today site to keep current with all the news and events taking place on campus!


  • January 10 - Signature Learning Arc Dialogue @ 10 a.m., Student Center 310A
  • January 10 - New Employee Welcome Reception @ 12:15 p.m., Strong Hall Atrium
  • January 15 - An Evening with Michael Twitty @ 7 p.m., Student Center Ballroom
  • January 20 -- Martin Luther King, Jr. President’s Luncheon @ 11:30 a.m.
  • February 14 -- CONNECT Mini-Conference, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Halle Library