Provost's Briefing - September 28, 2022

Student Success

Institutional Priority #1:

Promote Student Engagement & Success

U.S. Patent Awarded to EMU Faculty/Student Team

A faculty-student research team at the Coatings Research Institute in GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology (GCET) has been awarded a US Patent. US Patent 11,414,524 describes their invention of the topic, “Organic-Inorganic Polymeric compositions, related articles, and related methods.”  This invention clearly demonstrates our faculty’s contribution to advancement in material science and engineering. This invention can potentially replace hazardous heavy materials used in the metal finishing industry and it also has applications as advanced material for Additive Manufacturing (AM) (3D-printing). 

Dr. Vijay Mannari, who led the team, is proud to share this patent with Hamid Asemani and Himanshu Manchanda, who were students at the time of this invention.  Congratulations to all for showing a clear example of what our students can achieve when appropriately mentored, encouraged, and empowered.

GACET Reports Highest Percentage of African American Students and Graduates

We are happy to report that the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology at Eastern Michigan University has reported the highest percentage of African American students among all private and public similar colleges of engineering in Michigan. 

The American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE)  publishes data every year about the number of students enrolled in all accredited colleges of engineering and technology.  They also publish the number of graduates from each of these universities. More than 15 public and private universities in Michigan reported their numbers to ASEE earlier this year. 

Eastern Michigan University has the highest percentage of African American enrolled students in engineering and technology (11.4%). The State Average is 4.6%.  Better yet, we also report the highest percentage of African American Graduates of our engineering and technology programs (10.5%). The State average is 3.1%. 

Dean Mohamad Qatu credits this success, in part, to the college’s persistent efforts with programs like digital divas and its 'baby' brother program - digital dudes, as well as assertive engagement with the engineering society of Detroit.   

EMU Faculty Deliver Constitution Day Presentation 

Thank you to Drs. Brigid Beaubien, Professor, Teacher Education, and Amanda Maher, Assistant Professor, History and Philosophy on their Constitution Day presentation on educating citizens.  The presentation was well received by the faculty, administrators, and students in attendance and the concluding discussion demonstrated the importance of the topic during a time when the country seems increasingly divided. They provided historical details, including the role of Adonijah Welch and EMU, as a base for the role citizens and educators play in constructing and sustaining democratic values.  Thank you, both, for providing such a dynamic and timely talk! 

Academics & Research

Institutional Priority #2:

High Performing Academic Programs & Quality Research

EMU Faculty Receives Major Award from the Department of Education

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Angie Mann-Wiliams, Associate Professor, Social Work, who was recently awarded a $2.5M Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program Grant.  The purpose of this program is to carry out a coordinated program of evidence-based research, demonstration projects, innovative strategies, and similar activities designed to build and enhance the ability of elementary schools and secondary schools nationwide to identify gifted and talented students and meet their special educational needs. The major emphasis of the program is on serving students traditionally underrepresented in gifted and talented programs, particularly economically disadvantaged, limited English proficient (LEP), and disabled students, to help reduce the serious gap in achievement among certain groups of students at the highest levels of achievement.  Dr. Mann-Williams’ grant will center educational equity with underrepresented/underserved students in SE Michigan and pave the way for Detroit Public Schools Community District to be a statewide leader in gifted and talented education.

In FY22, ORDA and EMU faculty exceeded their goal $13.4M, bringing in a total of $14.8M.  We are hopeful that we can exceed our goals again this academic year and we look forward to bringing you more grant award highlights in upcoming briefings!

Apply Today! James H. Brickley Endowment for Faculty Professional Development and Innovation 

The purpose of the James H. Brickley Award is to facilitate faculty professional development and innovation through a broad range of activities, including but not limited to, things such as:

    • Reassigned time from teaching for scholarly, creative and innovative endeavor
    • Conference presentations
    • Travel
    • Hiring of research assistants
    • Purchase of special equipment or supplies for teaching, scholarly, research, creative, or innovative activities
    • Development of a grant proposal for external funding 
    • Similar or related academic activities

Special emphasis is given to innovation, such as the application of newer techniques and technologies for creating mental health programs for immigrants, providing special workshops for parents with autistic children, or working with students, parents, teachers, and community leaders in addressing drug addiction.

Ordinarily, the awards will be kept small so that more faculty members can benefit.  Newer and untenured faculty members are especially encouraged to apply to this program.  All applicants are encouraged also to seek matching funds from other internal and external sources.  The deadline for applications is October 3, 2022.  For more information visit the EMU Research website.

Service & Engagement

Institutional Priority #3:

Service & Engagement

EMU Faculty Selected as Research Ambassador

We are excited to announce that Dr. Carla Damiano, Professor of German, Department of World Language, has been selected to serve as a The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Research Ambassador for the 2022/2023 academic year.

This academic year, the Research Ambassador program is honoring 10 individuals who have conducted a long-term research project in Germany at the doctoral level or above. Over the summer, the 2022/23 Research Ambassadors participated in a two-day seminar addressing the latest developments in German higher education and research and the many generous funding programs available to North American scientists and academics interested in conducting research in Germany or initiating collaborative projects with German colleagues. Dr. Damiano will serve as a liaison for DAAD in the US and Canada to promote research opportunities in Germany among her colleagues, peers and students.

DAAD Research Ambassadors help to inspire others to conduct research in Germany by working within their respective departments and serving as a resource to university offices (e.g. the international, fellowship and career development offices). They are also available to answer questions from students and peers from beyond their geographic areas via email. Dr. Damiano will not only be promoting research in Germany, but will also be representing Eastern Michigan University on a professional level. 

Engage@EMU Plans for Launch of the Ypsilanti Intergenerational Community Solutions Institute

Engage@EMU, Generations United and the Ypsilanti Senior Center are collaborating to facilitate the Ypsilanti Intergenerational Community Solutions Institute (YICSI) - an intergenerational training and design institute that will bring together key stakeholders in the City of Ypsilanti for a series of gatherings to collaboratively learn about intergenerational issues and plan intergenerational initiatives to reduce social isolation and improve health outcomes for all generations.

This institute will build on the promising intergenerational foundation Engage@EMU has established in the city over the past few years. The YICSI will train and prepare a network of new intergenerational champions in Ypsilanti each with a clear understanding of intergenerational community solutions and action plans to improve health outcomes for younger and older people through intergenerational collaboration.

More information on how to participate in YICSI is coming soon!

Dana Heller Re-Appointed to Peabody Awards Board of Jurors

The Peabody Awards honor the most powerful, enlightening and invigorating stories in television, radio, and digital media.  We are proud to announce after a successful three-year term, Dr. Dana Heller, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, has been re-appointed as a member of the Peabody Board of Jurors.  The Peabody Board of Jurors is composed of media industry professionals, media scholars, critics and journalists all of whom are considered thought leaders.  Their task is to nominate 60 programs across genres and platforms from which the Peabody 30 – the best stories of the year – are selected as representative of the highest standards in media. Please join us in congratulating Dean Heller! 

Effective Operations

Institutional Priority #4

Institutional Effectiveness

EMU Administrators Selected for NASPA Ujima Institute

Please join us in congratulating Anthony Webster, Director of TRIO Student Support Services (SSS), and Dr. LaMarcus D. Howard, Director of the Disability Resource Center and Center for Adaptive Technology Education Lab, as they were accepted into the 2022 NASPA Ujima Institute. The Ujima Institute is designed for African American and Black higher education professionals who aspire to cabinet-level vice president for student affairs positions at colleges and universities. This three-day, cohort-based institute will take place at Morgan State University and offers an intensive, challenging, and collegial learning environment for student affairs professionals as they develop culturally relevant leadership skills that leverage their unique ethnic heritages and histories and prepare them to lead increasingly diverse institutions.

The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) is the professional home for the field of higher education student affairs. NASPA is a U.S.-based student affairs organization boasting more than 13,000 members at 1,400 campuses and 25 countries.

Personnel Updates

A special thank you to all who participated in the many search committees over the past academic year. Your hard work and dedication has resulted in successful searches for the following faculty and administrative positions.  As we begin this academic year, please join me in welcoming these colleagues to their new positions at Eastern.

Administrative Appointments

  • Jennifer Avery, Interim Director, School of Nursing
  • Doug Baker, Interim Assistant Vice President for Academic Programs and Initiatives
  • Jennifer Fritz, Interim Associate Dean, College of Health and Human Services
  • Ryan Gildersleeve, Dean, College of Education
  • Jolia Hill, Director, Charter Schools Office
  • Kimberly Hewitt, Department Head, Leadership & Counseling
  • Steve Pernecky, Interim Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies 

Faculty Appointments

  • Brandon Alberts, Assistant Professor (Mathematics), Department of Mathematics & Statistics 
  • Jennifer Barreto, Assistant Professor (Educational Psychology – Learning & Development), Department of Teacher Education 
  • Hannah Blatchford, Assistant Professor (Mineralogy, Petrology & Structural Geology), Department of Geography & Geology 
  • Leslie Blome, Assistant Professor (Communication & Science Disorders), Department of Special Education & Communication Sciences and Disorders 
  • Darren Bolger, Assistant Professor (Orthotics & Prosthetics), School of Health Promotion & Human Performance 
  • Robert Erlewine, Director for the Center of Jewish Studies, College of Arts & Sciences 
  • Matt Kautz, Assistant Professor (K-12 Leadership), Department of Leadership & 
  • Lon Mitchell, Assistant Professor (Mathematics), Department of Mathematics & Statistics 
  • Elizabeth Neilson, Assistant Professor (Psychology - Clinic Director), Department of Psychology 
  • Inae Oh, Assistant Professor (Sport Management), School of Health Promotion & Human Performance 
  • Cierra Presberry, Assistant Professor (K-12 Leadership), Department of Leadership & Counseling 
  • Jenni Putz, Assistant Professor (Economics), Department of Economics 
  • Rachel Radina, Assistant Professor (K-12 Leadership), Department of Leadership & Counseling 
  • Jessica Swan, Assistant Professor (Educational Psychology – Assessment), Department of Teacher Education
  • Jason Vosburgh, Instructor (Aviation Management), School of Technology & Professional Services Management 
  • Chuyang Yang, Assistant Professor (Aviation Management) in the School of Technology & Professional Services Management 

Lecturer Appointments

  • Clyde Barnett III, Leadership & Counseling
  • Noelle Blasch, School of Health Sciences
  • Mohamed Boudalia, Accounting, Finance & Information Systems
  • Kristal Reyes, School of Social Work
  • DeAndre Shepard, Leadership & Counseling

Congratulations to the following faculty who recently achieved tenure:

  • Brittany Albaugh, Chemistry
  • Ashley Bavery, History & Philosophy
  • Vernnaliz Carrasquillo, Engineering & Technology
  • Margaret Dobbins, English Language & Literature
  • Annemarie Kelly, Health Sciences
  • Wanda Kent, Special Education
  • Tareq Khan, Engineering & Technology
  • Jamie Lawler , Psychology
  • Brian Pappas, Political Science
  • Valerie Pauli, Nursing
  • Brian Scruggs, Communication, Media & Theatre Arts
  • Rebecca Spragg, Health Promotion & Human Performance
  • Aaron Struminger, Health Promotion & Human Performance


Congratulations to the following faculty who recently received promotions:

  • Brittany Albaugh, Associate Professor, Chemistry
  • Ashley Bavery, Associate Professor, History & Philosophy
  • Alexis Braun Marks, Associate Professor, Library
  • Vernnaliz Carrasquillo, Associate Professor, Engineering & Technology
  • Xiangdong Che, Professor, Information Security & Applied Computing
  • Yvette Colon, Professor, Social Work
  • Elizabeth Currans, Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Marguerite DeBello, Professor, Nursing
  • Margaret Dobbins, Associate Professor, English Language & Literature
  • Marisol Garrido, Professor, World Languages
  • Annemarie Kelly, Associate Professor, Health Sciences
  • Tareq Khan, Associate Professor, Engineering & Technology
  • Jamie Lawler, Associate Professor, Psychology
  • Cynthia Macknish, Professor, World Languages
  • Tierney McCleary, Professor, Technology & Professional Services Management
  • Megan Moore, Professor, Sociology, Anthropology & Criminology
  • Teresa Mortier, Associate Professor, Health Sciences
  • Brian Pappas, Associate Professor, Political Science
  • Valerie Pauli, Associate Professor, School of Nursing
  • Ildiko Porter-Szucs, Professor, World Languages
  • James  Saunoris, Professor, Economics
  • John Scoville, Professor, History & Philosophy
  • Brian Scruggs, Associate Professor, Communication, Media & Theatre Arts
  • Sarah Shea, Professor, Social Work
  • Rebecca Spragg, Associate Professor, Health Promotion & Human Performance
  • Aaron Struminger, Associate Professor, Health Promotion & Human Performance
  • Vicki Washington, Assistant Professor, Nursing
  • Heather Wiese, Professor, School of Health Sciences
  • Peng Xu, Associate Professor, Mathematics & Statistics

Honoring our Emeritus Faculty

We are proud to announce that the EMU Board of Regents approved the awarding of emeritus status to nine faculty at recent meetings.  Please join us in honoring each of them for the contributions they made during their careers here at EMU. 

  • James Berry, Professor, Department of Leadership and Counseling from 1991 to 2021 who retired after 31 years; 
  • Michael Bradley, Department of Geography and Geology from 1995 to 2021 who retired after 26 years; 
  • Judith Brooks (Posthumous), Professor, School of Health Sciences from 1999 to 2022 who passed away after 23 years of service; 
  • Sock H. Chung, Professor, Department of Accounting, Finance and Information Systems from 2002 to 2022 who retired after 20 years; 
  • Deborah L. de Laski-Smith, Professor, School of Visual and Built Environments from 1978 to 2021 who retired after 43 years; 
  • Caroline Gould (Posthumous), Assistant Professor, Department of Teacher Education from 1997 to 2016 who retired after 19 years; 
  • Paul Howard, Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics from 1970 to 2022 who retired after 52 years; 
  • Jayakumar Ramanathan, Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics from 1990 to 2022 who retired after 32 years; and,
  • Ken Shiskowski, Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics from 1983 to 2021 who retired after 38 years.

Smile!  Dates are set for Faculty and Staff Photos

The Office of Communications provides studio-quality headshots of faculty, staff and students to be used for university purposes.  If you don’t have an official university photo, or if it’s time to update your existing photo, you may register for one of the upcoming sessions.  All photographs are taken in 18 Welch Hall and should take approximately 10 minutes.  Photographers will be available on Mondays 10-4; Tuesdays 3-5; Wednesdays 1-2:30; and Fridays 9:30-2; however, registrations are required.  For more information email Deb Burke or call 734.487.6895.