President's Report to the Board of Regents

April 22, 2016

Mr. Chairman and Distinguished Members of the Board of Regents:

We are pleased to celebrate our Spring Commencement ceremonies on Sunday. We look forward to seeing all of our successful graduates and their families, as well as our faculty and employees, who have all worked so hard to make the day a true celebration of Eastern Michigan University success. More than 2,200 students will cross the stage with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in our two ceremonies.

We are honored to host our Commencement speaker, State Representative David Rutledge. Representative Rutledge will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree during the morning ceremony. He has truly made a mark as an outstanding public servant and representative of our community.

Speaking of community service and community partnerships, I am pleased to welcome Washtenaw Community College and President Rose Bellanca to celebrate the college’s 50th anniversary and share in acknowledging the partnerships between our institutions.

We are pleased to acknowledge several other initiatives that highlight Eastern’s role in supporting our community and its citizens:

  • Dr. Ethan Lowenstein, a professor of teacher education, is a recipient of the Champion of Engagement Award by the Michigan Campus Compact as a result of his work as director of the Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition and Ecojustice Education;
  • Eastern representatives and several community groups hosted Michigan State Housing Development Authority Executive Director Kevin Eisenheimer earlier this week for a tour of Strong Housing in Ypsilanti. Eastern, in collaboration with community partners including the United Way of Washtenaw County, Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development, SOS Community Services, and the Ypsilanti Housing Commission, has developed social service programs at Strong Housing to help residents move to greater economic self-sufficiency.
  • Eastern Michigan student teacher Abigail Bruce worked with her first grade students in Ann Arbor to raise more than $1,000 and send 300 cases of water to a Flint school;
  • Eastern’s College of Business students recognized nine local companies in their Business of the Year awards in March.

The nine local companies that were recognized:

o   Accounting: Winner: Plante Moran

o   Alumni-Owned Businesses: Winner: Bearclaw Coffee

o   Financial Services: Winner: Quicken Loans

o   Human Resources: Winner: Ford Motor Company

o   Information Systems: Winner: Google

o   Marketing: Winner: Brogan & Partners

o   Social Enterprises: Winner: Food Gatherers

o   Supply Chain: Winner: Ford Motor Company

o   Start-Up: Winner: AccelerateKID

  • Last Friday, EMU hosted the Annual Celebration and Community Engagement Awards, coordinated by the Institute for the Study of Children, Families & Communities (ISCFC), The Office of Academic Service-Learning (AS-L), Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA), and VISION (Volunteers Incorporating Service into Our Neighborhoods).

Awardees include:

o   Dr. Claudia Petrescu, former director of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance 

o   Professor Ted Ligibel, Historic Preservation, who was awarded the Dale Rice Award for Academic Innovation in Community Engagement

o   Matt Siegfied, local historian and scholar, received the Engage@EMU award

o   Washtenaw Literacy was awarded the Dale Rice Award for Community Partnership

o   The Outstanding NLA Partnership went to the Washtenaw Funders Group

o   ISCFC Community Partner Vicki Vaughn, with Chesapeake Community Advisors.


  • Eastern was honored in February as the nation’s number one producer of Fulbright U.S. Scholars among Master’s institutions. Five faculty scholars have been awarded Fulbright grants for the 2015-16 academic year. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. Government’s flagship international educational exchange program.

Eastern’s new Fulbright Scholars, their host institutions and areas of specialization are:

o   Leslie Atzmon: University of the Arts, London; graphic design

o   Wallace Bridges:  University of Ghana; drama/theatre arts/directing

o   Rebecca Martusewicz: University of Tampere, Finland; foundations of education

o   William Sverdlik:  University of Namibia, artificial intelligence and robotics

o   Rosemary Weston Gil:  Franco-American Commission for Educational Exchange, France; teaching English as a foreign language


  •  U.S. News & World Report ranked Eastern’s Occupational Therapy program second best in the state in its listing of Best Graduate Schools for 2017.
  • Top Management Degrees ranked two Eastern programs among the top 50 in the country. The programs that were recognized are the Online Master of Arts in Educational Leadership K-12 Administration, and the Master of Science in Engineering Management.
  • ranked our Master of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development and the Graduate Certificate in Human Resources among the top 10 in the country for leadership excellence.
  • Eastern’s Information Assurance program continues to receive recognition – we are one of four institutions in Michigan to receive the National Centers of Academic Excellence designation for cyber defense.
  • The doctoral program in Psychology ranked 30th in the top 50 by, and was one of only two Michigan programs that were named.
  • Six professors and a lecturer were honored for their excellence in teaching, research and service to the University during the 39th annual Academic Awards celebration this spring.

The winners were:

o   Ramona Caponegro, English Language and Literature – Teaching I

o   Jacqueline LaRose, Teacher Education – Teaching II

o   Raul Leon, Leadership and Counseling – Research I

o   Jesse Kauffman, History & Philosophy – Research I

o   Jamil Baghdachi, Engineering Technology – Research II

o   Theresa Heck-Seibert, Communication, Media and Theatre Arts – Creative Activity

o   Linda Burilovich, a professor of accounting, was acknowledged as the University’s nominee for the ninth annual Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year Award.

o   Sharon Holt, a lecturer in occupational therapy, received the EMU Full-time Lecturers Outstanding Teaching Award.

  • Eastern’s Forensics Team placed fifth in the nation at the National Forensics Association Competition. More than 85 teams participated. Senior Sami White won the national championship in After Dinner Speaking. This continues EMU’s streak as the only university in the Association to maintain a top 10 finish since 1970.
  • For the second consecutive year, Eastern’s Poetry Slam team placed in the final four at the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational. Eastern’s students beat teams representing 67 colleges and universities across the U.S., Canada and Scotland.

The students on Eastern’s team were:

o   Freshmen Tiraj Lucas of Columbus, Ohio and Razjea Bridges of Flint

o   Sophomore Darion Ervin of Cleveland, Ohio

o   Darius Simpson, a senior from Akron, Ohio. Simpson both performed and coached the EMU team

  • Eastern’s student-athletes posted solid increases in the latest NCAA Academic Progress Rate report, which measures eligibility, retention and graduation of student athletes. The women's golf, women's swimming & diving, and volleyball programs posted the highest scores in the Mid-American Conference.

These are just a few recent highlights. I look forward to seeing everyone at Commencement on Sunday. I thank you for your support as we work together on behalf of our students and the broader community.

Other accomplishments are listed in the Appendix to this report on the University website. Thank you, Chair Morris.

Donald M. Loppnow

Interim President



  • Abigail Bruce, EMU student teacher at Angell Elementary in Ann Arbor, led first graders in a successful effort to raise more than $1,000 to send 300 cases of water to Flint Michigan.
  • Sarah Kucemba, a graduate student in EMU’s higher education student affairs program, finished first nationally in a higher education case study competition sponsored by the American College Personnel Association.
  • Jon Peurach and Yoni Diamond were awarded a $1,000 scholarship from The Orthotic & Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation for their academic achievement.
  • The Eastern Michigan University Business Professionals of America qualified 12 of its 13 competitors for the BPA National Leadership Conference when they competed at the organization’s Michigan Leadership Conference. Mathew Leddy took first place in Human Resource Management, second in Parliamentary Procedure Concepts, third in Interview Skills, third in Contemporary issues and third in Management Concepts. Brian Gardner took second place in Managerial Accounting, third in SQL Database Fundamentals and fourth in Advanced College Accounting. Monica Jurczyk took second place in Administrative Support Concepts, fourth in Ethics and Professionalism and fourth in Management, Marketing, and Human Resource Concepts. Dustin Pepper took third place in Ethics and Professionalism. Tayler Rodgers took third place in Parliamentary Procedure Concepts, fourth in Advanced Interview Skills and fifth in Java Programming. Nathaniel Kerfoot took fourth place in College Payroll Accounting. Thomas Hernandez took fifth place in Basic Office Systems and Procedures. The video production team of Jurczyk, Rodgers, Kaitlin Boroniec, and Tyler Johnson, and the administrative support team of Nicholas Lynch, Melanie Konja, and Jacob Ranshaw, took second place in their respective competitions and will move on to the national competition.
  •  The Health Administration Student Organization participated in the Gift of Life Campus Challenge from January 16-February 27.  Eastern took second place among 12 Michigan universities, signing up 271 organ donors.
  • Ramona Caponegro, Jacqueline LaRose, Raul Leon, Jesse Kauffman, Jamil Baghdachi, and Theresa Heck-Seibert were recipients of Ronald W. Collins awards for excellence in teaching, research and service to the University during the 39th annual Academic Awards on March 30.
  • Vijay Mannari, professor of polymers and coatings, has been awarded a $529,000 grant to develop environmentally responsible, but high performance coatings for the U.S. military.
  •  James Stein, professor in construction management, has been awarded the 2016 Nelson Vander Hyden Award from the Washtenaw Contractors Association. 
  •  Nursing professor Tsu-Yin Wu is using a $107,000 grant from the Center for Medicate Services to recruit bi-lingual representatives who are trusted in their respective communities for the role of navigators to assist Asian Americans with the federal Health Insurance Marketplace program.
  • The Provost’s New Faculty Awards were awarded to 31 faculty members on February 5.  Recipients will study topics such as understanding change in migratory patterns in birds, investigating security in cloud computing, and understanding the cultural roots of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement.
  • Eastern Michigan University has been ranked in the top 50, according to Top Management Degrees, for its online master’s of arts in educational leadership K-12 administration and master’s of science in engineering management.
  • Eastern’s Masters of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development and the Graduate Certificate in Human Resources were ranked among the top 10 in the country for leadership excellence in an annual competition run by
  • The new Center for Jewish Studies opened on March 20 to facilitate new forms of collaboration with community organizations, including seeking grants for important areas of study, scheduling lectures and seminars, and fundraising.
  • Eastern Michigan University continues to distinguish itself as one of the nation’s best institutions in Information Assurance through its recent designation from the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  EMU is one of four institutions in Michigan to receive the National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) designation for cyber defense.
  • Eastern’s Occupational Therapy program is ranked second in the state of Michigan by U.S. News & World Report listing of  “Best Graduate Schools for 2017.”  The program was also ranked 52nd out of 163 programs nationally.
  • The doctoral program in Psychology ranked 30th on the top 50 list published by, and was one of only two Michigan programs that named.
  •  The College of Education has teamed up with several local schools for the new Urban Teacher Pathway program, which supports students who want to go back to their hometown schools to teach after graduation.


  • The 2016 Math Facts Challenge will be held on May 23.  About 500 southeastern Michigan students from 19 different charter schools in four counties (Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland and Genesee) will participate in head-to-head competitions. 
  • The annual Digital Divas Conference was held on April 22.  Eastern invited 500 attendees from 13 local school districts, including Oakland, Jackson, Livingston, Kent, Macomb and Washtenaw.  During the event, participants have a chance to explore more than 20 interactive STEM sessions and network with industry leaders, professors and students. 
  • One of Michigan’s largest Teacher Job Fair was held on April 15 in Bowen Fieldhouse.  More than 140 school districts, academies and education companies participated, 62 of which were from Michigan.
  • A new exhibit of Eastern artifacts was designed by a class of graduate students in the Historic Preservation program.  The grand opening of “The POWER of Connections: EMU Student Organizations” was held on April 14.  On display is a wide range of artifacts from student organizations that have empowered students to create connections and transformations on an individual scale, as well as with the broader community. 
  • The campus community was invited to participate in the Green March for Autism Acceptance on April 12 in celebration of Autism Awareness Month. 
  • Students from Eastern and the University of Michigan held their annual Best Buddies Michigan Friendship Walk on April 9, to promote one-to-one friendships, leadership opportunities and jobs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Eastern’s annual First Swim, First Paddle & First Dive clinic was held on April 2.  The event is coordinated by EMU orthotics & prosthetics students, and is designed to teach persons with physical disabilities about specially adapted recreational activities.
  • The Undergraduate Symposium was held on April 1, with more than 450 participants presenting, with the support of 199 faculty mentors. 
  • Ford Motor Company, Google, Quicken Loans, as well as other businesses were honored as at the annual Business of the Year Award Luncheon on March 18, sponsored by the College of Business.
  • The 2016 Spring Career Fair was held on March 18, with more than 100 employers on hand to interview students.
  • The fifth annual Ecojustice and Activism Conference was held March 17-19.  This year’s theme was “Reclaiming the Commons: Diverse Ways of Being and Knowing.”
  • EMU presented the SESI Entrepreneurship Conference and the Skandalaris Business Plan Competition on February 12. 

Of Note

  • On March 12-13 Gamers for Giving raised $170,000 in a 24-hour marathon of video gaming at the Convocation Center.  Gamers Outreach Foundation provides therapeutic recreation to children during long-term hospitalization.

Athletic Highlights

  • Basketball (Women): Cha Sweeney was named to the All-MAC Conference Second Team, and Janay Morton was named to the All-MAC Conference Third Team. 
  • Basketball (Women): Micah Robinson and Phillis Webb were named to the Academic All-MAC team.
  • Basketball (Men): James Thompson IV was named the MAC’s Freshman of the Year and earned National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 14 Second Team honors.
  • Basketball (Men): Trent Perry was named to the Academic All-MAC team. 
  • Cross Country (Men): Team was honored as an All-Academic Team, maintaining a team GPA of 3.406.
  • Cross Country (Men): Willy Fink and Nick Raymond were honored as Academic All-Americans by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
  • Gymnastics (Women): The women’s gymnastic team took home their second MAC Championship in program history. 
  • Gymnastics (Women): At regionals, the team took fourth overall in the standings. Rachel Slocum tied for first on her floor routine and qualified for the NCAA Championships. Head coach Jay Santos was named Regional Coach of the year and Jess Santos was named Regional Assistant Coach of the Year.
  • Gymnastics (Women): Rachel Slocum and Kendall Valentin were named First Team All-MAC and Catie Conrad name Second Team All-MAC.
  • Gymnastics (Women): The gymnastics team placed nine on the Academic All-MAC team, they are Catie Conrad, Kimberly Ebeyer, Kirsten Gendron, Natalie Gervais, Megan Marino, Sydney McEachern, Lacey Rubin, Rachel Slocum, and Kendall Valentin.
  • Swim and Dive (Women): Becca Detro, Delaney Duncan, and Clarice Daniel received First Team All-Mac accolades. Grace Van Allen, Mary Kate MacLean, and Carly Jackson received Second Team All-Mac accolades.
  • Swim and Dive (Women): The women’s swim and dive team posted a runner-up showing at MAC Championships on April 27.
  • Swim and Dive (Women): Delaney Duncan competed at the NCAA Division I Championships on March 17-19. She earned All-American Honorable Mention and was the first freshman in program history to qualify for nationals.
  • Swim and Dive (Women): Clarice Daniel, Becca Detro, Makenzie Garringer, Carly Jackson, Molly Miller, Alexis Mitcheltree, Abby Saddler, Haley Shaw, Alli Shereda, Emily Tubbs, Grace Van Allen, Sierra Wagner, and Rosalie Yockey all were recognized and honored with the Academic All-MAC team award.
  • Swim and Dive (Men): The men’s swim and dive team won their 33rd MAC Championship. Swimming away with a gold in 200 Back was Cole Bateman, a gold in 100 free was Andrew Henry, and a gold in the 3 Meter was Alex Chan.
  • Swim and Dive (Men): Cole Bateman, Logan Burton, Alex Chan, Erik Gissen, and Andrew Henry were named All- MAC First Team. Kyle Aerne, Tosh Kawaguchi, Kyle Lichtenberg, Peter Rusenas, and Jake Tyson were named All-MAC Second Team.
  • Swim and Dive (Men): Alex Chan was named Most Outstanding Diver, Andrew Henry was named Most Outstanding Swimmer, Tom Gilis was named MAC Freshman Diver of the Year, Buck Smith was named Diving Coach of the Year, and Peter Linn was named Swimming Coach of the Year at the MAC Championships.
  • Swim and Dive (Men): Andrew Henry qualified to compete at 2016 NCAA Championships. Henry took 29th in the 200 Individual Medley and broke the school record, and placed 22nd in the 200 Free.
  • Swim and Dive (Men): The men’s swimming and diving team placed 16 athletes on the Academic All-MAC team. They are Erik Brinkhoff, Logan Burton, Chris Buzard, Alex Chan, Hunter Cook, Dylan Crompton, Conner Finnigan, Krzysztof Gilski, Erik Gissen, Andrew Henry, Chris Hodges, Connor Johnson, Josh Kreider, Kevin Moore, Brendan O’Shea, and Peter Rusenas.
  • Track & Field (Women): The women’s track and field team repeated as MAC Indoor Champions by defending their title on April 27.
  • Track and Field (Women): Alsu Bogdanova received Most Valuable Performer and was MAC Champion in the 800 meters, Jessica Harris won Freshman Track Performer of the Year and took home silver in the 60 meter dash, Jordan McDermitt took the gold home as a MAC Champion in the 3000 meter race, and Sue Parks earned the Coach of the Year award.
  • Track and Field (Women): Alsu Bogdanova, Natalie Cizmas, Sofia Gallein, Khadesha James, Jordan McDermitt, and Sydney Meyers were all named All-MAC First Team. Jessica Harris was named All-MAC Second Team.
  • Track and Field (Women): The team placed 13 on the Academic All-MAC team for indoor season. They are Rebekah Branham, Maya Carter, Natalie Cizmas, Dace Dreimane, Amy Frauhammer, Sofie Gallein, Allie Knoll, Jordan McDermitt, Aaliyah McKinney, Claire Mesa, Megan Pendleton, Rebecca Quaintance, and Natalie Uy.
  • Track and Field (Men): The men’s track and field team posted a runner-up showing at the MAC Indoor Championships.
  • Track and Field (Men): Tyler Brown was MAC Champion in 400 meter dash and was named Most Valuable Performer for the meet, Willy Fink was a MAC Champion in the 3000 meter run, Anthony Jones was named the Most Outstanding Field Performer for the meet, and Solomon Simmons took home the gold in the heptathlon.
  • Track and Field (Men): Tyler Brown, Willy Fink, Anthony Jones, and Solomon Simmons all were named All MAC- First Team. Hlynur Andresson, Scott Bradley, Jeff Elam, Mitch Lenneman, Mason Waynes, and Mathew Williams were all named All MAC- Second Team.
  • Track and Field (Men): Willy Fink and Anthony Jones both qualified for NCAA Indoor Nationals on March 11-12. Willy Fink took eleventh overall and earned Second Team All-American honors. Anthony Jones placing seventh overall and earned Second Team All-American honors as well.
  • Track and Field (Men): Hlynur Andresson, Lahsene Bouchikhi, Scott Bradley, Jeff Elam, Willy Fink, Elijah Albert-Grayer, Mike Hierholzer, John Knox, Mitch Lenneman, Quinn Levering, Zach Purcilly, Nick Raymond, Solomon Simmons, Mason Waynes, Andrew Wentz, Keith Williams, and Mathew Williams were named Academic All-MAC.
  • Wrestling: Anthony Abro, Nicholas Barber, and Dakota Juarez qualified for the 2016 NCAA tournament.
  • Wrestling: Nicholas Barber, Derek Hillman, Kyle Springer, Armando Torres, and Shayne Wireman were named Academic All-MAC team.
  • Eastern Michigan University men’s swimming and diving coach Mike Jones was inducted into the Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame.
  • Track and Field alumnus and assistant coach Donald Scott took fourth and was named First Team All-American at the USA Track and Field Indoor National Championships.
  • EMU Athletics held their Second Annual Ypsi Awards at the Convocation Center on April 11 to honor the top athletic, citizenship, and academic achievements during the 2015-16 academic year.