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The Eastern Echo Thursday, May 30, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

Teaching Excellence Award

Eastern Michigan University looks to recognize staff with ceremony and awards

On March 21 from 9-11 a.m., the Division of Academic and Student Affairs will host the Distinguished Achievement Recognition Awards Ceremony to recognize staff members across the EMU community. The division has been acknowledging staff since 1978.

From Feb. 19 to March 7, students had the opportunity to appoint a staff member who they felt has made outstanding contributions to their success. By March 11, the selection committee will meet to decide on the nominations.

The awards offered by this ceremony include the Student Engagement and Success Award, Leadership Award, Innovation Award, and Community Engagement and Service Award.

Michael Foster, Ph.D., an assistant professor of the Department of World Languages, received the Ronald W. Collins Award (Teaching I) category in 2023. Foster had learned he was being nominated after a colleague had suggested his nomination due to all the compliments he received from his peers and previous classes.

"It was probably one of the biggest honors I've ever received, as this award is such a prestigious award, and it made me feel such a big part of the community; since I was in my fourth year when I won it, and I felt like I was doing the right thing by helping our students at Eastern. I have never received an honor like this before," Foster said.

Foster believes students can recognize a dedicated professor and that these awards are just an example of that. 

"I always try to be a good role model to them, and it's okay to be busy and tired sometimes, but I try to give a positive attitude and advocate for students," Foster said. "If you don't get an award, that doesn't mean you are not appreciated by the students or the university, even if you get a simple thank you or email from your students by a simple thank you for a fun class, and we really enjoyed taking your class."

The 2023 winners included: 

Community Engagement and Service

Norbert Vance, instrumentation specialist, Physics and Astronomy

Melissa Peters, academic fieldwork coordinator, Occupational Therapy Program

Outstanding Leadership

Kevin Lawson, director of the Student Center

Anthony Webster, director of TRIO Student Support Services

Outstanding Innovation

Michele Rich, administrative assistant of Dean of Students Office & Student Affairs

Jeffrey Bernstein, director of Bruce K. Nelson Faculty Development Center

Student Engagement and Success

David Evoy, school services coordinator, Social Work

Gregg Heinrichs, academic advisor, University Advising & Career Development Center

Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Awards

Michael Foster, (Teaching I)

Device Dibya Choudhuri, (Teaching II)

Beth Hanschen, (Teaching II)

Adam Briggs, (Research I)

Herman Tang, (Research II 

Imandeep Grewal, (Service)

Lecturer's Distinguished Part-Time Teaching Award

Krithika Prakash

Rotesa Baker

Patricia Henry

"I've been the happiest at Eastern, and it's a 'real world university.' I like the diversity here; we have first-generation and nontraditional students, as I love how diverse Eastern is," Foster said.