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For Immediate Release
Thursday, April 18, 2013

OU honors outstanding faculty for contributions to students, society
     Rochester, Mich. – In a year that is ushering tremendous physical growth on campus, Oakland University is honoring a group of remarkable scholars who have long represented the strongest impetus for the university's programmatic, student enrollment and reputational growth.

Distinguished Professor of Physics Andrei Slavin, Ph.D.
     Making the most of real world research opportunities and their unique brand of expertise in the classroom, Oakland's highly accomplished faculty members are reaching new heights in student instruction, generation of new knowledge and community engagement.

     "It is through the work of our knowledgeable and dedicated faculty that our students succeed, research goals are met, we serve the needs of our communities, and Oakland University's reputation grows in distinction," said Susan Awbrey, interim senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

     A shining example of Oakland's faculty excellence is Andrei Slavin, Ph.D., who this year received the coveted title of Distinguished Professor of Physics. His groundbreaking research, remarkable productivity, pre-eminence in scholarship and commitment to mentoring students helped earn him the honor.

     Slavin's research focuses on a growing field of physics called "spintronics," which explores the intrinsic spin of electrons and has potential applications in microwave signal processing. He has been awarded more than $1 million in grant funding from the U.S. Army Research office; U.S. Army Tank, Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center; and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

     Based on nominations submitted by Oakland students, faculty and staff, four additional faculty members have been awarded distinguished honors. These include:
  • Excellence in Teaching Award – Special Instructor of Education Mark S. Doman, J.D.
  • Teaching Excellence Award – Assoc. Professor of Engineering Barbara Oakley, Ph.D.
  • Research Excellence Award – Professor of Engineering Hoda Abdel-Aty Zohdy, Ph.D.
  • New Investigator Research Excellence Award – Asst. Professor Libin Rong, Ph.D.
     Other faculty members to be honored for research and or service to the university community include:
  • Professor of Mathematics Kevin Andrews, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Psychology Jennifer Vonk, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Art Cody Vanderkaay, MFA
  • Professor of English Edward Haworth Hoeppner, Ph.D.
  • Professor of Political Science Paul Kubicek, Ph.D.
  • Professor of Physics David Garfinkle, Ph.D.
  • Special Instructor of Communication Elizabeth (Beth) Talbert, M.A.
  • Assistant Professor of Rhetoric Dana Driscoll, Ph.D.
  • Adjunct Instructor of Journalism Garry Gilbert, M.A.
  • Associate Professor of Music Michael Mitchell, Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences Kenneth Mitton, Ph.D.
  • Professor of Finance Austin Murphy, Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor of Production and Operations Management Gene Fliedner, D.B.A.
  • Associate Professor of Marketing John Kim, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Education C. Suzanne Klein, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Education S. Rebecca Leigh, Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor of Education Michael Macdonald, Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor of Engineering Dae-Kyoo Kim, Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor of Engineering Christian Wagner, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Exercise Science Tamara Hew, D.P.M., Ph.D., FACSM
  • Crittenton Endowed Associate Professor of Nursing Barbara Penprase, Ph.D., RN
  • Associate Professor of Radiology and Pediatrics David Bloom, M.D.

     Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 265 academic programs. To learn more about programs, events and achievements at OU, visit

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Oakland University is a doctoral, research-intensive university located in Oakland County, Michigan. The university has 139 bachelor's degree programs and 127 graduate degree and certificate programs. Dedicated to delivering a distinctive undergraduate experience that is complemented by the strength of its graduate offerings and research accomplishments, Oakland University is organized into the College of Arts and Sciences, the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and the Schools of Business Administration, Education and Human Services, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, Nursing and The Honors College. Visit Oakland University on the Web at