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Faculty honored at annual Founders' Day luncheon

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Faculty honored at annual Founders' Day luncheon

Dr. Andrei Slavin, 2013 Distinguished Professor, addresses the room full of faculty at this year's Founders' Day luncheon.
Each year on Founders' Day, Oakland University honors faculty members for their scholarly achievements, dedication, path-breaking discoveries in research and critical teaching role in educating the leaders of tomorrow.

At an April 9 luncheon, Oakland University formally recognized faculty members whose teaching and research excellence, creative achievements and community service have contributed to the betterment of society.

Founders’ Day honors the memory of university benefactors Alfred and Matilda Dodge Wilson, whose gift of 1,500 acres and $2 million has enriched the lives of thousands of people since Oakland University’s founding in 1957.


College of Arts and Sciences

Claude Baillargeon, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Art History
Area of Recognition: Service
As the longest serving adviser in the department, Dr. Claude Baillargeon keeps the institution up-to-date on current matters and exemplifies his engagement in providing quality advising and service to the university.
 
Hsiang-Hua (Melanie) Chang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chinese
Area of Recognition: Service
Dr. Hsiang-Hua Chang is responsible for developing, maintaining and promoting Chinese language studies as the only full-time, tenure-track faculty member in the Chinese program.
 
Ken Elder, Ph.D.
Professor of Physics
Area of Recognition: Research
Dr. Ken Elder’s research and scholarly success have provided Oakland University undergraduates with the opportunity to learn and participate in cutting-edge research.
 
Joanne Lipson Freed, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English
Area of Recognition: Service
Dr. Joanne Lipson Freed has willingly and successfully taken on several major service commitments in the English department, while still maintaining an active research profile and successful classroom presence.
 
Holly Shreve Gilbert, M.A.
Adjunct Instructor of Communications and Journalism
Area of Recognition: Teaching and Service
Professor Holly Shreve Gilbert skillfully blends student engagement and pedagogy as she empowers students and colleagues as chief adviser in journalism, adviser to the student-run independent newspaper, The Oakland Post, and instructor of digital media and writing courses.
 
Henri Paul Pierre Gooren, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Area of Recognition: Research
Dr. Henri Gooren has published in some of the most important academic presses, maintaining a consistent impressive publication record.

Anne L. Hitt, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Area of Recognition: Service
Dr. Anne Hitt has been instrumental in providing the intellectual basis for creating and launching new academic programs and courses within the department of biological sciences.
 
Craig E. Martin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
Area of Recognition: Scholarship and Service
Dr. Craig Martin has accomplished many scholarly achievements while serving as the history department’s undergraduate adviser, including a National Endowment for the Humanities/Folger Shakespeare Library fellowship.
 
Jessica L. Payette, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Music (Musicology)
Area of Recognition: Research
Dr. Payette’s instructional approach, research capabilities and vast knowledge are testaments to her level of dedication to the arts.
 
Susmit Suvas, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Area of Recognition: Research
Obtaining more than $2.2 million in funding from the National Institute of Health for his research on corneal blindness, Dr. Susmit Suvas is essential to the university’s mission in offering outstanding academic and research facilities.
 
Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Area of Recognition: Research
Dr. Virgil Zeigler-Hill is a social-personality psychologist and prolific scholar with more than 90 publications, many of which have been published in leading outlets in the field of psychology.
 
School of Business Administration  

Sandra H. Pelfrey, M.B.A.

Associate Professor of Accounting
Area of Recognition: Service
Professor Sandra Pelfrey has been the Beta Alpha Psi faculty adviser for the past 10 years, while also helping the School of Business Administration by serving the tutoring committee and working on the Undergraduate Assessment of Learning Committee and Graduate Assessment of Learning Committee.
 
Jennifer Cordon Thor, J.D.
Assistant Professor of Management
Area of Recognition: Service
Professor Jennifer Cordon Thor maintains her role as a junior faculty member while also working in various capacities throughout the department, which has benefitted greatly from her dedication and service.
 
Ellen Zhu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Finance
Area of Recognition: Research
Dr. Ellen Zhu has achieved a remarkable publication record over the last three years, with several publications in journals on the departments target journal list, ranked among the top 10 finance journals.
 
School of Education and Human Services  

Stephanie A. Crockett, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Counseling
Area of Recognition: Research
Dr. Stephanie Crockett is proficient in career, professional development and multicultural counseling and has excelled early in her career as a researcher.
 
V. Thandi Sulé, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Organizational Leadership
Area of Recognition: Teaching
Dr. V. Thandi Sulé challenges her students to expand their range of knowledge by offering multiple perspectives of course content, giving them confidence to think intellectually and philosophically.
 
Robert A. Wiggins, Ph.D.
Professor of Teacher Development and Educational Studies
Area of Recognition: Service
Dr. Robert Wiggins has served for the past 12 years as Associate Dean and Department Chair within the School of Education and Human Services and works on behalf of the teacher education profession, making him a role model to the department.
 
School of Engineering and Computer Science  

Michael P. Polis, Ph.D.

Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Area of Recognition: Service
Dr. Mike Polis is a distinguished member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers with exemplary enthusiasm for the department and field of engineering.
 
Jie Yang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Engineering
Area of Recognition: Young Investigator
With exceptional research, Dr. Jie Yang works and excels in the fields of cyber security and privacy, mobile and pervasive computing and wireless networks.
 
School of Heath Sciences  

Kristin Landis-Piwowar, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences
Area of Recognition: Research
Dr. Kristin Landis-Piwowar is active in her research and scholarship efforts, striving to translate basic science into clinical relevance.
 
School of Nursing  

Claudia M. Grobbel, DNP, RN

Assistant Professor of Nursing
Area of Recognition: Teaching and Service
Dr. Claudia Grobbel has developed an innovative experience related to nursing leadership and management that has helped students experience firsthand the consequences of decisions concerning patient care matters.
 
School of Medicine  

David M. Thomas, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences
Area of Recognition: Teaching and Service
Dr. David Thomas has developed a reputation as one of the most respected members of the School of Medicine’s faculty and contributes substantially to the OUWB’s community engagement mission.
 
Kresge Library  

Julia E. Rodriguez, M.L.I.S.

Assistant Professor, Nursing, Health Sciences and Faculty Research Support Librarian
Area of Recognition: Teaching
Professor Julia Rodriguez stands out as an exemplar of faculty subject expertise and forward- thinking pedagogical approaches, services and support.
 
2014 OUTSTANDING MENTOR AWARD  

Jacqueline H. Wiggins, Ph.D.

Professor
Department of Music, Theater and Dance
Dr. Jacqueline Wiggins is a quality mentor, instructor and adviser providing students with encouragement, optimism, intelligence and zeal to establish scholarly researchers.
 
2014 EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS  

Excellence in Teaching Award
Vanessa A. Stauffer, Ph.D.
Special Lecturer
Department of English
Dr. Vanessa Stauffer enhances her students’ knowledge by allowing them to focus on what is necessary for them to be successful not only in the classroom, but also in their professional careers.
 
Teaching Excellence Award
Dana L. Driscoll, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Rhetoric
Department of Writing and Rhetoric
Dr. Dana Driscoll has spent the last eight years conducting research into effective learning and how students transfer learning, teaching students writing, rhetoric, reading, and how to connect vital classroom concepts into everyday life.
 
Research Excellence Award
Terri L. Orbuch, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Criminal Justice
Establishing a tremendous record of research, Dr. Terri Orbuch is a well-respected member of the department and valued among students and colleagues.
 
New Investigator Research Excellence Award
Yuejian Wang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Physics
Department of Physics
Dr. Yuejian Wang has made a strong impact as a researcher, bringing expertise and prestigious recognition to the university.
 
SPECIAL ACCOLADES  

2013 Oakland University Assessment Award
Department of Accounting and Finance
The University Assessment Committee is pleased to present the 2013 Oakland University Assessment Award to the department of accounting and finance undergraduate and master of accounting programs as they truly demonstrate what the North Central Association terms a “mature culture of assessment.”
 
Michigan’s 2014 Distinguished Professor of the Year Award
Mark Simon, Ph.D.
Dr. Mark Simon is recognized for his thoughtful course designs, which he monitors closely to gauge student learning and success, and for fostering undergraduate research and scholarship, experiential learning, social responsibility and entrepreneurship on local, national and international levels.