Menu Menu

View Newsletter

     This periodic e-newsletter is designed to provide information about important academic issues including academic initiatives, program updates, resource allocation, research and scholarship, individual and collective achievements, challenges and opportunities.

Emeriti faculty help enhance OU's respected reputation

Emeritus Professor Dr. Robert Eberwein

     Since its inception in early 2008, the Emeriti Faculty Professional Development Program has been active in providing funding to allow retired OU faculty to pursue their scholarly activities at national and international conferences and other professional meetings.

     Developed by Dr. Virinder Moudgil, the program allows the university to support the continuing scholarly work of emeriti faculty and to acknowledge their valuable contributions to the institution.

     "These accomplished and esteemed scholars do well to bring recognition to the wonderful work they have done on behalf of the university, and we are extremely grateful for the recognition they bring to us," Dr. Moudgil said.

Emeritus Professor Dr. Jane Goodman

     "At the same time, and perhaps more importantly, they create tremendous potential for the sharing of knowledge not only here on our campus, but on a national and international scale."

     To date, over a dozen emeriti have participated in the program. Their projects have ranged from the presentation of a documentary film in an international film festival to the organization of panel sessions and delivery of papers at international conferences and meetings. Among the latter are presentations to the International Conference on Medieval Studies, the International Policy Symposium, International Conference on Word and Image Studies, the Western Society for French History and the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures.

Emeritus Professor Dr. Gary Shepherd

     Up to five emeriti professors are supported each year to travel to a conference or equivalent professional or scholarly function within their discipline. Emeriti scholars can attend a meeting or function for the purpose of expanding their knowledge, or deliver a scholarly presentation based upon their past or current work.

     Emeriti faculty who present at meetings receive up to $750 and those who attend and participate receive up to $500. For additional information, visit the Emeriti Faculty Professional Development Program website.

Future Academic Leaders at Oakland University

     Editor's note: This is the first installment in a series of articles that will feature accomplished, respected and ambitious individuals who are relatively new to the academy.

Professor of Psychology and Department Chair Todd Shackelford.

     With the experience of launching a graduate program in evolutionary psychology under his belt, Dr. Todd Shackelford came to Oakland University roughly a year ago to head up still another ambitious undertaking.

     As chair of the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, he and colleagues are well into the process of introducing both a terminal master's and a Ph.D. program in psychology here at OU. The Ph.D. program will offer a track in social and behavioral processes, as well as one focusing on biological and basic processes.

     With interest in Oakland's undergraduate psychology programs growing steadily, Dr. Shackelford is looking forward to strong interest in post-graduate opportunities. In fact, he expects to replicate his experience of creating a highly competitive and nationally recognized program at Florida Atlantic University.

     "I believe we will soon have leading graduate programs in psychology," Shackelford said. "I can see no reason why that can't happen here at Oakland." Though proposals are now in the academic review and approval process, expectations are that the graduate programs will launch in the fall of next year.

     This undertaking will consume a great deal of the 40-year-old scholar's time and attention, but he plans to maintain as much of his research work in evolutionary psychology as possible. He admits that it will be difficult to continue publishing roughly a dozen articles per year, however. He is looking forward to work in his lab ( and will also continue serving as co-editor of the online, open-access and increasingly popular peer-reviewed journal Evolutionary Psychology (

     In addition to satisfying his own curiosity, he is dedicated to advancing his discipline as an essential component of human understanding.

     "Personally, I think it is absolutely critical to an appropriate and comprehensive education to study the fact of evolution," Shackelford said. "I feel strongly in sharing this inspiring perspective in all the work I do."

     Outside of an academic career he wouldn't trade for anything, Shackelford enjoys spending the majority of his time with his wife, Viviana Weekes-Shackelford, and their three children. A fourth addition to the family is on its way. So far, the gang is adjusting well to the move from south Florida.

      "We just love it here," Shackelford said. "I love the area, I love the people and I love the seasons."

     Shackelford also has two sons from a previous marriage, both of whom are planning to attend Oakland University in the near future.

Student research awards offer diverse array of advantages

Jennifer Laam and Adam Sniady are among OU graduate students who've won Master's Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation awards.

      A number of programs made available through the Office of the Provost benefit not only the university's graduate students, but the faculty mentors and departments that help them find both academic and career success. When students and faculty benefit, of course, the university as a whole benefits.

     To cite a pair of examples, the Master's Thesis Award and Doctoral Dissertation Award programs offered by the Office of the Provost recognize outstanding research and scholarship on the part of our students. Although these awards are granted after students have completed their studies, receiving this distinctive recognition improves the chances of having their work published for a broader audience. This, in turn, can lead to recognition of faculty members, university departments and Oakland in general, as well as lead to the recruitment of outstanding future students.

     Another award that represents an investment in students and the advancement of university departments is the King Chavez Parks Future Faculty Fellowship, which is made available through the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth. Not only does this scholarship opportunity help increase access and broaden diversity within the student body, it establishes a means by which benefitting students will come back to university settings to expand diversity and broaden expertise within respective academic units.

     Perhaps the most direct way graduate students are able to help advance the work of faculty and departments is through graduate assistantships. Allocated to each of the units through the Office of Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, or supported by grant or department funding, these positions cover students' tuition and provide stipends. In essence, this allows graduate students to dedicate 20 hours per week to working for a faculty mentor or department, and thereby helping to advance their academic discipline and research.

     In a similar fashion, the provost-supported Student Research Award offered through the Office of Grants, Contracts and Sponsored Research provides funding for graduate students working under the guidance of a faculty member. The funding can be used for supplies, minor equipment, technical services and some travel costs. Students can also pursue a provost-supported Student Travel Award, which can be used for conferences, research briefing sessions or conference presentations.

     The Office of the Provost strives to support faculty and programs through student-focused programming. To learn more about available programs, click on the links above or visit the Office of Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning website and click on Graduate Student Funding.

Summer 2011



OU benefactress honored for decades of selfless support

   Our congratulations and sincere appreciation go to longtime philanthropist, volunteer, community activist and respected OU community member Maggie Allesee.
   She recently received an honorary degree from the university, which honors her several decades of selfless commitment, compassion and hard work to improve the lives of others.
   To learn more about her many contributions, both to OU and to numerous organizations throughout southeastern Michigan, read the News at OU story.

Kudos to faculty standouts
   Congratulations to Dr. Eddie Cheng in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics for being selected as Distinguished Professor for 2011. His work to inspire and advance his students academically is remarkable.
   Kudos to Dr. Fatma Mili of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering for receiving the 2011 Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award from the Michigan American Council on Education (ACE) Network. It is the first time a member of the OU community has received the award.
   High praise also goes to Dr. Pamela Marin of the School of Nursing for receiving National Academic Advising Association's Outstanding Advising Certificate of Merit. NACADA is a global organization faculty, professional advisors, administrators, counselors and others concerned with the intellectual, personal and vocational needs of students.

Generous grant to help OU extend a helping hand to others

   Oakland University faculty and staff continue to find ways to positively impact not only students, but the region as a whole.
   The School of Education and Human Services recently provided another example of this in the form of a $97,129 grant it received from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to establish the summer Freedom School program within the Detroit Public Schools.

SECS faculty, Chrysler partner to create new learning center

   Seven faculty members in the School of Engineering and Computer Science have helped establish the Chrysler Learning and Innovation Center for Sheet Metal Forming, an academic center that received support through a $110,000 grant from the Chrysler Corporation.
   The center oversees instruction in a variety of courses including, Mechanics of Sheet Metal Forming, Lubrication, Friction and Wear, Optical Inspection and Analysis, Materials Properties, Quality Control and Reliability, and Manufacturing Systems.

Office of the Provost

Sails of Success

The News @ OU



     Office of the Provost
205 Wilson Hall
2200 North Squirrel Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4401
(248) 370-2190 | (248) 370-4475 fax