OU recognizes outstanding faculty at annual luncheon

OU recognizes outstanding faculty at annual luncheon
Faculty Recognition Luncheon
Yang Xia, Ph.D. a professor of physics at Oakland University, was named the university's Distinguished Professor for 2017 at the 22nd Annual Faculty Recognition Luncheon on April 19. Xia is pictured here with Susan Awbrey, Ph.D., senior associate provost, and Dr. James Lentini, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

Oakland University honored more than 30 faculty members for their scholarly achievements, dedication, path-breaking discoveries in research and critical teaching roles in educating the leaders of tomorrow during its 22nd Annual Faculty Recognition Luncheon on Wednesday, April 19.


The luncheon, held at the Oakland Center, is traditionally held on Founder’s Day, which honors the memory of University benefactors Alfred and Matilda Dodge Wilson, whose gift of land and seed money has enriched the lives of thousands of people since Oakland University’s founding in 1957.


“Each year on Founder’s Day we honor the proud history and promising future of Oakland University,” said Dr. James Lentini, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “We’re able to celebrate this because OU has long welcomed a community that embraces teaching and research excellence, scholarly productivity, creative achievements and community service.


“The work of faculty members across campus, both inside and outside the classroom, has relevance, substance and an impact that truly leads to positive change in the world around us. Further, and equally important, it enables and inspires students to do the very same.”


During the luncheon, Dr. Yang Xia, a professor of physics and prominent researcher in the microscopic imaging of cartilage degradation, was recognized as the university’s Distinguished Professor for 2017.


“It’s the highest honor, and I’m very honored to have received this recognition from my peers,” said Xia, whose research interests include microscopic imaging and multi-disciplinary correlation, quantitative mapping of physical parameters in biological systems, image analysis and processing and applications in complex systems.


According to Lentini, the National Institutes of Health has continuously funded Dr. Xia’s research since 1999. To date, he has received $7.5 million from the NIH.


“Dr. Xia’s prominence can also be measured by the numerous invitations for him to speak at the international conferences and workshops, both in clinical research and in fundamental sciences,” Lentini said.


In addition to having organized and chaired three special workshops at the conferences of the Orthopaedic Research Society – the most prominent academic society in the area of musculoskeletal tissue and organ research – Dr. Xia is also a regular reviewer of grant proposals for NIH and has reviewed for other organizations including the Arthritis Foundation, the Prince Charles Hospital Foundation in Australia, and the Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation.


“Dr. Xia is also a dedicated instructor and sought after mentor, working with high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and an international array of visiting faculty in his lab,” Lentini said. “Many of his undergraduates have gone on to become professors at other institutions carrying his legacy to new generations of students.”


In addition to Dr. Xia, several other OU faculty members were recognized at the luncheon, including this year’s honorees include:


College of Arts and Sciences


  • Cristian Cantir, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Area of Recognition: Teaching


  • Daniel J. Clark, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of History

Area of Recognition: Service


  • Lynn Galbreath Fausone, M.F.A.

Adjunct Professor of Art

Area of Recognition: Service


  • Charlene Ann Hayden, Ph.D.

Special Instructor of Chemistry

Area of Recognition: Service and Teaching


  • Andrea T. Kozak, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology

Area of Recognition: Teaching


  • Brendan Kredell, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies

Area of Recognition: Research


  • Melissa M. McDonald, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Area of Recognition: Research


  • Daniel E. Steffy, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Statistics

Area of Recognition: Research


  • Tian Tian, D.M.A.

Assistant Professor of Music

Area of Recognition: Research


  • Vasyl Tyberkevych, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor of Physics

Area of Recognition: Research


  • Josephine Walwema, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric

Area of Recognition: Service


School of Business


  • Joseph H. Callaghan, Ph.D.

Professor of Accounting

Areas of Recognition: Research, Teaching and Service


  • Joy Ruihua Jiang. Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Management and Marketing

Area of Recognition: Service


  • Jae Hyeung Kang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship

Area of Recognition: Research


School of Education and Human Services


  • Cynthia Carver, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Education

Area of Recognition: Research


  • Darlene Groomes, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Education

Area of Recognition: Service


  • Terri Jongekrijg, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Education

Area of Recognition: Teaching


School of Engineering and Computer Science


  • Sergey Golovashchenko, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Area of Recognition: Research


  • Barbara Oakley, Ph.D.

Professor of Engineering

Area of Recognition: Teaching


School of Health Sciences


  • Rebecca Cheezum, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Health Sciences

Area of Recognition: Service


School of Nursing


  • Kimberly Holka, DNP

Adjunct Instructor of Nursing

Area of Recognition: Teaching and Service


School of Medicine


  • Nelia Afonso, M.D.

Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Area of Recognition: Teaching and Services


Eye Research Institute


  • Andrew Goldberg, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Area of Recognition: Research


Excellence in Teaching Award


  • Michelle Plattenberger

Special Lecturer

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures


Teaching Excellence Award


  • John Krauss, Ph.D.

Professor of Physical Therapy

Department of Physical Therapy


New Investigative Research Excellence Award


  • Fabia Ursula Battistuzzi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Department of Biological Sciences


Research Excellence Award


  • Craig Martin, Ph.D.

Professor of History

Department of History


Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award


  • Ledong Li, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Education

Department of Reading and Language Arts


2016 University Assessment Award


  • Department of Writing and Rhetoric

College of Arts and Sciences


“I would like to commend the dedication of each of the honorees,” Lentini said. “Their work inspires us and helps us advance an already rich tradition of excellence.”