Office of the Provost

Wilson Hall, Room 205
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)
(248) 370-2190

Academic Resources

Awards, Honors
and Opportunities
Undergraduate Distinguished Achievement Award


Any regularly enrolled undergraduate student is eligible upon nomination by a faculty member or staff member.


Nominations minimally should consist of a letter of nomination and preliminary documentation of the specific effort that is being recognized.


The purpose of these awards is to recognize extraordinary academic achievement beyond that required for good grades. Thus for instance a student-originated publication in the arts or sciences, a publication with major student input, presentation of research or creative endeavor at a professional conference, a literary work, an exceptional research report, the creation or performance of an artistic work, or the construction of a device or instrument could all be the basis for this award.

The following criteria will be used to evaluate the nominations:
  • Originality
  • Extent of effort
  • Scholarly significance
  • Artistic merit/significance
Obviously only some of these criteria will apply to any given nomination. Furthermore the criteria will be refined as a specific history of nominations develops. It may be necessary, in certain cases, to seek additional help in evaluation from experts outside the committee.


Upon receipt of a letter of nomination, the chair of the committee will distribute copies of the letter and supporting information to the committee members. Additional requests for back-up information and documentation will be made promptly.

All members of the committee will read the letters of nomination and supporting materials. The committee will meet no later than two weeks after the deadline for nominations to discuss its decision. The committee's recommendation will be forwarded to the Office of Academic Affairs. Upon approval of the Academic Affairs office, the committee will notify the recipient of the award and the nominating faculty member. The committee chair will write a commendation to be read to the student at the graduation ceremony and printed on the award certificate.

The awards will be presented at the Fall Commencement exercises.

Teaching Excellence Award

The Teaching Excellence Award recognizes superior teaching, innovative instructional practice, high educational standards, the creation of productive learning environments, and the ability to inspire and motivate students. Nominations may be made by any member of the Oakland University Community. Nominations are reviewed by the Teaching and Learning Committee.

Assessment Excellence Award

The Assessment Excellence Award is established to annually recognize a program which models the North Central Association's "culture of assessment" goal by integrating assessment findings with program revisions. The recipient department will receive $5,000 and recognition on a plaque displayed in the lobby of Kresge Library.

Distinguished Professors

Upon recommendation of the President and Provost, the Board of Trustees may appoint individuals to the rank of distinguished professor for the duration of the individual's active service at Oakland, except for removal for cause, or distinguished professor emeritus. The appointment of individuals to distinguished professorships will be based on the criteria for professorships set forth in the document Oakland University Tenure and Promotion Statement, and, in addition, the rigorous application of one or more of the following criteria:
  • Preeminence in Scholarship 
  • Preeminence in Teaching 
  • Preeminence in Public or Professional Service

Diversity Equity and Inclusion Excellence Faculty Recognition

General Purpose

Oakland University’s Founders Day University Senate: Ad-Hoc committee on Faculty DEI is seeking nominations for its 2021 Diversity Equity and Inclusion Excellence Faculty Recognition commendation.

The purpose of this this recognition is to honor faculty who have made significant contributions to advancing the OU’s Strategic Goal #4.

Advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in an environment of mutual trust and respect at all levels of the institution and facilitate opportunities and success for all community members.

Any member of the Oakland University faculty, including special instructors and lecturers are eligible to be nominated for this recognition in the areas of research, teaching OR service. 

Selection Criteria



Candidate has helped to advance OU Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)-related efforts through significant contributions and a demonstrated commitment to strategic goal #4 through the development and implementation teaching techniques that meet the needs of diverse and under-represented group in their field of instruction. 

Candidate has made significant contribution and demonstrated their commitment to strategic goal #4 through the development and successful implementation of pedagogical practices that create inclusive classroom environments.

Selection criteria:

  • Evidence of course design or curricula that meet the needs of educationally disadvantaged students
  • Evidence of successful and effective teaching strategies for the educational advancement of students from under-represented groups
  • A record of success advising women, LGBTQ, veterans, first generation college students and/or and minority students
  • Evidence of active service as faculty advisor for a student group that supports the educational and professional development of under-represented groups on campus (e.g., women, minorities, veterans, first generation college students, LGBTQ, etc).

Research or Other Creative Work

Candidate has made significant scholarly contributions to literature that examines the unique needs and perspectives of diverse and under-represented groups in their field of research. 

Selection Criteria:

  • Evidence of a research agenda that focuses on Race, ethnicity, gender, multiculturalism, and inclusion OR evidence of a research agenda that focuses on health disparities, educational access and achievement, political engagement, economic justice, social mobility, civil and human rights as it related to under-represented groups OR evidence of a research agenda related to communities historically excluded by higher education
  • Artistic expression and cultural production that reflects culturally diverse communities or voices not well represented in the arts and humanities
  • Presentations or performances for under-represented communities


Candidate has helped to advance OU’s diversity related efforts and made significant contributions and demonstrated their commitment to creating and maintain a diverse, equitable and inclusive campus environment through their on-going university, school or department level committee work or by bringing state, national or international recognition to OU’s diversity-related efforts and on-going commitment.

Selection Criteria:

  • Evidence of leadership roles in OU’s diversity-related committees, activities, initiatives
  • Evidence of engagement with the community (local, national, intern in seminars, conferences, or institutes that address the concerns of women and under-represented minorities
  • Evidence of election or appointment to office, or undertaking service to professional and learning societies, including editorial work, or peer reviewing for a national or international organization addressing disparities in access to higher education
  • Evidence of selection for special public service activities or talks within a field that addresses the needs of under-represented or culturally diverse groups
  • Evidence of participation in professional or scientific associations or meetings, and presentation of papers related to the needs of communities historically excluded from higher education

Potential Candidates for this award will be identified and submitted by the unit’s Dean for recognition at the Founders Day event.

Selection Process

  • Individual members of the University Senate: Ad-Hoc committee on Faculty DEI will rank nominees according to the above criteria.
  • At a meeting or meetings called by the Chair of the Faculty DEI-related Award Selection Committee, the Committee will discuss rankings and select faculty for recognition. 

The deadline for submitting nominations is March 15, 2021.

Phyllis Law Googasian Award

General Purpose

The Phyllis Law Googasian Award honors and recognizes women who have contributed to the advancement of women at Oakland University and beyond through distinguished leadership, scholarship, advocacy, mentoring, program development or other activities.

Eligible Nominees

Any member of the Oakland University faculty (including special instructors and lecturers), administrators, administrative professionals, and other staff members

Eligible Nominators

Nominations are welcome from any University employee

Nomination Form

Googasian Nomination Forms are now available, please click here:   Googasian Nomination Form  Nominations are due to the committee on February 28, 2021.

Googasian Award Committee Composition

The Committee shall be composed of current members of the ACE Network Steering Committee

Criteria for Selection
  1. The candidate shall have demonstrated significant contributions to the development of the status of women.
  2. The candidate shall have demonstrated exceptional leadership through professional accomplishments or notable scholarship
  3. The candidate must be able to attend the Award ceremony in person
  4. All nominees will be asked to provide documentation in support of their nomination
Selection Process
  1. Individual members of the Googasian Award Committee will rank nominees according to the above criteria. These rankings will be tabulated to identify the top candidates for consideration.
  2. At a meeting or meetings called by the Chair of the Googasian Award Committee, the Committee will discuss rankings and select a winner.
  3. There will be one winner per year.
Faculty Emeriti Professional Development Program

Emeriti professors continue to be involved in service activities and scholarly activities on behalf of Oakland University and we gratefully appreciate their valuable contributions. To assist and encourage the scholarly pursuits of our colleagues, the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost has established a fund to support travel to professional meetings. Up to five emeriti professors will be supported each year to travel to a conference or equivalent professional/scholarly function within their discipline, to either a) attend the meeting/function for the purpose of expanding their knowledge, or b) deliver a scholarly presentation based upon their past or current work. In both cases they will bring recognition to the University and offer the potential for sharing knowledge with current faculty and students.

Emeriti professors should submit a letter of interest to the Provost to request these funds. The letter should specify the name and dates of the meeting and specify if the purpose of the travel is to attend or to present. If it is to present, the title of the presentation should be provided.

Funding will be provided in the amount of up to $750 to colleagues who present at meetings and up to $500 to those who attend and participate. Receipts will be needed to process these payments.
Outstanding Dissertation and Thesis

Outstanding Dissertation Award Recipient     Degree      Year
 Ke QuChemistry 2019
 Amy Siebert-McKenzieBiomedical Sciences 2018
 Deirdre PittsEducational Leadership 2018
 Taraneh Matloob HaghanikarReading Education 2017
 Xin XieMechanical Engineering 2017
 Shinko KondoMusic Education 2016
 Jia LiBiomedical Sciences 2016
 Simon OmekandaElectrical and Computer Engineering 2015
 Hypaitia RauchBiology 2014
 Brandon Scott TwardyBiomedical Sciences 2013
 Lisa Ann StrurgsEarly Childhood Education 2012
 Jiman HanMechanical Engineering 2012
 Benjamin A. Buller Medical Physics 2011
 Kishor Karki    Medical Physics 2010
 Adam K. SniadyHealth and Environmental Chemistry 2009
 Betty Savel KozmaEducational Leadership 2008
 Deborah L. JanksMedical Physics 2007
 Mingkun LiElectrical Engineering 2006
 Deborah VanderLinde BlairMusic Education 2006
Outstanding Thesis Award Recipient Degree Year
 Leart Sejdarasi Chemistry 2018
 Zoe Johnson-Ulrich Psychology 2017
 Margo Rae Stanfa Exercise Science 2016
 Stacey Marie Wensink  Biology 2015
 Nan Xu Mechanical Engineering 2014
 Xin Xie Mechanical Engineering 2013
 Jeffrey P. Stephens Biological Sciences 2012
 Ann Marie Wambeke History 2011
 Jennifer Ann Laam     History 2009
 Noel Balzan     Mechanical Engineering 2008