Daniel Moerman, William E. Stirton professor emeritus of anthropology, honored as Jackie Lawson Memorial Faculty Governance Award recipient

October 28, 2009


DEARBORN / Oct. 28, 2009---In recognition of his extensive efforts in promoting faculty governance, Daniel Moerman, William E. Stirton professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, received the Jackie Lawson Memorial Faculty Governance Award from U-M’s Faculty Senate during a ceremony earlier this month on the Ann Arbor campus.       

The award is named for Jackie Lawson, professor of English and communications at UM-Dearborn from 1985 to 2000, who was deeply committed to faculty governance and to strengthening relationships among the University’s three campuses.  At the time of her death, Lawson was serving as chair of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA), the first faculty member from one of the regional campuses elected to that position.                    

Moerman was the first faculty member from the Dearborn campus to serve on SACUA.  In the 1980s, during the presidencies of Harold Shapiro and James Duderstadt, he served for four consecutive years.  As a member of the Honorary Degrees Committee, he wrote the citation for Nelson Mandela’s honorary degree.  During his long service on the General Counsel Advisory Committee, his advice and intervention were important in a number of areas of university life.       

Moerman, who started his career at UM-Dearborn in 1973 and served for over three decades, was the first president of UM-Dearborn’s Faculty Senate in 1993, sketching out the general shape of an entirely new faculty governance system, which continues to present time.         

He also is a recognized researcher and scholar.  His research has focused on the anthropological analysis of processes of human healing and, in particular, the impact people’s knowledge and understanding of health have on their well-being.        

He is well known for his work on the “placebo effect,” that is, situations where the meaningful dimensions of medical practice play real, measurable roles; his book on the subject Meaning, Medicine, and the “Placebo Effect,” was published by Cambridge U Press in 2002. He has also worked extensively with medicinal plants primarily of Native American peoples, but also globally. He is the author of Native American Ethnobotany, which received the "Annual Literature Award" of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries for 2000. A revised version of that book—Native American Medicinal Plants—was published in March of 2009.


About University of Michigan-Dearborn
The University of Michigan-Dearborn is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout the 2009/2010 academic year. Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, UM-Dearborn has been distinguished by its commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities responsive to the needs of southeastern Michigan. The university has 8,700 students pursuing undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business, education, and public administration. With a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of interaction with business, government and industry in southeastern Michigan, and is committed to responding to the needs of the region in the future.


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