CASL 2018 Honor Scholars and Faculty Awards

March 14, 2018

University of Michigan-Dearborn will recognize three CASL faculty members and 34 CASL students at the 36th Annual Honor Scholars and Faculty Awards Ceremony.

University of Michigan-Dearborn will recognize three CASL faculty members and 34 CASL students Tuesday, March 27 during the 36th Annual Honor Scholars and Faculty Awards Ceremony. The program honors faculty who have distinguished themselves in teaching, research and service, and students who have excelled academically.

CASL faculty receiving awards

Marilee Benore: 2018 Eugene Arden Interdisciplinary Research/Teaching Award

Marilee Benore, professor of Biochemistry and Biology in the Department of Natural Sciences in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters is this year’s recipient of the Eugene Arden Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching Award.

The contributions that Professor Benore has made through her research and teaching span the disciplines of biochemistry, biology, women and gender studies, and education reform. Her service work is dedicated to creating intersections in these areas to drive and support change.   All her work- from developing the Behavioral and Biological Sciences major, acting as the faculty advisor to The Society of Women Engineers and Women in Science, to leading national reform in education- has motivated her students, and resulted in transformative experiences and opportunities for the campus community, students and colleagues.

Professor Benore’s work is synergistic and interdisciplinary, and is only accomplished because of her excellent strategic planning, creative ideas, and sincere interest in each of several areas- scientific research, development of new academic and co-curricular programs, advancement of women and girls in STEM through experiential change, and student learning through service and outreach endeavors.   This work encompasses deeper understanding of the communication barriers and identification of common ground in foundational thinking among different fields.

Professor Benore was one of the first biochemistry faculty that began assessing and changing the way biochemistry students learn, pioneering new techniques in 1997. Regarded as one of the core faculty involved in every aspect of change, she has given workshops on research-style laboratories, on how to design and carry out service learning and outreach, and was a core member of an NSF project aimed at faculty around the country. A co-author of a seminal paper describing critical laboratory skills in national accreditation, Marilee Benore has collaborated with many authors at diverse publishers to change the way the texts present the material to incorporate relevance, achieve gender balance, and create critical thinking skills. She is “DBER”-Discipline Based Education Researcher in Biochemistry. 

Driven by a love of science, and with a goal to encourage girls and support women in STEM, she began co-teaching with Suzanne Bergeron in Women’s and Gender Studies courses. This led to her decision to direct the Women in Learning and Leadership program for three years, and in a desire to bring more gender and health studies to our campus. She developed two DDC intersection courses, “Diversity in Health Care” and “Gender in Science and Engineering” by applying her knowledge of feminist ways of thinking and action and their impact on health care and STEM. As one of only two female full professors in the Department of Natural Sciences she serves as a role model and mentor to many. She has won University awards for her mentoring, and has served as Chair of the Sarah Goddard Power Committee for many years.

Marilee Benore is one of the championing voices in outreach at our university. Hundreds of K-12 students, on and off campus, have used the eggs from her chicken flock in outreach activities.   Her first presentation on the topic, at a Keystone conference in 2000, led to her interest in helping design an innovative honors transfer program called “Metro Scholars”, which was part of the seed leading to our campus Honors Transfer Innovator program. Recognizing a need for student cultural experience, she chose to volunteer for several study abroad experiences, most recently in Honduras, participating in medical and health policy reform service in the communities.

Hyejin Kim: 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award

Hyejin Kim. assistant professor of Mathematics, has transformed the undergraduate research environment in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in the short span of the three-and-a-half years she has been here. So far, she has mentored more than 30 students on research projects arising in industry, as well as in applied and abstract mathematics. Her commitment to undergraduate research resulted in four prestigious Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) grants funded by the Mathematical Association of America, along with additional funding from UM-Dearborn. At the beginning of 2017, UM-Dearborn was selected as one of the only 58 NSF funded Mathematics REU sites in the country. This 230K, three-year award is a huge recognition for our department and university and is the result of Dr. Kim’s and Dr. Zeytuncu’s efforts.  

Because of her, “outstanding level of persistence and dedication in guiding students through research beyond the classroom, semesters, and years,” Dr. Kim’s students have published in refereed journals, presented at top Mathematics meetings, found a passion for research and gone on to graduate school or other rewarding careers. 

Dr. Kim is always available to her students, irrespective of office hours. Her help goes beyond any expectation. As a general rule, Dr. Kim spends countless hours helping students pick out future academic programs, find GRE testing sites, apply for travel support, register for conferences, print their posters, submit their papers, and reply to journal referees. She organizes out-of-campus activities for students, drives them to nearby conferences, reserves their hotels and books their flights. A couple of years ago, when a colleague in charge of the actuarial program retired, she took over his responsibilities and then some, of mentoring students for the actuarial exams, spending 5-6 hours a day for weeks over the summer. All this Dr. Kim does quietly, without expecting any recognition, so only a few faculty members are aware of her efforts.

Besides undergraduate research, Dr. Kim’s lectures are beautifully presented. Echoing a sentiment shared by many students, one student writes of Dr. Kim,  “You are honestly the best teacher I have ever had… I am hoping that I would be able to take all of the classes that you teach. You explain very well, show many examples and also give us problems to do. The fact that you are willing to explain it in many different methods is amazing and there should be more math teachers like you.”

Dr. Kim is a teacher, mentor, advisor, counselor, researcher and friend, all wrapped in a single amazing human being. Dr. Kim’s impact has had a lasting impact on the campus.

Frank Massey: 2018 Distinguished Service Award

Frank Massey, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.

Dr. Massey’s exemplary service contributions have covered all levels—department, college, university and community.

At the department level, Dr. Massey has served on 11 Faculty Search Committees in the Department and chaired five of them. He was on the Department Executive Committee for three terms. Dr. Massey was one of the key faculty involved in developing the Master in Applied and Computational Mathematics (ACM) program in the late 90’s. He was on the ACM planning committee for four years before its official launch in 2000 and served as its inaugural Director from 2000-2006. Dr. Massey has been very good at identifying a need in the department and volunteers himself without any expectation for recognition. For example, he has been the coach and organizer of the department’s annual Putnam Competition for Math majors for 20 years, including the past 11 years.

At the college level, Dr. Massey has served on the college’s Curriculum Committee (CASL CC) for 8 years. CASL CC is one of the most important committees in CASL, the Committee regularly reviews 7 to 12 proposals every other week. Reading and understanding the proposals for new courses or new programs requires a tremendous amount of time and attention from committee members, particularly  those outside the member’s expertise.

At the university level, Dr. Massey has served on six campus wide committees including Faculty Senate (2007-2010), Senate Council (2007-2009), Senate Promotion and Tenure Committee (2007-2012), Committee on the Economic Status of Faculty (2007-present), Computer and Information Science Committee (1978-1991), and Academic Affairs Advising Committee (1983-1984). 

Dr. Massey’s service contributions also extend beyond campus. He was a key organizer for three local Mathematics meetings. Dr. Massey’s distinguished service records to the department, college, university and students have demonstrated exceptional excellence and dedication. 

CASL Honor Scholars

Heather M. Murphy

Applied Statistics
Zachary R. Smith

Art History
Con A. Lustig

Behavioral and Biological Sciences    
Lena Rammouni

Behavioral Sciences
Chelsea M. Burke

Muhammad A. Osto

Biological Sciences    
Kelly L. Parker

Business Studies
Stephanie R. Barna

Chemistry (ACS Certified)
Sami Abdulhadi

Brianna Patrick

Criminology and Criminal Justice
Madou A. Bazzi

Brock A. Rowberry

Samira A. Nahshal

Environmental Science
Brian J. Giroux

Environmental Studies
Laura M. Walker

French Studies
Cortney Armstrong

General Studies
Nikki Hollandsworth

Hispanic Studies
Raana Ali

Hannah R. Ryniak

Madeleine G. Burkhart

International Studies
Belle Sobolewski

Journalism and Screen Studies
Con A. Lustig

Liberal Studies
Leticia Rangel

Ravikumar Ramasami

Gabriella M. Oudsema

Political Science
Monica M. De Roche

Madison M. Kuzma

Zahraa Saab

Urban and Regional Studies
Teiana L. McGahey

Women’s and Gender Studies
Rebecca Richardson

Graduate Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics 
Lourdes (Gizelle) Guerra

Graduate Program in Environmental Science 
Rose Mankiewicz

Graduate Program in Psychology
Chazlyn Miller

Graduate Program in Public Administration 
Jeffrey D. Watkins

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