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Distinguished Service Award Overview and Recent Recipients

The Distinguished Service Award honors faculty members who provide significant service contributions to UM-Dearborn, their unit, their professional discipline, or the external community. They are exemplars of good academic citizenship. Awardees are faculty members who have given extensive service with a substantial impact on the quality of UM-Dearborn as an educational institution and as a community of scholars. Faculty should demonstrate a record of multiple service activities over a sustained period or a single recent major activity. One award is given annually.

If you are seeking information on Distinguished Service Award recipients prior to the years listed below, please contact the Office of the Provost.

2019 Award Recipient, H. James Gilmore

H. James Gilmore, clinical professor of communication in the Department of Language, Culture, and Communication in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters (CASL), is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.

During his 11 years at UM-Dearborn, Professor Gilmore has provided the department, college, and campus with wide-ranging creative talent and invaluable technical expertise. Professor Gilmore has revamped the curriculum of our production program to include more advanced production techniques. He instituted a 48-hour film project in our advanced media production class, made the class a capstone course, and created additional courses in Documentary, Photojournalism, and Media Performance. Each year he connects Journalism and Screen Studies (JASS) students to many internships, creating opportunities by developing the original TV series, Michigan Crossroads, that is produced by our student interns. This series builds on the best projects from our classroom courses and provides students the opportunity to host or direct a live-to-tape TV magazine program.

At the campus level, he played a crucial role on the CASL Technology Committee, created a promotional film, "First Year Seminar", served on the Dean’s Special Task Force on CASL Structure, served on the DDC Review sub-committee for Arts and Humanities, and served for five years on the Student Media Committee, including a two-year stint as chair. He is currently the faculty advisor to Campus Video Network. In addition, he has organized college- and university-wide panels and film-related events, including screenings of five of his most recent documentary films.

Beyond the university, Professor Gilmore has contributed to UM-Dearborn’s metropolitan mission through his academic service-learning work with Recovery Park, an urban farming initiative in Detroit. This semester his academic service-learning course has partnered with the Michigan Association of Infant Mental Health, and he has received a Ford Community Foundation Grant to support the work of students in the creation of multi-media projects in support of community outreach. Two of his recent feature-length documentary films (Men at Work and The Forgiving Earth) also advanced this mission by highlighting creative solutions to Detroit’s economic crisis. Professor Gilmore frequently serves as a screener for the Michigan Student Film Festival and for the Ann Arbor Film Festival. He is regularly tapped as a judge for local and national film festivals, including the Michigan Student Film Festival, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and the Broadcast Education Association’s annual Festival of Media Arts.

Professor Gilmore has been a model of both disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration. Please join me acknowledging and celebrating his achievements and contributions to our institution and beyond. The University of Michigan- Dearborn salutes him and proudly presents to him the Distinguished Service Award.

2018 Award Recipient, Frank Massey

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 eleven 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 1990’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 twenty years, including the past eleven years.

At the college level, Dr. Massey has served on the college’s Curriculum Committee for eight years. This is one of the most important committees in CASL; the committee regularly reviews seven to twelve 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), Faculty Senate Council (2007-2009), Faculty 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 record to the department, college, university, and students has demonstrated exceptional excellence and dedication. The University of Michigan-Dearborn proudly presents Dr. Frank Massey the Distinguished Service Award.

2017 Award Recipient, John Riebesell

John Riebesell, Associate Professor of Biology in the Department of Natural Sciences in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters, is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.

Dr. Riebesell’s distinguished service contributions started early in his career as an assistant professor, when he served on the Department of Natural Sciences Executive Committee (1979-1980), and later on as he took the responsibilities of Biological Sciences Discipline Chair (1980-1983).  Dr. Riebesell returned to this role more recently when he was elected by his colleagues to serve for two consecutive terms (2010-2016).  During this period, the Biological Sciences program reached new heights in enrollment to become one of the largest programs in CASL.  Dr. Riebesell did an impeccable job in addressing the staffing of the additional courses that needed to be offered due to high enrollment pressures, identifying and hiring suitable and well qualified part-time instructors, and managing resources well to maximize their effective utility.  For many years, Dr. Riebesell served as the Chair of the Environmental Science Program.  He is currently shepherding the program through a self-study and an external review.  Dr. Riebesell’s outstanding contributions to the affairs of the Natural Sciences Department and the Biological Sciences Discipline have not been limited to administrative duties.  Dr. Riebesell has served our students with distinction as the Environmental Science Concentration advisor for almost all of his career.  Dr. Riebesell, along with the late Dr. Linda Fisher, developed the first mandatory advising programs in the Department of Natural Sciences.

Dr. Riebesell’s service contributions to the College of Arts Sciences and Letters and the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus included memberships on the CASL Executive Committee, the CASL Curriculum Committee, and the Faculty Senate.  Additionally, Dr. Riebesell served as the Chair of the University of Michigan-Dearborn Faculty Senate for two years (1997-1999).

Dr. Riebesell’s service contributions have extended beyond our campus. He was a member of the University of Michigan Senate Assembly (2000-2004), a member of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (2001-2004), and Vice Chair of the University of Michigan Senate Assembly (2003-2004).

Dr. Riebesell’s distinguished service to his discipline, department, college, university, and our students has been exemplary and a model for dedication and excellence.  The University of Michigan-Dearborn salutes Dr. John Riebesell and proudly presents to him the Distinguished Service Award.

2016 Award Recipient, Barbara Klein

Barbara Klein, professor of Information Systems Management/Information Technology Management in the College of Business is the recipient of this year's Distinguished Service Award.

Professor Klein has been selected both for the impressive amount of service she has undertaken and for the high quality of her contributions to the campus in these roles. To quote one letter supporting her nomination, "UM-Dearborn is a far richer campus because of the work of Professor Barbara Klein. Few faculty members on this campus give as much of themselves for the betterment of the campus community as does Barbara Klein."

At the university level, she chaired the Faculty Senate from 2011-2012 and brought a new, more collaborative leadership style to this body that proved to be very effective on many fronts. Under her leadership, the senate accomplished many goals, including developing and implementing the current policy on late adds and instructor-initiated drops, revising campus by-laws, and writing guidelines for the annual CESF report. She has engaged in many other university level committees, including the Faculty Senate Council, the Faculty Senate Grievance Committee, the General Education Advisory Task Force, the Vision 2020 Emerging Strategies group, the Graduate Board, and the Campus Promotion and Tenure Committee.

In the College of Business, Barbara's service record shows her strong commitment to her college. Her efforts to support students include the MBA Task Force, the Scholarship and Awards Committee, and committees that serve the Honors Program. She has worked on many administrative committees, including the Dean's Search Committee and the College Executive Committee. At the department level, she has been a leader in the Information Technology discipline, with significant roles in developing a graduate program and a new integrative class for the MBA.

In all of these roles, she gives the same level of attention and engagement that characterize her work. In the words of one reviewer, "she has approached all of her university service commitments with conscientiousness, reliability, accountability, and dedication to the accomplishment of a final goal."

The University of Michigan-Dearborn salutes Dr. Klein and proudly presents to her the Distinguished Service Award.

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