Eugene V. Arden Interdisciplinary Research/Teaching Award Overview & Past Recipients

The Eugene V. Arden Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching Award honors faculty with a compelling record of publications or pedagogical innovations that are interdisciplinary in nature and extend over a significant period of time. One award is given every two years in alternate (even) years.

If you are seeking information on Eugene Arden Interdisciplinary Research/Teaching Award recipients prior to the three years listed below, please contact the Office of the Provost.

2018 Award Recipient, Marilee Benore

Marilee Benore, Professor of Biochemistry and Biology in the Department of Natural Sciences in the College of Arts, Science, 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.

The University of Michigan-Dearborn salutes Professor Benore and proudly presents to her the Eugene Arden Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching Award.

2016 Award Recipient, Suzanne Bergeron

Suzanne Bergeron, Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Social Sciences in the Department of Social Sciences and College-Wide programs in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters, is the recipient of the Eugene V. Arden Interdisciplinary Research/Teaching Award. As a productive and collaborative scholar she shares her expertise and enthusiasm with faculty, staff and students. Her efforts have transformed our campus.

Dr. Bergeron holds a Ph.D. in Economics, but her research in the field of gender and global development integrates insights from across the disciplines, particularly in political science, anthropology, geography and ethics. Arriving on our campus in 1989, she has taught in the Women's and Gender Studies, Economics, Political Science, Environmental Studies, Honors, and Master's in Liberal Studies programs. Her students rave about her courses, because she radiates the importance of keen and critical thinking.

She is the author of Fragments of Development and Gender, Power and International Development as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters. Her research crosses the "borderlands" between disciplines, and effectively "translates" ideas into language that can be understood and utilized in new ways. This is interdisciplinary work at its best, empowering research and analytical innovation.

She has won numerous awards for her research and teaching, and is the recipient of the UM-Dearborn Distinguished Teaching Award, Susan B. Anthony Award, and Distinguished Service Award. She also received UM Ann Arbor's Sarah Goddard Power Award for her research, teaching and service contributions to gender equity.

She has tirelessly worked to promote other faculty, disciplines and students to consider and create interdisciplinary courses and programs a learning community. Sought out for her ideas, enthusiasm, and ability to communicate across the knowledge spectrum, she exemplifies an interdisciplinary scholar.

The University of Michigan-Dearborn salutes Dr. Bergeron and proudly presents to her the Eugene V. Arden Interdisciplinary Research/Teaching Award.

2014 Award Recipient, Pankaj Mallick

Dr. Pankaj Mallick, William E. Stirton Professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, is the second recipient of the Eugene Arden Interdisciplinary Research/Teaching Award.
In the thirty-five years since he joined the UM-Dearborn faculty, Dr. Mallick has been an interdisciplinary model, as a researcher, a teacher, and an administrator. For nearly two decades he has served as the director of interdisciplinary programs in the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS), providing leadership in the creation and administration of programs that bring together faculty and students from different areas within the College. He has played a major role in the updating of master's degree programs in Automotive Systems Engineering and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, the establishment of a new master's degree program in Energy Systems Engineering, and, most significantly, the development of two new interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs in Automotive Systems Engineering and Information Systems Engineering. "It was because of P.K.'s leadership and enthusiasm that these programs were successfully implemented," one of his colleagues writes.
Dr. Mallick's own research and teaching have always been interdisciplinary, dating from a time when such work was far less common in engineering than it is today. His Ph.D. research was at the interface of mechanics and polymer-based composite materials, and that set the stage for a career positioned at the intersection of mechanical design, materials, and manufacturing. So, too, with his work as a teacher. He has developed and taught a host of courses, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, that bring together different engineering disciplines. Highly sought-after as a thesis advisor in part because of this interdisciplinary expertise, Dr. Mallick has supervised eight doctoral and thirty-eight master's students, and he has co-advised at least one master's thesis from each of CECS's four academic departments.
A prolific collaborator, Dr. Mallick has also worked with faculty not only from across CECS but from across the campus. In the 1990's, he led a team of interdisciplinary engineering faculty in the establishment of the Center for Lightweight Automotive Materials and Processing (CLAMP). Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, CLAMP was at the time the only center in the country to provide advanced graduate education on automotive materials. In 2005, he successfully led another team of faculty to secure additional funding for CLAMP, for a total of $1.4 million in DOE funds. He participated actively in the development of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters' Science and Technology Studies Program, continues to serve on its faculty advisory committee, and has created and taught a course for it on "Social Issues in Automobile Design and Engineering." He has also collaborated with faculty in four of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters (CASL) six departments and in the College of Education, Health, and Human Services (CEHHS) on projects and grant proposals ranging from mathematics for engineering students to science, engineering, and mathematics training for elementary education students to low-altitude wind turbines for the city of Detroit. As UM-Dearborn's first Provost, Eugene Arden was a champion of interdisciplinary research and teaching. Dr. Mallick has carried on and helped to realize that legacy throughout his career on our campus. 

Back to top of page