More than 100 students and seven faculty members recognized at annual Honor Scholars and Faculty Awards Ceremony

April 1, 2019

The awards program, now in its 37th year, honors students for their strong academic achievement and faculty who have distinguished themselves in teaching, research and service.

UM-Dearborn Faculty Awards 2019
UM-Dearborn Faculty Awards 2019
Provost Kate Davy and Chancellor Domenico Grasso (center) congratulate recipients of the 2019 Faculty Awards. From left: Vivek Singh, Distinguished Research Award; Bochen Jia, Distinguished Teaching Award; Jeffrey R. Bouwman, Distinguished Digital Education Award; Gerald Holowicki, Collegiate Lecturer Program Award; Nilay Chakraborty, Distinguished Teaching Award; Edward J. Williams, Collegiate Lecturer Program Award; and H. James Gilmore, Distinguished Service Award.

University of Michigan-Dearborn honored more than 100 students and seven faculty members Tuesday, March 26, at the 37th annual Honor Scholars and Faculty Awards Ceremony. The program recognizes students for their strong academic achievement and faculty who have distinguished themselves in teaching, research and service.

Faculty awards included:

  • Distinguished Service Award: H. James Gilmore, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
  • Distinguished Research Award: Vivek Singh, College of Business

  • Distinguished Digital Education Award: Jeffrey R. Bouwman, College of Education, Health, and Human Services
  • Distinguished Teaching Award: Nilay Chakraborty, College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Distinguished Teaching Award: Bochen Jia, College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Collegiate Lecturer Program Award: Gerald Holowicki, College of Business
  • Collegiate Lecturer Program Award: Edward J. Williams, College of Business


Distinguished Service Award

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, Gilmore has provided
the department, college and campus with wide-ranging creative talent
and invaluable technical expertise. Gilmore has revamped the curriculum of the production program to include more advanced production techniques. He instituted a 48-hour film project in the Advanced Media Production course, made the class a capstone course, and created additional courses in documentary, photojournalism and media performance. Each year he connects journalism and screen studies students to many internships, creating opportunities by developing the original TV series, Michigan Crossroads, that is produced by UM-Dearborn student interns. This series builds on the best projects from 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 on the 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 currently is the faculty adviser 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, 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. Gilmore frequently serves as a screener for the Michigan Student Film Festival and for the Ann Arbor Film Festival. He regularly is 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.


Distinguish Research Award

Vivek Singh, professor of accounting and finance in the College of Business, is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Research Award.

Both the quality and quantity of Singh’s research go far beyond expectations, thus building UM-Dearborn’s reputation as a place to find world-leading experts. A decade ago, Heck and Cooley (2009) conducted a bibliographic analysis of finance researchers who had demonstrated “extreme performance.” Even then, Singh, who had completed his dissertation just five years before, ranked in the top 4 percent of all research-active finance professors in cumulative lifetime research productivity. Since then, he has maintained his world-class productivity. Another article on research productivity laid out criteria for placement in the top 5 percent of finance doctoral graduates. Singh could cut his publication record in half over the past 15 years, and still qualify in the top 5 percent. It should be no surprise, then, that he has earned the Distinguished Performance in Research Award in 2018 and Researcher of the Year Award in 2016.

Not only is he prolific, but Singh’s work is of exceptionally high quality. To date, Singh has published 23 papers in what the College of Business considers “very good” journals and two in “superior” journals, along with six more papers in “good” journals. Six of these articles were the lead article in the journal, one won a best paper award, and another was republished in a special issue of Financial Management for publications that had the most impact over the past five years.

His research also has drawn considerable interest from the practitioners’ community, as evidenced by regular requests from money managers for his articles. Investment magazines, including CFA Digest and various investment-related websites, also have summarized and cited his work.


Distinguished Digital Education Award

Jeffrey R. Bouwman, lecturer II of science education and educational technology in the Department of Education in the College of Education, Health, and Human Services, is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Digital Education Award.

Since the winter of 2011, Bouwman has taught a variety of educational technology and science education classes for CEHHS as an adjunct instructor.
 In each of the classes he teaches, he draws on his experience as a middle school science teacher to model effective pedagogical strategies and the mindful integration of technology for his students. He presents content and instructional materials in ways that engage all learners.

Bouwman promotes active learning with his students through the use of tools such as GradeCraft, Kahoot! and Quizizz. He has students create QR Code scavenger hunts and introduces them to tools such as Blendspace and Google Classroom while showing them how he uses these online learning environments in his own teaching. He models the use of technology for classroom management by using ClassDojo with his classes and regularly utilizes Zoom to facilitate webinars for his students. Bouwman shows students how to use iPads and the GLOBE Observer app to take cloud and land cover measurements and has them complete Protocol eTraining through the GLOBE Program so they can develop lesson plans that integrate these different protocols and technologies.

Students appreciate learning how Jeff uses these different technologies in his
 own classroom as evidenced by this comment: “Between his thorough subject matter expertise, his well-paced and individualized teaching methods and
 his mentorship, he created a course that not only developed our knowledge of educational technology, but also developed our skills as teachers and human beings. I cannot express my gratitude enough to Professor Bouwman for everything he has taught me this semester.”


Distinguish Teaching Awards

Nilay Chakraborty, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, is a 2019 recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Chakraborty received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina in 2008. He was hired by the University of Michigan-Dearborn in the Fall 2012 term and has since provided excellent service to the university and, more importantly, to his students.

Chakraborty possesses a teaching style that bears rich fruit for his students. He does not simply dictate information but instills a mode of thinking and problem solving useful for the classroom, in research, and for professional application. Chakraborty displays his own unique and fresh style to the class. He is known mostly for bioengineering courses, such as bioprocessing and biomimetics. His efforts were critical in the formation of the bioengineering program, still in its infancy, that also gives options to students who wish to pursue interdisciplinary studies. In graduate courses, he places strict value on individual student development and a targeted progression to the research aspect of self-sustaining intellectual pursuit.

Those who know him best are the largest benefactors of his guidance; however, every student that is seen with him seems to take away something important from the interaction. He will bend over backward to provide opportunity for students. Of course, everyone benefits from the experience and lessons taught in the classroom and research lab. But Chakraborty goes beyond these, by helping each student chart a course to their own personal interests—recommending avenues of study, providing direct industry connections for aspiring professionals and networking with his array of contacts in academia to enrich the value of the individual student. Many have witnessed his deep involvement in student success numerous times.

Bochen Jia, assistant professor in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, is a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Jia has taught human factors and ergonomics with the College of Engineering and Computer Science for nearly six years. He is an excellent educator who has established an outstanding record in several aspects of teaching, including classroom instruction at sophomore, junior and graduate levels (both M.S. and Ph.D.); curriculum, course and laboratory development; and student mentorship. Students consider him to be an effective and knowledgeable instructor who is always prepared for class. Students have made many positive comments about his concern with student learning and his tremendous willingness to help. 

Jia significantly improved human factors and ergonomics offerings
in IMSE and CECS. He secured a $50,000 award from DENSO North America Foundation to develop a comprehensive educational program to train undergraduate students at UM-Dearborn to work in small interdisciplinary and diverse teams to address practical design issues facing the automotive industry.

Beyond his excellent contributions in the classroom, Jia has distinguished himself as an outstanding faculty mentor for student design
 teams participating in the annual national Ergonomics Design Competition.
 He organized and advised 13 different student teams for this competition. In 2015, one of his teams finished in the top five nationally, and in 2016, one of his teams that included students from three different undergraduate programs (industrial, manufacturing and bioengineering) won First Place among 46 teams from Auburn, Texas A&M and other nationally recognized universities.

His dedication to teaching excellence both in and outside the classroom makes him a model faculty member. Quoting one student, “Dr. Jia is an extraordinary teacher, a respected advisor, and a kind and generous human being, devoted to student success.”


Collegiate Lecturer Award

Gerald Holowicki, lecturer IV in the Department of Management Studies in the College of Business, is a recipient of the Collegiate Lecturer Award.

Holowicki joined the faculty of the College of Business in 2008 as 
a lecturer of supply chain management, bringing his 30 years of industry experience to the classroom. He initially worked for Unisys Corporation and later ran his own successful consulting company for 16 years. He has taught eight different courses for the College of Business, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Supply chain is challenging content, yet students are highly engaged in Holowicki’s classes. His classes are characterized by a focus on real-world applications, through cases and examples. His teaching philosophy seeks to identify the deeper meaning of the content and influence how people think to make a difference in the world. His enthusiasm and excitement for the topic inspires students to invest the effort to learn the concepts. In 2014, he won the College of Business Teacher of the Year award, an award determined by student nominations. He cares about his students and gets to know them on a personal level, offering academic, career and job-search advice as a mentor. Students note that he reaches out to them to let them know he is available to help clarify course concepts and offer learning resources for students who may be struggling.

Holowicki also is active in co-curricular areas. He started the Student Supply Chain Association in 2010 and has served as its chair or co-chair, arranging for guest speakers and site visits to give students exposure. In 2014, he initiated the college’s annual participation in the national Supply Chain Management Association Student Case Competition. In 2016, he launched an annual reunion for supply chain management majors, which has been a successful way to connect alumni and current students. And in 2017, he started an internal case competition, which brought industry professionals to campus to judge student case presentations.

Edward J. Williams, lecturer II in decision sciences in the College of Business, is a recipient of the Collegiate Lecturer Award.

Williams has been dedicated to high-quality teaching for nearly 
40 years, having joined the university as a lecturer in 1980. Since then he has been teaching very broadly in the College of Business and in the College
of Engineering and Computer Science. Over his teaching career, he has impressed his colleagues by his wholehearted love and care for students, inherent dedication to high-quality teaching, broad and deep knowledge in his disciplines, and especially well-organized and clear presentations in the classroom.

Williams has taught more than 20 different courses at UM-Dearborn. He has an interdisciplinary academic background and industry experience that enables him to teach courses in information technology, simulation, statistics and management science, with ease and ability. His primary strength is that he brings relevance to business problems based in his four decades of industry experience with major organizations in Michigan. Students, a vast majority of whom are industry practitioners, appreciate this exceptional ability and greatly enjoy this aspect of his teaching and class interaction.

Most recently, Williams’s teaching has focused on decision science and information management, at both undergraduate and graduate levels. He is especially outstanding in presenting complicated technical details in a neat and clear manner for the better understanding of his students. He is prepared and always willing to accept short notice to teach a new course. He painstakingly prepares specific course materials, including video clips, for online teaching. He is highly responsible in modeling and demanding the utmost academic integrity.

Williams conveys career advice and mentoring to students far beyond
 the classroom. He inherently cares for students, especially for their career development. He takes care to actively communicate with students to provide valuable advice for their growth and success in their professions.

To better serve his students, Williams is enthusiastic in pursuing his own professional development, always keeping his discipline knowledge up
 to date. He very actively participates in academic conferences, not only presenting his own work, but also serving as a session chair or as a judge for competitions. Impressively, he has published over 100 research papers in respected academic journals.

Honor Scholars

College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters

Teresa M. O’Malley

Applied Statistics
Theren J. Williams

Art History
Savona Safaoui

Behavioral and Biological Sciences
Andra Cristiu

Behavioral Sciences
Sara El Souki

Haifa Ali

Biological Sciences
Jamil Jomaa

Business Studies
Stephanie R. Barna

Chemistry (ACS Certified)
Rachel Holthus

Jordan M. Ewald

Criminology and Criminal Justice
Lily F. Seccombe

Earth Science
Elise Arnett

Andrew M. Daulton

David Davis

Environmental Science
Anna Wahl

Environmental Studies
Griffin Bray

French Studies
Marie Suehrer

General Studies
Darrell C. Davis

Hispanic Studies
Micah E. White

Dylan J. Siwicki

International Studies
Nicole K. Brown

Journalism and Screen Studies
Lydia Sisko

Liberal Studies
Nancy M. Bartlett

Fatme Hourani

Ryan Sweetapple

Sean Strnad

Thomas Sutter

Political Science
Christian J. Ledford

Mallori E. Young

Matthew R. Fleming

Urban and Regional Studies
Kim Price

Women’s and Gender Studies
Hala M. Alazzawi

Graduate Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics
David Like

Graduate Program in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Michelle Lishin

Graduate Program in Psychology
Christin Dewit

Graduate Program in Public Administration

Troy Goodnough


College of Business

Maria Gajda

Digital Marketing
Rachel Clem

Alexander O’Connor

Human Resource Management
Fatima Abdullah

Information Technology Management
Gabriela Wilson

Holly Stebbin

Kailyn Delonis

Supply Chain Management
Vinu Sebastian

Graduate Program in Accounting
Marwa El-Sabbagh

Graduate Program in Business Administration

Allison Barnhart

Graduate Program in Business Analytics
Pauljin Kochupyloth

Graduate Program in Finance
Brian Sheahan

Graduate Program in Information Systems
Sneha Ravichandran

Graduate Program in Supply Chain Management

Moeez Aslam


College of Education, Health, and Human Services

Community Health Education
Alba Montenegro

Master of Science in Health Information Technology

Vinita Kotnis

Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies
Carol Luk

Bachelor of Arts in Health and Human Services
Hajer Alchalabi

Bachelor of Arts in Instructional Technology
Zainab Omasan

Bachelor of General Studies in Children and Families

Alisha Moslimani

Master of Arts in Community Based Education
Cassandra Byrd

Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education
Chantay Strother

Master of Arts in Education
Rana Makki

Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
Zahara Attia

Master of Arts in Educational Technology
Kellie Broderick

Master of Arts in Teaching
Jihad Baydoun

Master of Education in Special Education
Erin Lewis

Master of Science in Science Education
Adina Rubenstein

Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.)
Kelli Hughes

Education Specialist (Ed.S.)
Kelley Michels

Health Policy Studies
Niveen Elder

Public Health
Jessica Doan

Bachelor of Arts in Child Life Specialist
Jenifer Pifer

Bachelor of Arts in Education (Early Childhood)

Natalie Schaefer

Bachelor of Arts in Education (Integrated Science)

Kaitlin Tracy

Bachelor of Arts in Education (Language Arts)

Donya Haidar

Bachelor of Arts in Education (Mathematics Studies)

Kara Snyder

Bachelor of Arts in Education (Reading)
Carolyn Renneker

Bachelor of Arts in Education (Social Studies)
Stephanie Farley

Bachelor of Arts in Education (Special Education)

Abigail Hanna


College of Engineering and Computer Science

Grant Baker

Bioengineering/Mechanical Engineering
Hanan A. Yehya

Computer Engineering
Russell Andres

Computer and Information Science
Travis H. Bates

Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
Nicholas L. Domol

Data Science
Carrie L. McClanahan

Electrical Engineering
Kenneth Topolovec

Industrial and Systems Engineering
Gregory Stille

Manufacturing Engineering
Sarah Walworth

Manufacturing Systems Engineering/Mechanical Engineering

Michael Ustes

Mechanical Engineering
Joshua R. Bylund

Robotics Engineering
Zaynab Jamil

Software Engineering
Martin Lohner

Graduate Program in Automotive Systems Engineering

Avaneesh Srinivasa

Graduate Program in Bioengineering
Jessica A. Hallgath

Graduate Program in Computer Engineering
Muhammad Tayyab

Graduate Program in Computer and Information Science

Sameera Ahmed

Graduate Program in Data Science
Cooper Stansbury

Graduate Program in Electrical Engineering
Lincy George

Graduate Program in Energy Systems Engineering

Megan Gould

Graduate Program in Engineering Management

Domenic Miccinilli

Graduate Program in Industrial and Systems Engineering

Huimin Miao

Graduate Program in Information Systems and Technology

Manvi Kamboj

Graduate Program in Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Abhista Paddillaya

Graduate Program in Mechanical Engineering
Sara Imtiazuddin

Graduate Program in Program and Project Management

Aravind Palakurissi

Graduate Program in Software Engineering
John P. Reese

Ph.D. Program in Computer and Information Science

Terry L. Ruas

Ph.D. Program in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Nevrus Kaja

Ph.D. Program in Mechanical Sciences and Engineering

Rongheng Li

Ph.D. in Information Systems Engineering
Bader Alkhazi

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