Outstanding staff and faculty contributions, research, teaching and service honored at annual recognition event at Eastern Michigan University

group photo of the award winners

YPSILANTI – Students, faculty, staff, family and friends gathered March 27 to highlight the achievements and service of exemplary individuals from across the Eastern Michigan University campus.

The event, part of Eastern’s 42nd Annual Week of Excellence, honored faculty and staff who have distinguished themselves through careful, thoughtful, and dedicated work at and around the university.

The event was sponsored by The Krumm Agency, the third consecutive year that Bethann and Ernie Krumm have sponsored the Distinguished Contributions Award Ceremony.

Awards were presented in a variety of areas of excellence, including Distinguished Achievement Recognition Awards for Eastern Staff, the Excellent Teachers Engaging Alumni Award, Part-Time Lecturer Distinguished Teaching Awards, and the Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Awards.

Following is a listing of the awards, what they honor and excerpts from the remarks describing the winners.

The Distinguished Achievement Recognition Award for Student Engagement and Success recognizes efforts that foster an environment where students have opportunities for purposeful learning and involvement, and for maximizing their academic and life success. This award is an opportunity to honor the people at Eastern who impact student engagement and learning outside of the classroom.


Dar Mayweather, 4S Coordinator, Holman Success Center: “Dar Mayweather is known to many as not only an excellent instructor, but – more importantly – an excellent role model, who fosters inclusivity wherever he goes. One of those many individuals who has had the privilege of encountering Dar put it so eloquently: ‘Dar is a devoted servant’ to the students of Eastern Michigan University and the surrounding community.”

Shayna White, Senior Secretary for the Department of English Language and Literature: “More than 15 letters were written in support of Shayna for this award, each one as detailed and passionate as the others when describing her exemplary character. The letters touch on many reasons she deserves the award, including – but certainly not limited to – her commitment to others: students, faculty, and staff. One example of this commitment came when she, as one nominator put it, ‘initiated a review of department policies and procedures and advocated for reforms based largely on how they affect the average student.’”

The Distinguished Achievement Recognition Award for Leadership recognizes individuals who foster an inclusive environment that provides opportunities for all members of the campus community to thrive by inspiring others.


Kyle Martin, Coordinator for Greek Life and Leadership: “Kyle is known for not just being a leader himself, but also for helping foster the leadership skills of others. One colleague writes, ‘Students have shared that… Kyle empowers them to take on significant responsibility and supports them in their personal and professional growth.’ In the last year, Kyle led a review of Greek Life policy that saw near unanimous buy-in along the way. Kyle’s exemplary leadership is helping Eastern move toward a safer, more responsible future.”

Jennifer Tremewan, Assistant Director of Financial Aid: “Jennifer Tremewan is truly one of Eastern’s unsung heroes,” declares a colleague. When reading of the various crucial projects Jennifer has helped pilot at Eastern, her colleague’s statement rings evermore true. One recent project is Eagle Engage Corps: a debt forgiveness program through which students who complete community service may eliminate up to $6,000 of debt. To quote her collaborator on the project, ‘Without the expertise, dedication and Jennifer’s unwavering belief in our students, this program would not have launched.’”

Wanda Monks, Administrative Secretary for the College of Arts and Sciences: “Wanda Monks is deserving of this award not only due to her qualities as a leader, but also due to the length for which she’s led. For more than 42 years, Wanda has dedicated herself to this university and its well-functioning. This is especially true for the College of Arts and Sciences, where Wanda works with 18 different departments and schools. According to a number of her colleagues, ‘Wanda brings people together. For example, during recent staff layoffs, she encouraged the Dean to host meetings with CAS clericals to learn about their challenges and to recognize their efforts.’”

The Distinguished Achievement Recognition Awards for Innovation recognize the introduction of a new ideas, methods, procedures, processes, services or systems to our campus that improve institutional effectiveness.


Wanda Monks (repeat winner): “Through her extensive knowledge of the campus and its buildings, Wanda has eased the university through growing pains when – due to renovations in various buildings (Mark Jefferson, Pray-Harrold, and Strong) – offices and classes needed to be relocated. Through helping launch the Resource 25 classroom scheduling database, Wanda aided Eastern in pairing innovation with renovation.”

The Enterprise Application Services (EAS) Programmers and Business Analysts: Russ Blanton, Nathan Jackson, Zhen Fu, Ron Elam, Debbie Foss, Subbu Kilangodi, Kathy Robertson, Andrew Daniels, Sapna Maheshwari-Bajaj, Paul Welke, Janet Min, and Janet Lyle: “Said one nominator of the EAS group: ‘This team lives and breathes innovation in every project they do.’ A few recent projects include the Fast Track Registration system and the Graduate and Undergraduate Admissions Application. Fast Track Registration, for example, replaced an outdated registration system, making it easier for students register for orientation. The team collaborated effectively with many departments to make this innovation happen. The EAS team has worked with academic departments, Human Resources, Rec IM, Housing and Residence Life, Business and Finance and so many of us on campus.”

Community Engagement and Service Awards recognize outstanding service that enhances Eastern’s commitment to community engagement and partnerships.


Susan Campbell, Senior Sponsored Projects Officer “Susan has been integral to the successful research of many colleagues. Serving as the Senior Sponsored Projects Officer for the Office of Research Development and Administration (ORDA), Susan has helped many individuals here at Eastern successfully navigate and complete complicated proposal processes.”

The ORDA group of Caryn Charter, Jennifer Glass, Cynthia Monzon, Brian Moynihan, Sonia Chawla, Phyllis Britton, and Tracy Pytlak. “Of course, though, Susan does not work alone. Along with her, the ORDA group acts as a kind of foundation from which successful research thrives here at Eastern. They are responsible for what one colleague points out are, ‘critical functions… vital to the faculty research activities and success and the university’s research standing.’ Thanks in part to their hard work and support activities, Eastern has officially been recognized as an R2 Carnegie Classified high research activity university, furthering its presence in the local, national, and global community today.”

Excellent Teachers Engaging Alumni Award This award recognizes faculty or other instructional staff members who consistently engage alumni through their curriculum. These faculty are an integral part of the process of transforming student to alumni, and alumni to successful professional.


Barry Pyle, professor in EMU’s Political Science Department for the last 20 years. “Dr. Pyle founded both Eastern’s Mock Trial Team and our Moot Court team and has coached both since. Under his thoughtful leadership, the teams have grown into national powerhouses that compete with top undergraduate institutions across the country. He has devoted countless hours and effort to these students and graduates.”

Part-Time Lecturer Distinguished Teaching Awards recognizing outstanding teaching and service.


Nozomi Craft, from the Department of World Languages, College of Arts and Sciences: “Nozomi uses her education – including a Graduate Certificate in Japanese Language Teaching from Eastern – to efficiently and effectively educate students. As her colleague notes, ‘Nozomi… received 100% A ratings in both the 2016 and 2017 academic years.’ Still, her important work does not stop with her excellent teaching. Nozomi spearheaded the creation of JPNE 179 (which grew to be JPNE 111): a class meant to help ease students into tougher Japanese classes. In other words, she is not just an outstanding educator, but also an innovator, one who keeps students’ interests at the forefront of her work.”

Evan Dority, from the Department of History & Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences: “As one colleague in the department of History and Philosophy puts it, ‘Evan is a first rate teacher.” This sentiment is echoed by another colleague who points out the overwhelming positive language with which students discuss Evan’s classes - while those students are present in other classes. One student writes, ‘Professor Dority is one of my absolute favorite professors that I have ever had…. he made me fall in love with the field.’ Evan also offers his care and intellect to other aspects of the university, though, taking part in programs offered by the Faculty Development Center, one of which grew into an assessment of Gen Ed Philosophy courses.

Janet Hinz, from the School of Health Promotion and Human Performance, College of Health and Human Services: “Janet Hinz is a favorite lecturer in the Sport Management Graduate program here at Eastern; many students wrote that exact thing in letters supporting her for this award. What students value most about her is how she is ‘personable,’ ‘positive,’ and ‘relatable,’ and how she possesses the ability to apply theoretical perspectives to... [the] field. This aptitude in theoretical application likely comes from Janet’s real world experience. Janet, who was once a graduate student at Eastern, also works full-time at U-M as the Director of Operations for volleyball.

Aunmar Mohammad, from the School of Visual and Built Environments, College of Technology: “Aunmar Mohammad masterfully and passionately teaches numerous crucial upper-level courses for the Simulation, Animation, and Gaming program at the School of Visual and Built Environments in the College of Technology. He also acts as an effective mentor for students more generally. Here’s what one student wrote, ‘While working with Aunmar it was clear that his teaching skills extended beyond the classroom as I learned many lessons, about industry skills, the work place, finances, and more.’”

2018 Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Awards

The distinguished faculty awards are named for Ronald W. Collins, who held the position of Eastern’s provost for 18 years. The Collins awards are the most prestigious awards Eastern presents to faculty.  These awards recognize faculty who excel in teaching, research, creative activity and service to the university.

Teaching I award winner

Karen Ann Craig, Assistant Professor, Finance: “Dr. Karen Ann Craig inspires finance students through her teaching, and her program-wide curriculum work. Students point out how skilled Dr. Craig is at simplifying complex topics, that she uses great examples, and that she’s a flexible and versatile teacher, practicing varied teaching approaches to fit students’ varied approaches to learning. The care with which she approaches her students is evidenced in her research and writing; Dr. Craig recently won the best paper award at the Financial Education Association Conference for, ‘Time Value of Reflection,’ which detailed her IRB-approved research on the impact of reflection in student performance. She also--although only in her fourth year at Eastern--has greatly shaped graduate and undergraduate curriculum; she wrote the proposal for our Masters of Science in Finance program, and extensively revised our BBA in Finance program.”

Teaching II award winner

Megan Moore, Assistant Professor, Anthropology: “Dr. Megan Moore is known for effectively engaging students. For example, when serving as the Anthropology honors advisor, she guided students through not just library research, but also data gathering and analysis, providing them with real fieldwork experience. Her outstanding engagement is also evidenced during office hours when – her department head points out – students line up to (rather than ask a question) discuss ideas, theses, and research. Dr. Moore has shaped curriculum at Eastern, as well, introducing four new anthropology courses, including one on nutritional anthropology, and one on bioarcheology, where her own work focuses. With these classes, Dr. Moore inspires students and teachers alike. A student wrote at length on Dr. Moore’s impact: ‘In every course I’ve taken with Dr. Moore, she has shown a genuine belief in the ability of her students to succeed, and a deep passion for helping each of us find the unique support, services, and learning experiences we need to do so.’”

Research I award winner

Joseph Breza, Assistant Professor, Psychology: “In the five years that Joseph Breza has worked at Eastern, he has published seven research articles through high-impact outlets, including the Journal of Comparative Neurology, Chemical Senses, and more. In that same five years, Dr. Breza has presented research at conferences on 12 different occasions. Some of this work seeks to, as one colleague states, identify ‘the neural wiring of the brain.’ To do so, Dr. Breza uses electrophysiology and optogenetics, and has been awarded various grants for this work, including one from the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders.”

Research II award winners

John Carbone, Associate Professor, Health Sciences: “John Carbone, a Registered Dietitian and Associate Professor in the School of Health Sciences, focuses his research on protein processing and impact, and is prolific in disseminating that research. Frequently collaborating with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine while at Eastern, Dr. Carbone has published an astounding 16 peer-reviewed manuscripts and one book chapter, and presented research 19 times at “international, national, and regional conferences.”

Tsu-Yin Wu, professor, School of Nursing: “Like other awardees today, Dr. Tsu-Yin Wu, Professor of Nursing, has inspired her many students to conduct research. One notes a kind of mantra, ‘What would Wu do?’ and writes, ‘She not only taught me the ins and outs of research but also the drive to persevere and communicate clearly with a broad audience and stakeholders.’ This drive is evident in Dr. Wu’s own research agenda, which focuses on health disparities in the Asian American community. Her success with this particular research is impressive. Recently, an interdisciplinary team of faculty of which Dr. Wu is part, was awarded a multi-year grant of $5 million by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Creative endeavors award winner

Carla Harryman, Professor, English Language and Literature: “Carla Harryman’s brilliant and moving work is globally important. For example, “a two-day international discussion of Harryman’s creative, critical, and performative works took place at the ‘Université Paris 7: Poets and Critical Symposium 2018.’ Additionally, her writing has been translated in French, Spanish, Czech, Russian, and other languages, and has appeared in thirty national and international anthologies. She has also been bestowed with numerous grants and awards. As one student – now a colleague – points out, ‘Carla not only writes, but also directs, edits, performs, composes, and cultivates the creative work of others.’”

Service award winner

Tana Bridge, Professor, Social Work: “Tana Bridge is integral to the success of so many aspects of this university, and the social work community of Michigan. As one colleague puts it, ‘She is constantly doing service.’ During her more than 20 years at Eastern, Dr. Bridge has served on so many committees that we’d double the length of this ceremony today by listing them all. Her contributions span from the Social Work program to the Graduate School to the MAC Leadership Development Program. One colleague points out that Dr. Bridge ‘is a well-known trauma expert and freely consults with over a dozen local agencies.’ Additionally, in 2015, she was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to work on the state’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, through which she has served on the training, review, and data committees.”

April 03, 2019

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Media Contact:
Geoff Larcom