Dean’s Message

One definition for commencement states that it is “a ceremony at which students receive academic degrees”. A couple of weeks ago during our summer commencement ceremonies, I had the privilege to congratulate 31 new doctoral recipients and nearly 400 students who earned either masters or graduate certificates. It is truly a joyous occasion for each student, their family, and the university. I am proud to be a part of the celebration. The word commencement also is defined as the moment when something begins. In talking with the graduates I learned of the many new opportunities they will be embarking on, from exciting postdoctoral and new faculty positions to jobs in industry or advancements in their current workplace that come as a result of the advanced degree.

Summer also brings an opportunity for the Graduate College to engage our students in extensive professional development opportunities that will contribute to their overall success. One such opportunity we have developed this year in conjunction with the Office of Faculty Development is a weeklong teaching institute. The goal of the institute is help graduate students assess their teaching practices, refine teaching and learning approaches, and improve communication for diverse learners. We are excited and thankful that the Office of the Provost has agreed to help support this inaugural institute but will be seeking outside support and donors to make this institute a yearly reality. If you are interested in making a contribution to this effort just indicate Graduate College and Teaching Institute on your donation.

Wishing you all the best for a wonderful and sunshine filled summer.

Susan R. Stapleton, Ph.D.

Dean, Graduate College
A photo of Dr. Susan Stapleton, Dean of the Graduate College

2014 Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Awards

The Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Awards were established in 1998 by the Graduate Studies Council to recognize effective teaching done at WMU by graduate students as assistants to faculty, as independent instructors, or in other capacities that directly promote and facilitate student learning. Please join the Graduate College in offering congratulations to the recipients of Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Awards. These students were nominated by their department. The 2013-2014 All-University Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Award recipients are Andrea Bierema, Mallinson Institute for Science Education; Franklin Cline, English; Jack Goodman, History; Elizabyth Hiscox, English; Jennifer Marson, Sociology; Brad Pulverenti, Music; Michael Romano, Political Science; and Rachael Tilka, Psychology. The 2013-2014 Department Graduate Teaching Effectiveness award recipients are Kofi Acheampong, economics; Bilge Altay, Chemical and Paper Engineering; Benjamin Armey, Family and Consumer Sciences; Kristina Bailey, Political Science; Rudy Bartels, Geography; Kyle Byron, Comparative Religion; Jerusa Carvajal-Villamar, Spanish; Ting Chen, Chemical and Paper Engineering; Andrew Clay, Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology; Franklin Cline, English; Rachel Crouse, Spanish; Kelly Current, Chemistry; Joanne DeWit, Nursing; Kelcie Douglas, Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology; Janice Fulford, Mallinson Institute for Science Education; Rieti Gengo, Anthropology; Timothy Glidewell, Chemistry; Yih Wen Goh, Biological Sciences; Jack Goodman, History; Camila Guerrero, Civil and Construction Engineering; Elizabyth Hiscox, English; Darshika Keerthisinghe, Physics; Vincent Krause, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Marisha Lecea, Political Science; Anne Lundquist, Educational Leadership, Research and Technology; Jacob Job, Biological Sciences; Precious Majors, Educational Leadership, Research and Technology, Jennifer Marson, Sociology; Kevin Murphy, Philosophy; Brad Pulverenti, Music; Madhuri Revalla, Computer Science; Angie Sanchez, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Katelyn Sandor, Communication; Dustin Smith, Mathematics; Alberta Stover, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences; Rachael Tilka, Psychology; Lindsay Toth, Human Performance and Health Education; and Jessica Urschel, Psychology. A reception and awards ceremony gave these deserving students a chance to shine with family, friends, and faculty.

2014 Graduate Research and Creative Scholar Awards

The Graduate Research and Creative Scholar Awards were established in 1986 by the Graduate Studies Council to acknowledge graduate students’ contributions to the scholarly and artistic productivity of Western Michigan University. Students eligible for the award are nominated by their department; a selection committee then winnows the All-University recipients from among the Department Graduate Research and Creative Scholars recipients. The 2013-2014 All-University Graduate Student Research and Creative Scholars awards went to Ahmed Anzaldua, Music; Traci Brimhall, English; Kevin Douglass, Chemistry; Min Tang, Philosophy; and Samanthi Wickramarachchi, Physics. The Department Graduate Student Research and Creative Scholar awards went to David Alban, Educational Leadership, Research and Technology; Elissa Allen, Bronson School of Nursing; Ahmed Anzaldua, Music; Joel Armstrong, English; Manuel Martin Barros, Spanish; Nivedita Bhadarka, Economics; Ee Leng Choong, Biological Sciences; Traci Brimhall, English; Kelly Current, Chemistry; Alden Edson, Mathematics; Ali Eshkeiti, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Jamie Gomez, Anthropology; Michelle Hruska, Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies; Connie Kohler, Family and Consumer Sciences; Sayuri Kojima, Educational Leadership, Research and Technology; Adam Matthews, History; Eric Mendes, Comparative Religion; Ann Moenke, School of Public Affairs and Administration; Jacinta Mutambuki, Mallinson Institute for Science Education; Chinh Nguyen, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Lisa Oliphant, Speech Pathology and Audiology; Mary Peet, Psychology; Jyoti Rai, Economics; Matthew Reid, Sociology; Michael Romano, Political Science; Mohammad Salahuddin, Computer Science; Katelyn Sandor, Communication; Joshua Scott, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences; Raymond Sheets, Jr., Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology; Amanda Smith, Sociology; Danielle Smith, Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology; Min Tang, Philosophy; Viraj Thanthirige, Chemistry; John Mary Vianney, Biological Sciences; Rachel Whitney, Speech Pathology and Audiology; Samanthi Wickramarachchi, Physics; Nanda Wijayanti, School of Public Affairs and Administration. Please join us in congratulations these outstanding students. The Graduate College hosted an awards ceremony on April 24 to honor the recipients of this prestigious award.