Faculty Teaching Excellence Award

Excellence in teaching is a hallmark of Western Michigan University's College of Health and Human Services. To recognize and sustain that tradition, Dean Earlie M. Washington continues the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, established by former Dean Dr. Janet Pisaneschi in 1997. A call for nominations goes out in the spring of each year. The recipient is named in the spring and honored at a college-wide celebration in November or December.  

The College of Health and Human Service Teaching Excellence Award in the amount of $1,000 is presented to an individual or team whose nomination best represents excellence in three primary award criteria. In the event of a team recipient, members will split the award equally.

Award criteria

The award will relate to teaching excellence in one or more of the following areas:

  • Classroom teaching
  • Creative or innovative work as regards teaching, fieldwork, or supervision
  • Teaching that involves interdisciplinary or collaborative activity

Excellence in performance must be described in the nomination. Nominations should address the particular characteristics of excellence—including specific examples that address the criteria—which define exemplary work. In the case of a team award, preference will be given to interdisciplinary teams over disciplinary teams, and it must be evident that all members of the team contributed equally and that a greater result was achieved as a result of the team endeavor.

As a guideline, higher learning, which is an end-product of teaching excellence, has been defined by Tom Angelo as, "an active, interactive, self-aware process that results in meaningful, long-lasting changes—knowledge, understanding, skills, behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, opinions or values—that cannot be attributed primarily to maturation."

Who is eligible to submit a nomination?

  • WMU faculty members
  • WMU faculty specialists
  • WMU staff members
  • WMU students
  • WMU alumni
  • Community members

Who is eligible for nomination?

  • All College bargaining unit faculty members, who are tenured or on tenure track

Who is not eligible for nomination?

  • Unit chairs and directors
  • Former recipients are ineligible for three years after receipt of the award
  • Term faculty

Previous award recipients

  • Mary Stahl, 2013-14—nursing
  • Helen Lee, 2012-13—blindness and low vision studies
  • Linda Reeser, 2011-12—social work
  • Sally Vliem, 2010-11—nursing
  • Phil Walcott, 2009-10—physician assistant
  • Carla Chase, 2008-09—occupational therapy
  • Diane Hamilton, 2006-07—nursing
  • Sandra Edwards, 2005—occupational therapy
  • David Orchanian, 2004—occupational therapy
  • Diane Dirette, 2003—occupational therapy
  • Susan Ponchillia, 2002—blindness and low vision
  • Jaclyn West Frasier, 2000—occupational therapy
  • Debra Lindstrom-Hazel, 2000—occupational therapy
  • Molly Vass, 1998-99 - holistic health
  • Robert O. LaDuke, 1997-98 - blindness and low vision