WMU News

Distinguished Service Award recipients named

Jan. 26, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- A nationally renown expert in evaluation who has a long track record of assisting nonprofit organizations and a multitalented administrator who has been widely involved in both campus and community affairs have been selected as recipients of Western Michigan University's 2000 Distinguished Service Awards.

Dr. James R. Sanders, professor of educational studies and associate director of WMU's Evaluation Center, and Dr. Martha B. Warfield, director of the Division of Multicultural Affairs, will receive their awards during the University's Academic Convocation Thursday, Feb. 1, at 5 p.m. in the Fetzer Center's Kirsch Auditorium.

The two were chosen from campuswide nominations based on such criteria as: service through innovative and effective programs; service in areas that contribute to the growth and stature of the University; and service that extends the impact and presence of the University into the larger community. Sanders and Warfield will each receive a plaque and a $1,500 honorarium.

Sanders, who came to WMU in his current position when he joined the faculty in 1975, has gained international recognition for his work in the field of evaluation. Previously, he had taught at Indiana University for three years and served the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory as a director for one year and a senior research associate for one year.

Those nominating Sanders cited him for making substantial contributions to nonprofit evaluation and management as well as providing exceptional service to WMU and a variety of other organizations. They also described him as a considerate professional with a passion and uncanny knack for teaching others how to realistically apply evaluation principles to everyday workplaces.

"Dr. Sanders' role in the field of educational evaluation is a sterling example of a faculty member providing significant and deeply meaningful contributions to the local, national and international communities as well as to his profession," one nominator wrote.

"Someone once said that service is the rent we pay for our lives on this earth," another nominator commented. "Dr. Sanders has paid rent through exemplary service. He works with individual students, groups, organizations and colleagues in ways that are supportive, affirming and capacity building. He shares his knowledge generously and is always willing to take on extra tasks when he sees the need."

Some specific service activities that nominators mentioned included Sanders' key roles in creating WMU's Graduate Certificate Program in Nonprofit Leadership, implementing a W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant to build links between WMU and the nonprofit community in Calhoun County, shaping evaluation practices for the United Way and its affiliates, and writing national standards for professional conduct in a variety of areas during more than a decade as chairperson of the Joint Committee on Program Evaluation for the National Council on Measurement in Education.

The latter effort prompted one nominator to ask: "Can you think of any service work that would more extend the presence of Western Michigan University than work that touches the clients of all major service interventions in this country, or the lives of children being evaluated in schools throughout the United States?"

Sanders received a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry from Bucknell University in 1966, a master of science degree in education from Bucknell in 1968 and a doctor of philosophy degree in educational research from the University of Colorado in 1970.

During his tenure at WMU, he has enhanced his teaching and research credentials through temporary stints as a program director at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; visiting researcher at the Educational Research Center at St. Patrick's College in Dublin, Ireland; visiting professor in the psychology department at Utah State University; and visiting professor on the education faculty at the University of British Columbia.

A reviewer for numerous professional journals, Sanders has edited, written or co-written eight books and nearly 120 journal articles, book chapters, technical reports, learning modules and reference guides. In addition, he has presented nearly 80 scholarly papers, directed dozens of evaluation projects and workshops, and served as a consultant for 60 U.S. and international organizations. He also is an active member of such professional organizations as the American Education Research Association, Phi Delta Kappa and the American Evaluation Association. He currently is president of the American Evaluation Association.

Warfield came to the University in 1992 as a psychologist and associate professor in the Counseling Center. She has been director of the Division of Multicultural Affairs since 1993 and a mental health consultant for the Michigan Department of Labor since 1995.

A licensed psychologist, she has a distinguished professional background that spans careers as varied as social worker, educator, researcher, probation officer, counselor and entrepreneur.

Warfield's nominators called her a wonderful role model and praised her for her dedication to students as well as her willingness to serve on a multitude of on- and off-campus organizations.

"Dr. Warfield is soft-spoken and serves quietly, without fanfare or acclaim," one nominator reported, adding that she has had an enormous impact on the quality of life at WMU and the academic achievement of its students.

"Martha continues to serve the students, faculty, staff, alumni and University community extremely well," he noted. "She is a visionary and her skills, knowledge and expertise in learning styles, mentoring, grant writing, creation of student support environments, diversity and multiculturalism are invaluable."

Warfield is credited with helping WMU gain a higher research designation from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching through her leadership in developing external funding proposals that have brought more than $4 million in grants to the University.

She also has been commended for numerous programming achievements. Among the examples cited were receiving exemplar evaluations and continued funding for two major DMA programs sponsored by the federal government, even though awards for these programs were reduced or eliminated at other universities, and creating a DMA student leadership development series, the basic principles for which are today hailed as key mission components for the Division of Student Affairs.

Recently placed under that University unit, Warfield is leading the DMA as it takes on a greater role in advancing the mission of the student affairs division. At the same time, she continues to serve as a rotation supervisor for interns in WMU's pre-doctoral psychology program and actively participates on several important campus boards and committees.

"Dr. Warfield is a role model, balancing exceptionally well the many disparate role demands as a leader, supervisor, director and psychologist," one colleague explained. "I am impressed with her level of commitment to WMU and the impact and the recognition she has brought to the University because of tireless involvement in activities that go above and beyond her job responsibilities.

Warfield received a bachelor of science degree in social science from WMU in 1961, a master of arts degree in education from the University of Oregon in 1969 and a doctor of philosophy degree in counseling psychology from Michigan State University in 1979. She also was a postdoctoral fellow in MSU's Institute of Research in Teaching.

The co-author of publications on educational equity and school desegregation, Warfield has extensive experience as a speaker in academic settings, community forums, conferences and videotape productions for public and education-based television programs. She served for eight years as chairperson of the Special Projects Commission of the National Alliance of Black School Educators, was an appointee to the Michigan Department of Social Services Board of Directors, and has been involved in a variety of other local, state and national organizations.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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