• Bronco statue

    New programs were added to the College of Arts and Sciences.

  • Student holding test tube with fish inside

    Adam Austins, a graduate biological student, led a wetland research project at WMU.

  • Dr. Sharon Gill in the woods, holding binoculars

    Dr. Sharon Gill shares how one can reconnect with nature through birdwatching.

  • Alexis Black in Western gear on the beach by Lake Michigan

    Alexis Black developed a new business to teach others how to find scholarships and funding for college.

2020 Year in Review

This year, Western Michigan University’s College of Arts and Sciences has experienced another year of excitement and change. Research delved into the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, new programs were launched, faculty and students came together to help the community, and much more.

Read more about the college’s, students, faculty and alumni accomplishments throughout the year. 

College of Arts and Sciences News

  • More College of Arts and Sciences News

    The annual State of the College of the Arts and Sciences celebrated faculty, student and staff accomplishments, and discussed the current state of the college | READ MORE

    91% of WMU College of Arts and Sciences graduates are either working or continuing their education within 3 months of graduation | READ MORE

    WMU received the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, which recognizes higher education institutions across the country for their outstanding institutional commitment to transformative collaboration locally and beyond | READ MORE

    WMU's Department of Philosophy was ranked 45th in the nation for best value | READ MORE

    WMU College of Arts and Sciences donated masks, gloves and other supplies to help health care providers in the fight against coronavirus | READ MORE

    In collaboration with WMU's Office of Sustainability, WMU's Climate Change Working Group awarded a Climate Change Teaching Fellow mini-grant of $500 to seven faculty and students | READ MORE

    15 faculty, staff and students were recognized in the 2019-2020 College of Arts and Sciences Achievement Awards | READ MORE 

    Six Open Textbook grant recipients successfully adopted and used an open textbook in their spring courses, saving 798 WMU students over $184,000 in textbooks costs | READ MORE

    Several faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences were awarded grants for their research related to the COVID-19 pandemic | READ MORE

    The College of Arts and Sciences added several new programs in the STEM and humanities fields beginning fall 2020 | READ MORE

    Taboo topics course uses dialogue to break through barriers | READ MORE

    A new webinar series, surrounding research related to the COVID-19 pandemic, was launched fall 2020 | READ MORE

    17 outstanding alumni were honored during the Arts and Sciences 2020 Alumni Achievement Awards | READ MORE

    The Michigan Geological Survey at WMU was awarded $500,000 from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's new state budget for its ongoing research in statewide geologic mapping | READ MORE

Student News

  • More Student News

    WMU students got an inside look at what some are calling the “border crisis,” examining the driving forces behind record numbers of migrants making credible fear claims, hoping to be granted asylum in the U.S. | READ MORE

    Philosophy students participated in the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program in order to provide tax assistance services to Alaskans living in isolated villages.

    Numerous grad students were recipients of the Winter 2020 Graduate Student Grant Awards | READ MORE

    Adam Austins, a graduate biological student, led a wetland research project at WMU | READ MORE

    WMU football player and biomedical sciences student, Mike Caliendo, was named an academic Heisman semifinalist | READ MORE 

    Ky’Aria Moses, a second-year master’s student in the Behavior Analysis program in the Department of Psychology, received the 2020 Cooper and Andronis Scholarship for her master’s thesis research.

    A team of anthropology students were called to Vandalia, Michigan to find physical traces of the Underground Railroad | READ MORE

    Tasia Richardson launched a new lipgloss business venture – Eunique Kisses | READ MORE

Faculty News

  • More Faculty News

    WMU communication professor, Sue Ellen Christian, discussed how social media is shaping our brains | READ MORE

    Jeffrey Angles, professor of Japanese, received the Literature Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

    Dr. Susan Freeman was honored with the Terry Kuseske Education Award for her work and research as an LGBT ally.

    In new research, political science professor J. Kevin Corder and his co-author Dr. Christina Wolbrecht, trace the evolution of women's voting behavior, turnout and candidate choice.

    The Historical Society of Michigan awarded Dr. Brian Wilson, professor of comparative religion, with the State History Award for his book, "John E. Fetzer and the Quest for the New Age | READ MORE

    Philosophy professor Fritz Allhoff discussed the ethics of online shopping during a pandemic | READ MORE

    How can anxiety be a good thing? Charlie Kurth, philosophy professor, wrote for the Washington Post about anxiety helping people come to better decisions | READ MORE

    Biological sciences professor, Dr. Sharon Gill, created a soundwalk through nature to help others focus on the natural sounds rather than the sights around them | READ MORE

    Stopping the spread of misinformation and deciphering facts about COVID-19 | READ MORE

    Unmasking the stigma surrounding face coverings | READ MORE

    Dr. Tiffany Schriever, professor of biological sciences, researched the wetlands between dunes to determine the type of water in the area | READ MORE

    Research underway at WMU will create a national archive of religious response to the pandemic | READ MORE

    Dr. Linda Borish, history professor and chair at WMU, was featured in the multimedia series, UNLADYLIKE2020 | READ MORE

    Initiative to help students with food and rent during the pandemic, started by WMU physics professor Michael Famiano | READ MORE

    Edwin E. Meader professor emerita of anthropology, Dr. Erika Friedl, was honored with the Life time Achievement Award from the International Society for Iranian Studies | READ MORE

    Dr. Autumn Edwards, communication professor, was named one of the "30 women in robotics you need to know about - 2020" by Women's Robotics | READ MORE

    Dr. Staci Perryman-Clark was elected to a four-year leadership term with the Conference on College Composition & Communication. She also received the 2020 Best Book Award for her book, "Black Perspectives in Writing Program Administration: From the Margins to the Center."

    New research by a team at WMU shines light on how social isolation impacts mental health among Americans | READ MORE

    Dr. Robert Berkhofer III, associate professor of history, and Dr. Jana Schulman, director of the Medieval Institute, were awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities grant to host a seminar program this summer for higher education faculty and graduate students | READ MORE

    Spanish professor awarded the 2020 Innovation in Language Program Direction: Racial/ Social Justice by the American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Language Programs | READ MORE

Alumni News

  • More Alumni News

    Biomedical Sciences graduate continues family legacy at WMU | READ MORE

    WMU alumna has helped the Northside neighborhood in Kalamazoo for over 30 years, bettering the lives of nearly 6,000 people | READ MORE

    Samath Him Sprung impacted thousands of lives with the school in Cambodia he helped found | READ MORE

    Flint native and WMU alumna Alexis Black taught others how to find scholarships and funding for college with her business, The Scholarship Expert | READ MORE

    Ed Gordon, an Emmy award winning journalist, published a new book titled, "Conversations in Black: On Power, Politics, and Leadership" | READ MORE

    Driven to find solutions to the poverty she witnessed growing up in India, Dr. Dweepobotee Brahma worked with various ministries in the country through her position as an associate fellow at the Brookings Institution India Center | READ MORE

    Annalisa Wilder led volunteers to plant more than 100 trees and shrubs on WMU's campus | READ MORE

    Ryan Taylor used satellite imagery and other technology to analyze the tree canopy in Denver, Colorado | READ MORE

    Raegan Delmonico unearthed centuries-old artifacts as an undergraduate student at the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project's school | READ MORE

    Dr. Renée Branch Canady and Celeste Sanchez Lloyd were among a diverse group of two dozen medical professionals, health and community leaders appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities | READ MORE

    Freshwater sciences and sustainability graduate chosen as an inaugural fellow for the Mishigamiing Journalism Project at the Traverse City Record Eagle | READ MORE

    RJ Bolzman dove into new depths, hand-harvesting invasive plant species in bodies of water | READ MORE

    Bella Hounakey received Nomi Network's 2020 Abolitionist Award for the work she's done to prevent and eradicate trafficking | READ MORE

    Justin and Alexis Black published a new book, "Redefining Normal," a story of beating the odds and creating a life worth living based upon their experiences in the child welfare system.

    Dr. Sita Karki combined satellite data and ground-based research to monitor important ecosystems in Ireland | READ MORE