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Arts and Sciences Magazine

Letter from the Dean

Dear Friends and Alumni,
I am delighted to share this 2022 edition of our College of Arts and Sciences magazine. Campus has been humming with activity as we begin the fall semester—with the marching band practicing on Fountain Plaza, new students settling into the residence halls and the continued physical transformation of main campus. The $42 million Dunbar Renovation is now well underway and exciting (if a little noisy!) to observe from Friedmann Hall and Sprau Tower—peek at recent progress in this time-lapse
I am so proud of the work our exceptional faculty, staff and students do every single day, working together to empower one another to attain our vision of achieving excellence in all aspects of learning and discovery across the humanities, social sciences and sciences, while fostering a climate of intellectual freedom, diversity and inclusion. In this issue of our College of Arts and Sciences magazine, we highlight just a few of their many accomplishments. 
Western Michigan University is truly a public institution of higher education with the power to transform lives and communities, from local to global. I hope you enjoy reading this edition of the College of Arts and Sciences magazine as much as I did!
— Dr. Carla Koretsky, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences 

Alumni News

Dr. Dylan Schmorrow

Four-time alum probes link between humans and machines

Dr. Dylan Schmorrow has spent the better part of the last three decades exploring the link between humans and machines and figuring out how a better understanding of that link might improve human performance.

  • Mohammed Hashim

    Recent alumnus pursues passion for geosciences research

    From a child growing up in Iraq, interested in geology, science and biology, Dr. Mohammed Hashim has become an award-winning researcher as well as a caring teacher with a newly-minted Ph.D. from WMU's Geological and Environmental Sciences Department.

    Read more about Hashim

  • Mark Rochon

    A lifelong gift: 1980 graduate gives back to Department of Philosophy

    Mark Rochon’s experience as a lawyer has taken him from courtrooms in Washington, D.C., to countries all over the world. But for the 1980 College of Arts and Sciences graduate, it was his time at Western Michigan University that laid the foundation for his impressive career.

    Read about Rochon's legacy

  • Alberto Cintron-Colon

    Recent graduate pursues dream to ignite students' passion for learning

    Recent Ph.D. graduate Dr. Alberto Cintron-Colon says he will draw on the teaching and mentorship he both received and gave others at Western Michigan University as he steps into a tenure-track faculty position teaching anatomy and physiology courses at Blackburn College.

    Read about his journey

  • Erica Wehrwein in front of Heritage Hall

    Two-time Western alumna named Distinguished Educator of the Year

    As an associate professor of physiology at Michigan State University (MSU), Wehrwein is being recognized for her teaching as the 2022 recipient of the Arthur C. Guyton Distinguished Educator Award by the Teaching Section of the American Physiological Society.

    Read about her career

Faculty News

The Drs. Edwards are Western’s own dynamic duo

Never far apart from one another since they were in college, School of Communication professor's Drs. Chad and Autumn Edwards are the brains behind WMU's Social Robotics lab.

  • BIORETS program gives local science teachers authentic research experience

    The National Science Foundation awarded Western Michigan University a $525,569 grant to help create a research experience program for middle and high school science teachers, known as BIORETS: biology of plants, animals, microorganisms and their environments.

    Read about the BIORETS program

  • Rudge named College Science Teacher of the Year for ability to inspire students

    Behind each scientific achievement, there is also a story. Named the 2022 College Science Teacher of the Year, Dr. David Rudge uses these stories to inspire his students as a professor of biological sciences and science education at Western Michigan University.

    Read about Rudge

  • Global water supply crisis informs research of WMU professor

    There’s an urgency to academic research for Dr. Chansheng He, a professor and researcher of water resources management at Western Michigan University.

    Read more about He's fight

  • Dr. Stephen Kaczmarek

    Geology professor leads multi-university research into ancient rocks

    Dr. Stephen Kaczmarek and collaborators at the University of Michigan and Grand Valley State University are seeking to better understand the composition of ancient rocks.

    Read about the research

  • More Faculty News

    Philosophy professor awarded Helsinki Core Fellowship

    Philosophy professor Dr. Charlie Kurth was one of 11 international scholars chosen for the Core Fellowship Program at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies.

    Professor selected for Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship

    Dr. Mariam Konaté, an African-born scholar and professor of Intercultural and Anthropological Studies, worked with Kenyan counterparts this summer as part of the 2022 Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program.

    CAS faculty earn coveted rotations

    College of Arts and Sciences faculty are thought leaders their fields, and the nation's top organizations are taking notice. Two professors are among talented scholars recently tapped by federal programs to lead and guide important research projects.

    Longtime College Director of Advising retires

    The College of Arts and Sciences' longtime Director of Advising, Kevin Knutson, retired after 27 years at Western.

Student News

Cold Case Program gains national attention

From across the United States and around the globe, messages are filling Dr. Ashlyn Kuersten's voicemail and inbox. Everyone, it seems, is interested in her Cold Case Program—a first-of-its-kind partnership with Michigan State Police—which has already helped bring closure to one decades-old murder with possibilities for more solved cases on the horizon.

Molecular Biology Lab uses class for real-world research

Moving beyond "cookbook" labs to real-world research in the classroom netted 54 Western students from more than seven year's of classes a publication in Molecular Biology and Evolution scientific journal.

  • More Student News

    Gaining the 'write' skills

    WMU journalism students are getting a firsthand look at the thrills and challenges of local journalism through the Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative.

    Stand-out research

    With a single Powerpoint slide and three minutes, one doctoral candidate made her research stand out at the regional Three-Minute Thesis competition.

This year we celebrate students and faculty working together to achieve success — from stories about cracking cold cases to scientific exploration and inquisitive journalism.