Arts and Sciences Alumni Achievement Awards

Current Year Alumni Achievement Awards


The College of Arts and Sciences  is proud to announce the 2023 Alumni Achievement Award winners and to celebrate the outstanding contributions made by these 18 influential alumni. These individuals were recognized at the Alumni Achievement Awards on Oct. 13.

2023 Alumni Achievement Awards

  • Scott Hodges

    Scott Hodges, BS‘82

    DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES | Endodontist, West Michigan Endodontists

  • Stephanie Slingerland

    Stephanie Slingerland, BA‘02, MA‘07

    SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION | Chief Philanthropy Officer, Kellanova

  • Cynthia Visscher

    Cynthia Visscher, MA‘07, Ph.D.‘12

    DEPARTMENT OF COMPARATIVE RELIGION | Faculty Specialist II and Graduate Advisor, WMU Department of Comparative Religion

  • Isabel Ruiz

    Isabel Ruiz, Ph.D.’06

    DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS | Associate Professor and Fellow in Economics, Blavatnik School of Government and Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford

  • Henry Sias

    Henry Sias, BA‘98

    DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH | Executive Director, Pennsyvania Governor's Advisory Commission on LGBTQ Affairs

  • Cheyenne Lei

    Cheyenne Lei, MS‘13

    SCHOOL OF ENVIRONMENT, GEOGRAPHY, AND SUSTAINABILITY | Research Fellow, Institute for Global Change Biology in the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan

  • Franklyn Legall

    Franklyn Legall, MS‘98, Ph.D.‘02

    DEPARTMENT OF GEOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES | Director, Global Environmental Remediation and Due Diligence, Procter & Gamble

  • Hang Zhang

    Hanmo Zhang, MA‘05

    DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY | Professor, Institute of Chinese Classics, Renmin University of China, Beijing

  • Cleothia Frazier

    Cleothia Frazier, MA‘08

    INSTITUTE FOR INTERCULTURAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL STUDIES | Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania State University

  • Ozcan Gulacar

    Ozcan Gulacar, Ph.D.‘07

    MALLINSON INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE EDUCATION | Associate Professor of Teaching, Chemistry Department, University of California, Davis

  • Ralucca Gera

    Ralucca Gera, MS‘00, MS‘02, Ph.D.‘05

    DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICS | Professor, Mathematics; Director, Chunk Learning

  • Coreen Geary

    Coreen Geary, BS‘93, BA‘93, MA 95

    DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY | Global Marketing Programs Manager, Exact Sciences

  • John Novak

    John Novak, BS‘10

    DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS | Post-Doctoral Researcher, Western Michigan University

  • Senator Sean McCann

    Sean McCann, BA‘93

    DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE | Senator, State of Michigan, 19th District

  • Emily Fredericks

    Emily Fredericks, Ph.D. ‘03

    DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY | Clinical Professor of Pediatrics; Director, Division of Pediatric Psychology, University of Michigan

  • Kara Wood

    Kara Wood, MPA ‘06

    SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND ADMINISTRATION | Executive Director, Grand Action 2.0

  • Julián Ramírez

    Julián Ramírez, BA‘12

    DEPARTMENT OF SPANISH | Principal of Southwest Middle High School - Academia Bilingüe (7-12), Grand Rapids Public Schools

  • Mitchell Zajac

    Mitchell Zajac, BS‘12, BA‘12, MS‘13,


Nomination Blurb

Every year the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Michigan University encourages all of its units to select one outstanding alum to be recognized during the homecoming weekend for their achievements and contributions to their field and the communities they participate in.

Past Awards

This award is given by Western Michigan University's College of Arts and Sciences. It is not the same as the University Distinguished Alumni Award given by the WMU Alumni Association.