Research Awards

The College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) at Western Michigan University (WMU) recognized two faculty members at the Fall 2015 CEHD Town Hall Meeting for their outstanding scholarly accomplishments.

Regina Garza Mitchell, assistant professor of higher education leadership in the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology, and Dr. Robert Bensley, professor of community health education in the Department of Human Performance and Health Education, were recipients of the Emerging Scholar and the Distinguished Scholar awards at the meeting held on September 25, 2015.


2015 CEHD Emerging Scholar Award:

Regina profile picture Regina Garza Mitchell, the 2015 CEHD Emerging Scholar Award recipient, has authored or co-authored 20 publications, presented at 34 national and state conferences, and received $361,549 in grant funding. Since 2010, Garza Mitchell has had 351 citations, a h-index of 8, and i10-index of 6.

Garza Mitchell’s research interests center around organizational issues and change including leadership, faculty work, and online education, primarily in the community college sector. In particular, she is interested in how organizations change and, more importantly, how we can use what we know to create positive change in higher education.

The Emerging Scholar Award recognizes one individual with outstanding scholarly accomplishments and the potential for continued excellence. The recipient must be a full-time, board-appointed faculty member in CEHD at WMU. At time of nomination, faculty member must not be tenured.



2015 CEHD Distinguished Scholar Award:

Robert profile picture Dr. Robert Bensley, the 2015 CEHD Distinguished Scholar Award recipient, has had 140 grants and contracts, $9,151,056 in total grant funding, 114 federally and three internationally funded projects, 80 papers presented, 47 publications published, and 19 technology interventions and projects.

Dr. Bensley came from computer science and ended up health education. As his love for both fields merged, Dr. Bensley’s research began to focus on technology solutions for health behavior change. As a computer programmer, health educator, and entrepreneur, Dr. Bensley has been able to develop a track record of funding success, wide national recognition, and, most importantly, he has been able to develop systems that have improved the lives of millions of people.

The Distinguished Scholar Award recognizes one individual with a body of outstanding scholarly accomplishments that has had an impact on the field. The recipient must be a full-time, board-appointed, tenured faculty member with a minimum of seven years of service in CEHD at Western Michigan University (WMU).

Details about these two CEHD research related awards can be found at