New academic leadership highlights WMU innovation, expertise

Contact: Paula M. Davis

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Dr. Irma Lopez and Dr. Steven Butt accepted new challenges with the dawn of this new

Headshot of Dr. Irma Lopez


academic year: Lopez as the new interim dean of the Lee Honors College  and Butt as the new interim dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Lopez, during her 25-year tenure as a Spanish professor on faculty at WMU, has often embraced leadership roles, serving as both the chair of the Spanish department and the interim director of the Institute of Intercultural and Anthropological Studies.

She has advised students living abroad as they pursue their ambitions, and her inspirational and skillful expertise as both a teacher and a mentor has been integral to the success of myriad Broncos. Among her many accomplishments, Lopez was honored with the University’s first Distinguished Teaching Awards in 2007.

Headshot of Dr. Steve Butt


Also not a stranger to innovative leadership, Butt has served as chair of both the Department of Engineering Design, Manufacturing and Management Systems and the Department of Industrial and Entrepreneurial Engineering and Engineering Management since 2014.

As a professor on faculty for the past 21 years, he has not only adeptly guided students to realize their goals, he has been essential in the development of the AMP Lab @ WMU, the engineering program at Aquinas College, and the master's degree in medical engineering program housed in the WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine.

Dr. Christine Byrd-Jacobs also is one of the WMU's newer deans. In May, Byrd-Jacobs was appointed interim dean of the Graduate College. She is a professor of biological sciences and had served as the college's associate dean. Learn more Byrd-Jacobs and her appointment here.

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