Dennis Simpson nominated for MASU Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year

Contact: Joel Krauss

Dr. C. Dennis Simpson

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University has nominated Dr. C. Dennis Simpson, professor in the Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse, for a state award recognizing outstanding contributions and dedication to the education of undergraduate students by faculty from Michigan’s 15 public universities.

Nominees from each university and this year’s recipients of the Michigan Association of State Universities Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year recognition program were honored at a luncheon on April 12 in Lansing, Michigan.

Universities each nominate a faculty member who has had a significant impact on student learning through various activities, particularly classroom instruction, applied research, experiential learning, innovation and mentoring.

Simpson joined the faculty at WMU in January 1978. He has been an active member and leader of the WMU chapter of the American Association of University Professors and has served for many years on the Faculty Senate at the University. He was also a longtime director of the Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse (SPADA).

In addition to leadership in the college and across campus, he has been very active in research and scholarship, consistently publishing in professional journals and acting as principal investigator on grants and contracts totaling more than $28 million.

He was nominated for the Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year award in recognition of excellence in undergraduate education and student learning and his enduring commitment to the success of his students.

“Dr. Simpson is an excellent researcher, colleague and leader in this college and we are extremely proud of him receiving this recognition,” says Dr. Alessander Santos, interim dean of the College of Health and Human Services. “He has been an essential part of the SPADA program and of CHHS from the beginning.”

Simpson with alumni and guests at the SPADA program 50 year celebration last October

Simpson has been a part of  both the program and the college, almost since they began. The Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Addiction celebrated its 50 year anniversary in October 2023. The College of Health and Human Services was established in 1976, just two years before Simpson came to the University.

"I felt both honored and humbled," says Simpson. "All the faculty in this college deserve to be honored like this."

Simpson was the first professor from the College of Health and Human Services to be nominated for this honor. "I simply represent all CHHS faculty in this award," he says. "They all give 100% and more in their teaching, research and service. It is not my honor, but rather an honor to all in CHHS."

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.