WMU News

Lansing woman is WMU's Outstanding Adult Learner

April 10, 2003

LANSING, Mich. -- A Western Michigan University graduate student is the University's 2003 Outstanding Adult Learner from the WMU Lansing campus.

Teresa Ann Merritt-Ellis of Lansing will receive the award Wednesday, April 16, at a ceremony in Lansing. She was chosen for her commitment to lifelong learning and her community leadership in the Lansing area.

The award is one of nine given by members of the Capital Area Higher Education Network, or CAHEN, a coalition of Lansing-area colleges and universities. This year marks the first time CAHEN members have sponsored Outstanding Adult Learner Awards. One recipient from each institution will receive a certificate and gift.

"It is a real tribute to Teresa that she can successfully add continuing education to her other personal, family and career obligations," says Gus Breymann, WMU's Lansing area director. "Busy people do accomplish more and her record of service and academic achievement is certainly impressive. We're pleased to be able to honor her."

Merritt-Ellis, who earned her bachelor's degree on WMU's main campus in 1982, is working toward her master of arts degree in family and consumer education. A departmental analyst with the Ingham County Family Independence Agency, she is an active community volunteer. The Mayor's Drug Free Task Force, the Child Abuse Prevention Community Board, the Homeless Shelter Resolution Committee, the FEMA board and the Lansing Counts - 2000 Census Committee are just a few of the outlets that have benefited from her work. In her professional life with the FIA, Merritt-Ellis has served as chair or co-chair of the Affirmative Action Cultural Diversity Committee and the Black History Awareness Committee. She is also active with Holy Cross Church, serving as a Eucharistic minister, cheerleading coach and religious education teacher. Merritt-Ellis also serves as a board member of Lansing Catholic Central High School and is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

Other members of CAHEN are Central Michigan University, Davenport University, Lansing Community College, Michigan State University, Northwood University, Siena Heights University, Spring Arbor University, Thomas M. Cooley Law School and the University of Phoenix.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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