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Faculty Awards and Honors

Marcia Aldrich

Marcia Aldrich, professor in the Department of English, won the AWP Award for creative nonfiction for her book, “Companion to an Untold Story.” The AWP Award Series is an annual competition of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs for the publication of excellent new book-length works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The trailer for Professor Aldrich’s book was directed by CAL Film Studies Professor Swarnavel Pillai, and is online at


Paula Winke

Paula Winke, professor in the Department of Linguistics, Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages, received national attention after the Associated Press published a summary of her research on the reliability of the U.S. Citizenship test for Englishlanguage learners. Dr. Winke also received the TESOL Award for Distinguished Research in 2012 for her work on NCLB tests for English-learning K-12 children.


Patrick O’Donnell

Patrick O’Donnell, professor and Chair of the Department of English, was guest editor of the fall 2012 issue of “MFS: Modern Fiction Studies,” a special issue on new British fiction.


Tom Berding

Tom Berding, professor, Department of Art, Art History, and Design, showed a group of nine paintings in June 2013 in an exhibit titled “Makeshift Futures” at The Painting Center, New York City. Berding and his work were also featured in the Studio Critical Blogspot in June.


Jeff Grabill

Jeff Grabill, professor and Chair of the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Culture, and Julie Lindquist, director of first-year writing, will teach “Thinking Like a Writer,” a free online non-credit course designed to help people improve their writing skills.


Rob Roznowski

Rob Roznowski, professor and head of Acting and Directing in the Department of Theatre, was recognized for his creativity and dedication to a loyal following of students and named 2012 Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year. This is the first time in the award’s five-year history that an MSU Theatre faculty member has earned this recognition.


Susan Gass

Susan Gass, professor in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages, and Second Language Studies alum Dr. Luke Plonsky received “Language Learning’s” Outstanding Article Award for the best paper in 2011 for their article “Quantitative research methods, study quality, and outcomes: The case of interaction research.”


Geneva Smitherman

Geneva Smitherman, emeritus professor in the Department of English, was recipient of the 2012 National Conference for Research on Language and Literacies (NCRLL) Distinguished Researcher Award. The award recognizes Dr. Smitherman’s outstanding and distinguished contributions in research, teaching, and service to the fields of applied linguistics and African and African American Studies through her analysis of and prolific writing about the creative genius, and legacies of AAE in American culture and language policies in South African society.


The Department of English Wins the 2012-13 GEU Outstanding Department Award

The Department of English has won the 2012-13 GEU Outstanding Department Award, and English Professor Steve Rachman has won the 2012-13 GEU Outstanding Supervisor Award. Each year, the Graduate Employees’ Union recognizes departments and supervisors who foster strong and mutually supportive relations with the GEU.


Angelika Kraemer

Angelika Kraemer, executive associate director of the Center for Language Teaching Advancement and the Community Language School, had her online course, AL 491, named by the MSU AT&T Awards as Best Fully Online Course in 2012. The class, “UN-Happily Ever After: The Real Household Tales of Europe,” was designed as a self-paced course to allow students flexibility. Brian Adams, visiting specialist with the College of Arts and Letters, was the technology developer for the course, and Dr. Scott Schopieray, the College’s director of academic technology, acted as assistant developer.


Terrion Williamson

Terrion Williamson, professor in the Department of English, received a 2013-14 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. Through its fellowship programs, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity to maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.


Ruth Mowry

Ruth Mowry, specialist-advisor, is the winner of a 2013 Certificate of Merit award for Outstanding Advising from The National Academic Advising Association (NACADA).


Rae Paris

Rae Paris, professor, Creative Writing, in the Department of English, was awarded a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in February 2013, and, for May 2013, she was awarded an NEA Distinguished Fellowship to the Hambidge Center, a writing residency in Georgia.


David Stowe

David Stowe, American Studies professor in the Department of English and faculty member in the Department of Religious Studies, served as a research fellow in Sacred Music, Worship, and the Arts at Yale University in 2012-13.

Dr. Stowe’s book, “No Sympathy for the Devil: Christian Pop Music and the Transformation of American Evangelicalism” (U of NC, 2011), has been mentioned favorably on the U.S. Religion site, and has received a starred endorsement by “Library Journal.”


Mohammad Khalil

Mohammad Khalil, professor in the Department of Religious Studies, won the 2013 Fintz Award for Teaching Excellence in the Arts and Humanities in an IAH 211-241 course for outstanding performance as the course faculty of IAH 211D at MSU in 2012. Professor Khalil was also recently appointed as an editor of the Islam section of “Religion Compass.”


Chris Frilingos

Chris Frilingos, professor in the Department of Religious Studies, was interviewed regarding papal resignation on February 11, 2013. Dr. Frilingos was also interviewed for the public radio program, “Consider This,” on the topic of “Apocalyptic Thought,” hosted by Stuart Campbell, KZYX Radio, Santa Rosa, California, and broadcast on December 21, 2012.


Benjamin Pollock

Benjamin Pollock, professor in the Department of Religious Studies, received the Association for Jewish Studies 2012 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in the area of Philosophy and Jewish Thought for his book “Franz Rosenzweig and the Systematic Task of Philosophy” (Cambridge University Press). The Schnitzer Book Award was established in 2007 to recognize and promote outstanding scholarship in the field of Jewish Studies and to honor scholars whose work embodies the best in the field: innovative research, excellent writing, and sophisticated methodology.


Dr. Rocío Quispe-Agnoli Named 2013 Successful Peruvian Woman in America

Dr. Rocío Quispe-Agnoli, teacher-scholar of Peruvian and Andean Studies and associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance and Classical Studies at Michigan State University, received the 2013 Successful Peruvian Woman in America award in a ceremony held at the Embassy of Peru in Washington, DC, on March 14. Perú’s ambassador Harold Forsyth hosted the event. The Peruvian Embassy’s distinction acknowledges Dr. Quispe-Agnoli’s longtime and ongoing contributions to the study and teaching of Andean writers and artists, Peruvian and Latin American women’s studies, indigenous visual and literacy studies, and Peruvian literature and history at large. The award ceremony was the embassy’s kick-off event to International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on March 8.


Professor Cristina Schmitt Awarded the Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year Award

Professor Cristina Schmitt was awarded the Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year Award by the Department of Linguistics, Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages. The award recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to mentoring undergraduate researchers. Schmitt was also honored with the 2013 Distinguished Contributions to Honors College Students Award which was established by the Honors College Dean’s Advisory Council and the Honors College Alumni Association in 1999 to recognize faculty members who strive to make remarkable contributions through teaching, advising and mentoring Honors College students.


Dr. Danny Mendez Receives 2013 Innovation & Leadership Award

Danny Mendez, professor in the Department of Romance and Classical Studies, is the recipient of the 2013 Innovation and Leadership Award from the College of Arts and Letters. This award is given annually to an Arts and Letters faculty member whose pedagogy is informed by up-to-date practices, who finds engaging ways to integrate scholarship and teaching, provides rich opportunities for experiential learning, is versed in assessing student learning, has gained a national reputation, and is fully engaged in the intellectual and organizational work of the department and college.

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