Awards and Highlights - August/September 2013

College of Business Administration
College of Communication and Fine Arts​
College of Education and Human Services
College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences
College of Science and Technology
University News​


Women athletes receive FAR Award for highest overall GPA

Field Hockey Team

Central Michigan University female student-athletes are the winners of the 2012-2013 Mid-American Conference Women’s Faculty Athletics Representative Academic Achievement Award for earning the highest overall grade point average in the MAC. The field hockey team carried the highest conference GPA with a 3.561 and the softball team ranked second with a 3.571 GPA.

CMU has been honored with this prestigious award in two of the last three academic seasons and for the third time in the last six years.


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College of Business Administration

CMU New Venture Competition awarded Educational Program of the Year

New Venture Competition

Central Michigan University’s New Venture Competition has been named the Educational Program of the Year by Automation Alley, Michigan’s largest technology business association.

The New Venture Competition was recognized for positively impacting the region’s skilled labor market, identifying a mutually beneficial partnership between education and business, and showing a strong desire to engage adults in technology.

The New Venture Competition awards more than $65,000 in startup capital and in-kind services each year to student business ventures. Since its inception three years ago, the competition has helped more than 250 aspiring entrepreneurs from CMU and Michigan Technological University.


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College of Communication and Fine Arts​

CMU student wins first place award for PSA contest

The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation honored Central Michigan University broadcast and cinematic arts student Mark Hurrish with first place in the radio category for the 2013 Freedom of Speech Public Service Announcement contest.

The Oxford senior was recognized for the award at the Society of Professional Journalists annual conference in Anaheim, Calif., with School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts faculty member Heather Polinsky. Along with the award, Hurrish received a $3,000 scholarship, and his 30-second spot will air during National Freedom of Speech Week in October.


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College of Education and Human Services

Student awarded $5,000 scholarship to teach STEM education

Central Michigan University senior Tyler Wippel of Lansing received a $5,000 teaching scholarship from The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. The nonprofit foundation supports future teachers who will teach in science, technology, engineering or math subjects at a U.S. middle or secondary school.

Wippel was presented with the check from Brig. Gen. Michael Brogan, senior vice president in the technical services group of ManTech International Corp., who sponsored the scholarship.


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College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences

Faculty member gives two keynote addresses at Northern Arizona University and Indiana University

Central Michigan University political science faculty member Jayne Cherie Strachan gave the keynote address for Constitution Day Sept. 17 at Northern Arizona University. Her speech titled “Why Teaching the Constitution Isn’t Enough: Civic Identity and Youth Political Participation” was part of NAU’s Civic Engagement Month activities.

In addition, Strachen gave the keynote address titled “Youth Political Engagement: Higher Education’s Role in Cultivating Civic Identity” Aug. 24 at the Indiana University Civic Literacy Conference.


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College of Science and Technology

Engineering student receives competitive international award

Central Michigan University senior Steven Shapardanis of Livonia received a National Science Foundation Bioelectronics Student Travel Award for the 2013 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Sensors Conference to be held in Baltimore, Md., in November. The honor is given to 20 students internationally.

His paper titled “Design and Implementation of Collagen-Based Capacitive Relative Humidity Sensors” will be presented at the conference. It discusses the latest information in the development of sensors and related fields. School of Engineering and Technology faculty member Tolga Kaya assisted in the research and development of the paper.

Physics students work to construct mass spectrometer in Dow Science Complex

Matthew Redshaw

Central Michigan University assistant professor of physics Matthew Redshaw and undergraduate and graduate physics students are building a mass spectrometer, a magnet that generates a magnetic field roughly half a million times stronger than earth’s magnetic force, in the Dow Science Complex.

Donated by the University of Texas, the device will be used in measuring the masses of particles to determine the energy required to bond protons and neutrons in an atom. The assembly began in August 2012.

Student conducts world-class nuclear physics research in Canada

Central Michigan University senior Caleb Bancroft spent eight days investigating the shape of exotic atomic nuclei at TRIUMF in Vancouver, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics. Led by assistant professor of physics Kathrin Wimmer, the international team Bancroft worked with discovered a major breakthrough that allows researchers to do many more exciting experiments and gives CMU physics majors the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge science.

Earth and atmospheric sciences faculty member presents at world’s largest geochemistry conference

Anthony Chappaz

Central Michigan University earth and atmospheric sciences faculty member Anthony Chappaz presented research at the Goldschmidt Conference, the world’s largest geochemistry conference, in Florence, Italy.

Along with instructors from Princeton University and the University of Copenhagen, Chappaz presented on how molybdenum — a unique trace of metal — can be used to reconstruct the rise of oxygen concentration in the ancient ocean. His research adds to the hypothesis that life in the solar system may have begun on Mars billions of years ago. Chappaz and his team are continuing research to investigate molybdenum geochemistry under low oxygen conditions.

CMU biology team tracking ear bones to determine fish movements

Don Uzarski

Central Michigan University professor of biology and director of CMU’s Institute for Great Lakes Research Don Uzarski and his research team are providing hard data necessary for better choices about managing, restoring and protecting the Great Lakes basin’s coastal wetlands.

He and his team are researching otoliths, which are ear bones of fish, to track fish movements to particular coastal wetlands.

Meteorology professor’s research on supercells in national publication

Central Michigan University associate professor of meteorology Leigh Orf is gaining national recognition for his expertise in using supercomputer modeling and simulation to capture the entire life cycle of atmospheric disturbances such as supercell thunderstorms, the most powerful and long-lived thunderstorms.

Orf’s work, titled “Simulating Supercell Thunderstorms,” was recently published in The National Institute for Computational Sciences. His simulations are guiding a research team in designing new simulations to run at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, a resource of the National Science Foundation’s Extreme Science and Discovery Environment — the most advanced, powerful and robust collection of integrated digital resources and services in the world.

Biology professors awarded grant

Deric Learman

Central Michigan University assistant professors of biology Deric Learman and Andrew Mahon have been awarded a $1,600 Amazon Web Services Teaching Grant, enabling students to use Amazon’s high-powered computer severs as an instructional tool in BIO 610: Next Generation Sequencing.

Access to the cloud-computing platform gives students a hands-on approach to analyzing data. Students will learn artificial intelligence, data structures, and other computer and storage subjects.


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University News

CMU alumni and foundation recognized at annual Alumni Awards

Six Central Michigan University alumni and one foundation were recognized Sept. 6 at the annual Alumni Awards.

Founder and president of Nuspire Corp. Saylor Frase, ’98, received the Distinguished Alumni Award. Frase’s leadership landed his company on Inc. magazine’s “Fastest Growing Companies” list in 2009 and the company was named Frost & Sullivan’s “Entrepreneurial Company of the Year” in 2011.

Mary Lu Yardley, ’90, worked at CMU for more than 30 years and received the Community Recognition Award for her commitment to service after retiring.

Judy French Smith and W. Sidney Smith received the Alumni Commitment Award. The 1965 graduates both have a longtime commitment to the university, having supported CMU with a lifetime contribution of more than $1.8 million.

Mara Shorr, ’05, received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award. In 2011, she founded The Leone Co., a marketing, community relations and fundraising consulting company. Emily Pontz, ’09, received the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award. She founded Hope for Huruma Foundation, a nonprofit helping children in Huruma, Kenya, with basic necessities such as food, medical supplies and schooling costs.

The Morey Foundation received the Corporate Partner Award for its support of the university. It has supported CMU through offering internships, career services activities, athletic events, alumni programs, event sponsorships, scholarships and leadership support. The organization has given more than $2 million to CMU since 1993.


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