Academic Affairs Awards

Ferris State University Academic Affairs
2020 Awards Recipients Announced

So many of our colleagues embody a passion and work ethic worth emulating. These individuals positively impact the lives of others through their professional commitments. Every year, we ask the members of our campus community to nominate their deserving colleagues for the Academic Affairs Awards. Each award is assigned an award committee comprised of representative faculty members from our academic colleges and/or individuals related to the purpose of the award. 

2020 Academic Affairs Award Recipients

Academic Scholar Award: Kali M. VanLangen, Professor of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy

Non-Tenure Track Teaching Excellence Award: Jordan C. Horan, Instructor of Social Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences

Distinguished Service Award: Suzanne Eberle, Professor of Art History, Kendall College of Art and Design

Distinguished Teacher Award: Lori A. Faulkner, Associate Professor of Fashion Studies, Kendall College of Art and Design

Diversity Enhancement Award: Anuli U. Njoku, Associate Professor of Public Health, College of Health Professions

Excellence in Assessment Award - Beyond Course Level:  2019-2020 Michigan College of Optometry Assessment Committee (Members: Alison Jenerou, Lillian Kalaczinski, Amy Dinardo, and Sarah Hinkley)

Excellence in Assessment Award - Course Level: Kathryn Wolfer, Associate Professor, Sports, Entertainment, and Hospitality Management, College of Business

International Educator Award: Lianne Briggs, Professor of Sports, Entertainment, and Hospitality Management, College of Business

Outstanding Academic Advisor Award: Dave Schrock, Academic Advisor, College of Arts and Sciences

Outstanding First-Year Advocate Award: Not awarded due to no nominees

Richard W. Griffin Political Engagement Award: Not awarded this year

More Information on Awards

A description of each award including evaluation criteria, eligibility, and nomination process is detailed below: 


If you have questions, please contact Carrie Franklund at [email protected] or (231) 591-3534.

See Academic Affairs' Awards in History page 

2019 Academic Awards Recipients

  • David BrightDavid Bright, Associate Professor of Pharmacy, is the 2019 Academic Scholar Award recipient for his exceptional contributions to the profession of pharmacy and for exemplifying the qualities of the teacher-scholar model in discovery, integration, application, and teaching.

    Bright believes that “… good scholarship must lead to changes in our world. I want to seek out pertinent and immediate problems, and then try to identify research and solutions to address those problems.” His colleagues can attest to his many contributions.

    “David is a rising star in the profession of pharmacy,” said Michael Klepser, Professor of Pharmacy, in his nomination letter. “David has had impact on the provision of pharmacist services in a variety of practice settings. His passion for innovation has never stopped at his local practice. In the short time he has been in academia Dr. Bright has been involved with 47 peer-reviewed publications, three book chapters, and 46 abstracts. Additionally, he has managed to secure several grants to support his work.”

    “Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Dr. Bright’s contribution to Ferris has been his ability to incorporate his research and expertise into the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum. Students at Ferris now have the ability to learn about an emerging practice field by a nationally recognized expert,” continued Klepser. “David is a model for an academic scholar that faculty, young and old should strive to emulate.”

    Since coming to Ferris in 2014, Bright has focused on “research that supports implementation and improvement of clinical pharmacy services” in four key areas: “1) pharmacogenomics-based pharmacy services, 2) pharmacy technician support of clinical pharmacy services, 3) preconception care-related pharmacy services, and 4) educational support for student and pharmacist growth so that innovative pharmacy care services can be delivered.”

    Colleague Eric Nybo, Associate Professor of Pharmacy, said in his letter of recommendation that “Dr. Bright is a national expert in the areas of medication therapy management (MTM) and pharmacogenetics (PGx), and his cutting-edge research continues to contribute new knowledge to his field. Since 2014, Dr. Bright’s research has attracted $184,000 in funding for Ferris State University. Furthermore, Dr. Bright’s research also contributes to his teaching, and he publishes extensively in the area of scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL).”

    “Since 2015, Dr. Bright has published 21 peer-reviewed articles in journals... He has also published six papers and technical documents pertaining to administration of pharmacogenetics in the community pharmacy,” wrote Nybo. “These documents help chart the course of clinical pharmacy. David’s scholarly accomplishments are only overshadowed by his passion for teaching and the constancy of his collegiality.”

    Bright and other recipients of the 2019 Academic Affairs Awards were recognized on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at the Employee Service Awards in the University Center.

  • Blair EntenmannBlair Entenmann, Marketing faculty member in the College of Business, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2019 Non-Tenure Track Teaching Award, which recognizes a member of the academic community who demonstrates excellence through exceptional and innovative teaching.

    “Blair Entenmann has proven to be a worthy candidate for this prestigious award,” Sarah Roak for the Non-Tenure Track Teaching Excellence Award committee said. “This award is given to a faculty member who shows an unusual effort to ensuring quality student learning, creativity in instructional approach, and maintains high, scholarly standards for the rigor and currency of the course content and student performance. Blair Entenmann embodies all of these qualities.”

    Students respect Entenmann because of his past experience in business and marketing which he brings to the classroom. He uses a "READ, LISTEN, DO" methodology that involves initiative, prior planning, technology, and application. He models his class projects around real-world application and treats his students as employees who must employ critical thinking and ingenuity. “Blair has provided classes that are engaging, unique, and leave students eager to apply their new skills,” Marketing student Keegan Brown said. “He does his best to ensure his students’ success not only in the classroom but also in the future.”

    In addition to the expertise he brings to his teaching, Entenmann is committed to co-curricular experience. He is a Crimson Consulting Advisor for the American Marketing Association Registered Student Organization and has been the Master of Ceremonies for the regional DECA competition each January. He serves on the Marketing Development Committee as well as on program faculty panels, all of which strive to ensure student success both in the classroom and in future careers. Entenmann received the College of Business’ Outstanding Service to Students Award in 2017 and was the Ferris AMA Professor of the Year in 2015.

    Entenmann and other recipients of the 2019 Academic Affairs Awards were recognized on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at the Employee Service Awards in the University Center.

  • Sarah HinkleyKnown for her strong leadership, passion for helping others, and dedication to her profession, Sarah Hinkley, Professor of Optometry and Chief of Vision Rehabilitation Services in the Michigan College of Optometry (MCO), has been chosen as the 2019 Distinguished Service Award recipient.

    “Sarah is extremely service-driven and is very deserving of this honor,” writes Tracy Glentz, Associate Professor in the College of Health Professions, in her nomination letter. “She is a leader at the departmental, college, and the university level though her service contributions, and promotes the well-being of Ferris through innovative teaching projects and service committee work."

    “It is important to me that I stay involved in service on all levels, from my children’s school and local community to the national professional landscape in ways that benefit students, doctors of optometry and ultimately the patients we serve,” writes Hinkley of her service philosophy. “I believe that it is my duty to use the privileges I have been given to create positive change.”

    “At the college level, Sarah has made herself invaluable through her service as Chief of Vision Rehabilitation Services and at the university level through her participation in numerous committees, most notably the strategic planning and resource council,” writes Bhavani Iyer, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Texas, in her support letter. “She has consistently demonstrated leadership skills by initiating and co-chairing programs at Ferris to aide in interprofessional collaboration and leading programs like academic service learning. Nationally, she has earned a name for herself as a levelheaded and well-balanced vision rehabilitation professional, which led to her being selected as a member of the American Optometric Association vision rehabilitation committee.”

    Peter Bradley, Director of the Honors Program, writes of Hinkley’s contributions to the Strategic Plan and of her impact to the Honors Program. “Sarah has been a reliable partner, putting in the extra hours and thought required to present a visionary, defensible strategic plan.” Regarding her work to present and connect with pre-optometry students who may be potential applicants, many who are honors students, he writes that “As an alumna of the Honors Program, she has been a valued voice and perspective throughout the many changes we’ve made to Honors in the past few years… and has served as a role-model for a number of them [students].

    Hinkley’s largest role in service is as project director of the Students in Need of Eyecare (SINE) program, which Hinkley was instrumental in developing. “The SINE program helps children [now numbered in the hundreds] to obtain eye exams and eyeglasses who otherwise would have gone without,” writes Rhonda Atteberry, Contact Lens and Low Vision Technician, Ferris Eye Center, in her letter of support. “She [Hinkley] has helped these children to have better chances of reaching their education needs and I am sure made a difference in their future. This program not only helps the low-income families, it was a great lesson to her own optometry students and it also gave them the opportunity to further their education in the clinic.”

    Hinkley and other recipients of the 2019 Academic Affairs Awards were recognized on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at the Employee Service Awards in the University Center. 

  • Tracy BuschAs an Associate Professor of History who continues as lead faculty for Ferris State University’s Museum of Sexist Objects, Tracy Nichols Busch acknowledges the value of learning in its own right. She has been selected to receive the 2019 Distinguished Teacher Award.

    Busch, who earned a Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1991, and her Doctorate from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in 2003, was nominated for this award in 2018. She is in her twelfth year of teaching at Ferris.

    “The hardest part,” Busch said, “was thinking of myself as ‘distinguished.’ When I hear that word, the stereotype of a gray-haired man in a tweed jacket came to mind. The process forced me to articulate my teaching philosophy and to realize that I bring my own unique combination of professional, personal and academic experience into the classroom.”

    “I also find it humbling,” Busch said, “because of who I am surrounded by. My fellow professors work hard to reach the students. Unlike R1 universities, where egos run wild, our faculty support one another and share best practices. We recognize that our students are at a critical stage in their lives. On top of figuring out who they are, they often also have family obligations and outside jobs.”

    Busch said helping students to understand and respect the importance of history is at the root of her classroom efforts.

    “So many students think history is just names and dates, when in fact history explains why we think and act the way we do,” Busch said. ”As the novelist William Faulkner wrote, ‘The past is never dead, it’s not even past.’ If you want to understand why immigration is a hot-button issue or why Black Lives Matter is a significant movement, you have to learn American history. Knowing world history, will not only enable you to be culturally literate, it will also help you compete on the global job market.”

    Regarding her work outside the classroom, Busch noted, “I never imagined, when I took the job at Ferris, that I would become involved with projects as big as the BEYOND campus-wide exhibit spearheaded by the Office of International Education or the creation of the Museum of Sexist Objects, which was originally under the Diversity and Inclusion Office. Both have involved extensive collaboration with fellow faculty, administrators and students and are bringing important attention to Ferris.”

    Several days after Busch’s Distinguished Teacher Award was announced by the Office of the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, she traveled with members of the university’s Phi Alpha Theta chapter to a regional conference held at Oakland University, in Rochester. Busch serves as the Ferris chapter’s advisor and noted that the seven Ferris students who presented papers that day had participated in a valuable learning experience. “By standing in front of their fellow historians and presenting original research, they went from being passive consumers of information to creators of knowledge,” Busch said. “It was a proud moment.”

    College of Arts and Sciences Dean Kristi Haik said that Busch’s selection is a just reward for her efforts to benefit the university and its students.

    “Dr. Busch is an excellent professor, loved by her students and committed to her work, inside and outside of the classroom,” Haik said. “We are so excited for her and agree that the award is much deserved.”

    Busch joined other award-winning faculty and staff members at a celebratory dinner hosted by Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Paul Blake and Academic Senate President Sandra Alspach on Monday, April 15. She will receive the Distinguished Teacher Award at the Employee Service Awards ceremony Wednesday, April 24.

    The above content is from the Ferris News Service.

  • Lisa vonReichbauerLisa vonReichbauer, Assistant Director in the Office of International Education, has been named the 2019 Diversity Enhancement Award recipient for her contributions and dedication in creating a diverse and inclusive campus at Ferris.

    vonReichbauer was honored for her leadership ability in championing diversity and advancing activities that promote a welcoming and inclusive campus. “I celebrate the diverse human beings that we are: diverse voices, backgrounds, experiences, and ideas,” vonReichbauer said. “I work very hard to create an inclusive campus at Ferris so that everyone feels that the campus belongs to them.”

    Vital to international student enrollment, vonReichbauer developed the curriculum for the Intensive English Program, as well as implemented the Lighthouse Symposium for TESOL professionals. “Lisa’s work was instrumental in bringing these diverse perspectives to Ferris and our partners here in Michigan and beyond,” one nominator wrote. “This Is an example of how diversity of perspectives Is being brought to classroom teaching through Lisa's efforts of working with others.”

    Additionally, vonReichbauer has been involved in the development of the Beyond Initiative, Deliberative Dialogues, the Global Competency Collaborative Certificate Program, the MyPLACE Program, and China Academic Partnership Initiative, among others. She is also a mentor for international students and an immigration advisor.

     “An educator at heart, my work revolves around developing, implementing, and supporting programs that promote learning about different perspectives and respecting all members of the Ferris community,” vonReichbauer said.

    Employed at Ferris for the last seven years, vonReichbauer has served in various roles including being a faculty member, Coordinator of the Intensive English Program, and currently, Assistant Director of the International Office. Additionally, she is the Primary Designated School Official for immigration and student services for international students.

    VonReichbauer and other recipients of the 2019 Academic Affairs Awards were recognized on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at the Employee Service Awards in the University Center.

  • Not awarded in 2019.
  • Not awarded in 2019.
  • Tracy BuschTracy Busch, Associate Professor of Humanities, has been chosen as the 2019 recipient of the International Educator Award for her significant contributions in international education (IE) in student-oriented, curricular, and scholarly areas, as well as with other IE initiatives.

    “We learn best by doing,” Busch writes in her philosophy of international education. “The classroom provides vital foundational information, but I find that students do their best when they can demonstrate what they know outside the classroom.” For this reason, Busch involves her students in many campus activities. “I have Global Women’s Activism students present their research to the campus community, encourage our history majors to present papers at regional and national conferences, and involve students in public history events such as the award-winning “BEYOND: The Silk Road” initiative.”

    Including students in large projects takes more work, both in preparation and in mentoring, Busch explains, “but it certainly contributes to the Ferris core values of ‘Excellence,’ ‘Collaboration’ and ‘Opportunity.’ Their pride in their work and my pride in their accomplishments is a great reward. It is Ferris at its best.”

    In furthering IE at Ferris, Busch wrote that she has been involved with the “Globalization Initiative, developed a number of internationally-oriented history classes, worked with the Center for Global Studies and Engagement to bring experts to campus, took the lead in the inaugural “Beyond” initiative in 2012, collaborated with another faculty member to develop a study abroad program for Russia in 2018, facilitated a relationship with an Archangel university so Ferris students can do graduate work in Russia, and applied and won a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to conduct a Summer Institute at Ferris State in 2016 for middle and high school teachers.”

    Other international activities that Busch has involved her students with include using the “Deliberative Dialogue” model in discussing immigration issues, encouraging use of the Shoah archive for research, and bringing students to events such as the International Affairs Forum and the World Affairs Council. She has partnered with the Office of International Education (OIE) to enable students to meet diplomats such as former U.S Consul General, Jack Segal, and former Ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle. She also produced the documentary “Globalization in the Classroom,” to promote global knowledge and its benefit to Ferris students.

    Busch’s scholarly activities include visiting Russia in 2013 on a Ferris Research Scholar Grant, publishing several scholarly articles in leading journals, and conducting research at the National Archives (College Park) and the Summer Research Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne (UIUC). She is an expert on Russia and is frequently invited to present on international affairs, global women’s issues, and the history of the post-Soviet space (including Ukraine). She has presented at the International Affairs Forum, the Big Rapids General Federation of Women Councils on human trafficking, and at the Ferris Human Trafficking Conference.

    Busch and other recipients of the 2019 Academic Affairs Awards were recognized on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at the Employee Service Awards in the University Center.

  • Austin FreshourAustin Freshour, Academic Advisor in the College of Health Professions, was honored as the 2019 Outstanding Academic Advisor Award recipient for his dedication and passion in creating a safe, supportive environment for students, empowering them to be life-long learners, and assisting them in their personal development.

    “Austin gives students the tools and resources needed to help them be the most successful they can be while also giving them ownership of their accomplishments and independence,” said Richelle Williams, Secretary of Student Academic Affairs in the College of Health Professions. As someone who cares deeply for his students, “Austin’s advisees know his door is always open when needed.”

    Freshour has worked closely with students and youth for many years, including as a family/youth counselor, a mental health case manager, and a K-12 counseling intern. In the three years he has worked at Ferris, his commitment to his student advisees has led him to developing a database to monitor student progress in their major, an advising shell in Blackboard, advising videos on Blackboard, and a COHP Student Group.

    Linda Kuk, Professional Advisor in the College of Health Professions, says that Freshour is a strong advocate for his advisees and that their office and students have benefited from his new ideas, techniques, and updates. In addition to creating a COHP Student Group that helped students feel connected, “Austin was instrumental in creating a yearly Health Connect Event. Over the last three years, this grew from 15 students to over 130 this past fall,” Kuk said.

    Kuk has witnessed Freshour’s passion for his advisor role. “He understands the importance of offering students direction but keeping them responsible, engaged, and assisting them with the various departments on campus. He collaborates with other departments and advisors on campus and stays updated on the services available for students and informed on university policies,” Kuk said.

    Freshour explains that he and his coworker have “worked hard to show students that we care about their well-being and education simply by creating an atmosphere of unconditional positive regard. By empowering students and helping them acquire knowledge about their skills, ability to learn, and overall goodness, I believe they leave Ferris well equipped to actualize their own potentials.”

    Freshour and other recipients of the 2019 Academic Affairs Awards were recognized on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at the Employee Service Awards in the University Center.

  • Sarah RescoeKnown for her dedication and caring support of all students, but especially first-year students, English, Literature, and World Languages Instructor, Sarah Rescoe, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2019 Outstanding First-Year Advocate Award.

    “Few professors develop such an excellent rapport with their students. Because Dr. Rescoe cares so much about helping current and former students succeed at Ferris, she continues to help them in ways that go far beyond the job title ‘professor.’” Humanities Instructor, Christian Peterson, writes in a support letter. “Students ask Dr. Rescoe for advice on how to deal with the myriad of challenges that young adults face in challenging times.”

    “I believe that FY student educators like myself have a responsibility to use pedagogy and mentorship strategies wisely to empower FY students to become more adaptable to uncertainty and university life …” writes Rescoe in her nominee response. To that end, she employs “a combination of (1) instructional support, (2) personal and emotional support, and (3) social capital/network support” to “encourage critical thinking, conflict resolution, and collaboration to bring about constructive social discourse, self-advocacy, and academic and personal success.”

    First-year students have many needs for mentoring and support beyond the classroom. Rescoe is particularly responsive to helping these students. She has assisted students in applying for financial aid, food stamps, medical school, and study abroad programs. In addition to helping current students, her door is always open to former students who come to her with requests for help such as with citing research papers, preparing for public speaking, handling written communication with parole officers, and helping set up online bill paying.

    Comments from student evaluations include “really awesome lady with a huge heart and passion for teaching. She genuinely cares about how her students do, and makes learning really easy,” “absolutely wonderful professor. She developed a close relationship with her students. I felt welcome and I wasn't afraid to ask her questions like I am with most teachers/professors,” “She is such an amazing professor and she is the kindest woman I have ever met,” “Sarah … truly cares about her students and their success; she isn’t just doing her ‘job’,” “Sarah Rescoe is an outstanding woman, leader, and professor. So very knowledgeable, sweet, and helpful,” “You’re seriously the best professor I’ve ever had at Ferris. Thank you for always giving me awesome feedback and always answering all of my questions!”

    Former student William Wood sums up Rescoe’s many years of student evaluations: “Sarah is still one of the most dedicated and passionate professors I have ever had at Ferris.”

    Rescoe and other recipients of the 2019 Academic Affairs Awards were recognized on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at the Employee Service Awards in the University Center.

  • Not awarded in 2019.