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Distinguished Teacher - 2007

Mary Rengo Murnik

Mary Rengo MurnikMary Rengo Murnik, Ph.D., a professor of Biology, received the prestigious Distinguished Teacher Award from her academic colleagues in 2007. Dr. Murnik came to Ferris in 1980. She was honored with the Martin Luther King Social Justice Award in 2004, the Ferris Professional Women Woman of the Year award and the Michigan Association of Governing Boards' Award for Teaching Excellence in 1998.

Dr. Murnik helps students learn to think through concepts of genetics and evolution, to "learn to think like biologists". She really enjoys teaching, and works hard to maintain currency and actively involve students in the learning process. She stresses understanding and application of concepts, not memorization. Classes include time for clarification, questioning, discussion, as well as group and individual problem solving. Her students comment: "...excellent instructor. Her passion and knowledge for the course and its material are...second to none. She has a welcoming smile when you enter the classroom and is sure you know the material before you leave."

Dr. Murnik's research interests include mutagenesis, and she mentors undergraduate student research in that area. Dr. Murnik chairs the Pre-Dental Advisory Committee and is a Dental Admission Test Constructor, Biology Content Area, for the American Dental Association.