Four University of Michigan faculty members were recognized for outstanding contributions to teaching as 2021-22 Collegiate Lecturers.
Each year the University awards up to four Collegiate Lecturer degrees to Lecturers II and Lecturers IV who demonstrate a sustained track record of success in teaching and learning or in service or other contributions to the University. This is a title they will retain throughout their career at UM.
Approved by Susan M. Collins, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, this year’s honorees were selected for their exemplary and outstanding commitment to the community and impact on the classroom of students.
Lecturer IV, Medicinal Chemistry
Throughout his 22-year teaching career at UM, Mustapa Beleh has always been caring and guiding in his techniques and tenor as an instructor. Since 2003, Beleh has received 10 College of Pharmacy Students’ Appreciation Awards.
He has a strong passion for student learning and ensures that low-performing students are not “culled out” but that all students succeed. He welcomes the new model of higher education as a mechanism to empower less disadvantaged students to succeed.
For those struggling, he introduced two levels of correction for all five Med-Chem courses. Also, starting in 2005, he developed and introduced new teaching and assessment innovations, mainly online.
Beleh has consistently received excellent reviews and several different teaching awards including 2019 when he received the Teaching Excellence Award. He has been a national voice on pharmaceutical education and continues to be involved in this quest to improve his own and the industry’s skills.
Lecturer II, Art and Design
Penny W. Stamp School of Art and Design
Since joining the faculty in 2008, Melanie Manos has made exceptional contributions to the undergraduate curriculum. Her courses are in high demand among students and she is an excellent mentor to students and colleagues.
Manos hasn’t shied away from leading in her current position. She has served as faculty coordinator and directed the Stamps Study Abroad program. She takes responsibility and contributes to the annual sophomore reviews, senior integrative project reviews and student counseling.
Their collaboration didn’t end on the Ann Arbor campus. Your social commitment in Detroit is priceless. Manos’ perspective of inviting students from anywhere is evident in this and the study abroad program. It gives significant meaning to their mentoring skills and the success their students achieve.
Lecturer II, Ancient Studies
Donka Markus started her career in 1999. She specializes in Latin and her language skills have been described as ‘deep expertise’, even brilliant. She loves to discover and develop effective methods for teaching Latin.
Markus is known as a problem solver, always looking for and developing new techniques to teach lessons. This includes the development of new courses and offers.
She was remarkably well prepared for the sudden online turn due to the pandemic. She is pioneering and has provided teachers with a model for creative and robust use of Canvas and other online tools.
A huge change in the classroom has been reducing the time she spends in attendance to allow for more hands-on practice with students, always analyzing performance levels and feedback to adjust where necessary.
Many are excited about the future, knowing that Markus’ ideas and programs are an essential part of the students’ success.
Lecturer IV, Residential College
With more than 20 years at UM, Laura Thomas has created fans and admirers throughout the community. She has more than a dozen publications and awards, has set a standard for lifelong learning, and has been a tireless advisor to student writers and students seeking more advice.
Thomas is an integral part of the community. She is writer-in-residence for the Kerrytown Bookfest and board member and workshop leader at the Chelsea Writer’s Workshop. She works collaboratively with faculty and easily earns students’ trust by being honest and respectful of her work.
Those who know Thomas say that while she was an outstanding colleague, receiving the Individual Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, she also received a 2015 Golden Apple Award nomination. It is known that Thomas is always available for advice and collaboration with students and colleagues.
The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2022-23 Collegiate Lecturer Award was March 25. The 2022-23 award winners are expected to be announced in May. Direct questions about the process to firstname.lastname@example.org.