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Academic Newsletter

Doctoral Spotlight 


Be sure to congratulate the following faculty who have completed their terminal degrees:

Dr. Linda Sorensen Ph.D.

Crain's Names Two DU Leaders 
'Notable Women in Educational Leadership'

Dr. Karen Daley, dean of the College of Health Professions and Lisa Howze, vice president of Davenport University’s Detroit campus and strategic partnerships, were named to the 2019 Crain’s Detroit Business Notable Women in Education Leadership list. Both honorees, chosen for their outstanding leadership in education and their notable contributions to Davenport University, have campaigned for and implemented changes to improve student and faculty experience; changes which have helped move education forward.

Congratulations to Dr. Karen Daley and Lisa Howze!

(The Crain’s Detroit Business Notable Women in Education Leadership list honors notable women based on their career accomplishments, track records of success in the field, contributions to their community and mentorship of others.)




The Center for Teaching Excellence Perk

Fall 2019 is well underway, and the Center for Teaching Excellence is working alongside faculty to make sure this semester is a great one for Davenport’s students.

Our Academic Discourse and Writing Retreat virtual sessions continue, with a “Lectures: Friend or Foe” session stimulating a great discussion of both student engagement and faculty perceptions of lectures, and a collaborative weekend writing session featuring peer reviews of our scholarly projects.

Also, in an effort to build community among faculty that supports and facilitates academic discourse, the DU Center for Teaching Excellence  launched a blog last Fall. Co-Directors and authors Dr. Kriss Ferluga and Dr. Tammy Stachowicz offer resources and dialogue about excellence in teaching practices that lead to superior learning while sharing positive affirmations that aim to recognize the expertise of and inspire the passions of Davenport’s faculty. The blog continues to address topics that directly impact the academic community at DU, including how to apply for rank advancement, how to incorporate activities honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. into coursework, and how to create a culture of care for students.

The CTE began a new blog series last academic year which continues, called The Terminal Degree, with weekly posts and online resources that guide colleagues through the doctoral process. The CTE has begun to offer coaching and mentoring services to faculty entering and working through their terminal degree programs.

 And, it’s never too early to start thinking about the DU Day of Research! Our next event will take place on Thursday, April 16, 2020. We hope to see you and your students there!

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Kriss Ferluga and Tammy Stachowicz


Dr. William (Bill) Ward joins the faculty as Assistant Professor of Marketing.  Bill earned his Ph.D. in Media & Information Studies from Michigan State University and brings years of experience teaching at several institutions as well as extensive marketing experience. 

Dr. Todd Terry (former associate department chair) replaces Dr. Vivianne Moore as Management Department Chair who moved to online.

Stephanie Tamminga joins the Occupational Therapy Department.  She is a certified hand therapist who brings neuromuscular expertise and years of clinical experience. She joins us from Mary Free Bed.

Janice Peck joined the nursing faculty at the Lettinga campus.  She is an experienced educator in pediatrics, neonatal care and home health.

Dr. Aleta Pillai will be shifting from the Associate Department Chair of Nursing at Lansing to the BSN Online Completion position. Current nursing faculty member Kim Garza will assume the interim position as the Associate Department Chair of Nursing at Lansing.

Dr. Jessica Abernathy, MSN faculty, was published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine.  Her article was entitled Prevalance of Iron Deficiency in the First Trimester, Non-anemic Pregnant Women.

Deanna Dubay, Associate Dept. Chair Great Lakes Bay Campus, completed her DNP in June 2019 at University of Massachusetts.  Her DNP doctoral project was on Simulation Based Mental Health Nursing Education

Dr. Karen Daley was promoted to full professor.

Dr. Barbra Katerborg traveled to Uzbekistan as an occupational therapist where she advised staff at a facility for institutionalized handicap children on increasing these children’s mobility and independence, and trained staff on creating adaptive tools for the children.

Dr. Chris Marx, Registrar, and Dr. Karen Daley, Dean, were invited by the Lumina Foundation to speak at the American Legion’s National Credentialing Summit on best practices for granting credit for military experience.

Dr. Gabriela Ziegler presented at the Computing Conference in London. Dr. Ziegler’s paper, Knowledge Management System: Designing a Virtual Community of Practice for Higher Education was published in Intelligent Systems and Commuting.

Davenfest celebration recognitions:

Saleela Hollingsworth - Great Service award; Steve Bacinski, Associate Department Chair for Math - Excellence in Teaching award, and Karen Clark - Excellence in Teaching award (her second!).

Fullbright Specialist Dr. Chris Hamstra fulfilled his responsibilities at Bifrost University in Iceland where he taught, mentored and worked with colleagues from many nations to advance diplomacy and educational excellence abroad.

Dr. Laura Harris, Science Lab Coordinator and faculty, co-presented a poster entitled Identification and prioritization of Streptococcus pneumoniae’s macrolide resistance genes with hypothetical annotation at the American Society for Microbiology in San Francisco. Laura also co-presented with DU alumni Kuana School at a pre-conference workshop entitled “Characterizing Hypothetical Proteins Using a Novel Classroom Bioinformatic Project” at the American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators in Washington DC with DU alumni Kuana School.

Melissa Haswell, Campus Associate Department Chair, presented the research poster Exploring the application of genetic concepts to the process of disease in a pathophysiology course for undergraduate nursing students at the Gordon Research Conference on Undergraduate Biology Education Research in June at Bates (Maine).

Dr. Rajah Smart completed his doctoral degree and received promotion to assistant professor.

Dr. Susan Gunn was promoted to full professor.

Davenfest celebration recognition: Practicum Manager Lindsey Shull - DEI Champion Award.

Practicum Manager Tonya Ransome and Internship Manager Brandi Melkild presented at the June 2019 Michigan Career Educator and Employer Alliance (MCEEA) Conference in June on the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) Internship audit which provides a best practice framework for university experiential programs to measure their effectiveness.

Program Director Dr. Wayne Sneath presented at the June 2019 MCEEA Conference on the DU BUSN-TECH 489 class project model which pairs student consulting teams with small businesses as alternative internship experiences.

Internship Manager Brandi Melkild and Experiential Learning intern Nate Swanson presented at the October 2019 American College Personnel Association (ACPA)—Michigan Conference on the topic of the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) Internship standards and program strategic planning.

Professional Development offered to Online Instructors

Quality Matters continues to be a focus of the Global Campus Team. Jeff Wiggerman achieved the Online Facilitator Certification from Quality Matters in December. Plans are underway to offer the Quality Matters training course several times annually, with a long-term goal if certifying all online instructors.

Confab 2019, the professional development event for online instructors (full-time faculty as well as all adjuncts) was conducted February.  For the first time, a Virtual Reality platform (Virbela) was used to conduct roughly 2/3rds of the sessions. Feedback from participants indicated that they found the event helpful in sharing best practices and useful for networking with their peers. As the event is entirely virtual, the Global Campus team was very pleased to see peer-networking as a top value-add for the event.  Virbela will continue to be examined for possible course-related pilot projects in the future.



Fall 2019 grades and Excellence system scores are both due by Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Fall 2019 last day of classes- Saturday, December 14, 2019

Winter 2020 semester begins- Monday, January 6, 2020

1st Session Summer classes end- Monday, June 24

Day of Research- Thursday, April 16, 2020

Graduation 2020- Saturday, April 26, 2020


Summer Camps Get Students Interested and Involved at DU

The Davenport University science and math departments hosted several summer camps this year. Bill Schram, the Science Lab Coordinator in Warren, had one Forensic Science session with 14 participants, and Ahlam Kader, the Science Lab Coordinator at the Lettinga Campus, had two sessions with 28 participants, using forensic science tools and techniques to solve a murder mystery. The camps were funded by ME Davenport grants requested by Dr Susan Gunn, former science department chair, now Dean of Urban Education. The camp curriculum was created by Dr Gunn and Bill about 5 years ago.

Warren Science Camp
Warren Science Camp

Lettinga Science Camp Lettinga Science Camp

Lettinga Science Camp

The math department put on two camps this summer, Steve Bacinski hosted one camp at the Lettinga Campus, and Dr Shubhada Sagdeo and Dr Tim Pennings at the Holland Campus. Students from grades 6-9 explored advanced math to discover the applications to the real world and the programs DU has to offer.

Holland Math Camp