Four University of Michigan lecturers have been honored for outstanding contributions to instruction as the 2021-22 Collegiate Lecturers.
Each year, the university awards up to four Collegiate Lecturer titles to lecturer IIs and lecturer IVs who demonstrate a sustained record of excellence in teaching and learning, or in service or other contributions to the university. This is a title they will retain throughout their careers at U-M.
This year’s recipients, approved by Susan M. Collins, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, were selected for exemplary and outstanding commitments to the community and for their impact on student instruction.
Lecturer IV, medicinal chemistry
College of Pharmacy
Throughout his 22-year career as a lecturer at U-M, Mustapa Beleh, has been consistently caring and trendsetting in his techniques and tenor as an instructor. Beginning in 2003, Beleh has received the Students’ Appreciation Award in the College of Pharmacy 10 times.
He has a strong passion for student learning, making sure that there is no “weeding out” of poor-performing students, but a hand up to ensure all students are successful. He embraces the new model of higher education as a mechanism for bringing less-advantaged students up in performance to succeed.
For those that do struggle, he has introduced two levels of remediation for all five Med Chem courses. He also has developed and instituted new teaching and assessment innovations, mostly online, beginning in 2005.
Beleh has consistently been given outstanding ratings and several different teaching awards, including in 2019 when he received the Teaching Excellence Award. He has been a voice at the national level with regards to pharmacy education and he continues to partake in this endeavor to progress his own skills as well as those of the industry.
Lecturer II, art and design
Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design
Since joining the faculty in 2008, Melanie Manos has made extraordinary contributions to the undergraduate curriculum. Her courses are highly sought after by students, and she serves as an outstanding mentor to both students and colleagues.
Manos has not been afraid to lead in her current position. She has served as a faculty coordinator and led the Stamps Study Abroad program. She embraces responsibility, contributing to the annual Sophomore Reviews, Senior Integrative Project Reviews and undergraduate advising.
Her collaborations have not stopped at the Ann Arbor campus. Her participation in social engagement in Detroit has been incalculable. Manos’ perspective of bringing students in from everywhere is seen in this and in the study abroad program. It gives significant meaning to her mentorship abilities and the success her students achieve.
Lecturer II, classical studies
Donka Markus began her career in 1999. She specializes in the Latin language, and her ability in the language has been described as a “deep expertise,” even brilliant. She has a love of discovering and developing effective methods for teaching Latin.
Markus is known as a problem solver, always looking for and developing new techniques to get lessons across. This includes developing new courses and offerings.
She was remarkably prepared for the sudden online pivot due to the pandemic. She has led the way among and provided a model for instructors in the creative and robust use of Canvas and other online tools.
An enormous change in the classroom has been the reduction in time she spends present to allow for more hands-on practice with students, always analyzing achievement levels and feedback to adjust as necessary.
Many watch the future with excitement, knowing that Markus’ ideas and programs are integral parts of the success of students.
Lecturer IV, Residential College
With more than 20 years at U-M, Laura Thomas has created fans and admirers throughout the community. She has more than a dozen publications and awards, set a standard for being a lifelong learner, and been a tireless adviser to student writers and students seeking more advice.
Thomas is a community fixture. She is a writer-in-residence for Kerrytown Bookfest and a board member as well as a workshop leader with the Chelsea Writer’s Workshop. She is collaborative with faculty and easily wins students’ trust, being honest and respectful of their work.
Those who know Thomas say while she’s been a stellar colleague who was awarded the Individual Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, she also received a nomination for the Golden Apple Award in 2015. It is well known that Thomas is always available to consult and collaborate with students and fellow staff.
The deadline to submit nominations for the 2022-23 Collegiate Lecturer award was is March 25. The 2022-23 recipients are expected to be announced in May. Direct any questions about the process to firstname.lastname@example.org.