During my time at Ferris State University, I have had the opportunity to pursue several credentials (mostly online). In addition, I have had the good fortune to have received a few awards. This page is my chance to highlight some of these activities.

Teaching Award


Excellence in Course Assessment, 2016

This award is based on excellence in the use of assessment data in a course to improve student learning. My application focused upon the use of formative and summative assessment in BIOL286: General Microbiology. Supporting documentation included my extensive use of our Learning Management System’s (Blackboard) tools and a student feedback computer program of my own devising. All assessment data is safely stored in our institutional assessment repository (Nuventive Improve).

Top 25 STEM Professors in Michigan. 2013

This award highlights post-secondary educators who have been awarded recently for excellence in the classroom, on campus and/or in the community.

Distinguished Teacher, 2011/2012

The Distinguished Teacher Award is symbolic of the appreciation of the Ferris State University faculty for their dedication to and excellence in teaching. This is the highest award given to faculty at Ferris State University. The tenured nominees are evaluated based on the significance of their contributions in the following areas:

  1. Teaching excellence
  2. Interest in students outside the classroom/laboratory
  3. Participation in professional development activities
  4. Exhibiting distinction as a member of the university community as it impacts teaching.

As part of this award, I was given the privilege of making a commencement address to the graduates at the fall 2012 ceremony.

SoftChalk Lesson Challenge, 2011

This award was for a series of online learning modules that I built for our Microbiology courses. These resources included animations, embedded videos, and other library resources. I recognized that my students rarely read the laboratory exercises, poorly understood the concepts and procedures, and demonstrated low retention. As a result, I was spending too much time on pre-lab talks and trouble-shooting rather than facilitating student learning. The SoftChalk laboratory modules were developed to address this situation.

Exemplary On-Line Course, Web Enhanced, 2007

This award was given to recognize the quality of my Course Management System (at that time, WebCT) shell for BIOL108: Medical Microbiology for Allied Health majors. That shell included lecture notes, slides, study guides, practice quizzes, an interactive glossary and more. This material was partially derived from teaching resources that I had previously developed at California State University, Long Beach.


Data Analyst with R, DataCamp, 2020

In this track, I learned how to import, clean, manipulate, and visualize data in R—all integral skills for any aspiring data professional or researcher. Through interactive exercises, I practiced hands-on with some of the most popular R packages, including ggplot2 and tidyverse packages like dplyr and readr. I also developed data manipulation and exploratory data analysis skills by working with a wide range of real-world datasets, including everything from Australian population figures to Netflix films. I also gained the SQL skills I may need to query data from databases and join tables. This certificate included 19 different courses and required 77 hours to complete.

Certified Trainer, Data Carpentry and Software Carpentry, 2017

Data Carpentry develops and teaches workshops on the fundamental data skills needed to conduct research. Its mission is to provide researchers high-quality, domain-specific training covering the full lifecycle of data-driven research. Data Carpentry is a sibling organization of Software Carpentry. Whereas Software Carpentry teaches best practices in software development, Data Carpentry focus is on the introductory computational skills needed for data management and analysis in all domains of research. The lessons are domain specific, from life and physical sciences to social science and build on the existing knowledge of learners to enable them to quickly apply skills learned to their own research.

Peer Reviewer, Higher Learning Commission, 2016

The Higher Learning Commission maintains a Peer Corps of approximately 1,600 faculty and administrators from institutions within the 19-state North Central region. Peer reviewers play an important role in all stages of the accreditation process. They are responsible for assuring that an institution is complying with the accreditation criteria as well as for helping an institution advance within the context of its own mission. I have been on one site visit as of 2018.

Higher Education Assessment Specialist Graduate Certificate, 2015

The Higher Education Assessment Certificate is 100% online and highly interactive. By the end of the program, students are able to:

  1. Discuss policy issues in higher education and how policy affects assessment practice in colleges and universities.
  2. Develop professional assessment skills, including instrument design and consultation, through applied projects and experiences.
  3. Participate in all phases of the assessment process working on an assessment-related experience at his or her home institution.
  4. Develop, select, and critique higher education assessment instruments guided by modern validity theory.
  5. Identify the appropriate measurement tools and statistical analyses needed for common assessment situations.
  6. Develop communication skills necessary for assessment practice including: interpersonal, consultation, and professional etiquette.

The certificate consists of four courses (12 graduate-level credits). Students typically take one to two courses a semester. In order to earn your certificate, students must successfully pass all four courses.

Certificate of Online Adjunct Teaching (COAT), University of Maryland, 2013

The QM Teaching Online Certificate enables instructors to demonstrate their knowledge mastery of online teaching. The seven workshops that make up the Teaching Online Certificate include competencies aligned with QM’s Online Instructor Skill Set. Instructors who take the series are provided with the background knowledge needed for teaching online. The workshops will provide both current and potential online instructors with the experience of learning online from the student’s perspective.

Other Certificates (Online Courses)

Like somethat that you read here? Feel free to share it.