Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Elliott Hall, Room 200A
275 Varner Drive
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2751

Three professionally-dressed adults smiling for a photo in front of a black backdrop.

Grants and Awards

CETL facilitates and celebrates opportunities for faculty to be recognized for achievements in teaching, in the forms of grants to develop innovative teaching practices and receive awards. If you have received additional teaching awards and grants or would like to recognize a colleague who has, email this news at


Educational Development Grants Available

The Senate Teaching and Learning Committee offers Educational Development Grants of up to $750 for conferences, materials, and other professional development costs related to teaching and learning. For more guidance on conferences to attend or other ways to develop and disseminate your teaching work (e.g. publications), reach out to CETL.

CETL Teaching Grant News

OU journalism students contribute to Solutions News Bureau

As a result of Kate Roff and Holly Shreve Gilbert's teaching grant work on solutions-based journalism, they created the Solutions News Bureau for journalism students to publish their related projects. Read more about solutions journalism in Solutions Journalism: Covering news from a problem-solving lens.

Universal Design for Learning promoted in media studies

Based on her 2020 CETL Teaching Grant work, cinema studies professor Bridget Kies has implemented universal design for learning in her courses and scholarship. As a result, she served as the editor of the special issue Universal Design for Learning in the Media Studies Classroom for the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies: Teaching Media. She authored the Introduction and essay "Queering the Course Design."

Teaching with Care in Asynchronous, Online Courses: Article Publication

Based on her CETL teaching grant work, OU Libraries’ Katie Greer published “A pedagogy of care for information literacy and metaliteracy asynchronous online instruction” in the Journal of Academic Librarianship. She explored whether a pedagogy of care effectively be applied in the asynchronous online environment, and how prioritizing the affective domain of learning help support applying metaliteracy in practice. 

Teaching Excellence Awards
Each year the Oakland University Senate Teaching and Learning Committee and the University Research Committee honor faculty whose teaching and research efforts have achieved singular praise or recognition. These individuals receive the Teaching Excellence Award, Research Excellence Award, New Investigator Research Excellence Award or Excellence in Teaching Award for their work.

2022 Teaching Excellence Award Winners

Sarah Lerchenfeldt, Teaching Excellence Award 

A headshot of Sarah LerchenfeldtSarah Lerchenfeldt is an associate professor in the Department of Foundational Medical Studies at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy at Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy in Ada, Ohio. She completed her PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at Harper University Hospital and her PGY2 Oncology Pharmacy Residency at Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit. Sarah provides instruction in pharmacology throughout the curriculum and serves as co-director of the Hematology and Oncology course for first year medical students. She is a Team-Based Learning Collaborative Trainer-Consultant and is actively involved with the many of the team-based learning activities throughout the program. Her scholarly interest is focused primarily on the theme of teamwork in health education, in which the majority of her research and scholarly output concentrates on several different facets of teamwork and collaborative learning. 

Sandra Troxell-Smith, Online Teaching Excellence Award 

Sandra Troxell-Smith headshotSandra Troxell-Smith is a Special Lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences at Oakland University. She received her Ph.D. in Biology (with a focus on ecology and animal behavior) from The University of Illinois at Chicago in 2016, and began teaching at OU in 2017. Whether teaching online or in person, her primary goal is to share her passion for science and the course material with her students. She strives to blend lecture-based learning with practical, real-world experiences and assignments in each of her courses. During her time at OU, she has been awarded the CAS “Order of the Plume” Teaching Excellence Award in 2019, the Honors College Inspiration Award in 2020, and the Excellence in Online Teaching Award in 2022. Prior to teaching, Sandra worked with several zoological institutions throughout the US, and continues to provide exciting research experiences for Honors College and Independent Study students at these facilities. She can be reached at

Dennis Burin, Excellence in Teaching Award

Dennis Burin headshotDennis Burin is a Special Lecturer in the International Studies Program at Oakland University. He earned his BA from The University of Michigan and his masters and doctoral degrees from Wayne State University.  He has taught at Oakland University since 2015 teaching three sections of Global Human Systems each semester.  He is a retired high school teacher and administrator and has a passion for teaching and learning.  His classes are highly interactive in which he is constantly challenging students with questions to foster critical thinking skills.  He frequently ties in stories from his world travels and encourages students to do the same.  He attempts to create an atmosphere in class that makes each student feel comfortable in contributing to the classroom discussion.  Dr. Burin believes that international travel helps give you a global perspective and changes you for the better as a person.  With that in mind, he will be taking a group of  OU students in Global Human Systems for a two week study abroad experience to Paris, France in the summer of 2023.  He can be reached at

View the winners' presentations and other resources highlighted on October 4, 2022.