Two Awards Presented at Annual Faculty Meeting

The College of Arts & Letters celebrated its outstanding faculty for their achievements in leadership and teaching at the Faculty Meeting and Awards Presentation on May 6 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. During this annual event, two awards – the Faculty Leadership Award and the Fixed-Term Faculty and Academic Specialist Leadership in Excellence Award – were presented.

Faculty Leadership Award

This year’s Faculty Leadership Award went to Ben Van Dyke, Associate Professor, Associate Chair, and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design.

Van Dyke’s scholarship and creative activity investigates volatility in systems, language, pattern, and typography through site-specific installations. He has been invited to exhibit, lecture, and facilitate workshops on projects around the world. He also was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to the Netherlands where he was an artist-in-residence focusing on how experimental practices influence mainstream culture.

two men who are standing next to one another and hold a green envelope
Dr. Van Dyke (left) accepting his award from Dean Christopher P. Long (right) at the Faculty Meeting and Awards Presentation.


“Over the course of the 2017-2018 academic year and through the summer, Ben led a multidisciplinary group of departmental stakeholders that included studio artists, graphic and textile designers, art historians, and an outside consultant, to completely redesign the MFA program. The new program retains the best aspects of what came before, while offering new levels of support for students as they learn to teach and develop innovative, individual paths of study,” said Karin Zitzewitz, Interim Chair of the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, who nominated Van Dyke for the award. “We are truly lucky that we found in Ben a leader capable of forging a wide and inclusive vision that not only captures what our graduate students already achieve, but also stakes out a new, truly exciting vision for the future of art and design graduate education within research universities.” 

The Faculty Leadership Award was created through private gifts to the College to recognize faculty who go beyond the routine tasks, are generous in sharing insights, and provide the mentorship to others who create excellence and vision in programs and departments.

Fixed-Term Faculty & Academic Specialist Leadership in Excellence Award

This year’s recipient of the Fixed-Term Faculty and Academic Specialist Leadership in Excellence Award is Ok-Sook Park, Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages.

Park is nationally known in the area of Korean language teaching and directs the Korean program at MSU, which has thrived under her direction. She was nominated for this award by Yen-Hwei Lin, Interim Chair of the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, and Charlene Polio, Associate Chair of the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages.

woman and man standing next to one another who are holding a green envelope between them
Dr. Yen-Hwei Lin (left), who nominated Professor Ok-Sook Park, accepting the award on her behalf from Dean Christopher P. Long (right).


Lin and Polio wrote that, “Professor Ok-Sook is committed to keeping undergraduates engaged. She has gone well beyond her duties and constantly advances herself in the areas of teaching/mentoring, leadership and research, while fostering productive and collaborative relationships across multiple programs and units with dignity, respect, and integrity.”

The Fixed-Term Faculty and Academic Specialist Leadership in Excellence Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate leadership excellence, who make a substantive impact in their area, and who mark the difference between a good program and an excellent one. These individuals provide the hard work that fosters excellence, encourages others on their own path to intellectual leadership, and enhances diversity across the College.