College of Education and Human Development Alumni to Receive Awards | WMU Alumni Skip to main content

College of Education and Human Development Alumni to Receive Awards


The College of Education and Human Development Outstanding Alumni Award is one of the University's highest alumni awards and is given to alumni who bring distinction to their alma mater through professional achievements and who have enjoyed a high level of success in their careers. The 2nd annual Outstanding Alumni Awards will be presented to Hon. Dennis Archer, Dr. Fritz Erickson, and Dr. Carol Whitney at the WMU Night of Excellence on Friday, Oct. 11. These award winners, along with the Golden Apple and Keystone Award winners, will attend the homecoming football game as honored guests.

Night of Excellence

The Hon. Dennis Archer (B.S.‘65, Special Education), recipient of the College's Outstanding Alumni Award, is chair emeritus of Dickinson Wright PLLC and CEO of Dennis W. Archer PLLC. Since graduating from WMU, he has served as a public school teacher, attorney, Michigan State Supreme Court justice, and the 59th mayor of Detroit. During Archer’s two terms in office, he worked to successfully lower unemployment and initiated over $20.2 billion worth of new projects in city development. While mayor, Archer was named "Public Official of the Year" by Governing magazine and one of the "25 Most Dynamic Mayors in America" by Newsweek Magazine. Archer has served on numerous professional associations, including as president of the American Bar Association from 2003-04, the National Bar Association, Wolverine Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan and the National League of Cities.

Dr. Fritz Erickson (B.S.‘80, Elementary Education), recipient of the College's Outstanding Alumni Award, is the 15th president of Northern Michigan University, a position he has held since 2014. At the university, Dr. Erickson is known for his strong student-centered decision-making and for successfully developing university partnerships with the community, businesses, industry and K-12 schools. Prior to his tenure at NMU, Dr. Erickson served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Ferris State University. He also held administrative positions at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Eastern Washington University and Michigan Technological University. Erickson is the author of a technology book series and has written numerous magazine and journal articles. He has published textbooks based on a pedagogical model designed to enhance learning outcomes, as well as books on the topics of youth suicide and children with reading problems.

Dr. Carol Whitney (B.S. Elementary Education; M.A. ’69 Teaching) is the founder of Gifted Services of Ohio where she runs a practice for gifted individuals. She developed the first Olentangy and Dublin Ohio gifted programs which included the first Highly Gifted Magnet Program for the state. Dr. Whitney is a national and state keynote speaker and recipient of the first Personal Finance Award that set precedent for all high schools throughout the state. She received the Ohio Gifted Teacher of the Year Award on two occasions as well as the Ohio Math Teacher of the Year Award. She completed her Ph.D. at The Ohio State University where she taught graduate level classes in cognition and learning styles. Author of four books on gifted education, Dr. Whitney has also been published in numerous journal articles and textbooks. She has made several radio and television appearances discussing how to successfully build the lives of gifted individuals.

The College of Education and Human Development will also recognize four alumni at the Golden Apple and Keystone Awards Ceremony on Oct. 10. Golden Apple Award recipients include Dr. Margaret McGlinchey, assistant superintendent of the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency (B.A.’95, Elementary Education; M.S.’00, Special Education; Ed.D.’03, Special Education) and Dr. Wayne “Rusty” Stitt, superintendent of Schoolcraft Community Schools (M.A.’99, Educational Leadership; Ph.D.’10, Educational Leadership). Keystone Award recipients include Dr. Kirk Brumels, chair of the Department of Kinesiology at Hope College (M.A.’90, Athletic Training; Ph.D.’05, Educational Leadership) and Kristen Johnson Brogan, RD, chief mindful living officer at On Target Living (B.S.’09, Dietetics and Exercise Science).

For more information about the Golden Apple and Keystone Awards please visit the College of Education and Human Development Alumni Awards webpage.

All recipients will attend the homecoming game together to cap off their honorary weekend.