SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Six Lake Superior State University faculty members were given tenure during the most recent meeting of the LSSU Board of Trustees. The group includes Jun Li Ph.D., biology; Mindy McCready, accounting; Kristina Olson-Pupek Ph.D., psychology; Jody Susi, exercise science; Paul Weber Ph.D., electrical and computer engineering and Ralf Wilhelms Ph.D., business and economics.
Prof. Li has taught a variety of courses, including histopathology, virology, immunology, and microbial ecology, while serving as the academic advisor for the fish health program. A widely respected teacher who has mentored many senior students as their senior thesis advisor, he is a past nominee for the LSSU Distinguished Teacher Award. In addition, he has served as the manager of the fish disease unit of the LSSU Aquatic Research Laboratory.
Active professionally, Li has co-authored nine peer-reviewed papers and presented his research at several scientific meetings. He has worked collaboratively with researchers from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan State University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He serves as an external reviewer for the National Natural Science Foundation of China and several scientific journals and maintains professional memberships with the American Society of Fisheries, the International Society of Developmental and Comparative Immunology, and the International Society of Fish and Shellfish Immunology.
Li is currently collaborating with students and faculty from biology and engineering on Superior AquaSystems LLC, a project that is examining the possibilities of raising fish for food. In 2013, the Chinese National Natural Science Foundation awarded Li and his Chinese collaborators with $480,000 to study immuno-escape mechanisms of Edwarsiella tarda in turbo.
Li is a member of the LSSU Institutional and Animal Care Use Committee and he has helped organize the annual meetings that the aquatic lab has with the MDNR. This year, he organized the School of Biological Science’s Senior Research Symposium and coordinated the AP Biology Day for Sault Area High School students.
Prof. McCready instructs accounting students at all levels of their undergraduate academic careers. She strives to bring energy and enthusiasm into each course and make it an interactive, positive learning experience. Last summer, she taught two accounting courses online, marking the first time that each of them was offered in that format. She, too, has been nominated for the LSSU Distinguished Teacher Award as well as LSSU Advisor of the Year.
McCready is a certified public accountant who has seven years of work experience in the public accounting field. She keeps her accounting skills sharp by providing professional services to local organizations such as the Diane Peppler Resource Center, the Sault Education Association and the Sault Wesleyan Church.
On campus, McCready is a member of the Retention Committee, Orientation Committee and the Lukenda School of Business Assessment Committee. She is also a member of LSSU’s team for the Higher Learning Commission Academy for the Assessment of Student Learning, and co-advisor of LSSU’s student chapter of Enactus. She is also taking the lead in the application process that will lead to the Lukenda School of Business becoming accredited through the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Prof. Olson-Pupek was hired in 2009 as an assistant professor of psychology and was promoted to associate professor in 2013. She is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the National Education Association, Michigan Education Association and Psi Chi, the National Honor Society for Psychology.
Driven by her interest in student learning, Olson-Pupek completes extensive assessment of each class for which she is responsible. She is the advisor for the Psychology Club and takes a group of psychology students to the Michigan Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference each year. Her expertise in neuroscience allows her to work with colleagues and students across campus. Her doctoral dissertation was on the “Neural Circuitry Underlying Expression of Fos-like Immunoreactivity in Intermediate Nucleus or the Solitary Tract Following Expression of Test Aversion Learning.”
Olson-Pupek is currently working on a research project designed to replicate a study on the relationship between hedonic responsivity and symptoms of both depression and attention deficit disorder.
Prof. Susi teaches a variety of courses, including exercise physiology, psychology of sport and exercise, research methods in exercise science, exercise prescription for special populations, and directs a number of internships, practicums and selected research topics. She is widely respected as a teacher in her discipline and has been a mentor and research advisor to many students while serving as the academic advisor for students majoring in exercise sciences, and health and fitness. She also serves as the academic advisor for the LSSU men’s and women’s tennis teams and is faculty advisor for the Exercise Science Club.
Active professionally, Susi is currently working toward the completion of her doctoral degree in interdisciplinary health studies from Western Michigan University. She is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a strength and conditioning specialist and certified by the American Red Cross in CPR, AED, and First Aid. She maintains memberships in several professional societies, including the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and the American Council of Exercise. She has presented professionally at a number of national, state and local venues.
Susi is the LSSU Worksite Wellness Program coordinator and is a member of the Student Affairs Committee, HSIRB Committee, Norris Center Advisory Committee, and the Wellness Initiative for Student Empowerment (WISE) committee. In the community, she has served on the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Strategic Alliance for Health Coalition and the Eastern Upper Peninsula Community Health Committee.
Prof. Weber, who teaches electrical and computer engineering, has been an active contributor in the process of moving the LSSU School of Engineering and Technology forward during his five years here. He has been an effective teacher inside and outside of the classroom, refining and improved the machine vision course, which has always been a challenge as a result of the varied student preparation, developing and teach an engineering honors course. He is a faculty advisor for the senior engineering projects and was the key person in creating the projects that have collaborated with 3M Corporation in the evaluation of solar cell technology.
Weber has also provided a significant level of service during his time at LSSU. He has been a member of the General Education Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, has acted as advisor for the Engineering House, and mentored new faculty members. Recently, he accepted the role as co-op coordinator for the School of Engineering. Additionally, he is active in the school’s assessment process.
Weber actively pursues professional development through the American Society of Engineering Educators, and has written and presented papers at ASEE conferences. He was also a mentor for two students who presented at national IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conferences.
Prof. Wilhelms is an experienced business analyst and entrepreneur who guided diverse teams of professionals to success in a variety of competitive domestic and international industries before he began teaching. Known for bringing practical business applications to the classroom, Wilhelms has gained a reputation as a professor who challenges his students. He currently serves as lead instructor for the introductory business course, as well as the capstone business policy course, where he is committed to nurturing students’ abilities to think critically, learn business theories, and find innovative solutions to vexing problems. He invites his students to participate in research and consulting projects.
Wilhelms serves on the LSSU General Education Committee, Curriculum Committee, and the Lukenda School of Business Assessment Committee. For two years, he has served on the organizing committee for the Bi-National Conference on Collaboration held at LSSU. He has also served on the EUP Regional Planning and Development Commission and is a current member of the Export Resource and Expert Network in Michigan.
Wilhelms has published numerous articles in national and international journals, serves on the editorial board for the International Journal of Business and Management Research and has been the recipient of grants through the Michigan Economic Development Cooperation, Michigan State University and several federal agencies. He has provided a solutions-based curriculum and research for regional economic growth, and solutions to strategic, marketing, and operational challenges for companies throughout Michigan. -LSSU-