April 23, 2013
Judy Buchalski is Awarded Professor Emeritus Status
BENTON TOWNSHIP, MI – On Tuesday, Lake Michigan College honored retired psychology instructor Judy Buchalski with the status of Professor Emeritus during its April Board meeting.
Buchalski who joined LMC in 1977 and retired in 2011, taught more than 300 classes and 9,000 students. In 1992, she published the first Lake Michigan College Journal of Psychology, as a way to highlight the research of her students. Many of her students went on to win state and national awards for the work they completed under her mentorship.
Later, she established and coordinated LMC’s chapter of Psi Beta, the National Honor Society in Psychology for 2-year colleges. Buchalski also developed her own texts for use in her classes entitled Readings in Human Development, currently in its 3rd edition.
“The work Judy did at Lake Michigan College elevated social science education,” LMC President Dr. Robert Harrison stated. “Her level of care for students and her innovation in the classroom gave students at the community college level experiences that university students often have to wait to experience at the junior, senior, or even master’s level.”
Buchalski has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards at LMC, including Faculty Member of the Year and Employee of the Year awards in 2002, as well as the Bernard C. Radde Distinguished Service Award in 2007. Also in 2007, she was recognized outside of the College with the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence Award.
Beyond the classroom, Buchalski has conducted outreach work in sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition to numerous presentations to LMC faculty, staff, and student groups, she developed professional and employee training for the Berrien County Juvenile Center, the Area Agency on Aging, Planned Parenthood, and the Berrien Cass Van Buren Counseling Association. She also engaged with community groups, including the first teen gay-straight alliance in Berrien County and the Greater South Haven Diversity Coalition. Buchalski went on to help establish the “Safe at LMC” program, which provided resource information and door signs for LMC faculty and staff to visibly communicate their support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students.
“I’m extremely grateful to my colleagues, the administration and the board for this honor,” said Buchalski. “It’s the appropriate culmination of a very rewarding career. I’m still receiving requests from students to write letters of recommendation, and signing it as Professor Emeritus could give them an extra edge in getting into a program, or getting a scholarship. Helping students is really the point of the recognition as far as I’m concerned.”