Aquinas College proudly conferred emerita status on three distinguished faculty members: Professor Barbara McCargar, Professor Jennifer Dawson and Professor Michelle DeRose. This award recognizes their decades of dedicated service, exceptional contributions to student success and commitment to academic excellence.

Professor Barbara McCargar 

Ms. Barbara McCargar, an AQ Alumna, began her teaching career at Aquinas College in 1987, and she is widely recognized for her generosity and outstanding ambassadorship of the college. Throughout her career, she served as a dedicated educator, versatile performer and supportive mentor, embodying the college's values. As a Professor of Music and Voice Instructor, Barbara shaped the musical education of countless students, instilling in them a passion for vocal performance and excellence.

Professor Jennifer Dawson 

Dr. Jennifer Dawson, with expertise in Early American Literature and Victorian Studies, joined Aquinas College in 2001, after teaching at Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University. Her multiple Student Senate Faculty Member of the Year awards showcase her dedication to student success and engagement. Beyond her contributions to the English department, her leadership in programs such as General Education, Ireland Study Away, and the Writing Center has significantly enriched the academic landscape of Aquinas College. 

Professor Michelle DeRose 

Dr. Michelle DeRose has been an integral part of Aquinas College since 1998. Specializing in post-colonial literature, she enriched students' understanding through world and African-American literature courses. As the Insignis honors program director for two decades, she championed diversity and academic excellence, even developing the Irish Studies minor.  Although retiring, Dr. DeRose will remain connected to Aquinas College as its poet-in-residence, ensuring her continued influence on campus life. 

Deep Gratitude for Their Service

Aquinas College honors the remarkable careers of Professor Barbara McCargar, Professor Jennifer Dawson, and Professor Michelle DeRose. They have shown tireless commitment to fostering student success, made innovative contributions to academic programs and upheld the college's values. Their dedication has left a lasting impact on the AQ community.

 As they transition into their well-deserved emerita status, their legacies will continue to inspire and enrich the fabric of our college for generations to come. Aquinas extends its deepest gratitude for their extraordinary service and wishes them all the best in their future endeavors.