Aug. 19, 2004

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Contact: Dan Lara, University Relations, (785) 864-8855

8 professors receive $5K Kemper Awards from 'Surprise Patrol'; 12 awards left

LAWRENCE -- Eight University of Kansas professors received good news this morning when the "Surprise Patrol" lead by Chancellor Robert Hemenway and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David E. Shulenburger handed out $5,000 Kemper Awards to recognize the professors' excellence in teaching and advising.

The patrol also included Mark Heider, Commerce Bank president for Lawrence, and representatives of the KU Endowment Association.

In all, 20 professors will be honored and $100,000 distributed with Kemper Awards this year. The patrol will hand out awards to additional unsuspecting professors from Monday, Aug. 23, through Wednesday, Aug. 24, as well as in September.

The W.T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence recognize outstanding teachers and advisers at KU as determined by a seven-member selection committee. Now in the ninth year of a 10-year program, the awards were established by a $500,000 fund from the William T. Kemper Foundation-Commerce Bank, Trustee, and $500,000 in matching funds from the KU Endowment Association.

The William T. Kemper Foundation was established in 1989 after Kemper's death. The foundation is dedicated to continuing Kemper's lifelong interest in improving the human condition and quality of life. The foundation supports Midwest communities and concentrates on initiatives in education, health and human services, civic improvements and the arts.

Today's winners are:

Anthony Corbeill, professor of classics
G. Douglas Atkins, professor of English
Paul Atchley, associate professor of psychology
John Peck, professor of law
Jerzy Grzymala-Busse, professor of electrical engineering and computer science
Peter Herlihy, associate professor of geography
Susan Gauch, professor of electrical engineering and computer science
Tanya Hartman, associate professor of fine arts

Biographies of the winners:

Anthony Corbeill, professor of classics
Corbeill joined the KU faculty in 1991. His courses are described as "intellectually rigorous," and students compliment him for "inspiring us to learn." Corbeill has served as a visiting professor at the University of Michigan and a fellow at the American Academy in Rome and has published two books and many articles on ancient Roman language and communication.

G. Douglas Atkins, professor of English
Atkins, the author or co-editor of ten books and numerous articles on literary theory, is known for "engaging [students] in an ongoing intellectual debate" during his undergraduate and graduate English courses. Praised by English majors and non-majors alike for his ability to assist all students in improving their writing skills, Atkins has won several other fellowships and teaching awards while at KU and was awarded a prize for literary excellence in non-fiction prose by the Kenyon Review.

Paul Atchley, associate professor of psychology
An accomplished scholar with a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of California-Riverside, Atchley is known for his enjoyment of and dedication to teaching undergraduate students. Lauded as a "teacher's teacher" by one colleague, Atchley has created a program "enhancing the education of all psychology majors" by introducing the new Professional Issues in Psychology class that will become part of the department's undergraduate curriculum this fall.

John C. Peck, professor of law
Peck joined the KU staff in 1978 as an associate professor, four years after graduating from KU Law School. Peck has written extensively for state and national journals during his tenure and participated in many continuing legal education seminars around the state. His students regard Peck's classes as challenging but consistently compliment his ability to make otherwise dry topics interesting and even entertaining. Peck has received numerous teaching awards during his time at KU and has been serving as the Connell Teaching Professor in Kansas Law since 1999.

Jerzy Grzymala-Busse, professor of electrical engineering and computer science
Grzymala-Busse earned his Ph.D. in Engineering at the Technical University of Poznan in Poland in 1969, where he taught until coming to KU in 1981. Widely published, Busse is currently a member of the editorial or advisory board for several information systems journals. Students and colleagues praise Busse for his exceptional organization, his ready availability to students and his ability to bring humor into his class presentations.

Peter H. Herlihy, associate professor of geography
Herlihy came to KU in 1993 after teaching at Southeastern Louisiana State University for six years. The author of many journal articles on Latin American mapmaking, Herlihy has also won a number of grants and awards over the past five years, including the Fullbright-Garcia Robles Grant to Mexico for the spring and summer of 2005. Noted by colleagues and students for his commitment to advising and assisting students in learning both in and out of class, Herlihy's exceptional organization and humor have drawn him praise from both undergraduate and graduate students from many different schools.

Susan Gauch, professor of electrical engineering and computer science
Gauch received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1990 and joined the KU faculty in 1993 after teaching at Wellesley College and Northeastern University. A frequently-published researcher, Gauch currently has a grant from the National Science Foundation through 2007 for the project "SEEK: Enabling the Science Environment for Ecological Knowledge." Gauch has advised 45 graduate students since coming to KU and was nominated for the Kemper Fellowship for showing "innovation in the classroom, productivity, and a deep concern for her graduate advisees."

Tanya Hartman, associate professor of fine arts
Hartman, a 2003 recipient of the TIAA-CREF Teaching Award, is known for her energetic and insightful commitment to encouraging her students' creative work. A recipient of many grants and fellowships, Hartman has also exhibited her own art at galleries around the country. Colleagues and students compliment Hartman's artistic skill and knowledge of art history, and in her nomination, one student named her "the most committed, enthusiastic, compassionate, intelligent and resourceful instructor that I have encountered at KU."

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