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University Relations

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Aug. 29, 2006
Contact: Jackie Hosey, University Relations, (785) 864-8858.

Two more KU professors receive $5,000 Kemper awards

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas “Surprise Patrol” presented two more Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence today to two KU Medical Center faculty members, including one repeat winner.

James L. Fishback, associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and Steven W. Stites, associate professor of internal medicine, were the latest to have their classes interrupted by the patrol, led by Chancellor Robert Hemenway and Barbara Atkinson, executive vice chancellor for the medical center. This was Fishback’s second Kemper award; he received his first in 1999.

The patrol has presented 19 of the 20 individual $5,000 Kemper awards. The final award for 2006 will be presented Wednesday, Sept. 6.

The awards recognize outstanding teachers and advisers at KU as determined by a seven-member selection committee. Now in their 11th year, the awards are supported by $650,000 in gifts from the William T. Kemper Foundation (Commerce Bank, trustee) and $650,000 in matching funds from KU Endowment.

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:

James L. Fishback, associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine
Fishback has won more than 20 teaching awards throughout his career. He played a major role in the development of new curricula and educational innovations at the School of Medicine. His lectures are a favorite among students, which is reflected in his outstanding student evaluations and numerous “Student Voice” awards. One student commented that professors like Fishback help students stay on track and succeed. “They give us hope and something to look forward to,” the student said. “They serve as role models and mentors.”

Steven W. Stites, associate professor of internal medicine
Stites has been the residency program director at KU Medical Center since July 2001. He is well respected and well liked by his peers and his students. One colleague described him as “a physician in his prime who has a command of the knowledge in his specialty and who has a gift for imparting that knowledge to others by making them think, helping them to reason, to question and to learn; and through skillful questioning, to help them discover, organize and apply the knowledge they already possess to the patient at hand.”


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