KU News Release


June 5, 2012
Contact: Kristi Henderson, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, 785-864-3663

College recognizes several faculty for outstanding advising

Norman Akers


Paul Atchley


John Janzen


Randal Jelks


Eve Levin


Renee Perelmutter


LAWRENCE – The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas recognized several faculty members and one program for outstanding advising.

Advising awards were presented to several recipients in surprise presentations during classes or departmental faculty meetings this spring.

The atmospheric science program received the 2011-2012 Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising. The $1,000 award is given annually to honor a program or department in the College for exemplary work to improve advising at KU.

The atmospheric science program, under the Department of Geography, fosters a supportive advising atmosphere as a small program with about 80 undergraduates. The program’s commitment to providing students with opportunities for professional internships and undergraduate research particularly impressed the awarding committee.

Advisers also helped increase the number of students graduating on time in the program. The average time to earn a degree for atmospheric science undergraduates was 6.5 years in 2006-2007, while by 2009-2010 the average dropped to 4.3 years.

Three faculty members received the 2011-2012 J. Michael Young Academic Advisor Award honoring exceptional commitment to undergraduate advising. Students nominated the professors for enhancing their experience at KU through the advising relationship. The honor comes with a $1,000 award.

Norman Akers, associate professor of visual art, was praised in his nomination for his accurate, specific answers and his help in forming a timely graduation plan. Students said his advice enriched their experience in the School of the Arts. Students appreciated his knowledge of all facets of advising, even those outside of the arts.

Paul Atchley, associate professor of psychology, was nominated for his genuine interest in the students he advises. Students said they appreciated his help in finding research opportunities and exploring graduate school options. His innovative approaches to advising through the psychology Orientation Seminar (PSYC 102) and the Psychology Undergraduate Resource Center motivated students to get involved in the psychology program.

Renee Perelmutter, assistant professor of Slavic languages and literatures, impressed students with her inspiring and supportive advising. She prompts students to take their studies of languages to the next level through academic, research and career opportunities. Students described her as compassionate, experienced and engaging.

Three faculty members were awarded graduate mentor awards. These awards recognize graduate mentors who enhance research, collaborate with students and help them grow professionally and academically.

Randal Jelks, associate professor of American studies, received the $750 John C. Wright Graduate Mentor Award. Students appreciated his dedication to their research and studies. The nominations emphasized his guidance in defining graduate students’ work and making it applicable outside of academia.

John Janzen, professor of anthropology, received the $500 Byron A. Alexander Graduate Mentor Award. Students praised Janzen’s commitment to the field of anthropology at KU and around the world. His integrity, sincerity, innovation and profound communication with students helped them connect with him as a mentor.

Eve Levin, professor of history, also received the Alexander Graduate Mentor Award. Levin helped students transition to graduate school and showed them the full possibilities of a history degree. Students described her as dedicated to connecting with each student professionally and personally.

Funds for the awards are managed by KU Endowment, the independent nonprofit foundation serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences enrolls about two-thirds of KU students and encompasses more than 55 departments, programs, centers and the School of the Arts. Nearly half of the students at KU earn their bachelor’s degrees from the College. Courses in the College cover hundreds of subjects, including history, literature, chemistry, biology, art history, mathematics, anthropology, psychology, foreign language and political science.



The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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