Awards & Honors
Stamey Awards for Undergraduate Teaching and Advising
William L. Stamey is a mathematician and served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for seventeen years from 1970-1987. In recognition of Dean Stamey's outstanding record in recruiting excellent faculty to Kansas State University and in recognition of the continuing need to foster excellence in teaching and advising, the College of Arts and Sciences has established the William L. Stamey Award. This year's recipients are:
for Undergraduate Teaching
Andrew Ricketts, graduate teaching assistant, Biology
for Undergraduate Advising
University Distinguished Professors
The University Distinguished Professor honor is a lifetime title that is the highest honor the university bestows on its faculty. These faculty members have demonstrated their commitment to education through their excellence in teaching, research, creative endeavors and service. University distinguished professors are appointed following a universitywide competition conducted by the provost. Two of the five faculty members selected for this honor in 2013 are from the College of Arts and Sciences.
Ryszard Jankowiak, professor of chemistry and ancillary professor of physics
Jankowiak is one of the world's leaders in high-resolution, frequency domain, laser-based spectroscopies -- a field that allows for the elucidation of excited electronic state structure and measurements of ultrafast dynamics in complex biological systems. His work is complementary to various time-domain spectroscopies, and helps explain the excited electronic state structure by providing information not possible through other methods. His current research interests include molecular electronic spectroscopy, laser-based spectroscopies, low-temperature protein dynamics, as well as the excitation energy and electron transfer processes in photosynthesis.
Since joining Kansas State University in 2005, Jankowiak has receive more than $2 million in research funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, National Cancer Institute and others. He has published more than 200 papers in refereed journals and has presented more than 100 lectures at international conferences and more than 50 invited talks at various universities around the world. His honors include the 2012 Professorial Performance Award, Outstanding Senior Scientist for the Sigma Xi Society K-State chapter, the R&D100 Award for the CE-FLN System, International Cancer Technology Transfer Award and the Iowa State University Professional and Scientific Excellence Award.
At Kansas State University, Jankowiak has advised seven advanced-degree students, eight postdoctoral research fellows, six undergraduate students and several students in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates summer program. He is a member of the American Association of the Advancement of Science, New York Academy of Sciences, American Chemical Society, fellow of the International Union Against Cancer and a fellow of the Australian Institute of High Energetic Materials. He serves as the associate editor for Versita Open Access Book Publisher, and is on the executive committee of the Kansas State University Research Foundation and an editorial advisory board member of Scientific Journal International.
Jankowiak earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Poland's Teachers College in 1969, his master's degree in solid-state physics from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland in 1974 and his doctorate in condensed matter physics and spectroscopy from Technical University of Gdansk in Poland in 1981. During his obligatory military service, he earned the rank of second lieutenant in the Polish navy in 1975. From 1981-1985 he worked at the department of physical chemistry in Philipps University in Marburg, Germany, and from 1985-2005 at the Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory at Iowa State University, where he established a highly-visible research program in chemical carcinogenesis.
Philip Nel, professor of English and director of the graduate program
Nel specializes in children's literature and culture, particularly Dr. Seuss, Crockett Johnson and J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series. He has authored or been the editor of eight books, including "Tales for Little Rebels," which received a positive review by The New York Times, and "The Annotated Cat: Under the Hats of Seuss and His Cats," which was profiled by Newsweek magazine. His most recent book, "Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature," received a positive review from the Wall Street Journal and is nominated for a 2013 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award in the Best Educational/Academic Work category. He has 21 refereed articles, three of which he co-authored, and has authored nine non-refereed articles.
Nel has been featured in more than 300 national and international media outlets, including CBS' "Sunday Morning"; NPR's "Talk of the Nation," "Morning Edition," "Weekend Edition" and others; C-SPAN2's "Book TV;" USA Today; Washington Post; U.S. News and World Report; CNN; CBC in Canada; ABC in Australia; and RTE Radio 1 in Ireland. He has given invited lectures at Dartmouth College, Stanford University, the Smithsonian Institution, the New York Public Library, the University of British Columbia and various other institutions in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Sweden and Norway.
Nel serves as editor of Routledge's Children's Literature and Culture series -- the longest-running and most prestigious series of children's literature scholarship -- and was a consultant on an A&E biography about Dr. Seuss. He has received the National Endowment for the Humanities summer stipend, a Smithsonian Fellowship, Big 12 Faculty Fellowship, the Children's Literature Association's Article Award, the Commerce Bank Distinguished Faculty Award and the Stamey Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is a member of the Children's Literature Association and its Book Award Committee, Modern Language Association, Children's Literature Association, American Studies Association, International Research Society for Children's Literature and Phi Beta Kappa. He also is a co-founder of the Don DeLillo Society.
Nel joined Kansas State University in 2000 as an assistant professor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and psychology from the University of Rochester in 1992, and his master's degree and doctorate from Vanderbilt University in 1993 and 1997, respectively.
2013 All-University Awards
Big 12 Faculty Fellowship Award
Tanya Gonzalez, associate professor of English
Dr. Gonzalez specializes in U.S. Latina/o studies and ethnic American literature and teaches courses in American literature, cultural studies and Latina/o studies. In a recent study focusing on the Latino presence in sitcoms, she involved several students from K-State's Developing Scholars Program and the university's Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program.
Michael Krysko, associate professor of history
Dr. Krysko is the author of "American Radio in China: International Encounters with Technology and Communications, 1919-1941." His research and teaching interests are in the history of technology and mass media, as well as U.S. foreign relations and modern East Asia. Dr. Krysko's awards include a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant and a 2007 Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Research Grant.
Coffman Chair for Distinguished Teaching Scholars
John Fliter, associate professor of political science
Dr. Fliter's career has focused on the laws of our nation. From the Supreme Court and judicial policy-making to civil rights and liberties, Dr. Fliter is an expert in U.S. politics. He received the K-State Presidential Teaching Award in 2010 and is the former chair of the Lou Douglas Lecture Series Committee. Dr. Fliter teaches courses in U.S. politics, civil rights and liberties, and administrative law.
Commerce Bank Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award
Bharat Ratra, professor of physics
Dr. Ratra who works in the areas of cosmology and astroparticle physics. He researches the structure and evolution of the universe. In 1988, Dr. Ratra and another researcher proposed the first dynamical dark energy model, leading to one of the most significant scientific discoveries in the last quarter of a century. He has mentored graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting faculty members, and has received $7 million in grants, largely from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.
Commerce Bank Presidential Faculty and Staff Award for Distinguished Services to Historically Under-Represented Students
Angela Muhwezi, senior in biology and pre-dentistry
Muhwezi is this year's recipient of the Commerce Bank Presidential Student Award for Distinguished Services in Enhancing Multiculturalism. Ms. Muhwezi, a senior in biology and pre-dentistry, has been active in the university's Black Student Union, including as a Big 12 delegate and vice president. In 2011, she was elected a K-State student ambassador and became the first African-American to hold the position.
Commerce Bank Outstanding Teaching Award
Laura Kanost, assistant professor of Spanish
Dr. Kanost leads a Study Abroad Connecting Across Topics Community, a program for first-year K-Staters that helps students develop leadership skills as well as a foreign language by traveling to Costa Rica. Her teaching and research interests include 19th- and 20th-century Latin American Literature, women writers and gender issues, translation, disability studies and service learning.
K-State Mentoring Fellowship
Alice Boyle, assistant professor of biology
Boyle studies behavioral, evolutionary and physiological ecology; basic and applied ornithology; and life history and migration. Currently, her research investigates large-scale questions regarding the ecological factors shaping animal migration and life history in both tropical and temperate biomes. She combines a strong, field-based research program with an array of laboratory and analytical methods to address questions of fundamental importance to both basic and applied branches of wildlife ecology.
Presidential Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
Brett DePaola, professor of physics
Dr. DePaola successfully converted the department's Physical World II course into Science for Policy Makers, a new course based on his experiences as a Jefferson Science Fellow. Dr. DePaola served as a Jefferson Science Fellow with the U.S. Department of State from 2010 to 2011, and continues to be an intelligence community associate who helps the U.S. intelligence community with science- and technology-related issues.
Vincent Pigno, Ph.D. student in mathematics
Mr. Pigno is this year's recipient of the Presidential Award in Undergraduate Teaching by a Graduate Teaching Assistant. He is currently a Ph.D. student in mathematics working on topics in number theory. In 2010, Mr. Pigno was selected for a master graduate teaching assistantship, a merit-based competitive position in which graduate students serve as leaders to other GTAs. He teaches a variety of undergraduate math courses including Introduction to Digital Image Processing, Applied Matrix Theory and College Algebra.
Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising
Julie Hunt, academic advisor for open option and interdisciplinary social science majors
Julie Hunt is an academic advisor for open option and interdisciplinary social science majors in the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2009, she revived and now coordinates the advisor forum, which provides support and information for professional advisors across campus. Her goal as an advisor is to serve as a catalyst to help students recognize their self-worth and support them as they make positive life changes.
The Putting Students First Award for Outstanding Service to Students
Kent Kerby, assistant director of undergraduate affairs in the Division of Biology
Dr. Kerby is a true example of putting the concerns of the students he works with first. Dr. Kerby's open-door policy helps students stay on track and accomplish their goals. He is a member of the College of Arts and Science's Diversity Committee and has been the Faculty Senate representative on Student Senate for the past three years.
University Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Student in Research
Phuoc Bui, senior in microbiology
Mr. Bui is a senior in microbiology from Dodge City, Kan., and is a member of the Developing Scholars Program. In 2012, he presented his project, "A Focused Microarray for Screening Rat ESC Lines," at the DSP poster symposium. Mr. Bui also is a member of K-State's chapter of the Mortar Board National Senior College Honor Society, an organization that prides itself on scholarship, leadership and service. He works in Dr. Mark Weiss' research lab, which is one of fewer than 10 labs in the world that have bred embryonic stem cells.