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2017-18 Faculty and Staff Accomplishments

Henry Bial, professor in the Department of Theatre, has earned the Byron Caldwell Smith Book Award for his work “Playing God: The Bible on the Broadway Stage.” The Byron Caldwell Smith Award was established at the bequest of Kate Stephens, a former KU student and one of KU’s first women professors. As an undergraduate, Stephens learned to love the study of Greek language and literature from Professor Byron Caldwell Smith. In his name, she established this award, given biennially to individuals who live or are employed in Kansas and who have written an outstanding book published in the previous two years.

J. Christopher Brown, a jointly appointed professor in the Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science and the Environmental Studies Program, has been selected to be the new vice provost for Faculty Development. The vice provost for faculty development provides guidance and oversight for faculty recruitment and develops and implements programs that foster professional growth of faculty at all levels of their careers. The vice provost also works with deans, university governance and other vice provosts to review and recommend changes to personnel and evaluation policies. The directors of the Center for Teaching Excellence and KU’s ROTC programs all report to the vice provost.

Evangelia Chrysikou, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, received the 2017 Ned Fleming Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award recognizes contributions to the University and students through teaching and a committee of faculty chooses the winners.

Charlies Greenwod, professor in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science, is part of a $7.5 million grant for four new research projects from the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences.

Jennifer Hamer, professor in the Department of American Studies, who has also served as the College's Associate Dean for DEI, has been selected to be the new vice provost for Diversity and Equity at KU. She is currently serving as the acting vice provost for the office. The vice provost for Diversity and Equity provides both the strategic and day-to-day institutional leadership on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Hamer will monitor and evaluate progress toward goals and work closely with standing and ad hoc committees that address diversity, equity and inclusion at KU.

Ayesha K. Hardison, associate professor in the Department of English and the Department of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, earned a Kansas Humanities Council grant for organizing “Black Love: A Symposium.” The Symposium features a series of programs that celebrate the 80th anniversary of Zora Neale Hurston’s novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God".

John W. Hoopes, professor in the Department of Anthropology, has been named the Richard E. Greenleaf Distinguished Visiting Professor at Tulane University for the Fall 2017 semester.

Kij Johnson, assistant professor in the Department of English, latest novella “The Dream-Quest Vellitt Boe” has been named a finalist for the 2016 Nebula Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the 2017 Hugo Award, to be presented at the 75th World Science Fiction Convention in Helsinki in August. Johnson’s novella is a riff on H.P. Lovecraft’s novella “The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath”.

Megan Kaminski, assistant professor in the Department of English, will receive the Byron Caldwell Smith Book Award for her work “Deep City.” The Byron Caldwell Smith Award was established at the bequest of Kate Stephens, a former KU student and one of KU’s first women professors. As an undergraduate, Stephens learned to love the study of Greek language and literature from Professor Byron Caldwell Smith. In his name, she established this award, given biennially to individuals who live or are employed in Kansas and who have written an outstanding book published in the previous two years.

Audrey Lamb, professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences, received the K. Barbara Schowen Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. This award is named after Professor Emeritus of Chemistry K. Barbara Schowen, whose efforts to promote undergraduate research at KU led to the development of the Undergraduate Research Symposium and the Undergraduate Research Awards. Each recipient will receive $1,000.

Andrew McKenzie, assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics, recently won a three-year grant from the Documenting Endangered Languages program of the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities to fill in a gap on the endangered Kiowa language. McKenzie is completing a book that will go further than ever before in outlining the grammar of Kiowa.

Laura Mielke, associate professor in the Department of English, was selected as a Shutz Trust Award for Excellence in Teaching winner. A committee of faculty selects a winner to recognize faculty members who make outstanding contributions to the University through teaching.

Matthew W. Mosconi, associate professor in the Clinical Child Psychology Program and associate scientist at KU’s Life Span Institute, was named the director of the Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training (K-CART). K-CART has headquarters at the University of Kansas Edwards campus and is allied with the Center for Child Health and Development at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Peter Ojiambo, associate professor in the Department of African & African-American Studies, published a new book titled "Kenyan Youth Education in Colonial and Post-Colonial Times: Joeseph Kamiru Gikubu’s Impact". His book appears in the "Historical Studies in Education" series co-edited by AAAS courtesy faculty member John Rury (Educational Leadership and Policy Studies).

Donn W. Parson, professor emeritus in the Department of Communication study, received the Senior Scholar Award at the Alta Conference, hosted by the American Forensic Association and the National Communication Association.

Emily Rauscher, assistant professor in the Sociology Department, was chosen as a 2017 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow. The fellowship is administered by the National Academy of Education and are funded by a grant to the academy from the Spencer Foundation. Rauscher’s research will focus on funding’s effect on the racial achievement gap.

Robert C. Rowland, professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Communication Studies, received the Senior Scholar Award at the Alta Conference, hosted by the American Forensic Association and the National Communication Association.

Joan Sereno, Chair of the Department of Linguistics, was awarded the Chancellors Club Teaching Professorship. The award, established by the members of the Chancellors Club of the KU Endowment Association and is awarded to those who have made teaching contributions to the University.

Lorie Vanchena, associate professor in the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures, received the K. Barbara Schowen Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. This award is named after Professor Emeritus of Chemistry K. Barbara Schowen, whose efforts to promote undergraduate research at KU led to the development of the Undergraduate Research Symposium and the Undergraduate Research Awards. Each recipient will receive $1,000.