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UM Faculty Honored for Outstanding Work

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John Fougere

Chief Communications Officer

University Relations

May 27, 2004

UM Faculty Honored for Outstanding Work

May 27, 2004

Kansas City, MO – The University of Missouri System recognized four outstanding faculty members for their accomplishments on May 26 during a reception in their honor in Kansas City.

System-wide committees select the winners of awards for teaching, research and creativity. Nominations for the C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award are evaluated by a panel that includes representatives from the four campuses, off-campus faculty and Missouri citizens. A subcommittee of the University of Missouri Press selects the winner of the Curators’ Award for Scholarly Excellence.

Presidential Award for Research & Creativity

S. Dale Cutkosky, Curators’ professor of mathematics at the University of Missouri-Columbia, received the Presidential Award for Research and Creativity. Cutkosky received a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University-Bloomington in 1981 and a doctorate from Brandeis University in 1985.

Cutkosky’s research areas are in algebraic geometry and commutative algebra. He joined the University of Missouri faculty in 1989, after having taught at Purdue University, Columbia University, Northeastern University, and institutions abroad in India and Germany. Cutkosky is the recipient of multiple National Science Foundation research grants. In 1994, he was awarded the UM-Columbia Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Faculty Research and Creative Activity in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences. He has served as a Sloan Pre-doctoral Fellow and also as a Fulbright Fellow.

Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching

Mark Ryan, professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the recipient of the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. Ryan received a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from the University of Minnesota in 1973 and a master’s degree in wildlife biology in 1978 and a doctorate in animal ecology in 1982, both from Iowa State University.

Prior to joining the UM-Columbia faculty in 1984, Ryan taught at North Dakota State University and Iowa State University. Ryan was appointed the William J. Rucker Endowed Professor of Wildlife Conservation at UM-Columbia in 2003. Other honors include the Gold Chalk Award in 2002, the Missouri Governor’s Teaching Award in 2000, and the Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence in 1993. In addition, he received the 2001 National Award for Excellence in Teaching from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Agricultural Sciences.

C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award

Gerald (Jerry) Hitzhusen, recreation extension specialist and associate professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is honored with the C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award. Hitzhusen earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1963 and a master’s degree in parks, recreation and tourism in 1972, both from UM-Columbia. He received his certification as a therapeutic recreation specialist from the National Council on Therapeutic Recreation and also is certified as a park and recreation professional by the Missouri Park and Recreation Association.

Hitzhusen is cited for his leadership in providing mental health education and information to practitioners, educators and persons with disabilities. Hitzhusen initiated and directs Project LIFE (Leisure Is For Everyone), a project funded by the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Among its activities, Project LIFE helps children with neurobiological brain disorders cope with their mental illness and live healthy lives. He also is the founder of the Midwest Symposium on Therapeutic Recreation, now in its 33rd year and the largest conference in the country in its field.

Curator’s Award for Scholarly Excellence

Walter Schroeder received the Curator’s Award for Scholarly Excellence in honor of his book Opening the Ozarks: A Historical Geography of Missouri’s Ste. Genevieve District, 1760-1830. An account of the settlement of this area, the work focuses on the acquisition and occupation of land, the transformation of the environment, the creation of cohesive settlements, and the building of neighborhoods and, eventually, organized counties. Opening the Ozarks also is the recipient of the American Association for State and Local History’s Certificate of Commendation.

Schroeder received a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1956; a master’s degree in geography from the University of Chicago in 1958; and a doctorate in history from UM-Columbia in 2000. After 38 years at UM-Columbia, he is now an emeritus associate professor of geography. Schroeder’s publications have centered around Missouri, its geography, history and natural environment. His research interests also focus on the origin and distribution of Missouri geographic names. In 1995 Gov. Carnahan appointed Schroeder chairman of the Missouri Board on Geographic Names, an office he continues to hold.