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UM System professors receive Governor’s Awards for Excellence

UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton, Mr. and Mrs. Allen Rostron, Dr. Mun Choi. 


A luncheon hosted by the Council on Public Higher Education (COPHE) on April 5 at Lincoln University recognized 15 outstanding educators from public institutions of higher education in Missouri. University presidents joined Commissioner of Higher Education Zora Mulligan to celebrate their faculty members who were nominated by peers, administrators and students to be this year’s recipients of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Education. The UM System had faculty recognized from each of its four campuses this year.  

UM System awardees included:

Dr. Kyle Gibson, department chair and teaching professor in the School of Health Professions, University of Missouri-Columbia;

Mr. Allen Rostron, associate dean of students and professor of law, University of Missouri-Kansas City;

Dr. Xiaoping Du, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor, Missouri University of Science and Technology; and

Dr. Timothy Maher, teaching professor, undergraduate director and outreach program coordinator for the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department, University of Missouri-St. Louis.

As part of the recognition program, COPHE and Missouri State University President Clif Smart introduced the awardees. He shared the following about each recipient:

“Dr. Kyle Gibson is an exceptional teacher, having been honored with the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence and with School of Health Professions Outstanding Faculty Award recognizing exceptional teaching. Dr. Gibson completed a postdoctoral fellowship, has obtained grant funding, both internal and external to MU, has written manuscripts, presented at national scientific conferences and uses his research collaborations to enhance his teaching.  He is very supportive of service learning and international volunteerism opportunities.”

“Allen Rostron is an extraordinary educator at UMKC and within the School of Law.  His student evaluations are consistently laudatory and high above the norm due to his engaging and relevant online course materials and classroom presence.  In 2010 he took a bold step by banning laptops from his classroom, resulting in a significant increase in student understanding and engagement. His keen ability to facilitate neutral discussion of controversial topics, thoughtfully consider all ideas, and gracefully steer conversations back on track not only enhance the classroom experience but provide these future lawyers with the skills they need to best serve their clients.”

“Missouri S& T Professor Xiaoping Du’s dedication to excellence in teaching at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level underlies his success as a teaching scholar.  He brings his research scholarship to the classroom to provide the students with the understanding that makes them better engineers.  Xiaoping has a demonstrated record of outstanding classroom teaching recognized by the University with 14 teaching and faculty distinction awards.  A notable scholar with 65 published journal articles and two book chapters, Xiaoping serves as a mentor to many doctoral students and young faculty and exemplifies the true teacher-scholar.”

“For 20 years, Dr. Timothy Maher has been a member of the teaching faculty in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  Tim’s commitment to teaching is centered on student success.  His exceptional teaching is evidenced by his teaching evaluations—which consistently rank near or at the top of other professors in the department. Tim also serves in numerous roles beyond his major instructional role.  He coordinates the Criminal Justice internship program, serves as the director of the undergraduate program and personally conducts most of the undergraduate advising.”

Congratulations to the recipients and thanks for all you do. 

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Campus: System
Key words: Teaching, UM System,

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