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Faculty and Students Honored at University of Missouri Presidential Awards Ceremony


Christian Basi

May 31, 2007

Contact: Jennifer Hollingshead

Office: (573) 882-0601

E-mail: hollingsheadj@umsystem.edu

The University of Missouri honored six UM faculty members and two UM students for excellence in an awards ceremony Thursday evening, May 31, 2007, in the Great Room of the Reynolds Alumni Center, UM-Columbia. The ceremony was hosted by Interim University of Missouri President Gordon H. Lamb and his wife, Nancy.

Curators' Award for Scholarly Excellence

Dr. Oliver Schuchard

The Curators' Award for Scholarly Excellence is given annually to the author of the most outstanding book by a faculty member from any one of the four campuses and published by the University of Missouri Press.

Dr. Oliver Schuchard, professor emeritus of photography at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is being honored for The Landscape in Black and White, which features more than 65 black-and-white photographs spanning his 38 years of photography.

Schuchard chose the photographs out of nearly 5,000 negatives of work ranging from Missouri and Alaska to France and Newfoundland, among many other locations. The book also includes his explanations of technique as well as experiences that shaped his development as an artist and teacher.

Schuchard was a member of the MU art faculty for 30 years and served as chair of the Art Department for seven years. He is a recipient of a Kemper Award for Teaching Excellence. His photographs have appeared in numerous publications, including two other works published by the University of Missouri Press.

The book's foreword notes that "this is an opportunity to look at, to really see, what an accomplished photographer is saying with his photographs."

Presidential Award for Research and Creativity

Dr. Jay A. Switzer

The Presidential Award for Research and Creativity recognizes a faculty member with a sustained record of national and international quality research or creativity.

Dr. Jay A. Switzer, the Donald L. Castleman Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Missouri-Rolla, earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree and a doctorate, both in inorganic chemistry, from Wayne State University.

Dr. Switzer is an international leader in materials synthesis by electrodeposition, an area at the interface between chemistry, electrochemistry, materials science and solid-state physics. Since joining UMR in 1990, he has produced numerous patents and journal articles, including four Science papers and a Nature paper.

He is the recipient of three simultaneous grants from the National Science Foundation, as well as funding from the Department of Defense and other agencies. He also received the American Chemical Society's Midwest Award for Outstanding Scientist in 2006.

One of Dr. Switzer's colleagues writes that he is an "outstanding scientist whose contributions to ceramic and electrodeposition technology have revolutionized the field. He has also distinguished himself through his service to the chemistry community."

Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching

Dr. Fred Willman

The Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching recognizes a faculty member for long-term contributions to teaching.

Dr. Fred Willman is curators' teaching professor of music and education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He received a bachelor's degree in music education from Morningside College, a master's degree in music education from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a doctorate in teacher education from the University of North Dakota.

Since joining UMSL in 1974, Willman has taught undergraduate and graduate courses and served as an advisor. He also works with members of the K-12 community to share his discoveries about teaching, learning and using technology in the classroom.

He is the recipient of the Amoco Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence, 1979; the St. Louis Suburban Music Educators Association "Outstanding Music Educator" Award, 1983; and the Governor's Award for Teaching Excellence, 1996.

Said one nominator: "Dr. Willman is known to many of his students as a role model, mentor, teacher, friend and confidant. I prefer to call him a hero." Another adds that he has been a "tireless educator and outstanding ambassador for the teaching professor, not only in Missouri, but also throughout the country."

C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award

Dr. E. Terrence Jones

This award recognizes a faculty member who personifies the creativity, vision and leadership exhibited by the late Dr. C. Brice Ratchford, president emeritus of the University of Missouri and dean of cooperative extension.

Dr. E. Terrence (Terry) Jones, professor of political science and public policy administration, came to the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1969. He received a bachelor's degree in economics from St. Louis University and a doctorate in political science from Georgetown University.

Dr. Jones, who served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UMSL for 14 years, has devoted his efforts to improving local governance, serving the state’s citizens and preparing regional leaders. He was instrumental in founding the Missouri Youth Initiative, an Extension program to improve youth through training and research, and the Leadership St. Louis Program, the premier community leadership effort in the region.

Dr. Jones has been honored with the 2006 Citizens for Missouri's Children Outstanding Service Award and the 1975 Amoco Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence.

Said one nomination: "Terry genuinely believes 'the state is our campus' and by his selfless contributions of time, boundless energy and recognized expertise, he has made this dictum a reality in a way that few faculty have."

Thomas Jefferson Award

Dr. Michael M. Harris

The Jefferson Award is presented biennially to a faculty member who best exemplifies the ideals of Jefferson and who demonstrates distinction in teaching, research, writing, creative activities and service to the University and humankind.

Dr. Michael M. Harris, professor of management at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, received a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's degree in industrial/organizational psychology and a doctorate in industrial/organizational psychology, all from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Harris is an internationally-recognized expert on human resources management. He not only applies his research on recruitment, hiring and performance appraisals to his teaching, he also serves on editorial boards, campus committees and assists community organizations. Dr. Harris has served as a fellow at UMSL's Public Policy Research Center as well as at the campus' Center for International Studies and the International Business Institute.

He is the recipient of the 2004 Douglas E. Durand Award for Research Excellence from the College of Business Administration at UMSL. He is the author of four books and numerous publications.

One colleague writes that Dr. Harris is "a person to whom many turn for advice. He offers the rare combination of knowledge and humility." Another said that his "ability to inspire and train students means that not only will his research contribute to our working lives, but also that his students will continue to contribute to society."

Faculty Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Dr. Thomas P. Quinn

This award honors a faculty member for a record of entrepreneurial innovation that demonstrates commercial utility, contributes to the public welfare, and brings visibility to the University of Missouri.

Dr. Thomas P. Quinn is a professor of biochemistry and radiology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He earned a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Miami and a doctorate in cell and molecular biology from St. Louis University.

Dr. Quinn has a record of entrepreneurial innovation in the area of cancer detection and treatment. His research efforts have resulted in several inventions and patents, and he has collaborated with companies to further research, leverage federal research dollars and move technologies to clinical trials.

Currently he is collaborating with Alpha Med Inc., a radiopharmaceutical company, to introduce a new melanoma therapy to clinical use. He also was instrumental in forming a new startup company, LifeScreen, in partnership with three MU investigators, the University and a venture capital company to develop and commercialize a non-invasive breast cancer detection test.

According to one nomination, "the combination of individual discovery, university promotion, and outside resources has achieved a rare synergy. Tom's research has progressed from bench to bedside - a success that points the way for all of us."

Student Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Jesse Allison & Timothy Place

This award honors University of Missouri students who have shown entrepreneurial potential.

Mr. Jesse Allison and Mr. Timothy Place are co-owners of Electrotap L.L.C., which develops innovative computer software and hardware for the development of interactive computer art.

Since its founding in 2004, the company has sold its musical performance interface products to more than 200 artists and 80 companies and institutions in more than 30 countries. Clients range from Princeton and Harvard Universities to corporations such as Disney. They are currently developing additional products to increase the breadth of their offerings and the options of inter-media artists around the world.

Mr. Place, who serves as the company’s vice president of software engineering, earned a bachelor's degree in music from SUNY Potsdam and a master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is a doctoral candidate in music arts and composition at UMKC.

Mr. Allison is Electrotap's vice president of hardware design. He received a bachelor's degree in music from Washington State University and a master's degree of musical arts in composition from UMKC. He also is a doctoral candidate in music arts and composition at UMKC.

Said one nomination letter: "Tim and Jesse are two 'once in a career' students who embody the best of UMKC's interdisciplinary vision by combining music performance and composition with innovative computer hardware and software design, culminating in a successful and thriving business."