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Top Faculty Honored by University of Missouri System

Contact: Jennifer Hollingshead

Office: (573) 882-0601


COLUMBIA, MO The University of Missouri System today announced the winners of its annual faculty awards. Winners are selected from nominations submitted by the University's four campuses and University Extension. The awards were presented Thursday evening, July 24, 2003, in conjunction with the University of Missouri Board of Curators' meeting in Columbia.

Presidential Award for Research and Creativity:
Joseph Carroll, University of Missouri-St. Louis

Joseph Carroll, professor of English at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, is the 2003 winner of the Presidential Award for Research and Creativity. This award is given to a faculty member with a sustained record of national and international quality research or creativity.

Carroll joined the UM-St. Louis in 1985 after serving as a faculty member at the University of Denver. Considered the world's leading authority on evolutionary literary theory and criticism, Carroll has written numerous articles, encyclopedia entries and conference papers. He also has written three books, with a fourth, an annotated version of The Origin of Species, currently in press.

Carroll earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1974, a master's degree in comparative literature in 1976, and a doctorate in comparative literature in 1981, all from the University of California at Berkeley.

Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching:
Charles J. Wurrey, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Charles J. Wurrey, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Chemistry at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is the 2003 recipient of the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. This award recognizes a faculty member's long-term contributions to teaching.

Wurrey joined UM-Kansas City in 1974 and served as chair of the chemistry department from 1989-1995. Since 2001, he has been executive associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Wurrey's expertise has also benefited the community. He is involved with UM-Kansas City's High School/College Chemistry program, as well as the Heartland's Alliance for Minority Participation, a multi-campus initiative to assist under-represented minority students in preparing for science and math careers.

Wurrey earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry and mathematics from Northern Michigan University in 1969. He earned his doctorate in physical chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973.

Thomas Jefferson Award:
Max J. Skidmore, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Max J. Skidmore, Curators' Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is the winner of the Thomas Jefferson Award. This award goes to a faculty member who rises above excellence and is exceptional in teaching, research, writing, creative activities, and service to the University and society.

Skidmore joined UM-Kansas City in 1985 as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of political science. Skidmore held positions with the Social Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Education and several other universities before joining the campus. A nationally recognized expert on Social Security, Skidmore has authored two books on the subject, in addition to articles on American studies, freedom of expression and biomedical research. Internationally, he has published works on the politics of Hong Kong and chaired the University of Hong Kong's American Studies board.

Skidmore earned his bachelor's degree in education from Southwest Missouri State University in 1956, a master's degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia the same year and his doctorate in American Studies/Political Science from the University of Minnesota in 1964.

C. Brice Ratchford Fellowship Award:
Kay Gasen, University of Missouri-St. Louis

Kay Gasen has been selected as the 2003 recipient of the C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award. This award is given to a faculty member who exudes the creativity, vision and leadership shown by the late Dr. C. Brice Ratchford, former president of the University of Missouri and dean of cooperative extension. Gasen is the Urban Program Leader and Director of Community and Neighborhood Development for the Public Policy Research Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

She began her work with University Extension in 1986 as a Community Development Specialist. In 1992, she was named East Central Regional Director, and in 1998 took over her current position. Her work has proved beneficial to the St. Louis community, providing university resources for urban St. Louis residents for health assessments, home maintenance, environmental health and historic preservation.

Gasen received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Illinois State University in 1975 and a master's degree in public policy administration from UM-St. Louis in 1985.

Curators' Award for Scholarly Excellence:
John T. Graham, University of Missouri-Kansas City

John T. Graham, Professor Emeritus of European history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, received the 2003 Curators' Award for Scholarly Excellence. The award is given annually to the faculty author of the most outstanding book published by the University of Missouri Press. Graham was recognized for his book The Social Thought of Ortega y Gassett: A Systematic Synthesis in Postmodernism and Interdisciplinarity. This is the third and final volume of his study of renowned Spanish essayist and philosopher Ortega, who was the first educator with an interdisciplinary theory and practice.

Graham has written a book about Spanish author/diplomat Donoso Cortes, also published by the University of Missouri Press, in addition to numerous articles and book chapters. Graham came to UM-Kansas City in 1966 after teaching at St. Ambrose College and Gonzaga University. At UM-Kansas City, Graham taught graduate and undergraduate courses on European and intellectual history, and was active on several committees.

Graham earned his bachelor's degree in history from Rockhurst College in 1952 and a doctorate in history from St. Louis University in 1957.

Reviewed 2010-06-16