Four MU professors awarded $10,000

Wednesday, April 2, 2008 | 7:01 p.m. CDT; updated 9:35 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Four more unsuspecting faculty members were handed $10,00 checks Wednesday as recipients of the 2008 William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence.

Dorina Kosztin, associate teaching professor in the department of physics and astronomy, was among the Kemper winners.

“It’s important for our university to see this kind of teaching excellence,” said Chancellor Brady Deaton, who presented the awards with Commerce Bank Chairman Jim Schatz and a group of administrators. “We’re very proud of it, and I know the department of physics has a great reputation for teaching excellence, and we’re very proud of what you do.”

Another recipient Wednesday was Anand Chandrasekhar, whose Introduction to Cell Biology lecture was interrupted by the entourage. Chandrasekhar, an associate professor of biological sciences, dismissed class early after receiving the accolade.

As his students packed their belongings and filed out, he made sure to thank them.

“You are the ones who make me do a good job,” he said. “Thank you.”

The Kemper Awards were created in 1991, two years after the death of William T. Kemper, an MU graduate. Kemper gave MU $500,000 for the awards, which can be used at the recipient’s discretion. Originally 10 awards were given each year, but the number has since been reduced to five.

On Tuesday the first of the 2008 awards was given to Wayne Brekhus, associate professor of sociology.

Also receiving Kemper Awards this year were Tony Lupo, associate professor of soil, environmental and atmospheric sciences; and Robert Terry Jr., professor and department chair of agricultural education.

Chandrasekhar, whose introductory class sets the groundwork for many biology majors, said he was humbled to be recognized for his work.

“All I can say is that there’s a lot of wonderful teachers on campus who do a lot of beautiful work, and I’m really honored to be singled out for this honor in many ways,” he said. “There are a lot of people whose efforts go unrecognized, but in many ways, I’m accepting this on behalf of many people who do a lot of good work but may not have this distinction.”

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