COLUMBIA — First, one student stood and clapped. Then, an entire row of the large conference room joined. Soon, the entire room of about 200 people was on its feet and applauding Tim Evans as he received the first of the 2013 William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence at MU.
Deputy Chancellor Mike Middleton and Commerce Bank Chairman Jim Schatz, along with a group of faculty and staff, surprised Evans with the fellowship and the $10,000 check that accompanies it as he was lecturing Monday morning in the Adams Conference Center at the Veterinary Medicine Building.
Five Kemper Fellowships are given each year to honor outstanding teachers at MU. The fellowships were established in 1991 with a $500,000 gift from the family of William Kemper, an MU graduate and Kansas City civic leader. Three more fellowships will be awarded Tuesday, and the final award will be presented by the end of the week.
The fellowship trust fund is managed by Commerce Bank.
Upon receiving the award, Evans thanked MU for the opportunity to work at the university.
“I’m honored and humbled to have a job here,” he said.
Evans, an associate professor of toxicology, joined the College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. He teaches classes on poisonous plants and how to diagnose and treat poisons in animals, but he is best known for his sense of humor, his brightly colored Hawaiian shirts and his superhero alter-ego, “The Antidote.”
“I always wanted to be a stand-up comic, but I guess this is the next best thing,” Evans said.
Evans might be funny in the lecture hall, but he takes his teaching seriously, veterinary medicine professor Craig Franklin said in a news release.
“For his classroom lectures, he relentlessly prepares, spending days updating his materials and constantly self-critiquing his teaching style,” Franklin said. “His teaching does not stop in the classroom, and his passion for teaching and love for his students make him a deserving winner of the Kemper Award.”
Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.