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UI Faculty and Staff to Receive Excellence Awards

Monday, April 12 2004

April 12, 2004^MOSCOW -- The University of Idaho is honoring 11 faculty members for outstanding achievement in teaching, research, outreach and advising. A banquet honoring these individuals is scheduled Monday, April 12, at the University Inn-Best Western.^Winners in each category follows:^Excellence Awards in Teaching^· David A. Thomas, associate professor of mathematics education, specializes in instructional uses of computer-based modeling tools and Internet-based distance education technologies. He communicates his teaching goals and philosophies with his students to demonstrate the importance of meeting national and state teaching standards. Thomas initiated The Idaho Math Academy, which is geared toward improving mathematics preparation of Idaho school teachers. He also has obtained a grant from the Toyota Foundation to develop a robotics project for elementary school students through the Palouse Science Center. Thomas will receive $5,000.^· Stephen P. Banks, professor of communication studies, works to preserve the universal culture of scholarship while attending to the needs of each student. Much of his research has focused on narrative analysis; he sees stories as central to learning. Through projects for non-profit groups in the Moscow-Pullman area, he promotes connections between students and their communities. In the fall of 1997, he was a visiting associate professor at the University of the Basque Country in San Sebastian, Spain, where he taught intercultural communication and international business communication. Banks will receive $2,500.^· Grace Goc Karp, professor of physical education, takes primary responsibility for preparing UI students for the professional experience of student teaching. Goc Karp is the coordinator for the Physical Education Teacher Preparation Program and has responsibilities for teaching three to four courses each semester. She received the Northwest American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Professor of the Year Award this past year. In a letter of support, one student wrote that Goc Karp had "a genuine interest and unparalleled passion for both the content of the course and the education of her students." She will receive $2,500.^Excellence in Research^· Douglas Q. Adams, professor of English, specializes in linguistics. He is considered one of the world's utmost authorities on Tocharian, a “dead” language discovered at the turn of the 1900s. Adams co-edited "The Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture" in 1997, and is currently working on another Indo-European book project. At UI, Adams is known for his work as faculty secretary and his involvement with faculty governance committees, including the University Counsel’s Ad Hoc Task Force on Policy Development and the Registrar’s Task Force on UCC Remodeling. He is the director of the Institutional Accreditation Self-Study program. He will receive $5,000.^· Stephen Devadoss, professor of agricultural economics, has contributed significant research to the field of international trade and macroeconomic issues related to agriculture. He has published 39 refereed journal articles and is the principal author on most. He has generated more than 130 additional publications in books, proceedings and applied and extension publications. Devadoss is currently working with seven master's students. He received more than 20 grants totaling in excess of $1 million, including four grants totaling approximately $451,000 from the National Research Initiative (NRI) competitive grants program. He will receive $2,500.^· David N. McIlroy, associate professor of physics, has made significant contributions to his field of research, nanoscience and critical phenomena. His research on nanostructures is particularly significant and has garnered international attention. McIIroy's research group was the first to identify and grow nanosprings. The group received an $860,000 grant from the prestigious W. M. Keck Foundation. He leads the Idaho EPSCoR project on Nanoscale Materials. McIlroy also cultivates interdisciplinary research among undergraduates from the sciences and engineering. He will receive $2,500.^Excellence in Outreach^· James R. Fazio, professor of resource, recreation and tourism, is commended for his outreach contributions in the areas of natural resource communications and urban/community forestry. He developed one of the first courses in the country on natural resource communications and public relations, and for many years has taught communications short courses for natural resource managers. Fazio is the former head of the resource recreation and tourism department. He writes and edits six issues annually for four major outreach publications for the National Arbor Day Foundation. Fazio has written four books, including "Across the Snowy Ranges – The Lewis & Clark Expedition in Idaho and Western Montana." He will receive $5,000.^· Jennifer J. Olson, professor of education, received a Ph.D. in education, with an emphasis in special education, from UI. Her work with on-site, in-service education programs has significantly improved the transfer of research-based practices in education to the classroom setting, ultimately enhancing school reform. She developed Building Effective and Successful Teams (BEST), an innovative model designed to provide inservice education to educational professionals. The inservice topics include teaming at the early childhood and middle school levels, working with children with challenging behaviors, family partnerships and early literacy. She will receive $2,500.^· David L. Wenny, professor of forest regeneration, is the director of the Center for Forest Nursery and Seedling Research and the Pitkin Forest Nursery. His outreach to the forest nursery industry and his educational efforts on reforestation and regeneration of forests have extended the university’s knowledge base to thousands of private landowners, managers and citizens of Idaho and the region. He has developed the only operational forest nursery in the U.S. that also is a teaching and research facility. The nursery has provided millions of tree seedlings for conservation and reforestation plantings throughout the western U.S. In addition, he has developed numerous computer-based nursery management software systems. He has been active in the Intermountain Container Seedling Growers Association and the Inland Empire Reforestation Council, serving on the executive council and as an officer. He will receive $2,500.^Excellence in Advising^· Janice W. Fletcher, professor of family and consumer sciences, has been advising college students for the past 25 years. Fletcher advises four to six graduate students and 60 to 90 undergraduate majors each year. In 1996, she was awarded the Outstanding Teaching Award, and in 1999, she was honored with the Outstanding Outreach Educator Award. When students seek advice, she asks questions beyond their career goals to find out who they are as a person. Fletcher takes the utmost care in advising students to reach two ultimate goals­being an educated person and developing their job and career skills. She will receive $2,500.^· Karla Makus, academic and administrative services coordinator in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, advises 120 students including freshmen, sophomores and new transfer students. Makus consistently informs students of scholarships, undergraduate research opportunities and ways to receive funding for volunteer positions. “She is by far the most dedicated and efficient student advisor I have seen in my 34 years of being at universities," says George LaBar, department head of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Makus will receive $2,500.^Contact: UI Provost Brian Pitcher, (208) 885-6448,^-30-^LE-4/12/04-ADM^

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