LAWRENCE — University of Kansas professors Vicky Unruh and Charles Little respectively are recipients of the 2013 Chancellors Club Career Teaching Award and Chancellors Club Research Award. Unruh is a professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and Little is a professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. Each award is accompanied by a $10,000 honorarium.
In addition, John Wood, an associate professor in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, has been named a Chancellor’s Club Teaching Professor, a prestigious title he will retain during his entire career at KU. This award will be accompanied by a $10,000 honorarium each year. The three recipients will be honored at the Chancellors Club celebration Friday, Oct. 4, in Lawrence.
Vicky Unruh has taught at KU since 1988. She has received numerous career honors at KU, including the Louise Byrd Graduate Educator Award; the Self Fellowship Graduate Mentor Achievement Award; and the Cramer Award for teaching and research four times. She was the recipient of the Association of Marquette University Women’s Chair in Humanistic Studies for 2010-2011, a position awarded for excellence in teaching and research, and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship for University Teachers in 2001.
During her career, Unruh has directed students in 14 defended dissertations, is currently directing four dissertations in progress, and has assisted on an additional 40 dissertations. She has authored two books and a co-edited collection, published numerous book chapters and journal articles, and given more than 70 conference and symposia presentations or invited lectures in the U.S. and abroad. She received her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.
Danny Anderson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, who also joined the KU faculty in Spanish and Portuguese in 1988, praised Unruh for her many career achievements. “The Department of Spanish and Portuguese takes pride in the quality of its teaching and mentoring, and Unruh took this commitment to a new level for all of us,” Anderson said. “During a time of major generational transitions, she was a leader who honored strong traditions and also advocated for new diversity that strengthened the department even more.”
Charles Little has taught at KU Medical Center since 2000. He has trained 12 post-doctoral fellows, 11 doctoral students and served on dissertation committees of an additional 35 doctoral students. He has served on dozens of peer review panels and committees, including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, the American Heart Association and other national and international funding agencies. He has participated on editorial boards for multiple journals and is a frequent manuscript reviewer for many more. He has presented nearly 150 seminars worldwide, and he has received numerous national and international academic honors. At KU Medical Center, he was the recipient of a faculty investigator research award and the Dolph Simons (Higuchi) Award in Biomedical Sciences. He has a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. In 2008, he was elected a fellow of the American Association of Anatomists.
Dale Abrahamson, chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, and a previous Chancellors Club award recipient, praised Little for his dedication to his students, for his research and for collaborating with others in the scientific community. “The paradigm-shifting results, generated here at KU Medical Center by the team recruited and directed by Charlie Little, are leading to rewrites of the embryology textbooks,” said Abrahamson. “Moreover, throughout his outstanding career, Charlie’s publications have been written with unusual clarity and illustrated with visually stunning images. He richly deserves the 2013 Chancellors Club Research Award.”
John Wood has taught at KU Medical Center since 1994. In 2006, he received a joint appointment as a member of the Department of Surgery. His research focuses on the mechanisms responsible for microvascular inflammation in various clinical settings. Wood has received teaching awards from the medical students, as well as the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, the Ruth Bohan Teaching Award and the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. He received his doctorate from the University of Michigan.
Paul Cheney, chair of the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, and a previous Chancellors Club award recipient, described Wood as one of the best instructors in the history of the department and the medical center. “John is truly a special teacher who is loved by students and highly respected and appreciated by his peers,” said Cheney. “We are so fortunate to have him as a member of our faculty.”
The Chancellors Club, formed in 1977 by KU Endowment, recognizes both donors of major gifts designated for specific purposes on any of KU’s campuses and annual donors to the Greater KU Fund. KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.