Honors College Awards Exceptional Faculty
Five faculty members honored at annual receptionMonday, October 21, 2013
Honors College Faculty Award recipients (l-r) Noah Billig (accepting on behalf of Kim Sexton), Charles Rosenkrans, Jr., Molly Rapert, Robert Stapp, and David Fredrick, with Dean Bob McMath.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In addition to teaching honors courses and special colloquia, Honors College faculty put in hours of work behind the scenes, mentoring honors students one-on-one, interviewing nervous fellowship applicants, reviewing grant applications, and writing countless letters of recommendation. The Honors College honored five faculty members who have set the bar for teaching and leadership especially high at the annual Honors College Faculty Reception last Thursday, held for the first time in the college’s new home in Ozark Hall.
“Each of the five faculty members honored have made a real impact on honors education at the University of Arkansas,” said Bob McMath, dean of the Honors College. “We appreciate their investment in honors students and are delighted to recognize their efforts.”
Dean McMath and Associate Dean Carol Gattis presented a bronze medallion to this year’s Distinguished Faculty Award and Distinguished Leadership Award recipients, who will also receive $1,000 to support undergraduate research.
The 2013 recipients of the Honors College Distinguished Faculty Award are:
David Fredrick, associate professor of classical studies and director of humanities, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. Fredrick has tapped into cross-campus interest in game design to help students bring the past alive, using game engine technology to create immersive, walk-through experiences. His groundbreaking use of game design to explore the past has won two Honors College course development grants and a National Endowment for the Humanities grant; his honors students have netted nine SURF grants and five Honors College research and travel grants. Fredrick’s honors colloquia have ranged from “Dining in Classical Antiquity” and “Rome on Film” to “Digital Pompeii” and “The Tenth Street Studio: Digital Reconstruction.” He also taught in the Honors Humanities Program for nine years. Fredrick has directed 16 honors theses and served on 64 honors thesis committees. One of his students, Rachel Newberry, published her research in Inquiry, the university’s undergraduate research journal. His prior teaching awards include the University of Arkansas Student-Alumni Board’s Teacher of the Year Award (2006), and the American Philological Association’s Excellence in Teaching Award (2004).
Charles Rosenkrans Jr., professor of animal science, Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. Rosenkrans helped to develop and implement the current honors program in Bumpers College in 2001 and has been actively involved in the program as a teacher and mentor since then. He has directed 11 honors theses on topics related to animal toxicology and the development of genetic, molecular and physiological markers of animal growth, reproduction and health. His students have presented their work at professional meetings and have received ongoing grant support from Bumpers College, the Honors College and the SURF grant program. Several of his students have coauthored papers published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition and The Professional Animal Scientist, and a number of them have published their work in Discovery Journal, the undergraduate research in Bumpers College. Rosenkrans also has participated in more than 10 honors thesis committees and has taught a number of honors courses. He has received numerous teaching awards, including, most recently, the Faculty Gold Medal from the office of postgraduate fellowships (2008), the John W. White Teaching Award (2010), the Teaching Award of Merit from North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (2010), and the Jack Justus Award for Teaching Excellence (2012).
Robert Stapp, clinical professor of economics, Sam M. Walton College of Business. Each year, Stapp teaches two sections of honors macroeconomics in the fall and two sections of honors microeconomics in the spring – a significant contribution that ensures that many honors business students have had a class with him by the time they graduate. Stapp has mentored 30 students on thesis topics ranging from the effects of the current U.S. recession on the Chinese economy to an economic perspective on game theory; he also has served on eight honors thesis committees. Nine of his students have received SURF grants, and one student, Thomas Vo, published his research in Inquiry. Stapp has taken U of A students to Washington, D.C., and New York City to participate in the Model United Nations program and has led Walton College’s Japan Study Abroad program for 15 years. He advises economics students in Fulbright College and also serves on fellowship selection and study abroad grant review committees in the Honors College. Stapp also has written an estimated 150 letters of recommendation in the last two years alone. He was honored with the Charles and Nadine Baum Faculty Teaching Award in 2004.
Two faculty members were recognized with the Honors College Distinguished Leadership Award:
Molly Rapert, associate professor of marketing and director of the Center for Teaching Effectiveness, Walton College. Rapert, a two-time graduate of the University of Arkansas, has directed 24 honors student theses and served on 27 thesis committees; among her thesis students, 16 have received grant funding and five have won Walton College thesis awards. Her readings-based, seminar-style undergraduate course on marketing management, designed in collaboration with an advisory board of 20 executives, is popular with honors students, and she has taught an honors course focused on consumers in China and sub-Saharan Africa. During her year as interim director of the Walton College honors program, Rapert worked closely with assistant director Jason Adams to develop an honors newsletter, a new brochure, and events that have enhanced communication with current students and faculty and fostered engagement with honors alumni. Rapert has won advising, service and teaching awards, among them the Marketing Management Association Top in Nation Teaching Award (2010), the Honors College Distinguished Faculty Award (2011) and the Charles and Nadine Baum Faculty Teaching Award (2012). The Walton College Alumni Society created a scholarship in her name in 2012.
Kim Sexton, associate professor of architecture, Fay Jones School of Architecture. Sexton, the director of the architecture honors program from its inception through spring 2013, has built a robust honors curriculum, no small challenge given the limited opportunities for electives and rigor of the professional degrees pursued by many of the school’s students. Under her leadership, the Fay Jones School instituted a tracking system to ensure that students stay on course with honors requirements and created a research methods course required for all thesis students. Sexton and history professor Lynda Coon periodically offer the honors colloquium “Medieval Bodies, Medieval Spaces,” and Sexton has taught in the Honors Humanities Program for six years. She has directed five honors student theses and her students have enjoyed notable success: one student won a University Research Award, two students were published in Inquiry, 10 have received grant funding, and three have presented papers at regional and national professional conferences. She has received numerous teaching awards, notably the Ralph O. Mott Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award (2009), elected by students majoring in architecture; the Tau Sigma Delta Silver Medal (2013), elected by students in the U of A chapter for a record of distinction in the field of architecture; the Faculty Gold Medal (2011) and two Outstanding Mentor Awards (2011, 2013) from the office of nationally competitive awards.
Bob McMath, dean
Kendall Curlee, director of communications