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August 28, 2003

Book of Great Teachers adds a new chapter

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The names of 42 Purdue University professors were added to the Book of Great Teachers, which honors outstanding teaching faculty who have demonstrated sustained excellence in the classroom.

Ronnie Wilbur and Eugene Spafford
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A reception took place today (Thursday, 8/28) at the bell tower near Hovde Hall. Purdue President Martin C. Jischke and Provost Sally Mason recognized the honorees.

To be included in the Book of Great Teachers, professors and former professors must have served on the Purdue faculty at least 10 years. Honorees include past winners of universitywide teaching excellence awards and those nominated by students, alumni and colleagues.

Mason said the newest inductees have made a profound impact on students' lives.

"Whether it's helping students through personal crises, spending long hours with students on research projects or inviting students to share home-cooked meals, these professors are passionate about the fundamental reason they are at Purdue – to teach," Mason said. "We are proud to honor our colleagues who have made such a fundamental difference for all the students who pass through their classroom doors."

Jane Kirkpatrick (right)
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Julie White, a nurse and former student of nursing professor Jane Kirkpatrick, said Kirkpatrick served as a memorable mentor and deserves to be included in the Book of Great Teachers.

"Jane is a true advocate for her students," White said, "It's obvious that her passion in teaching is seeing each student reach their potential. When I was her student, she genuinely nurtured me and made a personal investment in my education. Without her, I wouldn't be the nurse I am today."

Bharat Bhargava
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Another student voiced his appreciation for computer science professor Bharat Bhargava in an evaluation.

"I thought the course was 'revolutionary' as far as applicability to an important area of computer science," he wrote. "The instructor was excellent – one of the best I ever had. If I went on for a Ph.D., I would choose him as my adviser because he stimulated my interest in the topic, as well as because of his character."

Inductee Nick Giordano, a physics professor, also earned high praise in a student evaluation.

Nick Giordano
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"Professor Giordano is an exceptional teacher in that he shows a genuine concern and compassion for students that goes beyond a social security number and a final grade. My mother was hospitalized the week before spring break last year. ... At least on three occasions from April to May, Professor Giordano would take time to ask me about my mother and her progress. I will never forget the professor who took time to be personable to me during a most difficult time."

The book, a bronze and walnut wall display in the west foyer of the Purdue Memorial Union, was first unveiled in 1999 with 225 current and former faculty honored. New names are added every five years.

CONTACT: Margaret Moan Rowe, selection committee chair, (765) 494-0608, mmrowe@purdue.edu; Mason, (765) 494-9709, sfmason@purdue.edu; Bhargava, (765) 494-6013, bbshail@purdue.edu; Giordano, (765) 494-6418, ng@physics.purdue.edu; Kirkpatrick, (765) 494-4018, jmkirk@nursing.purdue.edu.

 

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A complete listing of professors added to the book can be found at http://www.purdue.edu/EVPAA/GreatTeachers/pages/2003_additions.html/.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:
Eugene Spafford, standing, shakes hands with Ronnie Wilbur at a Purdue University reception today (Thursday, 8/28) for 42 professors who have been added to the university's Book of Great Teachers. Spafford, a professor of computer science, is the director of Purdue's Center for Education and Research Information Assurance and Security. Wilbur, a professor of audiology and speech sciences, is a previous Book of Great Teachers inductee. The Book of Great Teachers honors outstanding teaching faculty who have demonstrated sustained excellence in the classroom. New names are added every five years. (Purdue News Service Photo/Dave Umberger)

PHOTO CAPTION:
Nursing professor Jane Kirkpatrick, at right, teaches nursing student Megan Hanna, a senior from Delphi, Ind., about assessing the needs of newborns in the Nursing of Developing Families class. Kirkpatrick is one of Purdue's 42 professors added to the Book of Great Teachers, which honors outstanding teaching faculty who have demonstrated sustained excellence in the classroom. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

PHOTO CAPTION:
Bharat Bhargava, professor of computer science, meets with members of his lab team, including, from left, Yuhui Zhong, a doctorate student from Chongqing, China; Leszek Lilien, postdoctorate research associate from Krakow, Poland; and Ahsan Habib, a doctorate student from Dhaka, Bangladesh, who graduated this summer. Bhargava is one of Purdue's 42 professors added to the Book of Great Teachers, which honors outstanding teaching faculty who have demonstrated sustained excellence in the classroom. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

PHOTO CAPTION:
Nick Giordano, physics professor, discusses how to prepare artificial lipid membranes for studies of electrical noise with summer research program participants Rebecca Heine, from Winona State University in Minnesota, and Jacob Millspaw, a Purdue physics doctoral student from Baltimore. Giordano is one of Purdue's 42 professors added to the Book of Great Teachers, which honors outstanding teaching faculty who have demonstrated sustained excellence in the classroom. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)


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