seal  Purdue News

April 16, 2004

6 Purdue faculty members awarded university teaching honor

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Six exceptional teachers received Purdue University's 2004 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Awards in Memory of Charles B. Murphy.

Each of the $5,000 awards – the university's highest undergraduate teaching honor – was given in recognition of exemplary teaching in all phases of undergraduate instruction. Awards were presented on April 4 during the university's Honors Convocation in the Elliott Hall of Music.

The winners' names will be engraved on the Book of Great Teachers, a commemorative plaque in the Memorial Union that honors the best teachers from throughout Purdue's history. The 2004 Murphy Award winners are:

• Douglas Adams, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. Adams, who came to Purdue in 2000, last year received the Solberg Best Teaching Award from the School of Mechanical Engineering. In nominating him for the Murphy Award, his peers in the school called him a "dynamic, enthusiastic, well-organized, knowledgeable and caring teacher and mentor to each student in his courses."

• Kristina Bross, assistant professor of English. Since arriving at Purdue in 1999, Bross twice has been awarded the English department's annual Excellence in Teaching Award for Undergraduate Instruction. Many students describe Bross as motivating and inspiring. "Never before have I had a professor that was so excited about teaching a class," wrote one student.

• Janice Kelly, associate professor of psychological sciences. A teacher of senior research as well as large undergraduate lectures, Kelly, who came to Purdue in 1987, is consistently among the top faculty members in her department nominated for an award by students. In recommending Kelly for the Murphy Award, Howard Weiss, head of the Department of Psychological Sciences, said Kelly also had been chosen for the first departmentwide teaching award. "Janice is not merely a fine teacher, she is an educator of great accomplishment," he said. "Her classroom skills are exceptional, as indicated by her consistently superb teacher ratings. Her impact on undergraduates is extraordinary."

• Stephen Konieczny, professor of biological sciences. Konieczny, who has been at Purdue since 1986, was nominated for his "enormous and sustained positive impact on undergraduate student learning." In 1997 Konieczny received the Outstanding Teacher Award in the School of Science, an award determined by student vote. He is known internationally for pioneering research on the gene regulation underlying muscle development and differentiation.

• Dale Oderman, associate professor of aviation technology. Already nominated by the Aviation Technology Student Council for the 2004 School of Technology Dwyer Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, Oderman was chosen by a faculty committee to be nominated for the Murphy Award. Oderman, who has been at Purdue since 1996, has taught a variety of undergraduate courses.

• Susan Watts, associate professor of management. At Krannert School of Management since 1997, Watts has been singled out for past teaching honors, including the School of Management's Outstanding Undergraduate Professor Award in 1999, 2000 and 2003. In 2002 she was named a fellow of the Purdue Teaching Academy and was awarded the Teaching for Tomorrow Award for 2000-01.

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