Faculty Excellence Awards: Received by three UNO professors and one department


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Cassie Wade

University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds honored the recipients of the 2016 Faculty Excellence Awards in a message sent Wednesday to university faculty.

Faculty Excellence Awards are “the university’s most prestigious awards for teaching, research and engagement,” according to the University of Nebraska’s U-Wide Awards Page.

The awards honor faculty members whose work has significantly impacted their students, university and state.

Faculty Excellence Award winners are determined in two ways depending on the type of award. The Engagement Award winner is selected by community members while a committee of faculty members selects who wins the other awards, according to the awards webpage.

Faculty Excellence Award winners are awarded a presidential medallion, an engraved plaque and $10,000 each.

Faculty and departments on all four of the University of Nebraska’s campuses are eligible to receive the awards.

In Bounds’ message, he refers to the 2016 award winners as “a diverse group, representing the humanities, medicine, journalism, education and other disciplines.”

“They share a deep commitment to the University of Nebraska’s most fundamental responsibilities: educating our students, conducting important and relevant research and putting their skills to work to serve Nebraskans and people around the world,” Bounds wrote.

Three University of Nebraska at Omaha faculty members and one department received awards.

UNO’s Dr. Elliott Ostler has received an Innovation, Development and Engagement Award. Ostler is a Paul Kennedy Professor of Educational Leadership and is known for helping students who struggle with math and science learn through the use of non-traditional techniques, according to the U-Wide Awards Page.

Dr. Bruce Johansen, who is a Jacob J. Isaacson Professor of Communication and Native American Studies, is the recipient of an Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award.

Johansen “has written extensively on environmental subjects and the influence of Native American political systems on the U.S. political and legal institutions,” Bounds wrote.

Dr. George and Sally Haddix Community Chair of STEM Education in UNO’s College of Education Dr.
Neal Grandgenett has been awarded an Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award, Bounds wrote.

Grandgenett said he is “very honored to be selected for the OTICA Award and to help represent UNO.”

“We have so many great teachers on our campus, and I have learned so many excellent instructional strategies from my colleagues over these last 27 years,” Grandgenett said. “Go Mavs!”

UNO’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literature has received a University-wide Teaching Award.
UNL’s Matthew Waite received an Innovation, Development and Engagement Award. UNMC’s Dr. Surinder Batra received an Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award.

“These faculty, together with colleagues across our campuses, are an important reason why the university is in such a strong position today,” Bounds wrote in his message. “I am honored to serve among such talented individuals.”

According to Bounds’ message, nomination materials will be available next month for faculty to nominate a coworker for the 2017 Faculty Excellence Awards.