Joe Monaco
KU Office of Public Affairs

Chancellor to present University Scholarly Achievement Awards on April 15

Tue, 04/08/2014

LAWRENCE — Four University of Kansas faculty members have earned 2014 University Scholarly Achievement Awards, which recognize mid-career scholars who have made significant scholarly or research contributions to their fields.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will host a ceremony for the four winners at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, in The Commons at Spooner Hall. The event is open to KU faculty and staff as well as the public.

The annual awards are presented in four fields: arts and humanities; clinical science; science, technology, and mathematics; and social science and professional programs.

This year’s winners:

  • Michael Detamore, professor, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering (clinical science)
  • Michael Engel, professor, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (science, technology and mathematics)
  • Allen Greiner, professor, Department of Family Medicine (social science and professional programs)
  • Steven Spooner, associate professor, School of Music (arts and humanities)

The four winners were chosen for contributions that advance the field of scholarship, exhibit novelty and originality, promote scholarly and research activity at KU, and enhance the university’s national and international reputation. Recipients were nominated by their colleagues from KU and across the nation.

“As a flagship research university, KU has a special mission to pursue discoveries and innovations that improve lives, drive economic growth and help us better understand our world,” Gray-Little said. “These four faculty members embrace that mission through their teaching and scholarship. Since we began offering these awards four years ago, it’s become tougher and tougher each year to narrow down the nominations to just four winners, which is a testament to the world-class faculty we have here at KU.”

More information about this year’s recipients is available below.

Michael Detamore
Detamore’s research focuses on gradient biomaterials for interfacial tissue engineering. Specifically, he has devised a unique microsphere solution that enables his group to create a gradient biomaterial that mimics healthy tissues by gradually changing from one side to the other without a sharp interface. Detamore has secured more than $4.5 million in funding as a principal investigator, been awarded two patents and won multiple national awards, including a Fulbright Scholar Award.

Michael Engel
Engel’s work focuses on the field of insect evolutionary biology, with special interest in the origins and episodes of radiation and extinction. He has contributed more than 500 scholarly works, including documentation of the earliest evidence of insects, noting that these first insects were flying insects. He co-authored a synthesis of insect evolutionary history that was the first of its kind and now serves as the textbook for entomology programs worldwide.

Allen Greiner
Dr. Greiner is a professor of family medicine and is among the top clinical researchers in the School of Medicine, which ranks sixth nationally in NIH funding for departments of family medicine. His work focuses on improving the health of communities and is based on working directly with communities. His efforts have improved access to and understanding of preventative medicine options related to colon cancer for Native and Latino Americans in northeast Kansas.

Steven Spooner
Spooner has enjoyed an almost meteoric rise in his reputation performing and researching the music of 19th century composer and piano virtuoso Franz Liszt. Spooner is known internationally for incorporating scholarly investigation into his performances and interpretations, and he is considered among the world’s most recognized performers of Liszt’s music. He has won several international competitions featuring Liszt’s music, released four compact discs and one DVD performing Liszt’s music, and performed in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall in New York to the Liszt Academy in Budapest.

KU in the news
U.S. News & World ReportThu, 11/13/2014
One in five of Kansas foster children are in foster care because of issues related to caregiver substance abuse. To help agencies across the state and strengthen affected families, researchers in the School of Social Welfare have secured a five-year, $2.9 million grant from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. “We seek to improve family functioning in order to enhance the children’s well-being, safety and permanency,” said Susana Mariscal, a leader of the project. Read more: Tags: #KUcommunities #FosterCare #SubstanceAbuse University of Kansas School of Social Welfare
#KUresearch to strengthen arts programs in #primaryeducation , teaming with Topeka Public Schools. #KUcommunities
Inside KU: Protein research, biodiesel fuel, and KU's Bioscience & Technology Business Center "Inside KU" takes a look at how the expanded Bioscience & Technology Business Center ( brings a number of beneficial services to small start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between. Also: A KU startup at the BTBC, KanPro, is producing proteins for research in medicine, biotechnology, and life sciences (See KU Innovation and Collaboration focuses on turning the university’s research into industry (See The "Feedstock to Tailpipe Initiative" grows algae to provide a sustainable source for biodiesel fuel (See Undergraduate Research Awards allow students to explore their fields deeper (See **The Time Warner Cable Sports Network's "Inside KU" is hosted by Jeannie Hodes.**

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times