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.

Matt Menzenski, a graduate student in Slavic languages & literatures, took this photo during President Obama’s speech at KU Thursday. Menzenski says he was struck by how relaxed the president was in his delivery. He missed a chance to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in his hometown in 2004, but finally got to see a sitting president this week at KU. “The opportunity to hear the president speak is just one of many great opportunities I've had at KU. So many interesting talks and events happen here all the time. I try to attend at least one a week-- it's never hard to find something interesting to go to.” Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures KU Dept of Slavic Languages - Friends & Alumni Barack Obama The White House #exploreKU #POTUSatKU

#KUfacts : There are 28 active startup companies based on KU research – more than all other KS universities combined. #growKS #KSleg
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (, associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.

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