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.
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.
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.
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.
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.