Leaders in Learning: a celebration of faculty achievement

University of Missouri-Kansas City faculty who received endowed professorships, promotions, tenure and other awards of distinction were recognized in 2017 with the Leaders in Learning celebration, an evening of dinner and jazz at Pierson Auditorium.

A video tribute included praise for UMKC faculty from students as well as Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

“One of the best things about UMKC is that UMKC actively seeks to partner with the city in a way that is constructive. It’s not just a school where they teach people, it’s a school where they engage people and have those people engage the community,” James said.

Congratulations to all those from the College of Arts and Sciences recognized at the event:

Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure

Mark Brodwin, College of Arts and Sciences

Mark Brodwin joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy faculty in 2011. His research focuses on using infrared imaging methods for discovering and characterizing distant clusters of galaxies. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses for the rapidly growing astronomy program. He has documented his findings in more than 160 peer reviewed papers and has secured over $1 million of research funding. Brodwin has been awarded the 2015 UMKC Faculty Scholar Award and the 2016 NASA Group Achievement Award for the MaDCoWS project (stands for “Massive and Distant Clusters of WISE Survey”). His current collaborations include a dark matter and dark energy study with the Euclid Space Telescope, a European Space Agency mission with participation from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Brodwin is one of only 40 U.S. scientists nominated by NASA to participate in Euclid, which is scheduled for launch in 2021.

Xiaobo Chen, College of Arts and Sciences

Xiaobo Chen joined the Department of Chemistry faculty in 2011. His expertise is in the field of nanomaterials and renewable energy technologies. Dr. Chen has published over 116 peer-reviewed papers (75 from UMKC), two book chapters and two co-authored books. His work has received over 30,000 citations. He has secured over $775,000 to date, including funding from NSF and industry sources.

David Freeman, College of Arts and Sciences

David Freeman joined the Department of History faculty in 2011. He teaches courses that focus on the history of Christianity, especially the Reformation, as well as specialized courses on Dutch history. His forthcoming book, A Silver River in a Silver World, which explores Dutch trade in the Rio de la Plata in the late 17th century, will be published by Cambridge University Press.

Seung-Lark Lim, College of Arts and Sciences

Seung-Lark Lim joined the Department of Psychology faculty in 2012. His expertise is in the fields of cognitive neuroscience and neuroeconomics. His publication record includes over 35 peer-reviewed publications. Lim has also been successful in securing funding to support his research, securing, as PI or co-PI, over $600,000 in funding, including a grant of over $360,000 from the National Cancer Institute. In recognition of his outstanding research achievements as a junior faculty member, Lim received a 2015-16 UMKC Faculty Scholar Award.

Matthew Osborn, College of Arts and Sciences

Matthew Osborn joined the Department of History faculty in 2011. A historian of early America, Osborn’s research interests include medicine and disease; alcohol, drugs and addiction; popular and literary culture; urban history; and social inequality. His first book, Rum Maniacs: Alcoholic Insanity in the Early American Republic, looks at how delirium tremens shaped our modern conceptions of alcohol and drug abuse. He is currently researching the dawn of American mass culture, looking specifically at America’s first superhero — the Night Hawk — who appeared in a radical labor journal in the 1820s.

Paul Rulis, College of Arts and Sciences

Paul Rulis joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy faculty in 2011. His research focuses on the theme of computational condensed matter physics and materials science, emphasizing the development of electronic structure methods and the application of them to outstanding or novel materials problems. Rulis teaches a cross-section of graduate and upper-division undergraduate physics courses in which he strives to engage his students with recent developments in the scientific literature. Rulis has published over 60 peer-reviewed papers and has presented his work to a wide range of national and international audiences. He was recently notified that the National Science Foundation intends to support a $1.2 million collaborative research project that he is leading to develop methods for designing amorphous molecular solids with tailored structures.

Ye Wang, College of Arts and Sciences

Ye Wang joined the Department of Communication Studies in 2011. She holds a Ph.D. in journalism with a research focus on interactivity and engagement on websites and social media. She has conducted research on engagement on branded social media sites, interactivity within online health communities, cause-related marketing, crosscultural communication and advertising education. Her work has been published in a variety of leading journals in her field and she has also co-authored several book chapters on online communities and journalism education.

Promotion to the rank of full Professor

Hadara Bar Nadav, College of Arts and Sciences

Hadara Bar-Nadav joined the Department of English Language and Literature faculty in 2007. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in poetry, modern and postmodern poetry and poetics, as well as 20th-century American literature and African-American literature. She is the author of numerous award-winning publications including Lullaby (with Exit Sign), awarded the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize; The Frame Called Ruin, runner up for the Green Rose Prize; and A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight, awarded the Margie Book Prize. In 2017 she received a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship. Her latest book, The New Nudity, will hit shelves this fall.

Jared Bruce, College of Arts and Sciences

Jared Bruce joined the Psychology Department faculty in 2007. He is a clinical neuropsychologist with nationally recognized expertise in the areas of multiple sclerosis and sports concussion. He received the 2012 Chancellor’s Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has over 75 peer-reviewed papers and has been highly successful in securing funding for his research. Over the past four years he has been awarded over $600,000 in funding as a principal investigator and over $1.8 million in funding as co-Investigator for his collaborative projects. His significant scholarly contributions have been recognized through his appointment of fellow status in the National Academy of Neuropsychology, as well as receipt of the American Psychological Association’s Early Career Award in Neuropsychology.

John Herron, College of Arts and Sciences

John Herron joined the Department of History faculty in 2003. His expertise is Environmental History, 19th Century America, and the American West. A teaching award winner, his scholarly accomplishments include a monograph published by Oxford University Press, five peer-reviewed papers, four book chapters, a recently published biography of Henry Bloch’s wartime service, and an impressive collection of essays and reviews, as well as two forthcoming works on local history currently under contract, one with the University of Pittsburgh Press and the other with the University Press of Kansas. Herron has also created an impressive track record of presenting his research to the general public through a combination of publications in popular outlets such as the Chronicle of Higher Education and Harper’s Magazine, and in public lectures and exhibitions, documentary film consultations, and museum collaborations.

James Murowchick, from the College of Arts and Sciences

James Murowchick joined the Geosciences Department faculty in 1988. His expertise is in mineralogy and geochemistry with research focusing on iron sulfides, including formation and transformation reaction mechanisms, investigated using X-ray diffraction, computational chemistry and petrographic methods. He is also a dedicated teacher known for creating high impact learning experiences for his students, and dedication recently honored through the university’s establishment of the James B. Murowchick Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Research.

Read the UMKC Today Article to see the full list of those who were recognized at the event.