UAH 2013 faculty academic excellence awards presented

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (May 28, 2013) - The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) recently honored top faculty with the 2013 Faculty Academic Excellence Awards. The annual event celebrates the excellence of faculty in two categories - teaching and research.

The UAH Faculty Academic Excellence Awards Program recognizes and appreciates the many exceptional efforts of university faculty members. The awards carry monetary prizes of $3,000 and $1,000 for outstanding faculty members.

The recipients of the 2013 UAH Faculty Academic Excellence Awards Program include: Professor Ellise Adams, recipient of the University Distinguished Teaching Award, College of Nursing, prize $3,000; and Professor Kevin Knupp, recipient of the University Distinguished Research Award, College of Science, prize $3,000. Outstanding Faculty Members each receive a $1,000 prize, they are: Professor Allen Wilhite, College of Business Administration; Professor Aleksandar Milenkovic, College of Engineering; Professor David Neff, College of Liberal Arts; Professor Rita Ferguson, College of Nursing; and Professor Leland Cseke, College of Science.

Award candidates are nominated by their academic peers, with final selection by a committee. Criteria for selection are based on faculty member achievements, and impact on students and academic excellence. The awards are sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the UAH Foundation.

About the 2013 Faculty Academic Excellence Awards recipients:

Professor Ellise Adams:

Dr. Ellise D. AdamsThe University Distinguished Teaching Award goes to Professor Ellise Adams from the College of Nursing. A Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing, Dr. Adams is widely known as one of the most dedicated teachers to undergraduate and graduate students. She strives for creative teaching methodology and excels in mentoring students to engage in scholarly activities. Dr. Adams has inspired individuals in the College of Nursing to excel as students and as professionals in their field.

Professor Kevin Knupp:

Dr. Kevin KnuppThe University Distinguished Research Award goes to Professor Kevin Knupp from the College of Science. A Professor of Atmospheric Science Dr. Knupp is known for his high profile research program in severe weather. What distinguishes Dr. Knupp's research is its enormous societal impact. Collaboration with the National Weather Service made it possible for him to turn his research results into operational products that the Weather Service uses to provide the best possible severe weather alerts.

Professor Allen Wilhite:

Dr. Allen W. WilhiteProfessor Allen Wilhite received the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award for the College of Business Administration. Dr. Wilhite as a Professor and Chair of Accounting, Economics and Finance has demonstrated the highest level of research achievement through his work published in SCIENCE. He has also invested time to put together a presentation on the economic outlook in North Alabama to help out a local program. Dr. Wilhite is recognized as one of the top teachers in the college by the students and has twice been recognized by Alabama EMBA students as the best teacher in that program. Dr. Wilhite is always putting others before himself and will go to any length to help the College and University.

Professor Aleksandar Milenkovic:

Dr. Aleksandar MilenkovicProfessor Aleksandar Milenkovic received the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award for the College of Engineering. Dr. Milenkovic as an Associate Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering has an excellent teaching record and has provided several undergraduate students with an opportunity to conduct research under his supervision. Dr. Milenkovic has distinguished himself as a top performing professor in research at the University of Alabama in Huntsville through his successes in National Science Foundation funding and scholarly publications in the field of computer engineering with a focus on embedded systems, high performance computing, and wireless sensor networks applied to the field of health care. Dr. Milenkovic has contributed significantly in the area of service to the Department, College and Professional Organizations.

Professor David Neff:

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Professor David Neff received the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award for the College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Neff as a Professor in the Department of English has a long and distinguished record in every area of faculty activity: teaching, research, and service. Dr. Neff maintains an active and ambitious program of scholarship in literary studies. The students enthusiastically endorse him as a teacher. Dr. Neff is invariably willing to do more than his fair share to make it possible for the College and University to carry out its mission. Dr. Neff is also known to be exceptionally humble and his dedication to and enthusiasm for teaching, scholarship and service have been inspirational to his colleagues and students.

Professor Rita Ferguson:

Rita W. FergusonProfessor Rita Ferguson received the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award for the College of Nursing. Ms. Ferguson as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing is a key leader in incorporating quality and safety in nursing education. She consistently engages students by incorporating innovative teaching strategies. She promotes clinical reasoning and professional practice in her students and colleagues. In 2010-2011 she received the UAH Student Government Association Most Outstanding Teacher Award. Ms. Ferguson was an invited speaker for the Alabama Gerontological Society's 31st Annual Conference and Hospice Family Care. Ms. Ferguson has actively served the community by being the college of Nursing Liaison with Crestwood Hospital. She has demonstrated excellence and significantly contributes to the advancement of the College of Nursing and the University.

Professor Leland Cseke:

Dr. Leland J. CsekeProfessor Leland Cseke received the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award for the College of Science. Dr. Cseke as an Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences performs at an exceptional level in research, teaching and service. He has taken an enthusiastic and leading role in teaching. He has established a strong independent research program which has been well funded by USDA and USDOE. Dr. Cseke's research into molecular methods for identification of invasive plant species has received high acclaim from the USDA and he was asked to co-write the US Guidelines for the Molecular Identification of Invasive Plant Species that will be used by academic and national laboratories throughout the country. Dr. Cseke has a strong service record at all levels and is always working to get the UAH name in the public eye whether it is through martial arts, volunteer work at the Botanical Gardens or through presentations to USDA and DOE. He is highly recognized in his field.

For more information contact:
Joyce Anderson-Maples (256) 824.2101

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