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Associate Director of External Affairs | Cheryl Reitan | creitan@d.umn.edu | (218) 726-8996
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May 7, 2002
Susan Beasy Latto, Director of Public Relations 218 726-8830
Mary Dragich, Office of Academic Affairs 218 726-7104


Awards Presented to UMD Faculty
Nine are Honored



Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education
(A University of Minnesota System award)

Tom Isbell, UMD Associate Professor of Theatre

This honor is awarded to exceptional candidates nominated by collegiate units in their quest to identify excellence in undergraduate education.

Tom Isbell, associate professor of theatre, School of Fine Arts is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama. He spent his professional career acting in theatre, film and TV, working opposite Robert DeNiro, Ed Harris, Helen Hunt, Lynn Redgrave, Rosemary Harris, Hal Holbrook, Anne Bancroft, Sarah Jessica Parker, and others. He has written three one-person plays, including ME & JFK, which he performed on New York's 42nd Street, in Los Angeles, in Cairo, Egypt, and at UMD. Mr. Isbell co wrote DEAR FINDER, a play about the Holocaust, with seven students. He directed that play and THE MOVIE GAME, written by UMD alum Adam Hummel, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. With novelist and UMD English Professor Joe Maiolo, he co-wrote THE MAN WHO MOVED A MOUNTAIN, which received its premiere in Floyd, Virginia, this past month. A member of the UMD theatre faculty since 1994, Tom has been an associate professor at UMD since 1999.

University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) Awards:

Jean G. Blehart Distinguished Teaching Award

Kang Ling James, UMD Professor of Mathematics & Statistics

This honor is given each year to a faculty member who has made contributions to the teaching mission of UMD that are of extraordinary quality.

Dr. James has an impressive record of teaching, advising, and leadership. She has sponsored ten Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) students, directed 19 Masters degree projects, and supported five students on her grants. Kang has been active in curriculum development through introducing new courses and redesigning existing courses. Students find Dr. James to be an excellent instructor and a caring advisor. She is respected by students and colleagues alike.

Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award

Ron Caple, UMD Professor of Chemistry

This honor is given each semester to recognize the research contributions of a UMD faculty member and to provide opportunities to present developing research to a broad UMD audience.

Professor Ron Caple received the fifth Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Research May 1, 2002. A distinguished scholar in the field of organic synthesis, Ron came to UMD as an assistant professor (1965-1969). He became an associate professor in 1969 and a full professor in 1973. Ron has an impressive publication record and has received substantial grant funding in support of his research. Professor Caple has one of the longest on-going research efforts at UMD. Since 1974, he has spent 17 months as a visiting professor at the Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry in Moscow and has held visiting professor appointments at Moscow State University. He has also participated in efforts sponsored by the Fulbright Foundation to develop academic ties with Vietnam and unofficial efforts to do the same with Cuba. Dr. Caple received the UMD Outstanding Teacher award in 1968 and 1978, and won the University of Minnesota's highest teaching award, the Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Undergraduate Education Award, in 1970. He mentored the first student in the UMD chemistry Master's program in 1965 and he has mentored at least one undergraduate student in his lab every year since.

Outstanding Faculty Adviser Awards

The Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award is given each year to five faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding service to their students.

Thomas Duff, UMD professor of finance and management information sciences, School of Business and Economics

Frank Guldbrandsen, UMD associate professor of education, College of Education and Human Service Professions

Keith Lodge, UMD associate professor of chemical engineering, College of Science and Engineering

William Payne, UMD associate professor of theatre, School of Fine Arts

Gerald Pepper, UMD associate professor of communication, College of Liberal Arts

Albert Tezla Teacher/Scholar Award

Leif Brush, UMD Professor of Art

This award is given annually to a faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Fine Arts who has an exceptional and effective teaching style that emphasizes the worth of research in a learned discipline and the maturing impact scholarly activity has on the development of human attitudes and values.

Professor Brush has been a faculty member at UMD since 1976. His bachelor's and M.F.A. degrees are from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. He has a substantial record of scholarly and creative work, and is the past recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts individual artists' fellowships and a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship. Student letters in support of his nomination for the Tezla Award demonstrate his effectiveness in emphasizing the value of research and creativity in his teaching and his inspiring students to seek new boundaries in their artistic endeavors.

The awards were presented at the all-campus reception held April 30.




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