The University of Denver prizes research that benefits the public good and teaching that transforms the lives of students. Purposeful research and inspired teaching are celebrated each year with an awards presentation at the fall Convocation ceremony, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 3, in Magness Arena.
The University’s top award for a faculty member is the John Evans Professorship. For 2013–14, the award goes to Kimon Valavanis, chair of DU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and head of the DU Unmanned Systems Research Institute. The goal of the institute is to provide research and guidance on the incorporation of unmanned aircraft systems into the national air space as mandated by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. The institute has become an established partner with several regional economic development agencies that comprise Colorado Space Coalition, a group working to develop Colorado’s Front Range Airport as one of the country’s first spaceports.
Valavanis also created new undergraduate and PhD programs in mechatronic systems engineering, leading to a BSEE-MSE degree — the only such degree in the U.S.
Artur Poczwardowski, associate professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSPP), will receive the Distinguished Teaching Award. Poczwardowski is on the faculty at GSPP’s sport and performance psychology department and Center for Performance Excellence. His publications and professional presentations focus on sport psychology service delivery for performance enhancement and psychological well-being, coach-athlete relationships and coping strategies in elite performers. Since 1991, he has consulted with individual athletes and teams in sports including tennis, golf, soccer, ice hockey, track and field, air pistol shooting and speed skating. At the elite level, he worked with the Polish national judo team at the 1992 Olympics and the St. Lawrence University Division I women’s hockey team. Earlier this year he was a keynote speaker at the International Society of Sports Psychology World Congress in Beijing, China.
Donald Bacon, professor of marketing at the Daniels College of Business, is the recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award. Bacon applies psychometric theory and multivariate statistics to such problems as customer satisfaction and lifetime value, how students perform in groups, the assessment of written communication skills and how long students retain what they have learned — leading to changes in the way final exams are conducted at the Daniels College. He also has extensive industry experience, actively consulting in the area of survey research methods. Bacon has worked as a financial analyst for Intel Corp. and as a product engineer for Steelcase Inc.
Mathematics Professor Michael Kinyon will receive the United Methodist Church, University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award. A well-rounded mathematician with research interests and accomplishments spanning diverse areas, Kinyon is the author of nearly 60 articles, six of which appeared last year. He has attained near perfect scores in his student evaluations on every quarter for every course he has taught.
Robert McGahey, an adjunct professor at the Sturm College of Law, will receive the Ruth Murray Underhill Teaching Award. A Denver District Court judge since January 2000, McGahey was a practicing trial lawyer for more than 25 years, during which time he tried more than 100 jury trials. He has served as an instructor for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy at the Rocky Mountain and Southern Deposition Programs, the Rocky Mountain Regional Trial Program, the Rocky Mountain Children’s Advocacy Program and the U.S. Tax Court Program.
Ved Nanda, international law professor at the Sturm College of Law, will receive the Faculty Service Award. Nanda has taught at the University of Denver since 1965 and is the namesake of the Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law. He is past president of the World Jurist Association (and now its honorary president), former honorary vice president of the American Society of International Law and a member of the advisory council of the United States Institute of Human Rights. He formerly was the U.S. delegate to the World Federation of the United Nations Associations, Geneva, and vice chair of its executive council, and he served on the board of directors of the United Nations Association-USA. He also serves as an elected member of the American Law Institute and as a council member for the American Bar Association Section of International Law.
The Convocation ceremony also honors staff members; this year’s honorees are Cheryl Jackson, administrative and budget coordinator in the Office of Teaching and Learning, who will receive the Outstanding Service Award; and Cathy Grieve, executive director of conferences, events and special programs in the Office of Special Community Programs, recipient of the Crimson and Gold Award.
The Office of Career Services will take home the Quality Department Award.