The William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence recognizes outstanding MU professors every spring. Recipients were presented a check for $10,000 by interim Chancellor Hank Foley and Jim Schatz, the trustee for the William T. Kemper Foundation.
The award was started in 1991 by the foundation with a gift of $500,000. The 2016 winners are being announced this week.
Earnest Perry, associate professor and associate dean for graduate studies at the School of Journalism, was awarded one of five 2016 William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence. Perry has been a faculty member since 2003. According to an MU News Bureau news release, He was a key player in transforming two foundation journalism courses that address issues like race and gender through new lecture techniques and discussion groups. He also helped implement the Development of Future Faculty Teaching Program in 2006, which helps prepare doctoral students to become future teachers. Perry is the advisor of MU’s National Association of Black Journalists chapter and a member of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. He is also the co-editor of the new textbook “Cross-Cultural Journalism: Communicating Strategically About Diversity.” Perry received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas Christian University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from MU.
Associate teaching professor of biological sciences Sarah Bush has been awarded one of five 2016 William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence. She teaches two general education courses in the College of Arts and Science and has been a faculty member since 2001. According to an MU News Bureau news release, Bush has received positive feedback on her teaching style from students that have taken her courses, many of whom have very little science background. John Walker, Curators Professor and Director of the Division of Biological Sciences, stated that her evaluation courses are above average compared to the scores of similar courses. Bush has received many other distinctions, including the 2015 Ernest L. Boyer International Award for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology. She received her bachelor’s degree in animal behavior from Bucknell University and her doctorate in biology from University of East Anglia in Norwich, England.
Alexandra Socarides is known for inspiring people and taking time to help her students, according to the news release. She joined the english department in 2007 and has taught many graduate and undergraduate courses in American literature and poetry since. she had her first book, “Dickinson Unbound: Paper, Process, Poetics,” published in 2012. She is now working on her second book, “Conventions of Erasure,” which discusses all the other nineteenth-century American poets that Emily Dickinson eclipsed. She earned her PhD in 2007 from Rutgers University and her MFA in 1999 from Sarah Lawrence College.
Mary Beck works in the classroom as a professor in MU’s law school and in the field as director of the Family Violence Program, a clinic that serves victims of family violence who cannot afford legal representation. She founded the program in 1993, the same year she started working at MU. According to the news release, her teaching philosophy is made up of four parts for students: solving authentic client problems, advancing social justice, collaborating with other disciplines and assuming leadership roles.