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Distinguished, endowed faculty honored

April 17th, 2008

President James Ramsey and University Provost Shirley Willihnganz recognized University of Louisville’s distinguished faculty April 16 at the annual Celebration of Faculty Excellence.

“Our faculty members are our partners — key players in our quest to become a preeminent metropolitan research university,” Ramsey said.

“As you our faculty members strive for and achieve professional excellence, you raise the bar for the whole university,” he told them.

Faculty received recognition in these categories:

President’s Distinguished Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching; Outstanding Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity; and Service

President’s Exemplary Multicultural Teaching Award

Newly endowed chairs and professors

President’s Distinguished Faculty Awards

Research, Basic and Applied Sciences


Mariusz Ratajczak

Mariusz Ratajczak, James Graham Brown Cancer Center
Ratajczak came to UofL in 2001 to develop the stem cell biology program. An NIH-funded researcher, for the past 25 years he has worked to develop new concepts in bone marrow transplantation that have helped increase scientists’ understanding of what causes leukemia and other blood cancers. His contributions have the potential to help millions of patients with cancer and autoimmune disease. Most recently, he received international recognition for his discovery of very small embryonic-like stem cells. These cells are drawn from adult bone marrow and appear to mimic the ability of stem cells to multiply and develop into other kinds of cells. His colleagues credit him with significantly advancing his field of research by bringing to his work a unique combination of basic science and clinical knowledge. He has published extensively. Ratajczak, the Henry M. and Stella M. Hoenig Endowed Chair, also is recognized this year as a newly appointed endowed faculty member.

Research, Social Sciences


Richard Tewksbury

Richard Tewksbury, College of Arts and Sciences
Tewksbury has been at UofL since 1991. His research encompasses a broad range of topics, but is centered in institutional corrections; sex offenders and sex offender criminal justice policy; and sex, gender and sexuality. He has published extensively on all three issues and is credited with advancing the knowledge base across the related social science disciplines of criminal justice, criminology and sociology. Tewksbury’s work has tremendous policy implications. He serves as the research director for the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission and has been community policing adviser for the Louisville Division of Police.


Barbara Wheeler

Barbara Wheeler, School of Music
Wheeler came to UofL in 2000 to establish the music therapy program. Active in music therapy since 1969, her career continues to encompass teaching; clinical work; and research, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Her recent research topics include the effects of music therapy on people with brain injuries, the music therapist’s experience of pleasure in working with children and aspects of music therapy practicum experiences. Wheeler edited two books on music therapy research that have been recognized internationally for their groundbreaking contributions. She also coauthored a clinical training guide for students and has written a number of articles and chapters on music therapy.

Research, Creative and Performing Arts


Bruce Heim

Bruce Heim, School of Music
Heim came to UofL in 1999. He is UofL’s horn professor and a member of the group Sonus Brass. Colleagues herald as groundbreaking his research into the complex and often misunderstood realm of intonation and credit him with revolutionizing the way in which horn players address their instruments. Heim’s priorities have been research, education and pursuing the greatest form of creativity: an educated, passionate musicality, both for himself and for his students. He has an international reputation as a performer and teacher and has performed in Italy, Germany, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Venezuela and throughout the United States.

Research, Career Achievement


James Wittliff

James Wittliff, James Graham Brown Cancer Center
Wittliff came to UofL in 1976. He was instrumental in establishing the Brown Cancer Center and is founder and director of the Hormone Receptor Laboratory. He co-founded the Institute for Molecular Diversity and Drug Design and is its interim director. Wittliff’s research has focused on the role of hormones and their receptors in cell physiology, biochemistry and human disease. His work has had direct implications for breast cancer treatment and he developed the original FDA-approved kits for assessing hormone receptors in biopsies. His laboratory in the Brown Cancer Center was designated the National Reference Facility for performing QA surveys of receptor testing for historical clinical trials in North America.

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Distinguished Service to UofL


Joe Steffen

Joe Steffen, College of Arts and Sciences
Steffen, associate professor of biology and an associate in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, came to UofL in 1986. He serves as assistant chair and director of graduate studies in biology. Within the College of Arts and Sciences, he has served on committees for planning and budget and for technology and facilities. He served UofL as a member of the Ideas to Action Quality Enhancement Plan Committee during the recent Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation and continues to serve on the Graduate Council. He is a six-term member of the Faculty Senate and serves on its Planning and Budget and Executive committees. He is vice chair of the Institutional Biohazards Committee and is a member of the Provosts’ Program Review Committee.

Service to the Profession


Mehmet Kantardzic

Mehmet Kantardzic, Speed School of Engineering
Kantardzic is a professor in the Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science. He also is director of the Data Mining Lab, co-director of the Data Mining Graduate Certificate Program and coordinator for Computer Science and Engineering doctoral and Computer Engineering and Computer Science master’s programs. Kantardzic’s field is data mining and computational learning, a branch of computer science that has grown tremendously in the last decade and is used in human genome mapping and other medical areas, astrophysical and cosmological surveys, physical and social sciences. In addition to his work with students and as a top researcher in the field, he has chaired numerous conferences to bring together members of the field and others and served as editor for several international journals. Kantardzic has worked tirelessly to shape and promote his field’s rapid progress and growth.

Service to the Community, Commonwealth and Region


John Jones

John Jones, School of Music
Jones came to UofL in 1993 as a professor of tuba and euphonium. Jones regularly volunteers in area school music programs to provide coaching and other mentoring services to students. He has organized and participated in local music ventures, including being conductor and music director of the Derby City Brass Band and having served as associate conductor of the Commonwealth Brass Band, co-director of the Floyd County (Ind.) Youth Orchestra and co-director of the United Negro College Fund Benefit Orchestra. He also serves as interim director of the choir at St. John Lutheran Church in Louisville.


Nancy Potter

Nancy Potter, College of Arts and Sciences
Potter came to UofL in 1995. She is an associate professor in the Department of Philosophy; a core faculty member of the Interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree in bioethics; and honors adviser of Phi Sigma Tau, the local chapter of the national philosophy honors society. Potter serves on several local hospital ethics boards, helping health care workers and families work through ethical issues; on the health care team of UofL Emergency Psychiatric Services; and as president of the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry. She is a facilitator on the National Board Meeting of the National Down Syndrome Society and runs an off-campus town-and-gown community reading group.

Career of Service


Bill Morison

Bill Morison, University Libraries
Morison came to UofL in 1969. He has appointments in both the history department and in the University Archives and Records Center. In 1973 Morison helped establish the University Archives. He serves as the first and, so far, only university archivist. He played a principal or supporting role in the acquisition of many primary historical research collections, manuscripts and archives. In 1976 he established UofL’s records management program and was appointed director of the University Archives and Records Center. He began UofL’s open records compliance and FERPA compliance programs in 1978 and for more than 30 years has served as the university’s open records officer and FERPA compliance officer. His past service includes being on the State Archives and Records Commission and the Kentucky Historical Records Advisory Board. He chairs the University Awards and Designations and the University Student Records committees.

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Full-time Teaching


Paul Griner

Paul Griner, College of Arts and Science
Griner, director of creative writing, came to UofL in 1996. As a teacher, he wrote, he’d rather encourage than compel - push, not force. Griner is not afraid to try a new approach in the classroom when students don’t respond. He said he strives to “be the kind of teacher who listens and learns.” Students credit him with taking their work seriously and treating it with respect. The author of two novels and one collection of short stories, Griner’s work also has been published in magazines and journals such as Story, Playboy, Bomb, Ploughshares, Zoetrope and America West and in publications in Italy, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, France and India.


Amy Hirschy

Amy Hirschy, College of Education and Human Development
Hirschy came to UofL in 2004. She is an assistant professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology and the Department of Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Human Resource Education. She serves as program coordinator for the College Student Personnel program. On teaching: “I always hold hope for my students that throughout their academic programs, they learn enough about themselves, student affairs in particular, and higher education in general to assess the degree of fit that they experience with a career in college administration. If they pursue the profession, I hope they graduate as committed, independent thinkers, passionate about providing transformational leadership in postsecondary education for future generations. We will need them.”


Monica Ann Shaw

Monica Ann Shaw, School of Medicine
Shaw joined the faculty of UofL in 1999. She is associate professor of medicine and chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine, Palliative Medicine and Medical Education. She works with students during their hospital clinical rotations. Her teaching philosophy is that “every learner and every patient deserve the very best I can offer, every day.” She believes that, “by maintaining a patient, cheerful and empathetic demeanor, I model the desired attitudes and behaviors that students will only learn by watching and practicing in the stressful environment of inpatient clinical rotation.” Her teaching style, wrote one former student, benefits learners at all different levels.


Larry Tyler

Larry Tyler, Speed School of Engineering
Tyler came to UofL in 1963. A professor of engineering fundamentals and an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, he has taught more than 30 different courses in the areas of engineering mathematics and mechanical, industrial, chemical and civil engineering. He has created innovative instructional methodologies for core engineering mathematics courses, including early detection of prerequisite weaknesses. He attributed his success to supportive administrators at critical times and his ability to integrate sound teaching principles with the latest technology without getting caught up in fads. His teaching philosophy is “student and content centered,” and he seeks to instill the qualities of desire, determination and dedication in his students because “success in any endeavor requires all three.”

Part-time Teaching


Shannon Dehn

Shannon Dehn, College of Arts and Sciences
Dehn has taught part-time in the English department since 1992. He has taught basic composition classes, including Honors English, and usually teaches English 306, Professional Business Writing. Dehn said his teaching philosophy has changed over time. “Someone once said that ’a classroom filled with only the teacher’s voice is a curse to learning.’ I believe this to be true. It is necessary to create an environment where students know that their ideas and opinions are valued. The teacher must rely upon a variety of pedagogic techniques to be effective.” Dehn said he encourages students to assume responsibility for their learning. His aim is to provide them the necessary materials to help them in their cognitive development and prepare them to achieve their life’s goals.

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President’s Exemplary Multicultural Teaching Award

The multicultural teaching award recognizes faculty for demonstrated excellence in teaching and scholarship through the use of teaching strategies and practices that empower learning styles of all students from diverse global perspectives, language construction and disabilities styles; culturally pluralistic and socially constructed ideals; and course content and processes that incorporate multicultural and global perspectives.


Ede Warner

Ede Warner, College of Arts and Sciences
Warner came to UofL as director of debate and an assistant professor in communication in 1993. He has participated in interscholastic policy debate for 30 years. While the goal of most debate programs is competitive success, in 2000 Warner created a non-competitive mission statement for the Louisville program: “to increase representation of marginalized groups, with a special emphasis on African Americans.” Today the goal is to increase effective decision making in a multicultural society. Warner was named National Coach of the Year in 2004.

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Newly Endowed Faculty

The number of endowed posts at UofL has more than doubled in less than a decade. In 1999 UofL had 54 endowed faculty. Today there are 128. The growth was made possible, Ramsey said, because of the generosity of donors and the highly successful Research Challenge Trust Fund supported by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

“It is this winning combination — our partnering with private and state support to attract eminent scholars to this university — that will ensure our success,” he said.

Newly endowed faculty are:


Brian Edwards

Brian Edwards, Our Highest Potential Visiting Scholars Chair in Pan African Studies, College of Arts and Sciences
Edwards came to UofL in 2007 as associate director of the Center for the Study of Crime and Justice in Black Communities and an assistant professor in the department of Pan African studies. Before joining the faculty he worked as a trial attorney at the public defender’s office and had his own law practice focused on criminal defense. At UofL Edwards will examine root causes and collateral consequences of crime in black communities. His initial focus will be to determine how undiagnosed and untreated mental illness affects the disproportionately high criminal recidivism rates for black males.


Nat Irvin II

Nat Irvin II, Woodrow M. Strickler Chair, College of Business
Irvin came to UofL in 2007. His groundbreaking demographic research has created new paradigms for the future of African Americans in business and has made traditional stereotypes of black consumers obsolete. Among the profiles of emerging archetypes he has identified are “thrivals,” a new breed of forward-thinking, globally tuned African Americans who bring a “no-limits” approach to doing business. In 1996 he founded Future Focus 2020, a non-profit think tank dedicated to examining the impact of upcoming, permanent changes in business, social and economic cultures. He also is a frequent guest commentator on news and issues programming, including National Public Radio broadcasts.


Eugene Mueller

Eugene Mueller, Charles L. Bloch Professorship in Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences
Mueller came to UofL in 2007 and is a member of the Institute for Molecular Diversity and Drug Design. His research interests include the enzymology of RNA modification, sulfur transfer and bio-organic mechanisms. His research group reveals the workings of enzymes that alter RNA, a large molecule essential to every cell. His work also shows how sulfur is incorporated into vitamins and other essential molecules.


George Rodgers Jr.

George Rodgers Jr., Humana Chair in International Pediatrics
Rodgers came to UofL in 1981 as a professor of pediatrics and of pharmacology and toxicology and as medical director for the Kentucky Regional Poison Center. For almost 20 years he worked as a pediatric intensivist at Kosair Children’s Hospital, directing the Division of Pediatric Intensive Care for almost a decade. He is part of a team that provides inpatient care to non-critically ill hospitalized children. He also continues to direct the divisions of International Pediatrics and Pediatric Pharmacology/Toxicology, both of which he founded. Since 1990, Rodgers has been active in international teaching, particularly in Eastern Europe, as part of programs sponsored by the Humana Foundation. His research interests have included pediatric poisoning, poisoning epidemiology and natural product poisoning. He is a former president of the American Association of Poison Control Centers and has served on many national and international committees relating to pediatrics and toxicology.


Lars Smith

Lars Smith, Samuel J. Stallings Professor of Law, Brandeis School of Law
Smith came to UofL in 2000 and will act as director of UofL’s first law clinic during the 2008-09 school year. Smith teaches in the areas of intellectual property, particularly trademark law, and in property and commercial law. His recent work has focused on the challenge of applying existing intellectual property legal structures on new technologies, such as radio frequency identification tracking technology.


Kaila Story

Kaila Story, Audre Lorde Chair in Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality, College of Arts and Sciences
Story came to UofL in 2007. She is an assistant professor in the departments of Women’s & Gender Studies and Pan-African Studies. While at UofL, Story has created four new courses. Her recent publications include a chapter in “Home Girls Make Some Noise: Hip Hop & Feminism,” edited by Aisha S. Durham, Elaine Richardson, Rachel Raimist and Gwendolyn Pough; and an article in the March 2008 special edition of the Journal of Pan-African Studies.


Stuart Williams

Stuart Williams, Jewish Hospital Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Innovation, Cardiovascular Innovation Institute
Williams came to UofL in 2007 as the scientific director of the newly established Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, a partnership between Jewish Hospital and St Mary’s Healthcare and UofL. His research interests have focused on medical devices, regenerative medicine and infection control and he has maintained continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1979. Williams has written more than 300 scientific publications. His work has resulted in 16 issued U.S. patents and numerous patents pending. He has been active in the formation of six biotechnology companies and as a consultant to the medical device and pharmaceutical communities.