Academics and Research

Awards honor outstanding research, teaching and service

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 Wednesday, Oct. 17 in Magness Arena.

The University’s top award for a faculty member is the John Evans Professorship. For 2012–13, the award goes to Howard Markman, a professor in the Department of Psychology and director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies.

For three decades, Markman has conducted ambitious research aimed at predicting and preventing relationship discord and divorce, as well mitigating the effects of conflict and relationship distress on mental health. Over the years, his work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institutes’ of Child Health and Development, the Administration of Children and Families, the National Science Foundation and the Hunt Foundation. Markman is co-author of the best-selling book, Fighting For Your Marriage.

Recently, Markman has spearheaded development of a couples clinic at the Department of Psychology. This therapy service focuses, in part, on helping military couples improve their relationships, which are often challenged by prolonged separations, combat exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder. The clinic offers research-based services that aim to help couples address everything from communication and problem solving to restoring romance and having more fun.

The United Methodist Church University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award goes to Corinne Lengsfeld, professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. The award recognizes dedication to scholarship, the learning arts and the University.

Lengsfeld heads the biofluids laboratory at the University of Denver. Her students join her on a number of important research projects, including efforts to improve pulmonary drug delivery to patients on mechanical ventilators and to develop wearable sensor technologies. She has helped students devise technologies that could improve life for the aging and sick. For example, under her supervision, one student developed shoe-mounted sensors to monitor weight distribution and gait. The information gleaned from this devise could prevent falls or alert doctors to circulatory problems.

David Thomson, a senior lecturer in the Sturm College of Law, is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

A favorite with Sturm College students, Thomson teaches Lawyering Process, which provides an introduction to the basic skills that all lawyers must have. He also teaches an upper-level elective that focuses on the law and procedure of the discovery period in litigation, where parties exchange information about their cases. He is also the author of Law School 2.0: Legal Education for a Digital Age (LexisNexis/Matthew Bender, 2009).

Thomson also shares his insights and knowledge with the law community through his blog, Law School 2.0. The blog reflects on issues involving administrative law, law education and the legal process.

The University recognizes creative contributions and scholarly work by naming a University Lecturer. Tom Farer, former dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, has been named University Lecturer for 2012–13.

Author and editor of many articles and books about human rights, politics, and international law, Farer is the former president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (OAS), the first American ever to head a principal organ of the OAS.

Within the U.S. government, Farer has served as special assistant to the general counsel of the Department of Defense and to the assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs.

Professor Paul Rullkoetter of the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering is recipient of the 2012­–13 Distinguished Scholar Award. This award celebrates significant achievement in professional scholarship, as evidenced by publications and their effect on classroom teaching.

Rullkoetter’s research, based out of the Center for Orthopaedic Biomechanics and conducted in his computational biomechanics lab, involves the virtual prototyping of medical devices to look at joint and implant performance. The goal is to create design-phase tools to ensure safe joint replacements.

The 2012–13 Ruth Murray Underhill Teaching Award goes to Randel Lewis with the Reiman School of Finance at the Daniels College of Business. This award recognizes excellence in teaching by an adjunct faculty member.

Lewis brings to the classroom his extensive experience in developing and managing successful business solutions in highly contested environments. He serves regularly as a court-appointed receiver, liquidating trustee, turnaround advisor, expert witness and mediator in distressed business situations.

Professor Robert Dores of the Department of Biological Sciences has been awarded the Faculty Service Award, which recognizes outstanding service to the University, the community and the profession.

A member of the University community since 1985, Dores served as chair of the biological sciences department for more than 15 years. He also has served on any number of faculty-governance committees.

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