University presents top research, teaching and engagement awards
Lincoln, Neb. - University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken today announced the 2007 winners of the university’s most prestigious awards for research, teaching and engagement.

“Each year we recognize faculty whose research and teaching is judged by their peers to be of the highest quality,” Milliken said. “It is a welcome reminder that the University of Nebraska has some of the best faculty anywhere, and that we consider it important to recognize and honor excellence in their work.”


Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award (ORCA): recognizes individual faculty members for research and creative activity of international or national significance

Dr. Alexander V. Kabanov, Ph.D., Professor and Parke-Davis Chair in Pharmaceutics, University of Nebraska Medical Center

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Dr. Kabanov is an internationally recognized leader and innovator in nanotechnology and drug delivery systems whose distinguished work and extraordinary scientific accomplishments have brought world-wide recognition to colleagues and collaborators, and to the University of Nebraska. He is an inspiring educator and a high caliber scientist whose major research endeavors include work to wed polymer chemistry and the life sciences with medicine – for application in the treatment, prevention and diagnosis of disease.


Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award (OTICA): recognizes individual faculty members for sustained records of excellence in teaching

Dr. Valerie Cisler, D.M.A., Professor of Music and Chair of Department of Music and Performing Arts, University of Nebraska at Kearney

Dr. Paul Larsen, Professor of Pediatrics and Neurological Sciences, Division Chief of Pediatric Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Nebraska College of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. Cisler was nominated for her quality teaching expertise in the fields of both piano performance and pedagogy. She has raised the level of distinction at UNK by: developing extensive curriculum in piano pedagogy, publishing seven books which are used and distributed internationally, and helping to establish a Music Pedagogy Resource Center at UNK. Her excellence in teaching is reflected in the success of her students, young motivated musicians who excel in performance and scholarship, and who are consistently selected for prestigious placement.
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Dr. Larsen will be honored for his work as an outstanding physician and neurologist, clinician, researcher and exceptional teacher. He has lectured and given presentations internationally, bringing acclaim to UNMC. However, he also inspires and engages students. He has produced a quality series of Pediatric Neurology video lectures, and has developed an internationally renowned Web site for neurology students and practicing physicians.

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“We have a long-standing tradition of honoring excellence in research and teaching,” Milliken said. “The University’s third mission – of outreach and engagement – is critically important to Nebraska, and our faculty have a direct impact on the economic, cultural and educational life of the state. This award will recognize excellence in their endeavors.”

Innovation, Development and Entrepreneurship Award (IDEA), a new honor, recognizes faculty excellence in engagement and outreach for faculty who extend their academic expertise beyond traditional university boundaries in ways that enrich the broader community

Dr. Steven Hinrichs, Professor and Director of Microbiology and Virology Laboratory, Department of Pathology and Microbiology; Vice Chair of Research and Development, University of Nebraska Medical Center; Director of the University of Nebraska Center for Biosecurity

Dr. Hinrichs will be honored for expertise that has extended beyond the traditional boundaries of the University, strengthening Nebraska’s public health system and making the state a national model for biosecurity and bioterrism preparedness. He helped develop the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory as a joint effort between UNMC and the Nebraska Department of Health, led the formation and is now director of the NU Center for Biosecurity, and has been a key participant in the Mid American Alliance and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Award recipients, who will be honored at an April 23 luncheon in Omaha, are selected by a committee of outstanding peers. The ORCA originated in 1978, the OTICA in 1992 and the IDEA in 2006.

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