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MU Professor Awarded 2008 Kemper Fellowship

April 2, 2008

Story Contact:  Emily Smith, (573) 882-3346,

COLUMBIA, Mo. - University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton and Chairman Jim Schatz of Commerce Bank today awarded one of the 2008 William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence to Anand Chandrasekhar, associate professor of biological sciences.

Deaton, Schatz and a group of professors, administrators and staff paid a surprise visit to Chandrasekhar's classroom to honor him with the Fellowship, which includes a $10,000 award. Fellowships are awarded to five outstanding teachers at the University of Missouri each year.

The William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence were established in 1991 with a $500,000 gift. Kemper, a 1926 MU graduate, was a well-known civic leader in Kansas City until his death in 1989. His 52-year career in banking included top positions at banks in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. Commerce Bank manages the trust fund.


Please see attached biography for details about Chandrasekhar. 

Anand Chandrasekhar, associate professor of biological sciences

In the ten years that Anand Chandrasekhar has been at MU, he has developed a reputation of excellence for his teaching, advising and research. At the graduate level, Chandrasekhar teaches developmental genetics, a course that he created. He also team-teaches a neuroscience course and a molecular biology course.

One of his greatest skills is teaching cell biology, a course that is described as a cornerstone of the department's undergraduate core curriculum.

"For many of our students it is the hardest part of the core, and for many of our faculty it has been the hardest course to teach," said John David, director of the Division of Biological Sciences. "Anand’s performance in cell biology has, in marked contrast, been spectacular, whether measured by scores on student evaluations, by written comments or by peer evaluations."

"Dr. Anand Chandrasekhar is a one-of-a-kind teacher that an undergraduate can only hope to be lucky enough to have as a teacher," said a former student of Chandrasekhar’s cell biology course. "His genuine care and outstanding teaching qualities continue to amaze me on a daily basis."

Chandrasekhar engages students through critical thinking and visual stimulation.  He makes it a goal to have lectures be an enjoyable experience by infiltrating humor and appropriate "down time."

"One of Dr. Chandrasekhar's most wonderful characteristics is that he sees a potential greatness in all of his students, and he empowers them to fulfill their aspirations," said Neesann Puangsuvan, a medical student and former student of Chandrasekhar. 

Chandrasekhar received his bachelor's and his master's degree at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, India, and he received his doctorate at the University of Iowa.