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MU Professor Awarded 2010 Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence

April 5th, 2010

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217,
Anand Prahlad, associate professor in the department of English in the MU College of Arts and Science

Anand Prahlad, associate professor in the department of English in the MU College of Arts and Science

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton and Commerce Bank Chairman Jim Schatz of Commerce Bank today awarded one of the 2010 William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence to Anand Prahlad, a professor in the department of English in the MU College of Arts and Science.

Deaton, Schatz and a group of professors, administrators and staff surprised  Prahlad by honoring 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.

EDITOR’S NOTE:                                              

Please see attached biography for details about Prahlad.

Anand Prahlad, Professor of English

Anand Prahlad, who began working at MU in 1991, challenges students to reflect and critique every aspect of his classes. Prahlad teaches creative writing, folklore, Africana literature and film studies and specializes in contemporary poetry, “folkloristics” – which is the study of folklore, and culture studies of the African Diaspora.

“He works hard to make the classroom a space where all students can be assured that their perspectives are valued,” said Patricia Okker, chair and professor in the Department of English. “Another key to his success is a remarkable talent for keeping the entire class connected to the subject matter and to the classroom community.”

Prahlad has served as director for students in the summer McNair Scholars Program and directed honors theses, master’s theses and dissertations.

“He understands that, often times, mitigating circumstances can affect a student’s academic performance and that, during these times, a student can often benefit from introspection and self evaluation rather than more invasive or critical advising,” said Constance Bailey, a former student.

Prahlad combines popular culture, knowledgeable sources, an ability to put a situation into historical context, and various theoretical lenses to increase student interest and understanding.

“By asking challenging, thought-provoking questions, he encourages his students to reflect on their own preconceptions and beliefs,” said Tasha Moon, a former student. “There is not a single student that he does not notice and prod for participation and thought. There is no student who is overlooked or denied extra attention or information.”

Prahlad received his doctorate from the University of California in Los Angeles in 1991.