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MU Professor Awarded 2011 Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence

April 4th, 2011

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217,

By Brad Fischer

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton and Commerce Bank Chairman Jim Schatz of Commerce Bank today awarded one of the 2011 William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence to Mike McKean, an associate professor of convergence journalism in the MU School of Journalism.

Deaton, Schatz and a group of professors, administrators and staff surprised McKean 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.

Mike McKean

Mike McKean has been an integral part of the MU School of Journalism faculty for 25 years. As the media landscape has changed, McKean’s teaching philosophy has not. McKean believes in giving his students as much time and attention as possible and that students learn through experience.

Six years ago, McKean created the Convergence Journalism Emphasis Area in the School of Journalism. Students who enroll in the emphasis area gain skills working with different types of media, including radio, websites and television. Currently, McKean teaches the convergence journalism capstone course. He has advised more than 75 teams of seniors as they develop real-world multimedia projects.

McKean has created real-world, high profile opportunities for students. He has created competitions, where students design applications for industry-leading corporate partners, such as Apple, Adobe, Google and the Hearst Corporation. He pushes students to succeed and play a part in the transformation of media.

Previously, McKean has received several teaching awards including the MU Faculty-Alumni Award and the MU Innovator Award for Advanced Teaching with Technology.

“To get to know Mike is to learn about his endless devotion to the growth of the students in his classes and growth of his industry through real-world applications,” said Tony Brown, a member of the winning team of the first iPhone mobile application contest. “He is a kind, passionate, brave and boundless educator with the ability to painlessly prod students toward their best work.”

McKean received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and a master of arts in political science from Rice University.