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MU Professor Awarded 2011 Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence

April 8th, 2011

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

By Brad Fischer

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Deputy Chancellor Mike Middleton and Commerce Bank Chairman Jim Schatz of Commerce Bank today awarded one of the 2011 William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence to Deborah Hanuscin, an associate professor of science education in the MU College of Education and associate professor of physics in the MU College of Arts and Science.

Middleton, Schatz and a group of professors, administrators and staff surprised Hanuscin by honoring her 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.

Deborah Hanuscin Bio

Deborah Hanuscin, an associate professor of physics and education since 2004, believes in the principle of learning: not for school, but for life. She teaches science as more than a list of facts, but rather something students should see in everyday life. Hanuscin instructs future educators on how to teach science, a subject that many fear prior to taking her course.

“Dr. Hanuscin challenges us to step outside of our comfort zones,” said Haley Woods, a former student. “She encourages us to take part in new experiences and opportunities that push our boundaries and stimulate our professional development.”

As part of that mission, Hanuscin serves as an adviser to the MU chapter of the National Science Teachers Association. She has helped students organize community outreach events and increase membership.

Hanuscin has received several campus teaching awards including the College of Education’s Outstanding Undergraduate Instructor of the Year and the Provost’s Oustanding Junior Faculty Teaching Award. From 2005 to 2007, Hanuscin received the “High Flyer” award from the College of Education for outstanding course evaluation scores.

“She is indeed an outstanding educator in a field where there is a great need for outstanding teachers,” said Daniel Clay, dean of the College of Education. “Without a doubt, the youth of the future will benefit greatly from the impact she is having on our future educators.”

Hanuscin holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. She earned a master’s degree and doctoral degree from Indiana University.