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MU Professor Awarded 2012 Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence

April 9th, 2012

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

By Jerett Rion

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton and Commerce Bank Chairman Jim Schatz of Commerce Bank today awarded one of the 2012 William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence to Carol Deakyne, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry in MU College of Arts and Science.

Deaton, Schatz and a group of professors, administrators and staff surprised Deakyne by honoring her with the Fellowship, which includes a $10,000 check. Kemper 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.

Carol Deakyne

Carol Deakyne, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Science since 2003, has a gift for making chemistry seem less intimidating. During her time at MU, Deaknye has used a combination of encouragement and support to develop her reputation for excellence in teaching. She is described as a dedicated, positive and compassionate teacher who is willing to go out of her way to see her students succeed.

“She would help with problems outside of her office hours, and was happy to make special arrangements to ensure that everyone had plenty of time to complete assignments and exams.” Corey Dye, a former student, said.

Deakyne believes it is important to establish a relationship with each class in order to foster a relaxed and effective learning environment. She discourages memorization, instead urging students to focus on the process of concepts and to feel comfortable approaching her with any questions.

“I have learned much from Dr. Deakyne’s teaching style and the way she interacts with her students, making the effort to include everyone,” Dustin Demoin, a former student of Deakyne and current chemistry graduate student at MU, said. “She is consistently pushing me to grow and motivating me to do more than I thought I could.”

“Carol has been a truly outstanding research mentor,” said Jerry Atwood, Curators’ Professor and chair of the chemistry department at MU. “Her patience and willingness to spend countless hours working with undergraduate and graduate students are unmatched in the department.”

Deakyne received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Rider College, a master’s degree in chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University and a doctoral degree in chemistry from Princeton University.