The Stearns Award was initiated in 1953, the year of the resignation of Robert L. Stearns (A&S’14) as the sixth president of the University. He had presided over CU since 1939. The award recognizes members of the faculty and staff for extraordinary achievement or service in any one or combination of the following areas: teaching, service to the University, work with students, research or off-campus service. Award winners receive a medal.
Kathy Escamilla has dedicated three decades to studying, educating and advocating for America’s bilingual students, and today ranks among the nation’s foremost scholars of bilingual education.
“Her work has led to shifts in the way teachers view the potential of their students and the value of knowing how to read and write in two languages,” said a school principal familiar with her work.
A CU professor of education since 1998, Kathy is especially interested in the development of bilingualism and biliteracy in the early elementary grades for Spanish-speaking minority populations in U.S. schools.
Eschewing traditional reading approaches for bilingual students, she focuses on the cultural and linguistic resources available to each child and evaluates them on their progress in both languages to better help them develop reading and writing skills in each.
Kathy is no ivory-tower dreamer: She takes pains to help apply her academic research findings in the real world. In 2004, she helped conceive the Literacy Squared initiative for advancing biliteracy programs for emerging bilingual students in U.S. schools, for example. She’s also advised the Colorado Department of Education and its Office of Civil Rights.
Kathy’s students at CU applaud her for fostering a sense of community in classes and addressing topics that are relevant, significant and sometimes controversial.
Said a peer:
“I will consider myself to be a successful scholar, friend, mentor and human being if I can live up to even half of what Dr. Escamilla has meant to her students, colleagues, friends and family.”
Jim White is a trailblazing research scientist who couples deep expertise with broad interests and further distinguishes himself as an amiable colleague, first-rate administrator, generous mentor and gifted teacher — a serious man of science who leavens his lectures with humor, promotes discussion and listens as well as enlightens.
As director of the Institute of Artic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) and professor of geological sciences and environmental studies, Jim is a hugely prominent figure in the study of Earth and its environment. His scholarship has (for example) deepened our understanding of the global carbon cycle, reconstructed ancient environments and illuminated the degree to which plants can absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide.
A solid citizen of CU Boulder, he launched the Environmental Studies Program, has guided faculty searches inside the sciences and out and earned a reputation for sound judgment and cool-headedness. He also led development of the campus’ new Sustainability, Energy and Environment Complex.
“He is the faculty member we should all aspire to be,” one colleague said.
Despite Jim’s exalted stature among researchers, he routinely teaches undergraduate courses, including “Introduction to Environmental Studies,” and speaks at middle and high schools, public libraries and retirement homes.
“In the midst of the hard work and sobering science of climate change research,” said a former student, “his positive attitude and easy laugh reminded me that it is also fun to be able to learn something new about the natural world.”
Jim believes some questions may lie beyond the grasp of science. He’s active in his church and in the Lutheran Campus Ministry — an “encouraging,” “approachable” and “humane” person who happens to be “one of the brightest researchers around.”
Adam Bradley began his literary career at 19 years old as an assistant to John Callahan, the editor of renowned author Ralph Ellison.
In 1984, David Plati (Jour’82) was named one of CU’s sports information directors, and at the time he was hired, he was the youngest person to be honored with this position in the country.
Steven Pollock takes a scholarly approach to teaching and learning.
Leonard Baca is professor of education and director of the BUENO Center for Multicultural Education, which trains teachers and does research and community outreach in the areas of bilingual and multicultural education.
Bruce Jakosky has a special place in his heart for Mars.
Paul Mintken grew up in Boulder and received his masters and doctorate degrees in physical therapy from the University of Colorado Denver. In 1994, he began working as a physical therapist at Wardenburg Health Center (WHC) at CU Boulder treating students, faculty and staff.
CU Boulder learned something in 1996 — if you have a job that needs to get done with competence, professionalism and zeal, you’d be well-served to hire Maren Additon.
You could say Daniel Sher hit all the right notes during his 20-year tenure as the Dean of the College of Music at CU Boulder. A true virtuoso of music administration. No doubt, his accomplishments have been music to all of our ears.
Clearly the past recipients of this award have helped make this university what it is. But when it comes to literally making the school what it is, Ryan Chreist (Kines’96, MPubAf’09) has special claim.
Soon after Lorrie Shepard (MEdu’70, PhD’72) received her doctorate in research and evaluation methodology from CU Boulder’s School of Education in 1972, she began work as a measurement researcher.
Today a child in a distant land you’ll likely never meet had clean water to drink. That child and thousands upon thousands like him have Bernard Amadei and other engineers to thank.
Take a quick look at Brian Cabral’s (Rec’79) CU Boulder football record and you can gather three facts immediately: he doesn’t quit (or get fired, a serious accomplishment in college football), he’s a winner and he loves the game.
Last fall David Getches announced the news that he will resign as dean of CU’s law school in June 2011 after eight years of service during which he can only be described in the best of terms – distinctive, passionate and highly effective.
During the last two decades Daniel Liston, an education professor, has given his share of grades to students.
John Cumalat is the type of person who constantly strives to help those around him succeed. During his 12-year tenure as physics chair, the department’s reputation skyrocketed as its faculty and staff won more than 150 awards, including three Nobel Prizes.
A professor in CU’s chemical and biological engineering department, Richard D. Noble has excelled in both the classroom and the research laboratory.
In his 28 years at CU, Ric Porreca (MPolSci ex’83) has moved from a management intern to senior vice chancellor and chief financial officer, serving in many departments from student affairs to administration to academic affairs to finance. In doing so, he has become one of the most innovative and productive leaders in higher education.
In a CU career that spans more than 30 years, Robert D. Schulzinger is acknowledged by his peers to be one of the very best American diplomatic historians in the world with particular recognition for his leadership in shaping academic conversations about the Vietnam War.
Douglas A. Burger is one of the best and most highly decorated teachers on the Boulder campus. He began teaching at CU in 1965 and won his first teaching award in 1967.
Patty Limerick is known on the CU campus as one of the university’s greatest ambassadors. She has produced an extraordinary amount of scholarship, has engaged with countless associates all across the world about the American West and has continuously cast the university in a favorable light.
Owen “Brian” Toon is a distinguished scientific scholar who has worked on some of the most challenging problems of our time in atmospheric physics. His commitment to raising awareness about the dangers of nuclear war, as well as ozone depletion, sets him apart from others in his field.
A legal scholar and outstanding, innovative director of the law library, Barbara Bintliff has perhaps been most successful at what is least known about her: her untiring service on several high-level university committees that had groundbreaking success.
David has been a professor of chemical engineering at CU Boulder since receiving his doctorate from CU in the discipline in 1975. For more than three decades he has provided extraordinary service to CU students, the department of chemical engineering, the College of Engineering and broader efforts across campus and in his profession.
A distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry who has been at CU for 35 years, Marvin Caruthers is known worldwide for his groundbreaking invention of the nucleic acid chemistry used universally for DNA and RNA synthesis, one of the key foundations of modern biotechnology.
Knowing the breadth of the accomplishments of Daniel Baker as director of CU’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics might lead one to wonder whether he has any time for sleep.
Combine endless caring, compassion and enthusiasm with a brilliant intellect and you get a person like Polly McLean. Her extraordinary teaching and service at CU for over two decades is legendary around the Boulder campus.
It seems fitting that German-born Uriel Nauenberg would become an internationally recognized physicist. He came to CU from the physics faculty at Princeton in 1969 and has spent the last 38 years here as professor of physics.