From CU-Boulder News Release April 26, 1996
Jack Kelso Named Hazel Barnes Prize Winner
Longtime anthropology Professor John "Jack" Kelso has won the University of Colorado Boulder’s highest recognition for teaching and research, the Hazel Barnes Prize.
Chancellor Roderic Park announced that Kelso, a faculty member for 38 years, will receive the Hazel Barnes Prize and cash award of $20,000, the largest single faculty award funded by the university. The award will be presented at the commencement ceremony on May 17.
Kelso, who will retire at the end of the semester, is a master teacher and mentor whose talents have been tapped by the Faculty Teaching Excellence Program to improve the teaching of junior faculty. He has been called a catalyst in the evolution of the university’s focus on undergraduate education, in addition to his work advising many graduate students.
A reception honoring Kelso is set for May 10 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Koenig Alumni Center.
In addition to his love of teaching, Kelso has maintained a lifetime commitment to scholarly research in physical anthropology and has held influential administrative posts throughout his CU-Boulder career.
During 1995-96 he has been acting chairman of the department of communication disorders and speech science at the request of Dean Charles Middleton of the College of Arts and Sciences. Kelso’s nomination for the Hazel Barnes Prize was made unanimously by the CDSS faculty.
Kelso wrote a standard anthropology textbook that sold more than 100,000 copies, was revised three times and translated into Spanish. He organized and taught six National Science Foundation Summer Institutes in Anthropology for college and junior college teachers from 1961 to 1978.
He was recognized nationally in 1983 by his colleagues through his election as the first chair of the biological anthropology section of the American Anthropological Association. The association also elected him to serve on the executive board.
Under Kelso’s supervision 20 CU-Boulder anthropology students earned doctorates and have become leaders in the field. As three-time chairman of anthropology, Kelso led the department to a position among the top 20 departments in the country. While he was chairman the department had high student enrollment and more majors per faculty member than similar departments.
Kelso authored proposals for most of the course offerings in biological anthropology, and his class on “The Human Animal” remains a favorite among students.
He played a major role in forming the Farrand Hall Residential Program, serving as director for five years. For six years he was director of the honors program in the College of Arts and Sciences. Under his direction the number of students graduating with honors increased fourfold.
Kelso also founded and directed the Kittredge Honors Program and the Summer Start Program for freshmen and was academic director of the Semester at Sea program while it was administered by CU-Boulder. From 1975-77 he was the first chancellor of academic affairs at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Kelso earned a bachelor’s degree in English and psychology at Northern Illinois University in 1952, and a master’s and doctorate in 1958 in anthropology from the University of Michigan. He joined the CU-Boulder faculty as an instructor in 1958, receiving promotions to assistant professor in 1960, associate professor in 1964 and full professor in 1968.
Kelso is the fifth Hazel Barnes Prize winner, joining Klaus Timmerhaus of chemical engineering (1992), Reginald Saner of English (1993), David Prescott of molecular, cellular and developmental biology (1994), and Michael Grant of environmental, population and organismic biology (1995). This year’s selection was made by a committee headed by law Professor Norton Steuben.
The prize was established in 1991 by former Chancellor James Corbridge in honor of philosophy Professor Emerita Hazel Barnes and to recognize “the enriching interrelationship between teaching and research.” Barnes, a renowned teacher from 1943 until her retirement in 1986, is internationally known for her interpretations of the works of French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre.