Buckner, Honeyman receive prestigious Pratt-Heins Faculty Awards at UNK

Writer: Sara Giboney, UNK Communications, giboneys2@unk.edu, 308-865-8529


KEARNEY – University of Nebraska at Kearney professors Nathan Buckner and Susan Honeyman received the prestigious Pratt-Heins Faculty Awards on Aug. 23 during the Faculty/Staff Convocation.

For more than 30 years, the Pratt-Heins Foundation has recognized UNK faculty members for their outstanding contributions in the categories of teaching, service and scholarship and research.

Buckner, a professor of music and performing arts, received the Pratt-Heins Foundation Scholarship and Research Award.

“For me, the Pratt-Heins Scholarship Award reflects the significance of the level of scholarship that the faculty of my department has produced over the years and even decades,” Buckner said. “Multiple music department faculty members have received this award for their scholarship, and I would expect others to in the future.”

The award for scholarship and research is based upon evidence of the consistent production of original work in the nominee’s discipline. Each nominee submits a list of research documents and publications, evaluations from individuals qualified to evaluate the scholarship and research of the nominee, and administrative evaluations from the department chair and dean.

Buckner joined the UNK faculty in 1997 after earning a bachelor of music at the Julliard School, a master of music at Indiana University and a doctor of musical arts at the University of Maryland.

He has performed at the State University of New York, Belarusian State Academy of Music, Shandong University in China, Han-Yang University in South Korea and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Buckner has published a number of articles devoted to the works of the English/American composer, Philip Anthony Corri, and is considered the leading scholar of the 19th-century artist.

“As with most distinguished scholars at UNK, he shares his time and talent with his students, helping guide and mentor them as they hone their own talents and careers in music,” said Tom Tye, the Pratt-Heins Foundation Trustee.




Honeyman, an English professor, won the Pratt-Heins Foundation Teaching Award.

“It’s a thrill to have your work recognized by colleagues and campus,” Honeyman said. “I’ve been surprised at how fast and campus-wide news traveled. What means the most to me is how my acquaintances all over campus responded. They take this award quite seriously, so I do, too. It is tremendously rewarding to be cheered for something (teaching) I already love doing.”

Selection for the award is based upon peer evaluations from faculty, chair and dean of the nominee’s department and student comments from course evaluations.

Honeyman joined the UNK faculty in 2002 after earning her bachelor of arts in English from the University of Kansas, studying at the University of Hull in England, earning her masters in English at the University of Kansas and earning her doctorate in English from Wayne State University.

“Her commitment to her student’s academic success, personal development and future opportunities goes well beyond the call of duty, and her students recognize and respect this,” Tye said.

“She has a reputation for inspiring students to stretch their minds and imaginations, challenge their assumptions and urge them to aim for the highest standards of intellectual inquiry.”

Honeyman received the Xi Phi Chapter of Mortar Board Outstanding Teaching Award in 2005.

She has sponsored the UNK chapter of the English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta, for more than a decade. In 2012, she was recognized with the College of Fine Arts and Humanities Faculty Mentor Award.

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“Teaching itself has always been the point of my work. Research is to indulge my love of learning in order to share it in the classroom,” Honeyman said of why she enjoys teaching. “No one should appreciate literature alone. It’s in conversation with others (in the classroom or coffee shop) that we discover our own convictions and learn from others’ insights about shared readings.”

Pratt-Heins winners receive a plaque and $1,000.



Staff Awards for Excellence (SAFE) were also presented at the convocation. The SAFE Awards are presented annually to honor UNK staff members for outstanding service to students, UNK and education in general.

The awards are sponsored by Fidelity Investments and presented to staff by Patrick Vaughan, vice president and managing director of Fidelity Investments.

Recipients of the SAFE Awards were June Kenton, office associate in Facilities Management and Planning; Chelsea Swarm, payroll manager in Human Resources; and Judy Spellman, administrative associate in

the Office of the Dean-Division of Student Affairs.