UNK sets a high priority on recruiting faculty who have the potential to excel as teacher-scholars. The philosophy at UNK is that our students benefit most from working with excellent instructors who are also productive scholars. We know that professors who are active researchers, artists and scholars enrich their classroom teaching with current knowledge and debates in their academic areas. When professors are considered for promotion and tenure, they need to provide evidence that during their years at UNK they have substantial accomplishments in these interdependent areas.
Interestingly, many of our best teachers are also our best scholars. This sixth issue of New Frontiers highlights the work of eight faculty members who personify the teacher-scholar model. Their research and creative activity make original contributions to their disciplines and to the educational development of their students. To a person, their careers are energized by their passion for both teaching and scholarship.
This passion is expressed around different themes. Many of Peter Longo’s topics reflect his interest in human rights and advocacy for the under-represented. Julie Shaffer’s research agenda involves analysis of lake water in Nebraska. Nathan Buckner has 204 professional piano concert appearances.
Susan Honeyman’s fascination with how children are depicted in literature started with her interest in Henry James’ work. Dennis Potthoff’s scholarship indicates his recognition of the importance of educational reform. A specialization in the needs of high-risk youths is a focal point in David Hof’s research, which also reflects his belief that counselors should advocate for their clients. Heather Schulz is building on a psychological theory that likens the way people create their identities to an actor’s performance and then links that perspective to buying decisions. Kathryn Zuckweiler applies her knowledge about operations management to topics ranging from optimum class size in web courses to hospital project implementation.
These professors are part of a faculty of teacher-scholars who devote their careers to discovery and are leading us to a new frontier. Their students, colleagues, and the community are beneficiaries of their findings. I hope that you enjoy reading about their research and creative activity.
Kenya S. Taylor, Ed. D.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs
Dean for Graduate Studies and Research