Bryan Young, an associate professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, was the first University of Kansas faculty member to receive the 2007 Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence at the opening of the semester.
The Surprise Patrol — several administrators and media representatives lead by Chancellor Robert Hemenway, Provost Richard Lariviere, and Dale Seurferling of KU Endowment — interrupted Young on Aug. 16 during the first class of the day to present him with a $5,000 check in honor of his achievement in front of a classroom full of students. Several of Young's colleagues in the department also were on hand to witness the event and congratulate him.
The appreciative Young, who is co-teaching an AutoCAD course with Professor Carl Kurt, admitted he had inkling something good would happen that morning.
Because Young teaches the second half of the course, Department Chair Tom Mulinazzi, encouraged him to make an extended appearance on the first day of class.
"Dr. Mulinazzi said, 'Stay in there just a little longer,'" Young reported to the early morning assembly, which included about 40 students.
"I just want to thank everyone involved in the Kemper Fellowship and my chair, Dr. Mulinazzi," Young said. "And thank you to all the students who've been there."
The Kemper Fellowships recognize outstanding teachers and advisers at KU as determined by a seven-member selection committee. The awards were established by funds from the William T. Kemper Foundation - Commerce Bank, Trustee, and KU Endowment. Twenty faculty members representing a variety of disciplines throughout the university will receive the award during the first few weeks of the semester.
This is the seventh year in a row that School of Engineering faculty members have been recognized with this honor.