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Professor Honored With Steeples Service Award

Monday, June 1, 2009

A School of Engineering professor is among three University of Kansas faculty members honored this spring for outstanding service to the state.

Recipients of the 2009 Steeples Service to Kansas Award are Stephen B. Fawcett, the Kansas Health Foundation Professor of Applied Behavioral Science; Thomas E. Mulinazzi, professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering; and Charles Rapp, professor of social welfare and director of the Office of Mental Health Research and Training.

Don Steeples, the Dean A. McGee distinguished professor of applied geophysics and senior vice provost for scholarly support, and his wife, Tammy, established the award in 1997 to honor Don Steeples’ parents, Wally and Marie Steeples, and to recognize outstanding service by KU faculty to other Kansans. The award provides recipients with $1,000 and an additional $1,000 base adjustment to their salaries.

“KU faculty members constitute a rich source of valuable expertise for the citizens of Kansas,” said Joseph E. Steinmetz, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “The recipients of the prestigious awards exemplify the many ways the university gives back to the state, and I’m grateful to the Steeples family for making this recognition possible.”

About the recipients:

Thomas Mulinazzi

came to KU in 1979 after spending six years at the University of Maryland. His bachelor’s degree is from the University of Notre Dame and his graduate degrees are from Purdue University. He has been involved with technology transfer to local transportation agencies since 1983 and has taught seminars on traffic control, highway maintenance, risk analysis and work zone signage in more than 80 locations around the state. Mulinazzi strives to impress the importance of safer road networks within the state of Kansas by advocating for effective and proper traffic sign location and installation, repair of potholes in the context of risk management, properly blading gravel roads and work zone signage. His research and teaching interests are traffic engineering, highway design, airport planning and design, railroad engineering and surveying. Mulinazzi is a licensed engineer and surveyor in Kansas and serves on the Kansas State Board of Technical Professions.

Stephen Fawcett

joined KU as a faculty member in 1975. He serves as director of the KU Work Group for Community Health and Development, a designated World Health Organization Collaborating Centre at KU.

Charles Rapp

has been part of KU’s School of Social Welfare since 1979. He studies the development and testing of client-centered administrative practices, community mental health practice and policy centered on people with severe mental illness.

Funds for the Steeples award are managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management for KU. Founded in 1981, KU Endowment is the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.


Story by Christie Appelhanz, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

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