FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        Date: May 9, 2003

         Contact: Donna McCracken, 206-6716


Annual reception honors UIS faculty achievements


SPRINGFIELD -- The University of Illinois at Springfield held its annual spring reception to recognize faculty achievements on May 5. Chancellor Richard Ringeisen and Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Michael Cheney made presentations honoring faculty members who have received tenure and/or promotion, been awarded sabbaticals, or granted emeritus status. Three major awards -- the Pearson Faculty Award, the Spencer Faculty Service Award, and the Faculty Excellence Award -- were also presented.

The sixth annual Pearson Award for outstanding teaching was presented to Pinky Wassenberg, associate professor of Political Studies. The award recognizes a faculty member who has established a record of teaching excellence and supports his or her continuing development as a teacher and a scholar. The award was established by a gift from Dr. Emmet and Mary Pearson, longtime benefactors of the campus.

In presenting the award, Ringeisen noted, “Dr. Wassenberg has a total commitment to excellence in teaching and to the continuing enhancement of her classes. Her contributions reflect intellectual versatility and vigor and her diversity as a teacher is reflected by her courses being cross-listed with the Legal Studies, Criminal Justice, Environmental Studies, and International Studies programs. During the 2002 academic year, she taught courses requiring six different preparations. Teaching evaluations from graduate and undergraduate students alike recognize her competence, effectiveness, and high standards.”

Until recently, Wassenberg held a joint appointment with UIS’ Center for Legal Studies. She is the author of numerous journal articles and contributions to books, and has been active as a


presenter at professional gatherings.

The fifth annual Spencer Award was given to Lee Frost-Kumpf, associate professor of Political Studies with an appointment to the Institute for Legal, Administrative, and Policy Studies. Honoring Robert Spencer, founding president of Sangamon State University, the award for professional development is made to a faculty member with a cumulative record of significant accomplishment in service.

Making the presentation, Ringeisen noted that Frost-Kumpf has demonstrated excellence in citizenship as well as service to UIS and to his discipline.

“Professor Frost-Kumpf has tirelessly participated in meetings and on committees,” said Ringeisen. “His passion for technology has furthered the mission of the university. He has served on numerous search committees, including those that selected candidates for the positions of dean of the College of Business and Management and provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. These high-level hires are crucial to the future of the institution, and Dr. Frost-Kumpf’s selection for these important committees reflects the confidence of his peers.”

In addition, Frost-Kumpf served as chair or co-chair of the UIS State Employee Combined Appeal from 1999-2002, achieving record levels of giving. His scholarly contributions include numerous publications, conference papers, presentations, and funded research.

“His participation in public service programs both on campus and in the community speaks to his energy, dedication, and passionate caring,” Ringeisen said.

Ron Havens, professor of Psychology, received the second Faculty Excellence Award, made to recognize sustained, career-long accomplishments at UIS in teaching and scholarship as well as those faculty who best exemplify the ideal of the teacher-scholar and whom colleagues recognize as role models. The award is funded by a gift from Richard and Carolyn Ringeisen.

Cheney presented this award, noting, “Dr. Havens’ teaching ability is documented by a consistent pattern of exemplary evaluations by his students. This is especially outstanding since he has taught nearly 30 different courses, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His emphasis on


specialized areas of clinical psychology has received national and international recognition.  His scholarly accomplishments include five books, over 30 journal articles and book chapters, and numerous presentations and workshops.

“His strengths as a teacher-scholar are accompanied by a strong record of service, and he received the Distinguished University Service awards for 1989-90 and 1991-1992.  For many years he has provided clinical consultation to a number of health providers at hospitals and agencies in Illinois. His role as teacher-scholar illustrates a high quality of wide ranging achievement.”

A number of faculty members were also recognized in their efforts by receiving recommendations for promotion, tenure, and sabbatical leave. Three retiring faculty members were granted emeritus status.

Recommended for tenure and promotion to associate professor were Michael Lemke, Biology; Sandra Mills, Social Work; Rosina Neginsky, Liberal Studies and Individual Option; Nancy Perkins, English; and Beverly Rivera, Criminal Justice.

Ted Mims, Computer Science, and Christopher Mooney, Political Studies and director of the Institute for Legislative Studies, were recommended for promotion to full professor.

Sabbatical leave was granted to Janis Droegkamp, professor of Liberal Studies and Individual Option. Droegkamp will travel to Africa to continue work that has direct implication for her teaching in the area of global issues, research on gender issues, and collection of life stories from women of diverse cultures. Droegkamp also expects to serve a three-month placement in Kenya, Namibia, or Malawi with Crises Corps, a branch of the U.S. Peace Corps. 

  Recognized on their retirement by receiving the designation of emeritus faculty were James Cherry, associate professor of Educational Leadership; Barbara Jensen, director and clinical instructor of Applied Study; Malcolm Levin, professor of Environmental Studies and Biology; and Joe Wilkins, professor of Management.

All promotions, tenure, sabbatical leaves, and emeritus status are approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. A reception honoring faculty scholarship and creative work is held each fall.