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UC's Prized Professors

UC’s 2003 faculty awards honor five professors packed with energy, passion, caring and dedication.

Date: 5/13/2003 2:40:00 PM
By: Marianne Kunnen-Jones
Phone: (513) 556-1826
Photos By: Lisa Ventre, Andrew Higley

UC ingot  

Research, scholarship, teaching and good faculty-student relationships – these words sound bland in comparison to the professors who bring these ideals to life every day on the University of Cincinnati campus. These terms also represent the categories that are recognized each spring by the university’s top faculty awards. Read the profiles of the 2003 winners to see why these awards are anything but empty symbols. These five honorees pursue their calling with passion, energy, commitment and caring.

Mrs. A.B. “Dolly” Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching
Kirsten F. Nigro
Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures
McMicken College of Arts and Sciences

Kirsten Nigro

Students in Kirsten Nigro’s classroom must be ready to participate at all times –  in poetry readings, musical performances, plays. “Studying with Dr. Nigro has at times been rigorous and intense, but above all it has always been fun,” says one former student.  Professor Nigro, known for her toughness, also has a reputation for making her classes on Latin America creative, interactive and high energy. At least once a year, she hosts a fiesta for her students. 
Full story.


Mrs. A.B. “Dolly” Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching
Timothy Northcut
Professor, Music
College-Conservatory of Music

Timothy Northcut

Treating each student's education as a unique journey is a sign of a good teacher, believes Timothy Northcut, professor of music and instructor of tuba and euphonium in the College-Conservatory of Music. Former student JaTtik Clark calls him "part teacher, part adviser, part friend, part father-like figure and part coach all rolled up into one man.” In addition to teaching, Northcut serves as the conductor of the CCM Brass Choir and coordinator of the Brass Chamber Music Program. 
Full story.

George Barbour Award for Good Faculty-Student Relations
T. Michael Basehart
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
College of Engineering
Michael Baseheart

T. Michael Baseheart is the kind of professor that, no matter how busy, will take time to help a lost and confused stranger, make a nontraditional student feel comfortable and use his personal time for student extra-curricular activities. Eleven engineers from THP Inc. supported his nomination by writing, “As students, we always felt we were his first priority. Somehow, he was always there to help and lead us in the right direction even when he did not personally get any credit.” Current UC student Jefferey Bolchalk is one example of Baseheart’s concern for students:  “During the first few days of my first quarter in school I had a problem with one of my classes. I was wandering the halls looking for a sign to direct me to someone I could talk to. He must have seen that anguished and distraught look on my face, stopped me and asked if he could help.  He took me into his office, and we talked for an hour.”  
Full story.

George Rieveschl Jr. Award for Creative or Scholarly Works
Kathryn J. Gutzwiller
Professor, Classics
McMicken College of Arts and Sciences
Kathryn Gutzwiller

UC professor of classics Kathryn Gutzwiller loves studying epigrams, the briefest form of Greek poetry, because they often give a more extensive glimpse into ancient life than lengthier forms of poetry that survive from early Western history. Epigrams are typically no more than several lines long. They first appeared on statues, monuments and gravestones, and eventually became a literary form of their own. Her expertise has attracted attention from the New York Times, National Geographic and the Chronicle of Higher Education. 
Full story.

George Rieveschl Jr. Award for Distinguished Scientific Research
Nira Ben-Jonathan
Professor, Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy
College of Medicine
Nira Ben-Jonathan

UC's Vontz Center for Molecular Studies houses neuroscience and cancer researchers working to discover and understand the genetic and molecular underpinnings of various stages of disease. One of those scientists is Nira Ben-Jonathan, a leading endocrine researcher working to identify relationships between the actions of the endocrine system and certain types of cancer. Although her major focus is cancer, her discoveries about prolactin have led her to a current research collaboration on obesity. 
Full story. 

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