KU News: University announces Chancellors Club teaching, research award winners

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KU professor of statistics receives 2022 Chancellors Club Career Teaching Award
LAWRENCE — Steve Hillmer, professor of statistics at the University of Kansas School of Business, is the recipient of the 2022 Chancellors Club Career Teaching Award. With more than four decades of teaching at KU, Hillmer has had an unparalleled impact on his students and fellow faculty. He serves as the director of the Davis Center for Figure Sense, developed to instill stronger, better figure sense into thinking and communication.

Nutrition and pediatric health researcher receives 2022 Chancellors Club Career Research Award
LAWRENCE — Susan Carlson, a researcher in the University of Kansas School of Health Professions who specializes in intervention studies of fatty acid supplementation in infants and pregnant women, is the recipient of the 2022 Chancellors Club Career Research Award. Carlson, the AJ Rice Professor of Nutrition in the KU Department of Dietetics & Nutrition, has made invaluable scientific contributions to infant health and development.

Full stories below.

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Contact: Michelle Keller, KU Endowment, 785-832-7336, [email protected]; @KUEndowment
KU professor of statistics receives 2022 Chancellors Club Career Teaching Award
LAWRENCE — Steve Hillmer, professor of statistics at the University of Kansas School of Business, is the recipient of the 2022 Chancellors Club Career Teaching Award.
With more than four decades of teaching at KU, Hillmer has made an unparalleled impact on his students and fellow faculty. He serves as the director of the Davis Center for Figure Sense, developed to instill stronger, better figure sense into thinking and communication.
Hillmer has redefined learning through his methods of teaching, believing in the value of content instead of the grade a student receives. He has inspired countless students and has gone out of his way to be a mentor to students in the School of Business.
“It is not just the quantity of Steve’s teaching that is impressive, but it is also the breadth and quality of his teaching,” wrote Jide Wintoki, associate dean of graduate programs and area director of analytics, information & operations management, in his nomination letter for Hillmer.
Hillmer has published and peer-reviewed 36 journals and book chapters in his career, taught more than 75 classes in the business school and served on numerous committees. His dedication to service, as evidenced by receiving the Gordon Fitch Distinguished Service Award in 2009, is one of his most notable qualities.
“He has inspired myriad students, led academic and philanthropic initiatives, and made significant contributions to all facets of our mission,” said Paige Fields, dean of the business school.
His former students have testified to the strong leadership and patience Hillmer embodies. They emphasized the value he places on learning and the growth they have made after taking his classes.
“I think the most meaningful recognition is not necessarily an award like this,” Hillmer said. “It’s feedback from your students that you’ve done a good job or they’ve related to what you’re talking about.”
Through his position as director of the Davis Center, Hillmer has continued his love for learning and helping students grow their critical and data analytical skills. He spends his time focusing on his students and developing the center to assist all students in their journeys.
“I think that helped my teaching — to understand more of the ins and outs and some of the pitfalls that go on in the real world,” Hillmer said. “That was a real blessing for me to be able to learn and expand what I was learning and not be constrained by what I’ve been doing. I can start to do something different.”
As the Chancellors Club Career Teaching Award honoree, Hillmer will receive $10,000 annually for the next five years, funded in part by donors to the Chancellors Club.
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Contact: Michelle Keller, KU Endowment, 785-832-7336, [email protected]; @KUEndowment
Nutrition and pediatric health researcher receives 2022 Chancellors Club Career Research Award
LAWRENCE — Susan Carlson, a professor and researcher at the University of Kansas School of Health Professions who specializes in intervention studies of fatty acid supplementation in infants and pregnant women, is the recipient of the 2022 Chancellors Club Career Research Award.
Carlson, the AJ Rice Professor of Nutrition in the KU Department of Dietetics & Nutrition, has made invaluable scientific contributions to infant health and development. Her discoveries have showed that formula was lacking the necessary fatty acids for proper development and growth. Since her discoveries, 99% of all current infant formulas include these fatty acids.
Her research laid the groundwork for developmental progress in infants and children. Her work created a new path for developmental research and has the potential to change more lives from the beginning, keeping infants healthy.
“I will emphatically state that Professor Carlson’s research has had a significant and long-term impact on research – and perhaps more importantly, on the health and well-being of individuals and communities in Kansas and beyond,” wrote Jacob Sosnoff, professor and associate dean of research for the Department of Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Sciences & Athletic Training, in his nomination letter for Carlson.
Since Carlson joined the KU Medical Center faculty in 1999, she has established herself as one of the most prominent and dedicated researchers in polyunsaturated fatty acid nutrition and its neurocognitive effects on mothers and their babies. She has published more than 165 peer-reviewed journal articles with more than 14,000 citations to her credit. She has received numerous awards and recognition, including as a university distinguished professor, while at KU.
Carlson excels in her research and changing lives, while being an active professor and helping her students begin changing their own lives.
“I’m really proud of our Ph.D. program in medical nutrition science,” Carlson said. “We started it a little over 10 years ago, and we’ve already hired some of our own students, because they’re just good. It’s been fun watching how our graduates develop their own careers in nutrition.”
When she began her work on infant nutrition, Carlson was moved to make strides in keeping infants and their mothers as healthy as possible.
“My primary motivation is ensuring that infants start life without limitations that could have been prevented by better nutrition,” she said. “This award means a lot to me and the Department of Dietetics & Nutrition in the School of Health Professions. I am happy for our school and our department.”
As the Chancellors Club Career Research Award recipient, Carlson will receive $10,000 annually for the next five years, funded in part by donors to the Chancellors Club.

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