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2011.03.28 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Relations
phone: 402.554.3502 - email:

UNO Alumni Teaching Award Honors Nine Faculty

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Alumni Association celebrates the 15th year of its Alumni Outstanding Teaching Awards program when it presents the honor to nine faculty members during the UNO Faculty Honors Convocation Breakfast Thursday, April 7.

Association President Lee Denker will present the awards, established in 1997 to honor distinguished teaching in the classroom. Peer committees in each college choose recipients, each of whom receives a $1,000 award. Denker will present recipients with commemorative tablets during the convocation breakfast in the Milo Bail Student Center.

With the 2011 awards the association will have issued $131,000 since the program’s start. Brief descriptions of recipient research interests and educational backgrounds follow below.

2011 UNO Alumni Outstanding Teaching Awards

Sarah K. Edwards

Sarah K. Edwards is an associate professor in the department of teacher education, College of Education. Her primary focus is secondary literacy and culturally responsive teaching. Edwards coordinates undergraduate and graduate English language arts programs at UNO. She also is the co-founder of Metropolitan English Teacher Link and organizes the College of Education Culture Walks. She earned a BS in English literature and secondary education from Loras College, an MA in teaching from Friends University and a Ph.D. (2000) from the University of Arizona.

Angela M. Eikenberry

Angela M. Eikenberry is an associate professor in the School of Public Administration, College of Public Affairs and Communty Service. She also is the advisor for the nonprofit concentration in the MPA program. Her main research interests include philanthropy and nonprofit organizations and their role in democratic governance. She has published articles in numerous academic journals and her research has been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Her book, “Giving Circles: Philanthropy, Voluntary Association, Democracy,” won the CASE 2010 John Grenzebach Research Award for Outstanding Research in Philanthropy, Published Scholarship. She earned her BA (international studies, 1993), MPA (1998) and Ph.D. (public administration, 2005) from UNO.

James Fawcett

James Fawcett is an associate professor in the department of biology, College of Arts and Sciences. His primary research and teaching focus is in herpetology, the biology of amphibians and reptiles. His research interests also include conservation biology of the Nebraskan herpetofauna, and he also teaches human anatomy and physiology, vertebrate embryology and vertebrate histology. Fawcett has served as major advisor for 48 master’s student theses. He earned his BSc (1960) from the University of New Zealand, his MSc (1964) from the University of Auckland and his Ph.D. (1975) from the University of Colorado-Boulder. 

Kath Henebry

Kath Henebry is an associate professor in the department of finance, banking and law, College of Business Administration. Her areas of focus are corporate finance, banking, insurance and finance education. Her primary research focus in recent years has been on financial education. She regularly teaches introductory and intermediate financial management. Henebry also coordinates assessment activities for UNO’s College of Business Administration and is active on college and university committees related to teaching, curriculum development and assessment. She earned her BS (physics/astronomy, 1981), MBA (1986) and Ph.D. (finance, 1994) from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Peter Madsen

Peter Madsen is an associate professor in the department of music, College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media. His primary areas of focus are the trombone studio and jazz program. Under his direction the UNO jazz ensembles have performed at numerous regional and national conferences and jazz festivals and conducted three international tours. In addition to his classroom teaching, Madsen coordinates three major educational outreach events each year that draw more than a thousand students, teachers and parents to campus from across the country. He earned a BS in music education (1993) from the University of Missouri, an MM (1995) from Northern Illinois University and a doctorate (2000) from the University of Illinois.

Michael Matthews

Michael Matthews is an assistant professor in the department of math, College of Arts and Sciences. He is involved with several initiatives targeting the content knowledge and pedagogy skills of Nebraska teachers. These include a major revision of the undergraduate program for elementary teachers, working with the NebraskaMath initiatives (partnering with UNL) and the Masters of Arts in Teaching program with current area teachers. He also has worked recently on a revision of the undergraduate program for secondary teachers. Matthews earned a BA in mathematics (1997) from Brigham Young University, an MS in secondary education-mathematics (2003) from the University of Nevada, and an MS and doctorate in mathematics (2006) from the University of Iowa.

Brian McKevitt

Brian McKevitt is an assistant professor in the department of psychology, College of Arts and Sciences. He primarily teaches graduate-level courses in school psychology, training students in academic and behavioral assessment, intervention, and consultation skills necessary to be practicing school psychologists. McKevitt also supervises numerous student research projects and is an instructor for graduate students enrolled in a psychology MA program emphasizing applied behavior analysis. He earned his BA in psychology (1994) from Boston College and his MS (educational psychology, 1999) and doctorate (psychology, 2001) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Steve Nugen

Steve Nugen is a senior research technology fellow in the School of Interdisciplinary Informatics, College of Information Science and Technology. Nugen coordinates the new undergraduate degree in Information Assurance at UNO. He develops and teaches technologies and skills used to construct secure information architectures and to construct the argument that these system can be trusted to safeguard sensitive information. He earned a BS (1986) and MS (1989) from Iowa State University.

Roger Sash

Roger Sash is an associate professor in the department of computer and electronics engineering, College of Engineering. A department member for 35 years, he advises most incoming students and teaches the introductory course in computer and electronics engineering. Sash helped establish a mentoring/retention program for new students. He is part of a collaborative research team working on NSF grants to develop a national K-12 curriculum in engineering education using an educational robot he introduced to his classes. Sash also is his college’s representative to the UNO Honors Program and has participated in the Peter Kiewit Institute’s Academy of Excellence since its inception in 1999. He earned his BS (electrical engineering, 1967) from Iowa State University and his MS (electrical engineering, 1980) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.


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