Deaton Awards Kemper Winners

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COLUMBIA - It's not often Chancellor Brady Deaton crashes a class, but Monday, he carried on a tradition of doing just that. Deaton, along with Commerce Bank Chairman Jim Schatz, awarded a Kemper Fellowship to two of the five professors who will receive awards this year. That fellowship includes a $10,000 check. Each year, MU awards five professors with a fellowship, and each time it comes as a complete surprise to the professor. The awards are delivered to their classrooms during lecture times.

The first recipient was Bethany Stone, an assistant teaching professor in the Division of Biological Sciences within the MU College of Arts and Science. Stone teaches introductory classes in biology as well as courses focused more on botany, infectious diseases, and genetic diseases.

Mike McKean was the second professor to receive a fellowship. He is an associate professor of convergence journalism in the MU School of Journalism. McKean worked to create the convergence journalism emphasis area six years ago. Now, he works with convergence students in his capstone class. McKean is grateful for his award and says he didn't see it coming.

"My first reaction is, of course, I'm just amazed, surprised, overwhelmed, almost speechless," he said.

He added he has his students to thank for helping him receive the award.

"The main thing for me is that I've enjoyed teaching here for almost 25 years and one of the reasons I enjoy it so much is because of the great students. It's really easy to be a good teacher when you have good students around to work with you," McKean said.

The third recipient of the fellowship was announced at 2 pm Monday. Etti Naveh-Benjamin is a visiting professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science. She also serves as the director of the Multicultural Certificate program.

Deaton and Schatz will deliver another fellowship award on Tuesday, and the fifth and final award on Friday.