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KU names Budig Teaching Professor for 2013-2014

Monday, May 13, 2013

LAWRENCE – The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas has selected John Kennedy, associate professor of political science, as the latest recipient of the Gene A. Budig Teaching Professorship Award.  Kennedy, who is also director of the Center for Global and International Studies, will hold the title of Budig Teaching Professor for the 2013-2014 academic year and will receive a $5,000 award.

The award honors an outstanding faculty member in the social or behavioral sciences who has made a profound contribution to teaching. Each department in the social and behavioral sciences may nominate one faculty member for the award.

Kennedy is known for a thoughtful, enthusiastic style in the classroom. Students note that his passion for political science is equally evident in general courses and in courses that focus specifically on his areas of expertise, including politics in China and developing countries. In his nomination, Kennedy was also commended for connecting the material in the classroom to practical applications. He consistently receives among the highest-rated student evaluations in the Department of Political Science.

Kennedy’s contributions also extend beyond the KU campus. He has been closely involved in a program to offer his classes for students at Mogadishu University in Somalia via videotaped lectures and Internet interaction. He oversees a voluntary program that pairs KU students in his research methods course with students who are monitoring the course in Mogadishu.

In addition to teaching for the department, Kennedy has been actively involved with the Center for Teaching Excellence. He has participated in training programs for graduate teaching assistants, serving as a teaching ambassador for the department, and has enhanced his own skills through the center’s seminars. 

The teaching professorship was established by a gift from former Chancellor Gene Budig and his wife, Gretchen. Gene Budig was KU’s chancellor from 1981 to 1994.

Funds for the award are managed by KU Endowment, the independent nonprofit foundation serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

The Department of Political Science is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The College encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. Through innovative research and teaching, the College emphasizes interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.