UNI and Board of Regents recognize outstanding faculty members

Posted on Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Six University of Northern Iowa faculty members were honored at the fall Board of Regents meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 9, for outstanding research and professional service.

The Regents Excellence Award for Faculty is given annually by the Iowa Board of Regents to honor outstanding university faculty members. This year's recipients include:

- Angela Burda, professor of communication sciences and disorders. Burda has established herself as an internationally and nationally respected scholar. She has 23 peer-reviewed articles, 36 peer-reviewed presentations and is a sought-after speaker across the country. Her most recent accomplishment is the rollout of the Name That! computer application. This app has garnered valuable notoriety for the university and department.

- Jeffrey Copeland, professor of English education. Copeland has earned distinction as a teacher, writer, scholar and university leader. He is highly regarded among his students and he continues to mentor teachers in training to be emerging leaders in their schools. Copeland also has an impressive record of literary nonfiction, textbooks and other creative pieces.

- Elaine Eshbaugh, associate professor of gerontology and family studies. Eshbaugh has a long history of teaching. She has received numerous teaching excellence awards, and in 2010 was the recipient of the Davis Professorship of Gerontology. As the coordinator of the only undergraduate gerontology program in the state, Eshbaugh places great emphasis on conducting research that can be used to enhance the ability of students to succeed after graduation.

- Rex Karsten, professor of management. Karsten has a passion for teaching that is evident in the attitude, expertise and competence he brings to the classroom. He creates opportunities for students to develop lifelong habits of staying up to date with technological change. It can also be concluded that the research Karsten has conducted impacts thousands of College of Business Administration students in a very positive way.

- Jean McDonald, professor of music in vocal performance. McDonald has consistently made important contributions to research and service activities throughout her career. The specialized training and technique taught by McDonald provides students with the ability and passion to succeed. Her outstanding teaching is recognized worldwide due to the incredible professional careers launched by her former UNI voice students.

- Steve O'Kane, professor of biology. O'Kane puts teaching above all else in the role he plays in the Department of Biology. He was instrumental in the development of a new course required of all biology majors, and this course has quickly become a favorite among students. O'Kane has remained active in his pursuit of scholarship since his arrival at UNI in 1996. His research has been recognized by his colleagues through invited seminars at both the national and international level.