Inspiring Faculty Excellence



Karen J. Nordheden

“The most satisfying part of my work is being able to teach students — to give them, through my classroom instruction and advising, a career that they will pursue for the rest of their lives, and to know that I played an important role in that process.”

Karen J. Nordheden, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering

Karen Nordheden is known for her ability to find unique ways to keep students’ attention. Her methods include splitting up large classes into the “houses” of Hogwarts from the Harry Potter book series and developing active, problem-based lessons with simulations and case studies that prepare students for industry.

Robert Parsons

“I am proud of our graduates. The civil engineers coming out of KU are very talented, and I have seen our students rise to senior positions, hold academic positions at other institutions and start companies. They are a credit to our program, and it is a pleasure to see them succeed.”

Robert L. Parsons, Ph.D., P.E., FASCE
Professor, Department of Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering
Director of Construction

Robert Parsons goes out of his way to create a relevant, meaningful learning experience for students. Parsons’ range as an educator is broad, from letting his Soil Mechanics students dig holes in his yard to leading the effort to build KU’s geotechnical engineering program into one of the best in the Midwest.

Teri Huslig

“We have transformed the learning experience of thousands of undergraduate students at KU and beyond through the creation of an open and free curriculum that allows students to see and value the humanity in people who have had different life experiences while learning to express themselves in Spanish.”

Amy Rossomondo, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Spanish & Portuguese
Director, Spanish Language Program

Amy Rossomondo created groundbreaking educational materials, tools and methods that support the university’s teaching goals. She developed Acceso, a pioneering open educational resource for second-year Spanish curriculum that has garnered significant recognition nationally and internationally.



Bruno Hagenbuch

“I get to see graduate students starting out, when they might not know what they really want to do. And then they become accomplished researchers, and that is a very satisfying part of my work.”

Bruno Hagenbuch, Ph.D.
2019 Chancellors Club Research Award Recipient
Professor, Vice Chair and Graduate Director, Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology & Therapeutics
KU Medical Center

Hagenbuch is a leader in the discovery and functional characterization of transport proteins — that is, how drugs and toxic chemicals get into and out of the body, and in particular the liver.

While at the University of Zurich, he identified and cloned the first liver transporter protein. That finding was published in 1991 and has been cited more than 500 times. Hagenbuch came to KU Medical Center in 2005 and is among the highest-cited scientists there. He has published more than 130 peer-reviewed manuscripts and chapters, with 55 of them cited over 100 times, and 15 of them cited more than 300 times.


Jack Porter

“One of the things I find interesting and satisfying about teaching is that I get to teach all levels of students, from undergraduates to Ph.D. students. Each level has different challenges and opportunities, and that’s very enjoyable.” 

Jack Porter, Ph.D.
2019 Chancellors Club Teaching Award Recipient
Balfour S. Jeffrey Professor of Mathematics
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

During the 54 years that Porter has taught mathematics at KU, he has inspired thousands of students. Students admire his collaborative, hands-on spirit, appreciate his “directness and sincerity” and say his teaching approach is “mindful and open.” He has taught a wide variety of courses and has received many awards for his dedication to teaching and mentoring. Four of the 14 doctoral candidates he has directed won the department’s Florence Black Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Porter has a special interest in topology, which is the mathematical study of spatial objects such as curves and surfaces.