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Chancellors Club award recipients specialize in cancer research, journalism

August 29, 2018

A cancer geneticist at the University of Kansas Medical Center and a longtime professor of journalism at the University of Kansas will be honored respectively for their research and teaching by KU Endowment’s Chancellors Club.

Andrew Godwin, Ph.D., has been selected as the 2018 Chancellors Club Research Award recipient. Charles “Chuck” Marsh, Ph.D., has been selected as the 2018 Chancellors Club Teaching Award recipient. Each will receive a $10,000 award and will be recognized at the Sept. 28 Chancellors Club celebration in Lawrence.

Andrew Godwin (left) and Charles Marsh

Andrew Godwin
Andrew Godwin, Ph.D., is a leader in the field of translational research and precision cancer medicine. He was recruited to the KU Medical Center in late 2010 as a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of Molecular Oncology. He was appointed the KU Cancer Center’s associate director for Translational Research in November 2010 and was promoted to its deputy director in May 2013. He has served as director of the cancer center’s Biospecimen Repository since 2012.

Godwin is internationally recognized for his molecular biology/genetic studies of sarcoma (gastrointestinal stromal tumors and Ewings), breast and ovarian cancer, and his efforts to help bridge the gap between basic and clinical science in order to improve patient care.

Godwin’s research focuses on the concept of obtaining a molecular definition of a tumor to define its treatment-sensitive elements, complementing his long-standing interest in the fields of cancer genetics, molecular targeted therapeutics, predictive biomarkers, early detection and biobanking.

Michael Birrer, M.D., Ph.D., and director of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been a professional colleague of Godwin for 20 years, and commended Godwin’s work as a scientist and a leader.

“He has extensive experience in leading multi-investigator studies and mentoring junior scientists,” Birrer wrote in his nomination letter. “With respect to his research, he has made key observations that are now fundamental to several areas.”

Godwin appreciates the recognition that the Research Award brings.

“A goal of my life and profession is to help improve the lives of people who have life-threatening diseases, such as cancer. I’m grateful to be able to work toward that goal,” Godwin said. “And to be named the 2018 Chancellors Club Research Award recipient is quite an honor for a hometown boy from Lawrence.”

Career highlights:

  • Godwin was named a Kansas Bioscience Authority Eminent Scholar in 2010 and the University of Kansas School of Medicine Chancellor’s Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Sciences Endowed Professor in 2012.
  • Godwin is a National Cancer Institute-funded investigator since 1993. His participation in the KU Cancer Center leadership contributed to NCI designation in July 2012.
  • He is a highly published scientist, with his research resulting in more than 425 manuscripts and scholarly review articles and over 37,000 citations.

Charles Marsh
Charles Marsh, Ph.D., is the Oscar Stauffer Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications. He has been teaching for 29 years at KU’s William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications.

In her nomination letter, journalism Dean Ann Brill said that in Marsh’s almost 30 years at KU, his student evaluation numbers have been “remarkably high and remarkably consistent,” with ratings regularly above 4.7 on a 5-point scale.

Students and peers alike praise Marsh’s teaching skill and style. A student offered this feedback on Marsh’s Ethics and Professional Practice course:

“I already see a change in the way I think about things because of this class,” the student wrote. “These teachings will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

“Chuck excels as a teacher, scholar and citizen,” Brill said. “He continues to be a wonderful role model for our faculty and students.”

Marsh’s primary areas of research involve public relations, ethics and classical rhetoric. His research has appeared in several public relations and media-focused journals. He is the author of two scholarly books, including Public Relations, Cooperation, and Justice: From Evolutionary Biology to Ethics, and co-author of two textbooks on public relations theory and multimedia writing.

His research interests involve examining the “fully functioning society theory” of public relations, which holds that a core function of public relations involves working to build humane and effective societies. Toward that end, he is examining public relations through the lenses of evolutionary biology, social justice and classical rhetoric.

Marsh finds satisfaction as a professor in the balance of research, teaching and service.

“As a researcher, I’ve always felt like a detective, chasing down answers to important questions,” Marsh said. “As a teacher, I get to take those answers back to my students for them to think about and challenge. And service, mostly committee work, is how I get to express gratitude for having such a great job.”

  • Career highlights:
    Marsh co-wrote Public Relations: A Values-Driven Approach with colleague David Guth; the textbook is in use at more than 200 colleges and universities.
  • He received the Keeler Intra-University Professorship in 2011.
  • Marsh received the HOPE Award (Honor for Outstanding Progressive Educator) from University of Kansas senior class in 2005.

The Chancellors Club, formed in 1977 by KU Endowment, recognizes both donors of major gifts designated for specific purposes on any of KU’s campuses and annual donors to the Greater KU Fund.

KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization 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.

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August 29, 2018
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