Two K-State faculty receive $5,000 Iman Awards for research and teaching

Posted December 17, 2019

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Two Kansas State University faculty members, one from the College of Health and Human Sciences and one from the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering, will each a receive $5,000 award in recognition of their outstanding research and teaching during a 4 p.m. ceremony Oct. 7 at the K-State Alumni Center.

Introduced in 2007, the annual Dr. Ron and Rae Iman Outstanding Faculty Awards are sponsored by the K-State Alumni Association and are made possible through the generosity of Ron and Rae Iman.

Dr. Lisa Wilken, associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering, will receive the Iman Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching. The recipient of the Iman Outstanding Faculty Award for Research is David C. Poole, Ph.D.,D.Sc., Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars and university distinguished professor of kinesiology and anatomy and physiology.

Wilken's award honors a full-time K-State faculty member for excellence in high-quality instruction, strong relationships with students inside and outside the classroom and a reputation for scholarship and distinguished service to the university.

Wilken received a bachelor's degree in biological and agricultural engineering from K-State in 2003 and a doctorate from Texas A&M University in 2009. She joined K-State's faculty in 2012. Throughout her career at K-State, Wilken has been dedicated to enhancing the educational experience of students by facilitating student success as an academic, career and research adviser; integrating high impact learning activities and innovative teaching strategies; developing strong relationships with students within and beyond the classroom; and actively serving her department, the College of Engineering, and K-State. She has supervised 18 graduate (five as major professor) and 19 undergraduate student researchers; led course and curriculum development for the Biological Systems Engineering and Agricultural Technology Management programs; and served in national leadership roles.

Wilken's undergraduate researchers and graduate students have earned more than 28 awards while she has been honored with 18 awards for outstanding contributions in engineering education through her dedication to teaching, mentoring and the professional development of students. In 2019, she was named a Mark C. Nyquist-Carl and Mary Ice Cornerstone Teaching Scholar by the College of Engineering.

In support of her nomination, Stacy Rottinghaus, a 2018 K-State graduate and current graduate student at Texas A&M University, said, "Dr. Lisa Wilken is an outstanding teacher and adviser. She has always gone the extra mile to help me succeed. She continuously alerted me of any opportunities available and offered advice when necessary. Dr. Wilken has not only shaped me academically but has served as a role model for how to be successful. She stays true to her core values each and every day, and truly serves as a selfless leader for students constantly both in and out of the classroom. She contains all of the qualities of an ideal teacher."

Poole's award recognizes faculty members who have distinguished themselves in their chosen profession and who have contributed significantly through research to improve the betterment of the educational experience, or whose research has had a significant impact on their area of study.

Poole earned his Ph.D. in Kinesiology from UCLA and Post-doctoral Fellowship in Medicine from UCSD. He joined K-State's faculty in 1995. Poole is internationally recognized for his original discoveries in oxygen transport. Using innovative models including, humans, racehorses, dogs, elephants and rodents at rest and during exercise, his group has identified primary sites of metabolic control and the impact of diseases such as heart failure and diabetes, driving paradigm shifts in understanding how capillaries facilitate blood-tissue oxygen and substrate delivery. Discoveries made by Poole, his colleagues, notably Dr. Tim Musch, and students have advanced novel therapeutic treatments for heart failure patients.

His nominator, Craig Harms, professor of kinesiology and department head, said, "I have seen, first hand, how he has distinguished himself both within and among our university faculty and our professional societies. David is truly one of the uniquely gifted talents found on our campus."

Poole has been honored by the British First Lady, Cherie Booth Blair, the Canadian Rechnitzer Foundation, the Danish Royal Academy of Science, the American Physiological Society and the American College of Sports Medicine. As principal investigator, he has been awarded more than $5 million ($17.9 million as co-investigator) from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and the American Heart Association. Poole is this year's Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars.

"The hard work, dedication and accomplishments of Dr. Wilken and Dr. Poole have enhanced K-State's reputation across the nation and beyond as a major research institution," said Amy Button Renz, president and CEO of the K-State Alumni Association. "They are great examples of the positive impact faculty have on both the university and society as a whole."

The Imans live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ron and Rae are life members of the K-State Alumni Association and served as Kansas State University Foundation trustees. Ron Iman earned three degrees from K-State: a bachelor's degree in math education in 1962, a master's degree in 1970 and a doctorate in statistics in 1973. He is a past member of the Association's board of directors, served as the Association's representative to the KSU Research Foundation board and is a past chair of the Arts and Sciences Advisory Council. He received the university's Arts and Sciences Distinguished Service Award in 1996 and, in 1994, served as national president of the American Statistical Association. Ron Iman was named a Highly Cited Researcher by the Institute for Scientific Information in 2004.

For more information on the Iman Awards, visit