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

Posted November 26, 2012

Two K-State faculty members in microbiology and agricultural economics will each receive $5,000 awards in recognition of their outstanding research and teaching during a 4 p.m. ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 27, at the K-State Alumni Center. 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 Dr. Ron and Rae Iman.

T.G. Nagaraja, university distinguished professor of microbiology in the department of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, will receive the Iman Outstanding Faculty Award for Research. The recipient of the Iman Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching is Andrew Barkley, university distinguished teaching scholar of agricultural economics in the College of Agriculture.

Nagaraja'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.

Joining the K-State faculty in 1980, Nagaraja's research program has focused primarily on microbiology of the gastrointestinal tract of cattle, particularly of the rumen, the first of the four compartments of the complex stomach. His research program is geared toward supporting the beef industry in Kansas. His research contributions are primarily on the in-feed use of antibiotics, causes and preventions of digestive disorders, such as acidosis, bloat and liver abscesses. In the past 10 years, his research has focused on preharvest food safety, particularly of the Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 in beef cattle.

His nominator, M.M. Chengapa, university distinguished professor and department head of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, said, "Dr. Nagaraja is an exceptional scholar and recognized both nationally and internationally for the caliber of his research and expertise. We are truly fortunate to have a faculty member of his caliber and stature at K-State. He brings enormous visibility not only to the department and college, but also to the university and the state of Kansas."

Barkley'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 reputation for scholarship and distinguished service to the university.

Barkley teaches courses in agricultural economics and public policy. He is a frequently requested speaker on the topics of motivation, teaching, higher education and agricultural and public policy.

"Dr. Barkley has earned an international reputation for his commitment to students, to colleagues both within the university and around the world, and to the people of Kansas," said his nominator David Lambert, professor and head of the department of agricultural economics.

"The strength of K-State’s teaching program is bolstered by the strong research focus of our faculty. He has been successful in establishing strong research programs. His accomplishments and continuing thoughtfulness in helping define tomorrow’s issues and educational needs are vital for shaping the future of this department and the university," Lambert said.

Joining the K-State faculty in 1988, Barkley has received numerous university and professional teaching awards, including the CASE Kansas Professor of the Year in 1993, the university's Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1997, and the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Western Agricultural Economics Association in 2008.

"We are so pleased to honor these outstanding K-State faculty members," said Amy Button Renz, president and CEO of the K-State Alumni Association. "They are certainly worthy of this special recognition. We also are grateful to Ron and Rae Iman for their generous commitment to make these awards possible."

The Imans live in Albuquerque, N.M. Ron and Rae are life members of the K-State Alumni Association and serve as KSU Foundation trustees. Ron Inman 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, serves as the association’s representative to the Kansas State University Research Foundation Board, and is a member of the Arts and Sciences Advisory Council. He received the university’s Distinguished Service Award in 1996, and in 1994 served as national president of the American Statistical Association.