UA Little Rock chooses top faculty of 2017

Drs. Kathryn King, Tansel Karabacak, and Suzanne Penn have been selected as the top University of Arkansas at Little Rock faculty members of 2017.

Drs. Kathryn King, Tansel Karabacak, and Suzanne Penn have been selected as the top University of Arkansas at Little Rock faculty members of 2017. 

The three professors were the recipients of the UA Little Rock Faculty Excellence Awards in the categories of teaching; research and creative endeavors; and public service. Each will receive a $5,000 award.

The winners were honored during an April 13 reception at UA Little Rock George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology Auditorium. Eleven other faculty members, who earned Faculty Excellence awards at the college level, also were honored. The 15 members of the UA Little Rock Board of Visitors reviewed the achievements and selected the winners.

Since 1989, when the first award was given, the event has provided a way to recognize the great work of UA Little Rock faculty and is made possible through the valued contributions of the Office of the Chancellor, the Office of the Provost, and the UA Little Rock Chancellor’s Circle.

More about the winners:

Faculty Excellence in Teaching

Dr. Kathryn King, assistant professor of anthropology, is known for her willingness to help students learn by creating a socially conscious learning environment. Students and colleagues praised King for her knowledge of the field, class organization, and student focus.

King has also been involved in curriculum development for the UA Little Rock Anthropology Department, having created several innovative courses such as Race and Ethnicity, the Anthropology of Death, and Historic Mortuary Archaeology, in which students collected data from historic cemeteries across central Arkansas.

King received a Ph.D. and master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Kentucky.

Faculty Excellence in Research

Dr. Tansel Karabacak, associate professor of physics and astronomy, is an internationally known expert in the glancing angle deposition (GLAD) method to fabricate nanostructured metals, alloys, oxides, and semiconductors. Shortly after joining UA Little Rock, Karabacak created a new thin films and nanostructure laboratory, which utilizes state-of-the-art fabrication and testing equipment and computational tools for analysis and modeling studies.

Karabacak collaborated with students, about 20 faculty members, and approximately 55 national and international researchers outside UA Little Rock. He has been involved in projects with 10 companies and built connections with about 20 project managers from federal funding agencies. Karabacak managed research projects and contributed to 83 journal papers, 39 peer-reviewed conference proceedings, two book chapters, and two patent disclosures. He has also presented or co-authored about 175 invited talks and conference presentations.

Karabacak has a Ph.D. and a master’s degree from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a bachelor’s degree from the Middle East Technical University.

Faculty Excellence in Public Service

Dr. Suzanne Penn, associate professor of clinical law at William H. Bowen School of Law, is dedicated to serving individuals who do not have access to legal assistance. In 2014, Penn created a clinical experience for law students in the Delta region of Arkansas, an area that has long been underserved by attorneys.

The Delta project is comprised of two courses: The Delta Experience and the Delta Clinic. In the Delta Experience course, students travel to the Delta to educate low-income residents about grounds for divorce and what is necessary to obtain one without attorney representation. In the Delta Clinic course, students travel with Penn to Desha and Chicot counties to conduct client interviews, perform fact investigations related to case success, prepare divorce complaints and motions for fee waivers for clients. The students appear in courts as needed to represent their clients and also observe sessions of the courts.  

Penn earned a Juris Doctor from Tulane University and a bachelor’s degree with honors from Hendrix College.

In the upper right photos are Drs. Kathryn King (left), Tansel Karabacak (middle), and Suzanne Penn (right). Photos by Lonnie Timmons III/UA Little Rock Communications. 

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