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University of Central Missouri
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Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
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Luehrman to Receive Byler Distinguished Faculty Award

Contact Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 16, 2012) – As chair of the University of Central Missouri Department of Art and Design, Mick Luehrman not only shares a position once held by his father, but he will soon have in common a prestigious honor. He has been named recipient of the 2012 Byler Distinguished Faculty Award.

The Byler Award is the top recognition for university faculty. Luehrman will be honored as this year’s recipient by the UCM Board of Governors when it meets at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, April 19 in the Elliott Union Kitterman Room. A formal presentation including all of this year’s nominees will take place at 3:30 p.m. the same day in the University Art Center Gallery. UCM faculty, staff, students and the public are all invited to attend.

Mick Luehrman
Mick Luehrman

 The award is named for William H. Byler, an inventor, author and teacher who graduated from UCM in 1927 with a major in chemistry and physics. He established an endowment fund to provide annual recognition for distinguished faculty performance, evidenced by teaching, scholarly or creative activity and professional- related service.

“Receiving the Byler Award is obviously a great honor. Being recognized by one’s peers is the ultimate complement and I am extremely grateful,” Luehrman said. He added that the opportunity to share the honor with his father, Richard Luehrman, professor emeritus of art, is particularly exciting.

“This award is especially meaningful to me because my father is among the group of past Byler awardees,” he said. “Our parents are our first teachers and I was extremely lucky in that regard. My parents have been wonderful lifelong role models, so I share this honor with them, as well as all of the teachers that inspired me as a student.”

Luehrman earned a bachelor’s degree from UCM and a master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. After completing his doctorate at MU in 1999, he returned to his alma mater in Warrensburg to begin his college teaching career. His hard work paid off with faculty rank promotions and a promotion to department chair in 2006, where he has continued to earn the respect and admiration of his professional colleagues and students.

“I am impressed, time and time again with Dr. Luehrman’s preparedness, focus, work ethic, exactness, flexibility, kindness and his overall positive energy and professional demeanor,” noted Kathleen Desmond, professor of art history.

She added, “Students learn not only creative and critical thinking from Dr. Luerhman; they learn leadership and teaching skills and how to make knowledge their own.”

Mike Wright, dean of the College of Education, echoed that sentiment, noting simply, “Dr. Luehrman is the teacher you want for your own children.”

During his tenure at UCM, Luehrman climbed the faculty ranks from assistant to full professor, and served as the director of the Art Education Program from 1999-2006. He taught numerous courses such as Art for Elementary Schools, three different Methods of Teaching Art courses, Drawing I, and a variety of others. Many of his students have seen the works of master artists up close during the summer Paris Museum Tour Art History Class that has actually taken them to France and other European countries to visit the world’s most prestigious museums and galleries.

Luehrman has had a distinguished career as a teacher, an artist and scholar, and has been a strong advocate for arts and education across the state. He has published numerous articles in professional journals such as “Art Education,”  “Journal of the National Art Education Association,” and “Studies in Art Education,” in addition to making many presentations before professional organizations at regional, state and national conferences. His scholarly works have been shared with groups such as the Missouri Art Education Association and the National Art Education Association, groups in which he has also held committee and leadership posts. His devotion and reputation among such organizations has led to honors that include MAEA’s Art Educator of the Year for Higher Education Award, presented in 2009.

His service to the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, has included an instrumental leadership role in overseeing the reaccreditation of the art program by the National Association for Schools of Art and Design in 2007. This continued a string of reaccreditations since 1986, enabling UCM to become the only public university in the state to attain such accreditation.

Luehrman is known in professional art circles for his creative sculptures fashioned from hand-made paper. His work has appeared in arts shows at colleges, universities, and galleries in Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, and Texas.