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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (March 31, 2010) – A UCM psychology professor recognized by his students four times for exceptional teaching is now being honored by his peers. David Kreiner, Ph.D., is the recipient of the 2010 Byler Distinguished Faculty Award, the top honor given to a UCM faculty member.
As award recipient, Kreiner will be honored during a public reception planned for 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 27, in Elliott Union 234A. He also will be recognized before thousands of new UCM graduates and their families attending commencement exercises Saturday, May 8 in the Multipurpose Building.
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.
Although Kreiner describes himself as “introverted,” a nomination from a faculty member outside the Department of Psychology and letters of support from a former student and current colleagues demonstrate how he has consistently touched the lives of different campus members in positive ways.
“I have made a lot of friends in many different areas of the university over the years,” Kreiner said. “I feel that I am not just a psychology professor, but a member of a larger university community. I really value that sense of community.”
Since joining the university in 1990, Kreiner has established a reputation as an excellent teacher, mentor and research supervisor. Other faculty members praise his ability to take difficult courses such as Advanced Statistics and present the material in ways that students can more easily grasp.
“It is truly amazing to watch Dr. Kreiner teach,” said Sandy Hutchinson, professor of educational leadership, who wrote a letter supporting his nomination. “He is extremely calm, consistent, and rock-solid. His delivery of the material is done in a very understandable way for the students, and students leave his class at the end of the semester saying they truly enjoyed the course.”
Colleagues in his department note that over the years Kreiner has inspired many undergraduate students to further their education, a number of them obtaining doctoral degrees in psychology. His students have consistently given him high marks on their faculty evaluations. Such strong support was demonstrated through his selection for the Outstanding Undergraduate Professor of Psychology award from the student body in 1991, 1994, and 2006, in addition to the Outstanding Graduate Professor of Psychology award in 2008. His reputation as a quality educator also led to his selection as UCM’s recipient of the Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1998, and he was recognized nationally in 1995 as recipient of the Frank Costin Award for Excellence, presented by the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology.
Kreiner attributes his own success in the classroom to UCM his psychology department mentors, individuals such as Ken Thompson, Jon Smith, Bob Ahlering and, most recently, Joe Ryan, department chair.
“I have also worked with some great colleagues over the years. And much of what I have been able to do has been a direct result of the students I have worked with,” Kreiner said. “They have helped me learn how to be a better teacher.”
In addition to teaching, Kreiner is a prolific researcher, having produced more than 40 journal articles and book chapters, including providing opportunities for students to serve as co-authors. He has a strong record of service at the department, college and university levels. This includes chairing committees or councils dealing with curriculum, promotion and tenure, university studies, human subjects, and university research, as well as participation in groups that have addressed topics such as assessment, classroom security, research ethics, and diversity plan writing. He has served on at least 38 different Master of Science in Psychology thesis committees, as well as thesis committees in other departments and dissertation committees for the university’s two cooperative doctoral degree programs.
Kreiner’s devotion to student development is evident through his mentorship since 1991 of 34 students in McNair Scholars, a program which prepares students for doctoral study. He also serves as chapter advisor to Psi Chi Honor Society, giving him an opportunity to influence the department’s best and brightest students.
His professional activities are widespread, and include contributions that have benefitted the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, where he is a member of the Project Syllabus Workgroup; serving as coordinator of the Departmental Counseling Service for the American Psychological Association; and consulting editor for the Teaching of Psychology, just to name a few.