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Karen Nordheden Receives Chancellor's Club Teaching Professorship

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

We are thrilled to announce that Associate Professor Karen Nordheden received a Chancellor's Club Teaching Professorship . 

In her 25 years at KU, Karen Nordheden has found unique ways to keep students’ attention in her chemical and petroleum engineering classes. Her methods include splitting up large classes into the “houses” of Hogwarts (the school from the Harry Potter book series) and developing active, problem-based lessons with simulations and case studies that better prepare students for industry. Student reviews repeatedly praise Nordheden for her teaching style, her material presentation and her encouragement of students’ questions.

Career highlights:

  • Nordheden has received numerous scholarly and teaching awards, including the W.T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence and the H. Bernard Fink Award for Excellence in Teaching, both universitywide awards.
  • She directed a KU study abroad program to New Zealand that provided chemical and petroleum engineering students with a unique opportunity to get first-hand, practical experience of process engineering through site visits and associated assignments.
  • Nordheden led students in a real-world project about a refinery that detailed how it could have saved $30 million by creating a safer environment.

“Her courses have a high level of rigor, clarity and structure, with highly effective classroom delivery, as her student evaluations accurately reflect,” wrote former colleague Michael Detamore in his letter of support for Nordheden’s nomination. Detamore is now chair and professor at the Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma.

Congratulations, Professor Nordheden!



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