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UCO Faculty Members Honored With Vanderford Awards

Aug. 20, 2014

Media Contact: Lindsay Houts, Staff Writer, UCO University Relations, 405-974-2121,


The University of Central Oklahoma recently honored faculty from each of its academic colleges with Vanderford Faculty Awards.

Given annually at the beginning of the academic year, Vanderford Faculty Awards include $1,000 and a plaque funded from the estate of Austin (B.Ed. ’26) and Cleo Patra Vanderford to each recipient.

The awards are presented in four categories: teaching; engagement; undergraduate research, creative and scholarly activity; and initiative.

Provost John Barthell, Ph.D., said the awards reflect each recipient’s commitment to the “Central Six” of transformative learning, as well the mission, vision and values of the university. 

“The Vanderford Awards recognize the incredible dedication of university's faculty to supporting our students. Through teaching, scholarly activity and service, these faculty members exemplify Central’s commitment to helping students learn,” Barthell said. 

The recipients are as follows:

Vanderford Teaching Awards:

  • Laura Bolf-Beliveau, Ph.D., associate professor of English;
  • Robert Brennan, Ph.D., associate professor of Biology;
  • Kato Buss, assistant professor of Theatre Arts;
  • Tawni Holmes, Ph.D., professor of Human Environmental Sciences; and,
  • Bob Kaiser, instructor of Marketing.

Vanderford Research Award:

  • Amy Johnson, M.F.A., associate professor of Design

Vanderford Engagement Award:

  • Anita “Glee” Bertram, Ph.D., professor of Human Environmental Sciences; and,
  • Mark Zimmerman, assistant professor of Mass Communication.

Vanderford President’s Initiative Award:

  • LaDonna Atkins, Ed.D., professor of Human Environmental Sciences;
  • James Mock, Ph.D., professor of Humanities and Philosophy;
  • Yvette Walker, artist-in-residence for Mass Communication; and,
  • Charleen Weidell, M.F.A., professor of Art, for initiative.


Editor’s Note: To download headshots of the winners, visit (Photos not available for Bolf-Beliveau, Brennan or Buss.)