by Brad Duncan
At the inaugural Founder’s Day celebration at the University of Kentucky, Provost Kumble Subbaswamy announced the recipients of the annual Provost’s awards. Debra Harley, professor and chair of the College of Education’s Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling, was named a Distinguished Service Professor, while Jane Jensen, associate professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, was honored with an Outstanding Teaching Award.
Harley has an impressive record of research and scholarship. She has disseminated her work through 79 refereed journal articles, 20 book chapters, one book, numerous non-refereed publications, 37 national and international conferences, and 36 regional, state and local conferences. In addition to teaching at the graduate level in her own department, she has taught courses for the Discovery Seminar Program, the Honors Program and the Women’s Studies Program. Harley has served on 25 doctoral committees, 23 master’s thesis committees and 405 non-thesis committees. She has won a number of national honors including being named Educator of the Year by the National Council on Rehabilitation Education. Harley also has been active within the university outside of her college, having served on 35 university-level committees.
“This award is an acknowledgement that the work we do as faculty in the area of service is an important part of the mission of the university,” Harley said. “It speaks to how service not only supports research and teaching, but to the impact that service has on making sure that the university, professional organizations, schools and agencies are able to accomplish many of their goals. Service is a part of what we do as citizens of the university and the larger society.”
Jensen became the third College of Education professor to receive an Outstanding Teaching Award, joining Harley (2002) and John Thelin (2006). The director of graduate studies in her department, Jensen’s interests lie in qualitative research methodology, issues in postcompulsary education and college student success. As a Fulbright Scholar, Jensen’s research in the Canadian Maritimes addressed issues of economic development and education. She has continued this work investigating educational aspirations and adult education in Appalachia. Her academic interests also include qualitative research methods and college student success. She also has co-authored a textbook for students experiencing academic difficulty.
“It’s always rewarding to be acknowledged for your work, but this is especially meaningful as the nominations for the award came from my students,” Jensen said. “I appreciate their support and am glad that I have been able to help them reach their goals.”
Special thanks to UK Public Relations for contributing to this story.