Roger Kirk Honored With Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year Award

Roger Kirk Presented with Award
Dr. Roger Kirk (L) received the Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year award from Dr. Jim Bennighof (R) during the April 20 Academic Honors Week Convocation in Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center. (Matthew Minard/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
May 7, 2012

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WACO, Texas (May 7, 2012) - Roger E. Kirk, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Statistics and Master Teacher at Baylor University's College of Arts and Sciences, has been named the 2012 Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year. The annual award is presented to a faculty member who makes a superlative contribution to the learning environment at Baylor. The award was presented during the university's annual Honors Convocation held April 20.

As this year's recipient, Kirk will receive $20,000 and present a public lecture in the fall on an academic topic of his choosing.

The Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year award is based on:
• Teaching, which is judged to be of the highest order of intellectual acumen and pedagogical effectiveness,
• Research, which is recognized as outstanding by the national and international, as well as local, community of scholars, and
• Service, which is regarded as exemplary in building the character of intellectual community at Baylor.

"During his 54 years of service on Baylor's faculty, Roger Kirk has taught thousands of students and served extensively in professional societies and in the Baylor and local community. Perhaps even more remarkably, he has at the same time produced an extraordinary body of research, including more than 200 articles, reviews, reports, encyclopedia entries, editions of books and paper presentations, several of which have been foundational in the area of research protocols, sound experimental design and statistical procedures in the social sciences," said Dr. James Bennighof, vice provost for academic affairs and policy and professor of music theory at Baylor.

Jim Diaz-Granados, Ph.D., chair of the department of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor, said that Kirk "exemplifies the spirit of the award. Over his long career, he has distinguished himself and brought distinction to Baylor University in teaching, research, and service.

"He is one of Baylor's first Master Teachers," Diaz-Granados said. "His contributions to the behavioral sciences has been recognized by five divisions of the American Psychological Association. His Experimental Design book was named a Citation Classic by the Institute for Scientific Information in 1979. The first edition was cited nearly 1400 times in the first decade. It is soon to come out in its fourth edition. His record of service to his profession, the university, and the community at large is unparalleled."

Diaz-Granados said he has been one of Kirk's colleagues for 15 of Kirk's years at Baylor, and "I can assure you that there is no more humble, kind, or thoughtful faculty member on this campus. For someone with such a high level of accomplishment, he is both unassuming in manner and generous with his time and guidance. I can say, without equivocation, that every member of our department considers it an honor to call Roger Kirk a colleague, and a privilege to call him friend."

Kirk earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in music and his Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Ohio State University. He received a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship in mathematical psychology from the University of Michigan. In 2001, Ohio State's department of psychology presented him its Distinguished Alumnus Award.

A member of Baylor's faculty since 1958, Kirk was named the Outstanding Tenured Teacher in the College of Arts and Sciences in recognition of his teaching effectiveness. In 1993, Baylor appointed him as a Master Teacher, the highest honor granted to Baylor faculty members.

Kirk is the 2005 recipient of the American Psychological Association's Jacob Cohen Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Mentoring. He also is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and past president of the Society for Applied Multivariate Research, Division 5 of the American Psychological Association, and the Southwestern Psychological Association. A prolific scholar, his first book, Experimental Design: Procedures for the Behavioral Sciences, was identified by the Institute for Scientific Information as one of the most frequently cited books in its field.

The award is named for Dr. Cornelia Marschall Smith, a 1918 Baylor biology graduate, who earned a master's degree from the University of Chicago in 1925 and her doctorate from Johns Hopkins in 1928. She was a professor of biology at Baylor from 1940-67, chair of the biology department from 1943-67, and director of Strecker Museum from 1943-67. She retired in 1967, but maintained an office in Armstrong Browning Library to assist charitable causes. In 1980, Baylor honored Smith with an endowed chair known as the Cornelia Marschall Smith Professorship in Biology. She was widely celebrated among her colleagues, students and alumni for fine teaching, generous mentoring and her many interdisciplinary interests. She was a lively and continuing contributor to the Baylor intellectual community until her death on Aug. 27, 1997, at the age of 101.

Previous recipients of the award include:
• Robert Darden, associate professor of journalism and media arts in the College of Arts and Sciences
• Dr. Joyce Jones, The Joyce Oliver Bowden Professor of Music, professor of organ and Organist-in-Residence
• Dr. William Hillis, The Cornelia Marschall Smith professor of biology
• Dr. D. Thomas Hanks Jr., professor of English and Master Teacher
• Dr. Robert M. Baird, professor of philosophy and Master Teacher
• Dr. Kevin G. Pinney, professor of chemistry
• Dr. Ann E. Rushing, professor and associate chair of biology
• Dr. Wallace L. Daniel Jr., former Baylor history professor

About Baylor University

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

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