Jackson, Purdy, Weinrauch Tapped as 'Outstanding Faculty' at Tennessee Tech

Chemistry Professor Barbara Jackson and Mechanical Engineering Professor Kenneth Purdy have been named the 1996 recipients of Tennessee Technological University's Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching, while Economics, Finance and Marketing Professor Donald Weinrauch is the recipient of the university's 1996 Outstanding Faculty Award in Professional Service.

Jackson, Purdy and Weinrauch will be recognized for their achievements and receive a plaque and $1,500 honorarium during spring commencement, Saturday, May 4.


Termed the "most popular classroom instructor" in Chemistry by her chairperson, Chris McGowan, Jackson has taught introductory sections of undergraduate science since 1978, when she left the Medical University of South Carolina and joined the faculty here.

"Dr. Jackson has excelled in making the non-science major's chemistry an interesting sequence for a large number of students with a wide variety of backgrounds," says Joseph Lerner, Tennessee Tech Chemistry professor. "She brings the abstract into the forefront of reality through clever examples in class that are thoroughly anecdotal and cleverly humorous and surprising."

Susan Goss, associate professor of Biology at the university, considers Jackson not only a valued colleague but an inspiration. Goss says, "Dr. Jackson's enthusiasm for science is readily communicated to students -- she motivates them by making chemistry challenging, relevant and fun."

The author of numerous publications, Jackson and co-author Katherine Rust of Chemistry recently completed Elementary Dr. Watson, a chemistry workbook for elementary education students, during a non-instructional leave-time grant last year.


A prolific researcher and tireless classroom teacher, Purdy has influenced a generation of engineers -- not only here, but at Purdue University, where he taught from 1964 to 1968 before coming to Tennessee Tech.

Edwin Griggs, chairperson of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has known Purdy for 34 years and calls him "one of the most methodical and professional persons I have had the opportunity to know. His instructional competence is exceptional. He cares about the student. He prepares notes and problem solutions with great care and detail. His classroom demeanor is impeccable."

Purdy's students -- current and former -- define professionalism more broadly. Working with Purdy as a graduate student "was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," says graduate Chris Miller, now a heatrate engineer with Alabama Power's Gorgas Steam Plant. Mechanical Engineering junior David Long describes Purdy as "the most compassionate and caring teacher" he's ever had.

Purdy holds five patents in his chief research area, thermal and thermochemical conversion of biomass into fuels and chemicals, in addition to being the author of more than 60 publications and reports.


A member of the business faculty since 1977, Weinrauch is a former recipient of the universityUs Caplenor Faculty Research Award and a six-time winner of outstanding teaching and research awards in the College of Business Administration, including the Curtis Kinslow Award for Excellence in Teaching. His skill in teaching and research is obvious; now he is being recognized for his excellence in service.

His dean, Robert Bell of the College of Business Administration, considers Weinrauch "an outstanding classroom teacher and an accomplished author and scholar," but says Weinrauch contributes even more. And community business leaders agree.

"Dr. Weinrauch has provided a very significant service to the community and the university with the WCTE-TV show, 'Upper Cumberland Business Profiles,'" says Joe Albrecht, president of Albrecht Newspapers Inc. "The program has been serving the area for over six years. The program provides a large segment of the population with information about people and professions that they may not have had access to in the absence of this program."

Weinrauch is the author of more than 100 academic articles, papers and consulting reports, as well as five books, including The Frugal Marketer: Smart Tips for Stretching Your Budget, The Marketing Problem Solver and Applied Marketing Principles.