UAF awards $10,000 prizes to three professors

Posted: Sunday, May 06, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Three University of Alaska Fairbanks professors are each $10,000 richer as the recipients of the top cash prize given to faculty each year.

The winners get to use their $10,000 however they want.

UAF officials on Friday announced the lucky trio: applied business professor Charlie Dexter, history professor Claus M. Naske and civil engineering professor Robert Carlson. They were chosen by a committee of peers, students and a member of the UA Foundation Board of Trustees for the 2001 Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching, Research and Public Service Awards.

In the university system, the award is second only to the Edith R. Bullock Award, which is universitywide and has a $15,000 cash prize, according to UAF spokeswoman Carla Browning.

Dexter and Naske are UAF graduates. Carlson, who was nominated for the award by students, was educated in Wisconsin.

Dexter teaches at the Tanana Valley Campus and is credited with growing enrollment in the applied business program, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

''Charlie is one of our most sought-after professional development instructors,'' said TVC director Jake Poole. ''He has the uncanny ability to excite and challenge his students to learn.''

Naske has authored and co-authored a dozen books, including biographies of prominent Alaskans. He is known nationally for documenting Alaska's development from a Russian outpost to a United States territory and eventually a state.

''His contributions to the university in teaching and public service warrant recognition, but I believe that his most distinctive contribution has been in the development of knowledge of Alaska history,'' said political science professor Jerry McBeath.

Carlson is known for developing the UAF Engineers' Week Open House, a showcase of the profession, the UAF engineering department and students. He volunteers his design advice and labor to nonprofits.

''Dr. Carlson epitomized the goal of all engineers, which is to dedicate his professional knowledge and skill to the advancement and betterment of human welfare,'' said Frances M. Isgrigg, a former student and current engineering professional.

The awards are funded from a contribution by Usibelli Coal Mine through a $600,000 endowment made in 1992.

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