Endowed Faculty Chairs

A Note From our President

“The great work and devotion shown to our students by our faculty is truly inspiring. The faculty exhibit a dedication to learning that is unparalleled in terms of passion and enthusiasm both inside as well as outside the classroom.

The Endowed Faculty Chair awards are an important part of how we continue to strive to make this college the greatest institution it can be. By supporting our faculty, this incredible program will help drive teaching, learning, and, ultimately, innovation at Kirkwood well into the future.”

~ Dr. Lori Sundberg, President


What are the Endowed Faculty Chair Awards?

The Endowed Faculty Chair awards were initiated to honor retiring President Dr. Norm Nielsen in December 2004. Endowed Faculty Chairs provide an opportunity for selected faculty to undertake professional development projects in their disciplines or in instructional pedagogy through writing, preparing, and presenting a special lecture, conducting research, or pursuing other opportunities.

The emphasis is on personal and professional growth and is separate from assigned duties, routine work, or service to the department.

The goals for the Endowed Faculty Chair program are to:

  • Encourage faculty to pursue educational challenges with creativity and innovation
  • Promote academic quality by supporting faculty commitment to educational and pedagogical excellence
  • Promote the college’s name in connection with educational excellence
  • Bring community leaders and faculty together in a commitment to excellence in education

The Endowed Faculty Chair program is a major effort by the Kirkwood Board of Trustees and the Kirkwood Foundation Board to demonstrate their commitment to quality instruction by recognizing and fostering instructional excellence and lifelong learning.


2019-20 Endowed Faculty Chair Award Winners

Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie Endowed Chair

Elizabeth McCarthy

“Cultivating Grit in the Community College Student”

The persistence rate at community colleges provides evidence that students need additional help to be successful. My inspiration for this project stemmed from a Ted Talks video in education named “Grit: The power of passion and perseverance.” The presenter, Angela Duckworth, studies “intangible concepts such as self-control and grit to determine how they might predict both academic and professional success.”

Duckworth referred to research conducted by Carol Dweck on “growth mindset” as a possible method to cultivate grit. The challenge I plan to address is how to incorporate these concepts into the curriculum.

In this project, I plan to research “grit” and “growth mindset” and develop an instructional shell for myself and other instructors. The main objective is to facilitate instruction on how students can develop grit and growth mindset.

From a student perspective, students will learn to apply the fundamental steps for grit and mind growth development and demonstrate their importance.

Kirkwood Endowed Faculty Chair

Arbe Bareis

“Word and Images”

One of the pillars of Kirkwood’s Learner Success Agenda is instructional innovation, more specifically innovation through faculty collaboration. My paintings and drawings, in conversation with the poetry of Marianne Taylor, speaks directly to that goal as we become models for our students in a project that will be shared in a variety of ways.

The works that we will execute will be influenced by our individual philosophies regarding symbolism and aesthetics. We are also seeking inspiration from the works of great writers, artists, and philosophers. We will examine historical perspectives as well as current societal issues such as ethnicity, gender, wealth, poverty, education, the environment, and politics.

Collaboration requires flexibility, exploration, innovation, team work, and long-term planning. One of our goals is to have this collaboration continue beyond April 2020, in ways that enhance our reputations as well as that of the college and the community as a whole.

Kirkwood Endowed Faculty Chair

Marianne Taylor

“Word and Image”

Ekphrastic poetry, that which describes and amplifies a work of art, has been around longer than Keat’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” but it is less common for two artists to collaborate and engage in a conversation between their work, and that is what Arbe Bareis and I propose to do.

We will study and seek a creative response to each other’s art, which will lead us to new subjects and approaches, and ideally to transcend the limitations of our individual art forms. The hope is that reflection upon our words and image together will result in a layered understanding for the observer that is greater than that which the individual artwork would otherwise impart.

And we plan to extend this collaboration beyond this immediate project, as well as to model for our students the concept of shared artistry, of engaging with others in the creation of meaning.

Kirkwood Endowed Faculty Chair

Dr. Lenore Maybaum

“Tracing Shapes: Literature’s Mediating Role in Love and Loss“

Literature, in its capacity to evoke, regenerate, and transmit narrative, constructs individual and collective subjectivity. As an English professor, I know that it is impossible to separate language or literacy learning from literature.

And on a deeper, personal level, I know that my own memory, desire, love, and loss are inseparable from my experiences with literature. It both reflects and transforms my emotional reality, and it has given me the language to frame and translate my experiences. To read and to respond to literature is to address our ancestral phantoms, to speak to our ghosts.

For my Endowed Chair project, I propose to write an autobiographical essay exploring how reading literature creates ambivalent effects: When we read literature, we often reconnect to and recuperate something lost; at the same time, however, literature can create within the reader the very knowledge and experience of loss, the desire for wholeness and connection.

Kirkwood Endowed Faculty Chair

Amy Rehnstrom

“Laying the Foundation for a LINK Coalition in Eastern Iowa“

Family violence is a broad term which includes child maltreatment, elder abuse, domestic violence, and animal abuse. Though all intentional abuse should be taken seriously, unfortunately animal abuse does not carry the same legal penalties as other types of abuse and is thus often overlooked and underreported.

However, sociological research has shown a link between animal abuse and other types of family violence for decades. Abuse of animals by a child may indicate that the child is being abused or is at the earliest stages of a conduct disorder. Domestic violence, child, and elder abusers may kill, harm, threaten, or withhold proper care for pets in order to exert dominance and control over their victims.

The National Link Coalition is a national resource for agencies dealing with victims of abuse such as law enforcement, prosecutor’s offices, and child and adult protective services. This project will lay the foundation for a Link Coalition in eastern Iowa by educating local agencies on the link between animal abuse and family violence as well providing a contact network of local agency representatives for future reference.

We are grateful to the Endowed Faculty Chair donors and their dedication to supporting excellence in the classroom.

For more information about creating an Endowed Faculty Chair in honor or memory of someone special, contact Jody Pellerin at 319-398-5409 or jody.pellerin@kirkwood.edu.

Kirkwood Foundation
The Kirkwood Foundation exists to bridge the gap between the needs and resources of Kirkwood Community College and its students.