Prestigious Awards Presented to Faculty and Staff

October 4, 2021

On Oct. 1, the Bradley family came together in the Dingeldine Music Center for the annual Founder’s Day Convocation. This event is designed to celebrate and honor Lydia Moss Bradley, the remarkable founder of our university. At this annual event, we also honor some of our very own who continue Lydia's legacy of excellence. Below, you'll find four remarkable faculty/staff members who were awarded during the convocation.

Caterpillar Faculty Achievement Awards for Scholarship — Dr. Udo Schnupf, Mund-Lagowski Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (pictured right-center)

Nominees of this award must hold a full-time, tenure-track faculty appointment, but they must not have attained tenure status.

Dr. Schnupf began his full-time tenure-track appointment as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Bradley University in 2016. However, beginning in 2003, he established a longstanding collegial relationship with the department, serving as a part-time/adjunct instructor, sabbatical leave replacement, and eventually a lecturer.

His nominator writes: Dr. Schnupf demonstrates a strong dedication to serving Bradley students, loyalty to the department and to the university. His continued research contributions to the field of computational modeling of chemical systems make him an outstanding candidate for this award. In the last five years, Dr. Schnupf has established an impressive research record to far exceed the department's tenure and promotion guidelines.

His nomination goes on to read: Dr. Schnupf established an incredibly active and prolific computational and experimental research program before coming to Bradley and has continued to be exceptionally productive in the discipline since joining. He has developed several active collaborations with nationally and internationally renowned scientists and universities to broaden his contributions to the field.

He also has actively collaborated with undergraduate and graduate research students who are chemistry and biochemistry majors, as well as mechanical engineering majors. These collaborations have allowed him and his research students to present their findings at international, national, and local conferences on a regular basis. He has given eight conference presentations and his students have given 25 over the past four years. This collaborative research has also resulted in 14 peer-reviewed publications in seven different journals. His publications have involved seven different undergraduate student co-authors and have appeared in top-notch journals such as the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules and Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.

Samuel Rothberg Professional Excellence Award - Dr. Devin Murphy, Associate Professor of English (pictured left-center)

This award recognizes outstanding achievements in research and creativity by a senior faculty member. Recipients are expected to make original contributions to their field and submit these contributions for critical appraisal by their professional peers.

Dr. Murphy has achieved an extensive and significant record of publication while carrying a full teaching load. Since he joined Bradley in 2012, Dr. Murphy has published two novels and 68 pieces of creative work that included 41 pieces of fiction, 14 poems, 11 creative nonfiction essays, and 2 literary reviews. These journal and magazine publications include many of the top-tier outlets in his field. He has also been invited and given more than 40 presentations around the country since joining Bradley.

Further evidence of his abilities as a writer are the outstanding accolades he has received for his two novels.

The Boat Runner became a national bestseller and received a full standalone review in The New York Times and a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. It was published in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand and was even translated into Dutch when it was published in Europe. It was also one of only 50 books chosen as a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection for fall 2017 and has been selected as an "Illinois Reads" book for 2020 and 2021.

His second novel, Tiny Americans, was published in 2019 and received some strong endorsements from various national outlets. In fact, it won the Chicago Writer’s Association Book of the Year award for 2019.

Dr. Murphy received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from St. Bonaventure University, an MFA from Colorado State, and a doctorate from the University of Nebraska.

Charles M. Putnam Award for Excellence in Teaching - Dr. Anthony Hermann, Professor of Psychology (pictured far left)

The recognition of excellence in teaching became a tradition at Bradley in 1957 when Charles M. Putnam established the Putnam Award for Excellence in Teaching.

His nomination form reads: Dr. Hermann delivers high-quality mentored research experiences to our undergraduates, a teaching/research endeavor that falls outside his workload. He has co-authored peer-reviewed papers with six Bradley undergraduates, has co-authored with more than a dozen undergraduate students on presentations at national and regional conferences and has mentored more than 50 students on reviewed undergraduate research presentations. This is a breath-taking level of engagement with students, so it's no surprise he was selected as the 2018 recipient of the Mid-Career Mentoring Award by the Psychology Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research.

His nominator also writes: Dr. Hermann exemplifies the scholar-teacher. Not only is he a productive scholar, but he relentlessly and successfully draws students into the scientific endeavor, a practice that transforms students from passive information receptacles into proactive problems-solvers.

Dr. Hermann is also a highly-regarded and highly productive scholar, having published 23 articles in peer-reviewed journals, edited an issue for the Current Psychology Journal, and was the lead editor of a 2018 scholarly volume with more than 50 contributions from the top researchers in his sub-field.

Frances C. Mergen Award for Public Service - Brad McMillan, Executive Director of the Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service (pictured far right)

Each year the alumni association chooses the recipient of the Francis C. Mergen award, which the Central Illinois Bradley Alumni Chapter established in 1973 to honor Dr. Francis C. Mergen, chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering. The award recognizes a member of the Bradley staff or faculty who has provided exceptional service to the community.

Brad provides thoughtful, ethical leadership on issues including politics, healthcare, cultural expressions, and the environment.

One nominator said of him, “Without exception, Brad brings to the table his spirit of genuine cooperation, good humor, and his innate sense of purpose. He is a person of great integrity who genuinely cares about doing the right thing, the right way, and about making a difference with dignity and grace.”

Leading the way through a principled example has benefitted a diverse collection of organizations and their constituents. Brad has served on statewide boards for CHANGE Illinois, and The Nature Conservancy.

In Central Illinois, he has served on boards for Heartland Health Services, Friends of Build the Block for the Peoria Riverfront Museum, the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School, St. Jude telethon, Habitat for Humanity, Lakeview Museum, and the Dirksen Congressional Center to name a few.

Brad is well known for his exceptional leadership and commitment to integrity. He’s highly regarded for his insistence, often against powerful political pressure, that the common good must triumph over partisanship.

Another nominator sums it up, saying, “Brad truly exemplifies principled leadership in public service.”