Dr. Richard Krugman, Chris Bowman and Dr. Richard Hamman pose with their Distinguished Professor awards

(Photo: Dr. Richard Krugman, Chris Bowman from CU-Boulder and Dr. Richard Hamman pose with their Distinguished Professor awards. Photos by Cathy Beuten, CU System Communications.)

By Chris Casey | University Communications

AURORA, Colo. – The visionary work of Richard D. Krugman, MD, and Richard F. Hamman, MD, DrPH, was celebrated today as the esteemed scholars and leaders on the Anschutz Medical Campus received Distinguished Professor honors from the Board of Regents.

The board held its November meeting in the Trivisible Room in Research 2.

Six University of Colorado faculty members have been named 2012 Distinguished Professor honorees. Also receiving his award at today’s meeting was Chris Bowman, PhD, professor of chemical engineering, College of Engineering and Applied Science, CU-Boulder.

Scenes from the Board of Regents meeting:

Each year, the recognition goes to faculty members who demonstrate exemplary performance in research or creative work, a record of excellence in classroom teaching and supervision of individual learning, and outstanding service to the profession, university and its affiliates.

Lilly Marks, vice president of health affairs at the University of Colorado and executive vice chancellor of the Anschutz Medical Campus, introduced Krugman and Hamman as each was given a plaque.

Hamman is a professor and founding dean emeritus, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health. With CU since 1979, Hamman is a chronic disease epidemiologist with an interest in diabetes and cardiovascular disease, especially in U.S. minority populations. His research has established him as a leader in the field of diabetes epidemiology. Hamman was instrumental in leading the creation of the Colorado School of Public Health, serving as its founding dean. In just its fifth year, the school’s reputation is growing rapidly as student enrollment, research and faculty numbers are all up.

Marks said that as an educator, Hamman worked to create and support the public health graduate and doctoral programs that are now among the most desirable and fastest-growing programs in the nation. She applauded his work with the School of Public Health as well as his major contributions to diabetes and cardiovascular research.

“Dr. Hamman’s contributions to the school, to the Anschutz Medical Campus, to the university and to the medical and scientific communities have been both exceptional and visionary, and will continue to have broad and substantial impacts on the university, the state of Colorado and the field of public health for decades to come,” Marks said.

Hamman thanked the many contributors, including the regents, for making the School of Public Health a success. He said collaboration in modern science is key, as reflected by the work done by groups such as the Diabetes Prevention Program, which he serves as national vice chair.

“Collaboration and team science are the word, and we need to find ways to continue to foster that,” Hamman said.

Krugman is vice chancellor for health affairs for the University of Colorado Denver and dean of the CU School of Medicine. Having begun at CU as an intern in 1968, Krugman, who became the medical school’s acting dean in 1990 and dean in 1992, is now the longest-serving dean of a medical school in the United States. His work has had significant impact on scientific inquiry, public policy and educational advancement in the area of child abuse and neglect. He served for 11 years as director of the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect. His chairmanship on a national advisory board helped launch a national, evidence-based agenda for child abuse prevention and intervention.

Marks said the most empowering aspect of Krugman’s leadership is his ability to create a culture of respect, collaboration and trust. “The collaborative environment that Dean Krugman has established over the last two decades has propelled the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado through major, rigorous curriculum reform, a remarkable increase in clinical productivity and excellence and a 370 percent increase in research funding to the School of Medicine,” Marks said.

She noted that he directly developed two programs — the Child Health Associate program at CU and the Colorado Health Education Center program — that play critical roles in health care delivery in Colorado.

“In the words of the current director of the Kempe Center, Dr. Des Runyan, ‘Dr. Krugman is the best-known living physician in the field of child abuse and pediatrics, not only in the United States, but likely in the world,'” Marks said.

“I have not worked at any other place but this university,” Krugman said. “This is the highest honor that, I think, those of us on the faculty can receive. And although not immediately, I really do look forward to one day being just a professor and not having any administrative responsibilities.”

He cited a current week-long series about child abuse in The Denver Post, saying, “We still have work to do protecting children. … Your support has been enormous. I thank not just Mary (his spouse) and my team and Lilly, who has been an important part of that team for 20 years, but really the faculty, staff and students of this institution who are so terrific to work with.”

Both Hamman and Krugman said it’s a pleasure to work each day at the university and are grateful to all of their colleagues for making their careers so rewarding.

The other 2012 Distinguished Professor honorees are: Robert Camley, PhD, professor of physics, University of Colorado Colorado Springs; James Hynes, PhD, professor of chemistry, CU-Boulder; and Pierre Schlag, JD, Byron R. White professor of law, CU-Boulder.

A total of 71 Distinguished Professors have been honored since the program began in 1977. 

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