Michael Pritchard, assistant professor in the integrated studies department at Kansas State University Salina, is the 2021 recipient of the Rex McArthur Family Faculty Fellow Award.
The annual honor recognizes a K-State Salina professor who exudes honorable service in teaching and research, and commitment to the college, university and community.
Since joining K-State Salina in 2019, Pritchard has helped identify and create new degree programs and serves as the chair of the campus’s machine learning and autonomous systems program.
Pritchard’s current research explores machine cognition, information theory and the cybernetic design patterns between humans and machines. He has received grants from the U.S. Department of Treasury to modernize K-State Salina’s machine learning and virtual reality infrastructure.
“Dr. Pritchard’s influence on campus has helped us reach numerous milestones and elevated courses in a short time,” said Alysia Starkey, CEO and dean of K-State Salina. “His industry experience, conference presentations, published papers and the collaboration of two new degree programs make him a deserving recipient of this award. His service contributions go beyond the average faculty member, and he is often the first voice at the table to keep pushing the campus forward.”
“The drive of faculty and staff on campus and our ability to create long-term strategic impact encourages me to pour my energy into my classes and research,” Pritchard said. “Likewise, our students are phenomenal. They’re engaged, dedicated and are every part of the reason why we are here. That makes our campus a pretty cool place.”
Pritchard earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in information systems from Northwestern University and a doctorate in information systems, analytics and decision support from Dakota State University.
Before joining the K-State Salina faculty, Pritchard has worked for companies such as Waddell & Reed, Deloitte Consulting and Science Applications International Corporation. He has consulted and offered his expertise to such organizations as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy. He also has served as a graduate lecturer on data science at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Information.