Thanks to her outstanding work as a professor and tireless dedication to students, Kaleen Knopp is the recipient of the 2022 Marchbanks Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence at Kansas State University Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus.
According to the school, Knopp, an English instructor and director of the K-State Salina Writing Center, was presented the award, which was established more than 30 years ago and honors faculty members at K-State Salina for exemplary service to students, commitment in the classroom and overall excellence in teaching.
“I feel humbled and privileged to receive this award,” Knopp said. “Our K-State Salina Writing Center team and I are committed to ensuring quality learning experiences exist in our writing program so students have the opportunity to strengthen their writing skills for professional and fluent communication. Graduating students must be able to think critically and feel confident in their abilities to make effective choices with awareness of communication goals. I value the opportunity to support and advocate for our students. When students’ writing skills improve, we all celebrate.”
With 26 years of college teaching experience, Knopp has worked at K-State since 1996. She began her career as a faculty member on the Manhattan campus and transferred to K-State Salina in 2000, where she has remained. Knopp earned a bachelor’s and master’s in English from K-State in 1983 and 1995, respectively.
Under Knopp’s direction, K-State Salina students have found success at the K-State Salina Writing Center, which is dedicated to mentoring students with their written class assignments, scholarship applications and career documentation to help them succeed in the classroom and beyond.
Mentorship and dedication to students are guiding principles of Knopp’s teaching career.
“It is a joy for me to work with students, strengthening their ownership and sense of choice in writing situations,” Knopp said. “My students and the K-State Salina Writing Center team of peer tutors collaborate with enthusiasm as we engage individually with students to help their communication skills flourish with one-on-one teaching sessions customized to each student’s needs.”
Instructors such as Knopp are one of the ways that K-State Salina sets itself apart from other universities. With a low student-to-teacher ratio and hands-on learning style, the campus boasts a truly student-focused education model.
“Kaleen provides a vital role to this campus by preparing many of our students to have excellent communication skills by the time they receive their diploma,” said K-State Salina CEO and Dean Alysia Starkey. “Communication skills are often at the top of career competencies for college graduates and career readiness. To be able to think critically, collaborate with others and use fluent communication allows our graduates to help solve problems and become leaders in their industry.”