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Two Faculty Named Distinguished University Professors

Iqbal Mansur (left) of the School of Business Administration, and Barbara Patterson (right) of the School of Nursing, are the 2015 Distinguished University Professors.

Widener University faculty are known for their excellence in teaching, scholarship and service, but to make significant contributions in all three areas is worthy of special recognition. Dr. Iqbal Mansur and Dr. Barbara Patterson recently received such recognition.

Widener University Interim President Stephen C. Wilhite announced Mansur, a professor of finance in the School of Business Administration; and Patterson, a professor in the School of Nursing, as the university’s 2015 Distinguished University Professors. They join Dr. Betsy Crane, Dr. Stephen Madigosky and Dr. Scott Van Bramer who were the inaugural recipients of the award last year.

A celebration honoring Mansur and Patterson will be held directly following the faculty meeting 4:45 p.m. Monday, November 16 in the Pennsylvania Military College Museum in Alumni Auditorium.

The Distinguished University Professor designation recognizes Widener Main Campus faculty for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. As Distinguished University Professors, Mansur and Patterson will hold the designation for three years and receive an award of $2,500 for each year of the appointment.

To be eligible for the honor, a faculty member must be tenured and hold the rank of professor, be identified by students and colleagues as an outstanding teacher, achieved national or international recognition for scholarly research, and made significant contribution as a leader at the university. Nominees go through a thorough a rigorous internal and external review process before final selection by the provost.

Mansur, a member of the Widener faculty for 30 years, is known as an excellent teacher, having received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1992. More recently, he launched the Money Club, in which students manage an investment fund that started with $50,000 in capital. In 2014, the students’ fund outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, beating the results of more than 75 percent of similarly management mutual funds run by professional asset managers.

“Dr. Mansur is an exemplary teacher,” Wilhite said. “He exhibits a remarkable ability to integrate theory with practical applications, and the Money Club is an excellent example of that.”

During his tenure as head of the Management Department, Mansur led a team of faculty who developed interdisciplinary master of science degree programs in information systems, management and technology, and human resource management in collaboration with the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology. He also made major contributions to the revision of the master of business administration program to focus on process innovation leading to sustainable growth, and led the effort to establish the finance major. 

Given his outstanding record of service and teaching, Mansur’s achievements as a scholar are truly remarkable. The 2010 recipient of the Widener Outstanding Researcher Award, he has published 37 peer-reviewed articles which have appeared in the leading journals in his field of research, and his work is often cited by other scholars.

Mansur joined Widener as assistant professor in 1985, was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor in 1991, and was promoted to professor in 1998. He served as head of the Management Department from 1995 to 2002.

Patterson, a member of the Widener faculty for 23 years, is recognized for her teaching excellence by both students and peers, such as Dr. Elaine Tagliareni, chief program officer of the National League of Nursing.

“Dr. Patterson can be counted on to engage the group in thinking about nursing education research in new ways and to energize the group to take up this important work,” Tagliareni wrote in recommending Patterson for the award. “She consistently instills a love for rigor and a scientific approach to pedagogical research and her passion for excellence is contagious.”

Her commitment to teaching is also reflected in her participation in advancing curriculum changes in the School of Nursing, including revision of the bachelor of science in nursing curriculum, development of the masters in nursing education and doctor of nursing practice curricula, and the conversion of the doctor of nursing science program to a PhD program.

Patterson also led the effort to secure recognition for the School of Nursing as a Center for Excellence by the National League of Nursing, and serves as a fellow of the National League of Nursing’s Academy of Nurse Educators. In addition, she serves as a section editor for research briefs in the journal Nursing Education Perspectives. In 2012, she received the Outstanding Researcher Award from Widener.

Patterson joined Widener in 1992 as assistant professor, was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor in 1999, and was promoted to professor in 2007. She became director of the nursing PhD program in 2008, and this year was appointed associate dean for scholarship and inquiry.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. are proud to be a tobacco-free. Visit the university website,