While there are many great professors out there, few leave as lasting an impact as Dr. Joe O’Brien. From his arrival to KU in 1992 to his retirement in 2020, Dr. O’Brien led, mentored, and inspired legions of future social studies teachers with incredible energy, cutting edge creativity, and uncommon thoughtfulness. Many of us can recall numerous times when Joe guided us through a challenging situation, advocated for us, or even imparted a life lesson. His influence has loomed so large that many of his former students throughout the years have dubbed themselves “Joe Disciples.”
To honor his longtime commitment to students, we are establishing an award for a deserving graduating senior in the history & government education program. It is our hope that this award provides a launching pad for soon-to-be educators as they embark on an important and impactful profession.