Chase Faculty Members Receive NKU Faculty Excellence Awards

The annual Northern Kentucky University Faculty Excellence awards recognize exceptional performance by faculty members as demonstrated by teaching, scholarly or creative activities, outreach and public engagement, and international education.   

There are two categories of awards: Excellent Performance by a Faculty Member for a Project, Innovation or Creativity Activity, which recognizes faculty members for excellent performance related to a specific project, innovation or creative activity that is ongoing or has been recently completed; and Sustained Excellence by a Faculty Member, which recognizes faculty members for a history of exceptional performance over a sustained period of time.

Chase professors Amy Halbrook, Ljubomir Nacev, and John Bickers were among this year’s award recipients at the Celebration of Faculty Excellence on October 28.

Assistant Professor Amy E. Halbrook received an award for Excellent Performance – Teaching. Professor Halbrook is the director of the Children's Law Center Clinic, a partnership between Chase and the Children's Law Center in Covington, Kentucky. When she joined Chase in 2011, Professor Halbrook designed the clinic with three start-up students.  Clinic students receive specialized instruction in child and family law and advocacy, and represent child and youth clients in court and administrative proceedings. Clinic students build their practical skills and professional responsibility while supporting the critical mission of public engagement. Professor Halbrook also incorporates practical and experiential learning components into her Family Law course.  In addition, Professor Halbrook teaches juvenile, child and family law trial skills to practitioners locally and nationally.  View Professor Halbrook's biography.

Faculty Excellence

From top left clockwise: Prof. John Bickers, Prof. Ljubomir Nacev, Prof. Amy Halbrook

Professor Ljubomir Nacev received an award for Sustained Excellence - Outreach and Public Engagement.  Professor Nacev teaches in the area of tax law. He has spent countless hours over the past 25 years assisting the low-income taxpayer community in our region. His many contributions to this cause include initiating the Chase Volunteer Income Tax Assistance project in the fall of 1987 as part of a national effort to implement public policy initiatives to alleviate poverty in our community, and to help those affected by poverty become more self-sufficient. Over the years, the VITA project has assisted over 12,000 taxpayers. Professor Nacev is also a co-founder of the NKU Tax Clinic, which represents low-income taxpayers in controversies with the IRS.  On behalf of the tax clinic, he has been involved in numerous cases, including Hall v. Commissioner, a fully reviewed tax court decision invalidating a tax regulations that had precluded a taxpayer from filing an innocent spouse equitable claim under IRC Section 6015(f), and Linkugel v. Commissioner, a decision dealing with the burden of proof when challenging a cancellation of debt income deficiency following a foreclosure. View Professor Nacev's biography.

Professor John M. Bickers received an award for Sustained Excellence –Teaching.  Professor Bickers teaches Constitutional Law, Professional Responsibility, and National Security Law. He is known as an innovative teacher who is committed to student success.  He challenges students, but also encourages them. His philosophy is that if students are not engaged, then they will not retain the legal lessons. His classes combine legal doctrine with the skills necessary for a real-world practice.  For example, in Constitutional Law, students serve as justices and attorneys in a mock Supreme Court case.  In National Security Law, students work in teams as members of federal agencies, confronting hypothetical national security crises. The Chase class of 2010 selected him as the winner of the Lukowsky Award for Teaching Excellence.  View Professor Bickers's biography.