MANHATTAN, KS, June 25, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Elizabeth Ann Buschlen Unger with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Dr. Unger celebrates many years' experience in her professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes she has accrued in her field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Dr. Unger is a celebrated educator and administrator who has enjoyed several decades of excellence in academia. Aligned with Kansas State University in Manhattan for more than 50 years, she served as an associate director of the computer center, professor of computer science and associate dean of the graduate school. Promoted to the role of the vice provost for academic services and technology and dean of continuing education in 1994, she remained active in this combined position until her retirement in 2007. Prior to her tenure at Kansas State, Dr. Unger was a faculty member and a user services director at Michigan State University, where she is credited with establishment of the first user services unit in a university and worked at IBM as an applied science representative. At IBM her work involved the first computerization of the assembly line at Oldsmobile and the computerization of the switching on gas lines bring natural gas to Michigan from Texas.
As an administrator, Dr. Unger was responsible for much of the technological growth on campus, including the introduction of online distance learning, high technology class rooms to encourage active learning and to allow instructors to capture classroom instruction for editing and use in distance learning. Her leadership in making online learning the same instruction as on campus learning earned the university over 15 national awards for quality online instruction. The recognition of online students as an integral part of the student body came from such things as participation in virtual commencement and alumni activities. She gives credit for her success to an outstanding team of leaders and dedicated professionals. During her academic career, she also oversaw the research of over 220 master's students and 18 doctoral students. Her research focused on database design and security of digital data. Among her numerous achievements, she served on the Computer Science Accreditation Board from its inception to assure the infant field developed internationally as a science. She served as President for two years and is a Fellow for her representation of IEEE in that effort. She was an active participant in the Association of Public Land Grand Universities serving for years on the committee to better characterize the value of universities to society. Dr. Unger has authored or edited six books, including "Computer Science Fundamentals" and "Advances in Data Management." She has also contributed over 120 scholarly articles to various peer reviewed journals.
A dedicated civic advocate, Dr. Unger served as the president of the Breadbasket, a local food panty. She was among the first group of women selected for Rotary and served on several committees and projects. She serves on and was also the president of the McCain Performance Series board and the Kansas State University Gardens board. She played a significant role in the 1970's to provide more equality for women athletes including at Kansas State University, in the Big 8 conference and in the NCAA.
Prior to embarking upon her professional journey, Dr. Unger pursued a formal education at Michigan State University, where she attained a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering in 1961 with highest honors, followed by a Master of Science in mathematics in 1963. She later attended the University of Kansas, where she earned a Doctor of Philosophy in computer sciences in 1978 with distinction. To support her career, Dr. Unger has been active with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. She is also a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, where she served in various capacities including program chair for several conferences. She was named a fellow by the Computer Science Accreditation Board as IEEE representative for early work in defining excellent computing education. She was named outstanding sophomore and senior in mechanical engineering by Michigan State University and also by Phi Kappa Phi. She earned a woman's badge and then membership in Tau Beta Pi after women were allowed to be members. She is a member of Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Mortar Board, Pi Tau Sigma, Pi Mu Epsilon, and the Order of the Engineer.
Her mentors as a young professional include Dr. Gerry Weeg, University of Iowa, Dr. Wayne von Tersch, Dean of Engineering Michigan State University, Dr. James Coffman, Provost of Kansas State University and Admiral Grace Hopper, United States Navy.
In 2018, Dr. Unger drew widespread recognition when Kansas State University named its computer facility as the Unger Complex. It is notably home to several departments, including the testing center, the office of the chief information officer and the vice president of technology services. Michigan State University also recognized her as a 50-Year Pioneer in Computing for her work in the 1950's programming, the MISTIC, the second von Neumann architecture machine build in universities. The MISTIC was used to design the Cyclotron at Michigan State that supported research for 50 years. Additionally, Dr. Unger has been acknowledged as a Top Woman in Education by Gamma Phi Beta, and earned a Distinguished Alumni Award from Michigan State University, as well as Distinguished Alumni Award from Hastings High School, Hastings Michigan.
She indicates that her greatest pride is taken in her family of 3 children and 6 grandchildren.
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