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Annual instructional awards banquet tonight honors the best at Illinois

Mare Payne, News Bureau
(217) 333-1085;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Fourteen faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, four academic professionals and five teaching assistants will be honored for excellence in teaching and advising undergraduate students tonight at the annual Instructional Awards Banquet.

The teaching assistants, five professors and two academic professionals will receive the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the principal award for undergraduate instruction at Illinois, at the banquet in the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana.

The award recognizes professors and graduate teaching assistants who display consistently excellent performance in the classroom, take innovative approaches to teaching, positively affect the lives of their students, and make other contributions to improved instruction, including influencing the curriculum.

Faculty winners of the award are Carol K. Augspurger, plant biology; Brigit P. Kelly, English; Darrel J. Kesler, animal sciences; Robert D. Reid, journalism; Douglas B. West, mathematics.

Instructional staff winners of the award are Julie P. Price, English, and Jason Zych, computer science.

Graduate teaching assistants who will receive the award are Bryan F. Ganaway, history; Yi-ping Hsu, East Asian languages and cultures; John Gardner Rogers, English; Sarah J. Schoppe, psychology; and Mahmut Yasar, agricultural and consumer economics.

Faculty members who are selected for the award receive $5,000 and a $3,000 raise; instructional staff members will receive $4,000 and a $1,500 raise; graduate teaching assistants receive $3,500 and a $1,000 increase in their stipends.

Others to be honored at the banquet:

orange dot James A. Gentry, professor of finance; Michael C. Loui, professor of electrical and computer engineering; and Shelly J. Schmidt, professor of food science and human nutrition, will be recognized as Distinguished Teacher/Scholars.

orange dot Carol H. Firkins, academic adviser in the department of community health, and Keith D. Hjelmstad, professor of civil and environmental engineering, will receive the Campus Award for Excellence in Advising Undergraduate Students, which provides $2,000 to each.

orange dotKevin G. Waspi, lecturer in finance, will receive the Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Instruction, which provides $2,000 to the recipient.

orange dot John I. Marden, professor of statistics, will receive the Campus Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Instruction Using Educational Technologies, which recognizes faculty members who have introduced successful innovations into undergraduate education using educational technologies. The award provides $2,000 to the recipient.

orange dot K. Peter Kuchinke, professor of human resource education, will receive the Campus Award for Excellence in Off-Campus Teaching. He will receive $4,000, and his department will be provided with $1,000 to improve off-campus instruction and develop programs.

orange dot Robert M. Skirvin, professor of natural resources and environmental sciences, will receive the Campus Award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research, a $2,000 award designed to foster and reward excellence in involving and guiding undergraduate students in scholarly research.

orange dot Michael T. Heath, professor of computer science, and Debra Richtmeyer, professor of music, will receive the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching, which is designed to reward faculty members in professional or graduate programs who normally wouldn’t have an opportunity to compete for undergraduate teaching awards. Each will receive $5,000 and a $3,000 raise.