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Twenty-one at Illinois to be honored for excellence in teaching and advising

Mare Payne, News Bureau


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Fourteen faculty members, four academic professionals and three teaching assistants at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be honored today (April 18) for excellence in teaching and advising. The award winners will be recognized during the annual Instructional Awards banquet in the Illini Union,1401 W. Green St., Urbana.

Faculty winners of the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching are Donald Crummey, history; Cara Finnegan, speech communication; Leonard Pitt, computer science; and Julia Saville, English.

Instructional staff winners of the award are Susan Farner, kinesiology and community health; Lori Garner, English; and David Zola, educational psychology.

Graduate teaching assistants who will receive the award are Melissa Girard, English; Thomas Mackaman, history; and Jon Sherman, Germanic languages.

Nicholas Petruzzi, business administration, and Thomas Schwandt, educational psychology, will receive the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching.

The awards recognize 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 members who are selected for the award receive $5,000 and a $3,000 raise; instructional staff members receive $4,000 and a $1,500 raise; graduate teaching assistants receive $3,500.

Others to be honored at the banquet:

Bertram “Chip” Bruce, professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences, and Kim Graber, professor of kinesiology and community health, will be recognized as Distinguished Teacher/Scholars for 2006-07. The program promotes excellence in teaching by honoring and supporting outstanding faculty members who take an active role in enhancing teaching and learning on the U. of I. campus. During the past year, these honorees utilized their skills to mentor other faculty members. They will retain the title of University Distinguished Teacher/Scholar throughout their Illinois careers.

Geoffrey Dahl, professor of animal sciences, will receive the Award for Excellence in Off-Campus Teaching, which provides $5,000 to the recipient.

Eric Oldfield, professor of chemistry, 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.

Two professors will be honored with the Campus Award for Excellence in Mentoring Graduate Students: James Leach, human resource education, and Ronald Toby, East Asian languages and cultures.

Kathi Ritten, speech and hearing science academic adviser, and Darrel J. Kesler, professor of animal sciences, will receive the Campus Award for Excellence in Advising Undergraduate Students, which provides $2,000 to each recipient.

Chilin Shih, professor of East Asian languages and cultures, will receive the Campus Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Instruction Using Educational Technologies. The award provides $2,000 to the recipient.