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Twenty-four at U. of I. to be honored for excellence in teaching, advising


Stephanie Lulay, News Bureau

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Sixteen professors, three academic professionals and five teaching assistants at the University of Illinois will be honored Tuesday (April 29) for excellence in teaching and advising. The recipients will be recognized during a reception at Alice Campbell Alumni Center, 601 S. Lincoln Ave., Urbana.

Faculty winners of the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching are Andrew Alleyne, mechanical science and engineering; Cleora D’Arcy, crop sciences; Matthew Ehrlich, journalism; Lisa Monda-Amaya, special education; and Alex Winter-Nelson, agricultural and consumer economics.

Instructional staff winners who will receive the award are lecturers Marie-Christine Brunet, electrical and computer engineering, and Stephen Notaro, kinesiology and community health.

Graduate teaching assistant winners of the award are Abram Bicksler, natural resources and environmental sciences; Ryan Blum, communication (formerly speech communication); Luis Herrera, Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Tara Larrison, social work; and Tara Lyons, English.

Dale Brashers, professor of communication, and Bruce Smith, professor of law, will receive the 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 selected for the awards 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.

Other award winners to be honored:

Annie Abbott, professor of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, and Rajeshwari Pandharipande, professor of religious studies, will be recognized as Distinguished Teacher/Scholars. 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 next academic year, these honorees will use their skills to mentor other faculty members. They will retain the title of University Distinguished Teacher/Scholar throughout their Illinois careers.

Andrea Ellinger, professor of human resource education, will receive the Award for Excellence in Off-Campus Teaching, which provides the recipient with $5,000.

Jeffrey Woods, professor of kinesiology and community health, will receive the Campus Award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research. The $2,000 award is designed to foster and reward excellence in involving and guiding undergraduate students in scholarly research.

Schuyler Korban, professor of molecular genetics, and Michaelene Ostrosky, professor of special education, will receive the Award for Excellence in Mentoring Graduate Students. Each award winner will receive $2,000.

Three faculty members will be honored with the Award for Excellence in Advising Undergraduate Students: Carl Niekerk, professor of Germanic languages and literatures; James Phillips, professor of mechanical science and engineering; and Gary Spezia, academic adviser in the School of Integrated Biology. Each award winner will receive $2,000.

Darla Castelli, professor of kinesiology and community health, will be honored with the Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Instruction. The award provides $2,000 to the recipient. 

The student organization Delta Sigma Omicron is honoring history professor John Lynn with its Distinguished Teacher Award and $500. Lynn was nominated by a student in his LAS Courses Abroad history class that studies in Paris for making the class accessible.