21 honored for excellence in teaching and advising
4/26/2012 | Mare Payne, News Bureau | 217-333-5491; email@example.com
[ Email | Share ] CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Twelve faculty members, four academic professionals and five graduate teaching assistants at the University of Illinois were honored (Tuesday) April 24 for excellence in teaching and advising. The group was recognized during a reception at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center.
Honored with the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching | Photos by L. Brian Stauffer
Faculty members honored with the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching:
Laurie Hogin, painting, strives to show the complexities, richness and “self-contradictory nature” of contemporary art. Her courses also focus on the importance of art in civil society, and she strives to educate students so they can become globally aware citizens. Hogin’s teaching continues to evolve as she develops innovative courses, including a course within the School of Art and Design for non-art majors. She and her undergraduate students have worked with elementary school students on a mural project related to a curriculum on healthy eating.
Soo-Yeun Lee, food science and human nutrition, uses demonstrations and experiments that offer students hands-on interactions. During breaks in her lectures, students work through complex concepts by way of practical examples that call for problem-solving. As a starting point, the problems are worked through individually by students and are then tackled by small groups or even the whole class.
Stephen Marshak, geology, thrives by engaging students in the excitement and mystery of studying Earth. Whether students are assigned to sketch some of the visible geology, traverse rocks or follow dry creek beds, they have come to appreciate Marshak’s dedication to anchoring conceptual knowledge to experiences inside and outside the classroom.
Steven C. Michael, business administration, is deeply committed to engaging with his students. His courses on entrepreneurship, technology management and business strategy feature innovations not usually seen in undergraduate business classes, including the use of Harvard Business School cases, magazine articles and popular press books.
Rebecca Nettl-Fiol, dance, is committed to connecting dance science with aesthetic training. In her courses she includes a variety of delivery techniques, including lectures, video analyses and interactive body movement. Some of her undergraduates have joined the world’s most elite contemporary dance companies, dancing in works by leading avant-garde artists, or are extending Nettl-Fiol’s research in their own studies.
Instructional staff members who received the award:
Lawrence Angrave, a senior lecturer in computer science, has revised and re-imagined “Introduction to Computer Science,” a large lecture course taken predominantly by non-majors. Angrave revised a static set of assignments into an interactive format that challenges students to apply their knowledge, such as searching movie scripts, applying effects to image files and rendering 3-D images.
Suzanne Lee, a lecturer in special education, is described as a “champion for undergraduates” and is a “committed, responsive, sincere and flexible” instructor. Lee brings a great breadth of knowledge and skills to her courses in special education, in which she blends discussion of theory with emphasis on practice. As a scholar-practitioner, Lee plays a central role not only in the instruction of future teachers but also in their preparation as they seek out and begin teaching placements.
Eric Snodgrass, an instructor in atmospheric sciences, believes that the classroom experience should be one that empowers students to become active learners who understand that true knowledge comes from interpreting information, not simply having “access” to it. He has “revolutionized” online delivery of large-enrollment courses, and his work has served as a model for instruction across campus. Snodgrass’ innovations in the classroom include the use of multimedia resources, the incorporation of real-world challenge problems and online discussion boards.
Graduate teaching assistants who won the award are Jane Butterfield, mathematics; Andrew Hunte, mathematics; Christopher Josey, communication; John Knorek, educational psychology; and Kerry Pimblott, history.
The awards recognize professors, instructional staff members 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 improve instruction, including influencing the curriculum.
Faculty members and instructional staff members selected for the awards each receive $5,000 cash and a $3,000 recurring salary increase; graduate teaching assistants receive $3,500.
Jiawei Han and Madhu Viswanathan received the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching. Each receives $5,000 and a $3,000 recurring salary increase.
Han, a professor of computer science, emphasizes technical content as well as the history, reasoning and applicability of data mining. For Han, the “how” and “why” are just as important as the “what.” He summarizes his unique approach to teaching with “three I’s”: inspiration, interaction and information technology.
Viswanathan, a professor of business administration, explores issues such as poverty simulations and the development of conceptual models of poverty and low-literacy with students in diverse disciplines such as business, engineering and industrial design. Inc. magazine named his course one of the top entrepreneurship courses in the nation.
Isaac Cann, a professor of animal sciences, received 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. Cann has mentored 65 undergraduate students, seven of whom have received the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates Award. Cann has included 17 undergraduate co-authors on papers produced by his lab. He strives to find potential in every student, to emphasize the importance of the repeatability of scientific findings and to maximize the impact that his students can have not only as researchers, but also as citizens in their communities.
Bruce C. Berndt and Huseyin Sehitoglu received the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring, which provides each recipient with $2,000.
Berndt, a professor of mathematics, has mentored many graduate students throughout his career. The 29 students who have earned their degrees under his direction have taken positions at research institutions around the world. He regularly collaborates with former students on publications and projects, an uncommon practice in the field. Berndt’s weekly “students only” seminar offers a friendly environment and an open forum for discussion.
Sehitoglu, the Nyquist Endowed Chair in mechanical science and engineering, cites his mentoring of graduate students as his greatest and most lasting achievement. The rigor with which he guides graduate research has prepared his students to take on prominent positions in both academia and industry. Sehitoglu continues to play an active role in helping junior and senior faculty members understand the importance of graduate student mentoring. Additionally, he has applied his successful student mentoring practices to faculty mentoring in his “Guidelines on Mentoring of New Faculty,” a document that has been in use in his department since 2000.
Barbara I. Hall and Linda M. Lehovec received the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, which provides each recipient with $2,000.
Hall, an academic adviser in communication, has spent more than 20 years developing and maintaining long-term relationships with her students. Hall connects with students on an academic and personal level, often attending the weddings of former students and remaining in contact with them. Not only is she a dedicated adviser, but she is committed to the success of her department. She has played an instrumental role in the unit’s increased number of undergraduate majors and its creation of an undergraduate minor.
Lehovec, a professor of dance, has been advising students in dance for more than 15 years and has been the BFA program director for more than 10 years. As program director, she mentors young artists on the intellectual, physical and aesthetic development of choreographic work. Some of her students have gone on to some of the most prestigious dance companies in the United States, while others have started their own companies or taken on educational roles in studios, high schools and universities.
Melissa A. Wong, an adjunct lecturer in library and information science, received the Campus Award for Excellence in Online and Distance Teaching. The award consists of $5,000 to be placed in the recipient's research/teaching account and $1,000 for the recipient’s academic unit for use to further develop the program. Wong’s online courses promote the active participation of students, using problem-based learning and real-world applications and encouraging them to share their perspectives and experiences in an effort to increase engagement with the course material. She takes full advantage of the technologies used in learning environments and brings her experience as an academic librarian to her advising and mentoring of students.
Kelly Tappenden, a professor of food science and human nutrition, named the Distinguished Teacher-Scholar for this academic year, also was recognized at the reception.