Professors Making News

Hannagan selected to receive NIU's 2013 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Awardhannagan

Professor Rebecca Hannagan has been selected to receive NIU's 2013 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award. This is one of NIU's most prestigious awards and stands as the institution's oldest faculty honor. Rebecca is one of only four faculty members across the university community to receive this award this year; and she is only the eighth political scientist at NIU to win this award. Past POLS recipients include Little (1966), Dionisopoulous (1971), Glenn (1995), Hilton (1996), Jones (2002), Swedlow (2011), and Radasanu (2012).

The award, which was established in 1966, honors excellent undergraduate teaching in the university, encourages the improvement of instruction, and seeks to promote discussion among members of the university community on the subject of teaching. Recipients should be among the most outstanding teachers on campus. This fact is attested to by those with direct knowledge of effective teaching and instruction on the part of the nominee, such as students and alumni who have been taught by the nominee and/or faculty who have observed the nominee’s teaching.  As part of the nomination process, evidence is provided by students, faculty (including those in departments other than the nominee’s), administrators and others who know of the nominee’s reputation. The selection committee especially seeks the following qualities in a nominee:

  • One who instills and develops in students an intensity of interest in, and an appreciation for the value of, his or her subject while applying rigorous standards to student performance and stimulating student growth. 
  • One who demonstrates extraordinary commitment to students and their welfare, who is not only knowledgeable and prepared for class but also available to them outside of class. 
  • One who works actively with students, faculty, and administrators to improve under­graduate education at NIU, through extra-classroom programming, curricu­lum improvement, and other activities directed toward the improvement of instruc­tion. 
  • One who has previously been recognized for outstanding teaching and service to students and/or who has published or given lectures, presentations or public speeches related to instructional improvement or teaching excellence. 
  • One who has demonstrated continuous teaching excellence over the period of time employed at Northern Illinois University.

While Rebecca possesses a number of positive qualities as an undergraduate teacher, this recognition is certainly well deserved and is a reflection on her rigorous, engaging classes and dedication to helping students outside the classroom. Rebecca has served as a faculty advisor for Undergraduate Honors Capstone, Zeta Omicron Mu, and Phi Sigma Zeta.  Read the full story here.