Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award

The Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award (EUTA) encourages and honors outstanding teaching at NIU. It also promotes discussion about teaching excellence and improvement on campus. Undergraduate students have a major role in selecting faculty for the annual award. Their comments on nominees' qualifications are considered in the process, along with those of faculty, administrators and others.

Each department nominates a faculty member by providing their college with nomination materials. The colleges then select nominees for consideration by the Committee for the Improvement of Undergraduate Academic Experience (CIUAE). The committee chooses the award recipients.

If you have any questions about the award or nomination process, contact the CIUAE co-chairs, Katja Wiemer at katja@niu.edu and Jennifer Gray at j-gray@niu.edu.

2022 Award Winners

Stephanie DeSpain
Department of Special and Early Education

Keith Millis
Department of Psychology

Artemus Ward
Department of Political Science

Criteria and Eligibility

Nominees for the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award (EUTA) should:

  • Help their students grow in appreciation and knowledge of their subject area.
  • Vary their methods of instruction to meet students' needs.
  • Support students outside of class time.
  • Receive consistently positive teaching evaluations.
  • Have in-depth knowledge of their subject area and its teaching methods.
  • Work to improve undergraduate education at NIU.

In order to be eligible, a nominee must:

  • Be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member at NIU with regular teaching responsibilities.
  • Have completed at least five full academic years at NIU.
  • Have taught at least six evaluated course sections at the undergraduate level over the last three years.

An individual can only receive the EUTA once. Members of the CIUAE are not eligible.


Date Activity
October 10, 2022 Competition opens. CIUAE notifies deans and department chairs, who notify faculty and student advisory committees.
December 16, 2022 Nominations due to departments (suggested deadline).
January 6, 2023 Nominations due to colleges (suggested deadline).
January 30, 2023 Nominations due to CIUAE (firm deadline).
March 27, 2022 Applicants and chairs notified of results.
April 2023 Awards presented at Faculty Awards Ceremony.

Nomination Form and Process

In general, the nomination process is as follows:

  1. Department receives nominations; may interview nominees or request updated CVs.
  2. Department selects nominee and sends nomination materials to college.
  3. College selects nominee(s), adds information to nomination materials and submits to the CIUAE.
  4. CIUAE selects recipients.

Departments and colleges must ensure there is no discrimination based on race, sex, age or other characteristic not related to teaching ability.

Nominees may not participate in the selection process. Anyone assisting in the process must remove themselves from consideration.

Nomination Form

Department Nomination Process

Each department can select one nominee. The department's student advisory committee should make the selection, or the department should follow procedures set by the department and committee. Undergraduate students from a range of department programs should form at least half of any selection committee.

Faculty and administrators can assist students with the nomination process by:

  • Providing a list of eligible faculty members.
  • Ensuring consideration of those who regularly teach introductory and general education courses.
  • Mentoring the advisory committee.
  • Serving on a selection committee.
  • Organizing nomination materials.
  • Requesting nomination and recommendation letters through newsletters or other means.

If the department doesn't have a student advisory committee, a faculty committee can submit a nominee. Student input should still be considered and must be documented.

Departments must provide complete nomination materials to their college:

  • Completed nomination form (all six prompts).
  • Uploaded letters of recommendation.
  • Certification that department procedures met requirements.

College Nomination Process

The number of nominees a college can submit to the CIUAE depends on its percentage of total university faculty. The number of nominees for the 2020-21 academic year are:

  • College of Business: 1
  • College of Engineering and Engineering Technology: 1
  • College of Education: 2
  • College of Health and Human Sciences: 2
  • College of Visual and Performing Arts: 2
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: 4

The college's student advisory committee, or similar group, should consider nominations received from all the college's departments when selecting nominee(s).

The college must add information to the nomination form and submit it to the CIUAE by the specified deadline.

Past Recipients


Leonard "Lenny" Clapp, Department of PhilosophyAllison Gladfelter, Speech-Language PathologyBeatrix Hoffman, Department of History


Alicia Finch, Department of Philosophy Jamie Mayer, School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders Douglas Wallace, Department of Psychology


Kate Cady, Department of CommunicationMyoung Jung, Department of Special and Early EducationTim Ryan, Department of English


Emma Kuby, Department of History Jie Chen, School of Nursing Amanda Littauer, Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality


Paul Dawkins, Mathematical SciencesDiane Rodgers, SociologyKatja Wiemer, Psychology


Jason Hanna, PhilosophyJeanne Isabel, Allied Heath & Communicative DisordersQingkai Kong, Mathematical Sciences


Steven Daskal, PhilosophyAmanda Durik, PsychologyJames Horn, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Mary Lynn Henningsen, Communication Geoffrey Pynn, Philosophy Toni VanLaarhoven, Special and Early Education
Timothy Aurand, Management Rebecca Hannagan, Political Science Betty Helen LaFrance, Communication
Terry Bishop, Management Nancy LaCursia, Nursing & Health Studies Andrea Radasanu, Political Science
Michael Konen, Geography Michael Morris, Foreign Languages & Literatures Brendan Swedlow, Political Science
J.D. Bowers, History Dennis Cessarotti,Technology Kenneth Gasser, Biological Sciences
Mylan Engel, Philosophy Lesley Rigg, Geography Jeanette Rossetti, Nursing
Anne Britt, Psychology Ed Klonoski, Music Melissa Lenczewski, Geology and Environmental Geosciences
Judith Lukaszuk, Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences Carla Montgomery, Geology and Environmental Geosciences Julie Robertson, Nursing
Katharina Barbe, German Lisa Finkelstein, Psychology David Gunkel, Communication
Julie Hillery, Family Consumer and Nutrition Science Lee Shumow, Leadership, Educational Psychology & Foundations Allan Zollman, Mathematical Sciences
Kristen Myers, Sociology Amy Newman, English Lawrence Stoffel, Music
Jenny Parker, Kinesiology and Physical Education Joseph Scudder, Communication David Sinason, Accountancy
Richard Blecksmith, Mathematical Sciences James Giles, English Christopher Jones, Political Science
Rick Ridnour, Marketing William Koehler, Music Judith Testa, Art
Donald E. Hardy, English Ayhan Lash, Nursing Ronnie Wooten, Music
Daniel Grubb, Mathematical Science Chhiu-Tsu Lin, Chemistry and Biochemistry Kathleen Propp, Communication Studies
David S. Ballantine, Jr., Chemistry Linda M. Johnson, Accountancy Jay A. Stravers, Geology
Dianne Cearlock, Allied Health Angela Powers, Communication Stephen Squires, Music
Elizabeth Kay, Allied Health Sean Shesgreen, English Gordon Hilton, Political Science
Gary Glenn, Political Science Bernard Harris, Mathematical Sciences Promod Vohra, Technology
Arthur Doederlein, Communication Studies Henry Leonard, Mathematical Sciences Seymour Simon, Psychology
Curtiss Behrens, Management Harvey Blau, Mathematical Sciences B. Diane Kinder, Educ. Psychology, Counseling, & Special Education
Arra M. Garab, English Antonio J. Garcia, School of Music Sondra King, Human and Family Resources
David E. Keys, Accountancy Charles Larson, Communication Studies Charles J. Olson, School of Art
William Blair, Mathematical Science Robert LaConto, Journalism Helen Merritt, School of Art
Jeffrey Chown, Communication Studies Curtis Norton, Accountancy Carl Roskott, Music
William Johnson, English Randall Newsom, Theatre Arts Ahmed Rifai, BSA
Donald Brod, Journalism Elliott Lessen, LDSE Peter Nicholls, Math
John Beachy, Math Darrell E. Newell, Electrical Engineering J. Patrick White, History
Arnold Hampel, Biological Sciences Richard H. Howland, Marketing William Snyder, Chemistry
Sue Warrick Doederlein, English Kuo-Huang Han, Music John R. Simon, Accountancy
Charles A. Pennel, English William M. Shearer, Communicative Disorders Harold O. Wright, Jr., BEAS
Laszlo Hanzely, Biological Sciences Askari H. Kizilbash, Marketing Avra Liakos, Art
Jaroslaw Komarynsky, Finance F. Marion Miller, Chemistry Diane Ragains, Music
Charles (Tim) Blickhan, Music Walter S. Dewey, Theatre Arts Linda R. Sons, Math
Floyd L. Crank, BEAS Gustaaf Van Cromphout, English Robert F. Wheeler, Math
Jan Bach, Music James Hendricks, Accountancy Doris Crank, BEAS
Lawrence Hapeman, LDSE Jack Villmow, Geography Richard Preston, Physics
Esther Mocega-Gonzales, Foreign Languages and Literature Patrick Delaney, Accountancy Louis Mustari, Art
Sharon A. Plowman, Physical Education Norman Potts, Theatre Arts John Starkey, LDSE
Dimitri Liakos, Art Margaret Wood, Speech Communication Ruth Woolschlager, BEAS
Mazhar Hasan, Physics Kathryn Iliff, Accountancy Paul Steg, Music
Leonard Kouba, Geography M. Jack Parker, Speech Communication Vernon Wills, LEPS
Frank Bazeli, LEPS Allan Dionisopoulos, Political Science Hallie Hamilton, Journalism Ralph Novak, Management Elwood Smith, Music Joe Vaughn, Chemistry
Abdul Basti, Finance Mary Frances Reed, Home Economics John Rhoads, Sociology
Arnold Fox, English E. Edward Harris, BEAS Edward Herbert, English
J. Hubert Dunn, Physical Education Parvine Mahmoud, Foreign Languages and Literature Rosalie Reynolds, Chemistry
John Bower, Chemistry John Collins, History Lucien Stryk, English
Donald Kieso, Accountancy Richard Little, Political Science Donald Murray, English