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 Philosophy
Allison Gladfelter, Speech-Language Pathology
Beatrix 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 Communication
Myoung Jung, Department of Special and Early Education
Tim 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 Sciences
Diane Rodgers, Sociology
Katja Wiemer, Psychology


Jason Hanna, Philosophy
Jeanne Isabel, Allied Heath & Communicative Disorders
Qingkai Kong, Mathematical Sciences


Steven Daskal, Philosophy
Amanda Durik, Psychology
James 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