A university’s faculty represents one of its most precious assets. UIS faculty are nominated for 12 faculty awards each year: 11 University awards, and the University of Illinois University Scholars Award.

Recipients of faculty awards are recognized at the annual spring Faculty Honors Reception.

The recipient of the University Scholars Award is honored at the fall Faculty Scholarship Recognition event.

Nominations for the AY 2024-25 Faculty Award selection process are due by Thursday, January 23, 2025. Link to nomination and selection guidelines for each award. A list of previous recipients can be found by choosing the award from the accordion list at the bottom of the page.

Faculty Award Recipients 2024

University Scholars Award

Shipra Gupta

Faculty Excellence Award

Burks Oakley II Distinguished Online Teaching Award

Serkan Karadas

Pearson Faculty Award

Tiffany Nielson

Spencer Faculty Service Award

Jason Piscia

Adjunct Faculty of the Year

Early Career Scholarship Award

Sara Olivares

Faculty Award for Diversity & Inclusion

Lan Dong

Faculty Engagement Award

Devin Hunter

Outstanding Teacher Award

Scholarly Impact Award

John Transue

Previous Faculty Award Recipients

View a list of previous recipients for each of our faculty awards in the menu below.

Faculty Excellence Award Recipients

The Faculty Excellence Award is intended to recognize sustained, career-long accomplishments at UIS in teaching and scholarship. It provides an opportunity to honor colleagues who best exemplify the ideal of the teacher-scholar and whom the faculty recognize as role models.  The award is funded through the generosity of Wilbur and Margaret Wepner.

Faculty Excellence Award recipients from past years are listed below:

  • Donna Bussell, 2023
  • Lynn Fisher, 2022
  • Beverly Bunch, 2021
  • Heather Bailey, 2020
  • Scott Day, 2017
  • Rassule Hadidi, 2016
  • Leonard Branson, 2014
  • Donald Morris, 2013
  • Peter Boltuc, 2011
  • Carolyn Peck, 2010
  • Deborah McGregor, 2009
  • Bill Abler, 2008
  • Chris Mooney, 2006
  • Lynn Pardie, 2005
  • Barbara Hayler, 2004
  • Ronald Havens, 2003
  • Larry Shiner, 2002

Burks Oakley II Distinguished Online Teaching Award Recipients

The Burks Oakley II Distinguished Online Teaching Award is intended to recognize UIS faculty members whose performance exemplifies the institution’s commitment to excellence in online teaching. The award is funded through the generosity of Burks Oakley II.

A list of past recipients of the Oakley award are listed below:

  • Serkan Karadas, 2024
  • Kat Novak, 2023
  • Youngjin Kang, 2022
  • Jennifer Martin, 2021
  • Donna Bussell, 2020
  • Kim Wiley, 2019
  • Layne Morsch, 2018
  • Cheng-Chia “Brian” Chen, 2017
  • Roxanne Kurtz Smith, 2015
  • Karen Swan, 2014
  • Denise Sommers, 2013
  • Elizabeth Kosmetatou, 2012
  • Michael Cheney, 2011
  • Laurel Newman, 2010
  • James Grubbs, 2009
  • David O’Gorman, 2008

Pearson Faculty Award Recipients

The Pearson Faculty Award recognizes a faculty member whose performance exemplifies our commitment to excellence in teaching.  Such a teacher both informs and inspires students, imparting to them the knowledge and values with which they may become productive and enlightened citizens.  The expertise of this faculty member contributes significantly to the curriculum of the university and reflects sound and current scholarship.  This faculty member is a role model for other faculty at UIS.  This award recognizes a cumulative record of excellence in teaching at UIS. This award was established through a generous gift from Dr.  Emmet F.  Pearson and his wife, Mary Pearson.

A list of prior years' recipients is listed below:

  • Tiffany Nielson, 2024
  • Bob Blankenberger, 2023
  • Kristi Barnwell, 2022
  • Sheryl Reminger, 2021
  • Atul Agarwal, 2020
  • Layne Morsch, 2019
  • Holly Kent, 2018
  • Amy McEuen, 2017
  • Adriana Crocker, 2016
  • Nathan Steele, 2015
  • Donna Bussell, 2014
  • Carrie Switzer, 2013
  • Lan Dong, 2012
  • Heather Dell, 2011
  • Scott Day, 2010
  • Donald O’Neal, 2009
  • Mary Bohlen, 2008
  • Ethan Lewis, 2007
  • Rachell Anderson, 2006
  • Gary Trammell, 2005
  • Beverly Rivera, 2004
  • Pinky Wassenberg, 2003
  • Robert Sipe, 2002
  • Hazel Rozema, 2001
  • Cecilia Cornell, 2000
  • Marcellus Leonard, 1999
  • Don Stanhope, 1998

Spencer Faculty Service Award Recipients

Robert C.  Spencer, the founding President of Sangamon State University, established the expectation that public service and service to the academic community would be highly valued by the faculty at SSU.  He emphasized that education for good citizenship was integral to a liberal arts education, and challenged this new campus and its faculty to make a difference in society.  Likewise, he sought to foster a highly participatory campus, which would model the virtues of democratic community with faculty members contributing actively to its development.  In significant measure, he succeeded on both fronts.  This award recognizes a cumulative record of significant accomplishment in service on the part of a faculty member at UIS.

Previous recipients of the Spencer Faculty Service Award are listed below:

  • Jason Piscia, 2024
  • Amy McEuen, 2023
  • Deborah Anthony, 2022
  • Frances Shen, 2021
  • Tena Helton, 2020
  • Xiaoqing Li, 2019
  • Ranjan Karri, 2018
  • Jorge Villegas, 2017
  • Harshavardhan Bapat, 2016
  • Dennis Ruez, 2015
  • Beverly Bunch, 2014
  • Marcel Yoder, 2013
  • Michael Lemke, 2012
  • Tih-Fen Ting, 2011
  • Ted Mims, 2010
  • Beverly Rivera, 2009
  • Sharron LaFollette, 2008
  • Karen Kirkendall, 2007
  • Pat Langley, 2006
  • Steve Schwark, 2005
  • Janis Droegkamp, 2004
  • Lee Frost-Kumpf, 2003
  • Karen Moranski, 2002
  • Allan Cook, 2001
  • Loretta Meeks, 2000
  • Larry Golden, 1999

University Scholars Award - UIS Recipients

Faculty excellence is the cornerstone of any university of high quality.  There is no more important task at the University of Illinois than attracting and retaining the very best teachers and scholars.  The University Scholars Program is designed to identify outstanding members of faculty who represent emerging scholars in their fields of study, and to provide each with a modest amount of funds annually for a defined number of years.  The awards are not made for a specific project or proposal; rather, they are a symbol of the recipient’s excellence and the University’s commitment to foster outstanding people and their work.  One University Scholars Award is granted to a UIS faculty member annually. 

The newest UIS University Scholar is announced at an annual faculty event each fall.

  • Shipra Gupta, 2023
  • Jennifer Martin, 2022
  • Sean McCandless, 2021
  • Sudeep Sharma, 2020
  • Yanhui Guo, 2019
  • Richard Gilman-Opalsky, 2018
  • Benjamin Walsh, 2017
  • Peter Shapinsky, 2016
  • Elizabeth Kosmetatou, 2015
  • David Bertaina, 2014
  • Hua Chen, 2013
  • Lan Dong, 2012
  • John Martin, 2011
  • Christopher Mooney, 2010
  • Sviatoslav Braynov, 2009
  • Rosina Neginsky, 2008
  • Barbara Burkhardt, 2007
  • Lynn Fisher, 2006
  • Keenan Dungey, 2005
  • Barbara Hayler, 2004
  • Robert McGregor, 2003
  • Michael Lemke, 2002
  • Robert Wright, 2001
  • Keith Miller, 2000
  • Peter Wenz, 1999
  • Donna Duffner, 1998
  • David Jenkins, 1998
  • Doh Shin, 1997
  • Ethan Lewis, 1996
  • Hammed Shahidian, 1996

Adjunct Faculty of the Year Recipients

Adjunct Faculty of the Year Award recipients:

  • Nick Dabbs, 2023
  • Jodi Hallsten Lyczak, 2022

Early Career Scholarship Award Recipients

The Early Career Scholarship Award recognizes leadership, accomplishments, and excellence in scholarship activities of pre-tenure faculty. Although the scholarship may fit traditional notions of the scholarship of discovery, applicants who exemplify scholarship of application or integration are encouraged to apply.

Early Career Scholarship Award recipients:

  • Sara Olivares, 2024
  • Sahar Farshadkhah, 2023
  • Meghan Kessler, 2022

Faculty Engagement Award Recipients

The Faculty Engagement Award recognizes faculty leadership and teaching that creates fruitful engagement and collaboration within the community. This award recognizes faculty who create connections between their classrooms and the broader communities. This can include service learning, experiential courses, developing a learning community, and other scholarly and teaching activities in non-traditional arenas.

UIS Community Engagement - Faculty Engagement Award recipients:

  • Devin Hunter, 2024
  • Serkan Karadas, 2023
  • Sahar Farshadkhah, 2022

Faculty Award for Diversity and Inclusion Recipients

The UIS Faculty Award for Diversity and Inclusion recognizes faculty leadership, accomplishments, and excellence in professional activities that contribute to the institutional mission of increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion, counteracting inequality and inopportunity, and contributing to struggles for inclusion of minority, marginalized, and/or historically under-represented groups.

Faculty Award for Diversity and Inclusion recipients:

  • Lan Dong, 2024
  • Timothy Hakenewerth, 2023
  • Hinda Seif, 2022

Outstanding Teacher Award Recipients

The Outstanding Teacher Award recognizes the teaching accomplishments of non-tenure system faculty.

Outstanding Teacher Award recipients:

  • Timothy Bill, 2023

Reciprocal Partnership Faculty Award Recipients

The Reciprocal Partnership Faculty Award recognizes faculty leadership and teaching that creates fruitful engagement and collaboration within the community. This award recognizes faculty and their respective community partner who best represent reciprocal partnerships.

Scholarly Impact Award Recipients

The Scholarly Impact Award recognizes leadership, accomplishments, and excellence in scholarship activities of tenured faculty. Although the scholarship may fit traditional notions of the scholarship of discovery, applicants who exemplify scholarship of application or integration are encouraged to apply.

Scholarly Impact Award recipients:

  • John Transue, 2024
  • Anne-Marie Hanson, 2023
  • Meg Cass, 2022
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