SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois at Springfield held its annual reception to recognize faculty achievements on May 2. Chancellor Richard Ringeisen and Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Harry Berman presided over a ceremony honoring faculty members who have received tenure and/or promotion, been awarded sabbaticals, or granted emeritus status. Two major awards – the Pearson Faculty Award and the Spencer Faculty Service Award – were also presented.
The tenth annual Pearson Award for outstanding teaching was presented to Ethan Lewis, associate professor of English. The award recognizes a faculty member who has established a record of teaching excellence and supports his or her continuing development as a teacher and a scholar. The award was established by a gift from Dr. Emmet and Mary Pearson, longtime benefactors of the campus.
Presenting the award, Ringeisen noted that in addition to "profound" expertise in his discipline, Lewis is "consistently recognized as an outstanding teacher, dynamic lecturer, and great colleague whose record unambiguously meets criteria set forth in this award's guidelines, to wit, the recipient must be a teacher who 'both informs and inspires students, imparting knowledge and values with which they may become productive and enlightened citizens.'
"Professor Lewis' colleagues and students alike attest to his rare ability to capitalize on 'teaching moments,'" Ringeisen added. "He seizes windows of opportunity to bring heightened awareness and clarification to the issue at hand and transform these fleeting moments into life-long lessons. He is a sought-after mentor for writers as well. At any given time he has a virtual queue of people, from on campus and off, waiting to get his professional advice. Many of them are in the early stages of their development as writers and are yearning for genuine feedback and direction."
Said Ringeisen, "Although Dr. Lewis received the University Scholar Award (in 1996) for his achievements in research and scholarship, his colleagues believe recognition for his excellence in the classroom is overdue."
The ninth annual Spencer Award was given to Karen Kirkendall, associate professor of Individual Option. Honoring Robert Spencer, founding president of Sangamon State University, this award recognizes those faculty who best exemplify the ideal of the "professor-citizen" through public service and service to the academic community.
"Robert Spencer emphasized that education for good citizenship was integral to a liberal arts education and challenged Sangamon State University to make a difference in society," said Ringeisen. "Materials nominating Dr. Kirkendall for this award all cite her wide-ranging disciplinary expertise, dedication to mentoring, and record of service to campus and the broader community.
"Typical of her comprehensiveness, Dr. Kirkendall's modes of service stretch from the grassroots to the upper echelons," Ringeisen continued. "She founded Asperger Syndrome Support and Awareness of Central Illinois and still serves the group in an advisory capacity, yet she also goes into the homes of autistic children, working with their families to resolve problems with their education, medical treatment, and domestic care. She performs similar services on behalf of those suffering from Sanfillipo Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder characterized among other things by mental deterioration.
"Her disciplinary expertise ranges from child psychology to gerontology and the stages in between and she also has a solid record of service to many campus committees, especially those dealing with personnel policies. Perhaps one former student summed it up best when she wrote of Dr. Kirkendall's 'unfailing energy, love for teaching, vehement advocacy, persistent value for service, and generosity of spirit.'"
In addition, Rassule Hadidi, professor of Management Information Systems, was recognized as the recipient of the first Hanson Professional Services Faculty Scholar award, presented last fall.
A number of faculty members were also recognized for their efforts by receiving recommendations for promotion, tenure, and sabbatical leave. Seven retiring faculty members were granted emeritus status.
Recommended for tenure and promotion to associate professor were Kimberly Armstrong, Library Instructional Services; Feng-Shun (Leo) Bin, Business Administration; Barbara Burkhardt, English; Wayne Gade, Clinical Laboratory Science; Sharon Graf, Sociology/Anthropology; Margaret Noe, Educational Leadership; James Ottery, English; Sangeeta Parameshwar, Management; William Phillips, Educational Leadership; Lucia Vazquez, Biology; and Cynthia Wilson, Teacher Education.
Deborah McGregor, History and Women's Studies, and Charles N. Wheeler III, Public Affairs Reporting, were recommended for promotion to full professor.
Sabbatical leaves were granted to Beverly Bunch, associate professor of Public Administration; Lynn Fisher, associate professor of Sociology/Anthropology; Denise Green, associate professor of Library Instructional Services; James Hall, associate professor of Management Information Systems; Robert McGregor, professor of History; Keith Miller, professor of Computer Science; Hazel Rozema, associate professor of Communication; and Lucia Vazquez, associate professor of Biology.
Recognized on their retirement by receiving the designation of emeritus faculty were B. Douglas Anderson, professor of Educational Leadership; Nancy Ford, professor of Legal Studies; Hugh Harris, associate professor of Political Studies; Remi Imeokparia, associate professor of Public Health; Bonnie Moe, associate professor of Accountancy; David Olson, associate professor of Accountancy; and Robert Sipe, professor of Political Studies.
All promotions, tenure, sabbatical leaves, and emeritus status are approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.