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At the University Illinois, there are few higher honors than the Campus Awards for Excellence in Instruction, an annual salute to faculty, staff and teaching assistants who go above and beyond.

Today, in the first of two parts, we spotlight recipients in the category of undergraduate teaching, with comments provided by their nominators.


Andrew Gaedtke (English), “an instructor who excels at every level of our curriculum” and was active in the department creating an undergraduate a literature and science track.

Rana Hogarth (history), an “empowering” educator who “uses the history classroom to transform — in the most profound ways — her students’ lives.”

Zoi Rapti (math), who creates “an inviting, nurturing environment where students are encouraged to ask questions, and where she makes every attempt to make the material accessible.”

David Rivier (cell and developmental biology), “an educator and mentor who cares deeply about his students and their learning” who makes complex ideas and concepts comprehensible.

Brian Walters (classics), “an outstanding and inspiring teacher who puts enormous effort into course design, materials, teaching research, responding to student writing and mentoring.”


Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider (computer science), who “builds mechanisms through which students take ownership of their learning by going beyond the scripted assignments.”

Aldo Manfroi (math), who “breaks through barriers to freshman and sophomore students’ full participation” by using a variety of smart techniques.

Mary Ramey (communication), who “is not here just to lecture us, but to inspire us to do great things,” as one student put it.

Michael Stewart (geology), who “is very proud of his role as the central person in the geology undergrad program and he owns that role.”

Paul Stoddard (agricultural and consumer economics), “a leader in developing methods to involve students and in creating classroom environments conducive to engaged learning.”


Brianna Anderson (human development and family studies), who is in such demand as a TA, “many of us joke that we just need to clone her. She is that good.”

Elizabeth Field (math), whose “dedication to education inside and out of the classroom and at a variety of levels is unparalleled. She is the embodiment of excellence in undergraduate education.”

Teresa Greppi (Spanish and Portuguese), “essentially a go-to resource that can be placed in whatever teaching context is most in need of her talents.”

Christiaan Hazlett (computer science), who creates “an inviting and warm environment in his discussion section and earned the trust of many students.”

Ana Olguin (curriculum and instruction), “an extraordinarily resourceful and dedicated teacher, supporting and inspiring students in the early-childhood program.”