Excellence in Graduate & Professional Teaching


A well-crafted nomination for this award will clearly address sustained excellence and innovation in graduate or professional teaching and contributions to graduate or professional learning beyond classroom instruction. Tenure-system and specialized faculty members from academic units with graduate or professional instructional programs are eligible for the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching. Up to two recipients will be selected to receive this award, both tenure-system and specialized faculty are eligible. The award consists of an honorarium and a personalized commemorative plaque.


  • Tenure-system or specialized faculty who have taught on the Urbana-Champaign campus for at least 5 years as of the first day of the current academic year
  • Has taught a minimum of one course at the graduate or professional level on the Urbana-Champaign campus for at least four full semesters
  • Has not won this award in the previous 10 years

Evaluation Criteria

  • Sustained excellence in graduate or professional teaching;
  • Innovative approaches to graduate or professional teaching;
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Positive impact on graduate or professional student learning; and,
  • Other contributions to improve graduate or professional instruction (e.g., engaging students in the classroom; developing courses and curricula; mentoring graduate teaching assistants; leading workshops on pedagogy; advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning; or making other multidimensional contributions to graduate or professional teaching beyond the classroom, laboratory, or studio; etc.)


A nomination may be submitted by students, faculty members, administrators, or alumni, and should be submitted to a departmental selection committee.

The departmental selection committee should include at least one graduate student member. Individuals who have been nominated during a particular year should not serve on the departmental selection committee during that same year.

Nomination packets must include all materials described below. Please follow this outline when submitting a nomination:

  • The standard cover page (Attachment A) with the appropriate signatures.
  • A nomination letter addressing each of the Evaluation Criteria described above. The nomination letter should indicate why the nominee is exceptional as an excellent teacher of graduate or professional students. (Not to exceed 3 pages.)
  • A teaching and learning philosophy statement provided by the nominee. This statement should clearly show a high degree of thought and care to student needs and to the contemporary learning environment for graduate or professional students, including a well-articulated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through their teaching. (Not to exceed 2 pages.)
  • Two letters of support* from students, preferably one from a graduate student currently enrolled at Illinois and one from an alumnus. (See Attachment B for a sample solicitation letter.) (Not to exceed 2 pages each.)

Letters from students should be solicited by the departmental selection committee, not the nominee. The nominee may be asked to suggest names.


Previous Recipients
Award RecipientDepartmentAward Year
Anne BargerVeterinary Clinical Medicine2023
Ramavarapu SreenivasIndustrial & Enterprise Systems2023
Kenneth SchweizerMaterials Science & Engineering2022
Toni LiechtyRecreation, Sport & Tourism2022
Tania IoninLinguistics2021
Scott WeisbennerFinance2021
Sandraluz Lara-CinisomoKinesiology & Community Health 2020
Paris SmaragdisComputer Science2020
Lisa Monda-AmayaSpecial Education2019
Jeffrey LoewensteinBusiness Administration2019
Gregory GirolamiChemistry2018
Rizwan UddinNuclear, Plasma & Radiological Engineering2018
Richard S. LaugesenMathematics2017
Jennifer K. RobbennoltLaw2017
Raj EchambadiBusiness Administration2016
Shelly SchmidtFood Science & Human Nutrition2016
John LambrosAerospace Engineering2015
Albert ValocchiCivil & Environmental Engineering2015
Neil PearsonFinance2014
Ann YeungMusic2014
Sandra KopelsSocial Work2013
Trish LoughranEnglish2013


For more information about Campus Awards for Excellence in Instruction, contact the Office of the Provost at tab-awards@illinois.edu or 217-333-6677.