Excellence in Undergraduate Advising


A well-crafted nomination for this award would clearly address sustained excellence and innovation in undergraduate advising. Up to two recipients will be selected to receive this award: one tenure-system faculty member or an individual with a non-primary advising role, and one professional academic advisor. The award consists of an honorarium and a personalized commemorative plaque.


Nominations are only accepted from colleges. Contact your college to determine its deadline for departmental submissions.

February 1 – Deadline for college nominations to be submitted.

Early March – Recipient(s) and their nominator(s) will be notified.

April – Awards are presented at the annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence.

*When a deadline falls on a weekend or campus holiday, nominations will be due the next business day.



  • Tenure-system faculty member at Illinois or individual with a non-primary advising role
  • Served as an academic advisor at the undergraduate level on the Urbana-Champaign campus for at least 5 years
  • Has not won this award in the previous 10 years

Professional Advisors:

  • Served as an academic advisor at the undergraduate level on the Urbana-Champaign campus for at least 5 years
  • Has not won this award in the previous 10 years
  • Graduate Assistant advisors are not eligible for this award

Evaluation Criteria

  • Sustained excellence in undergraduate advising
  • Major impact on undergraduate students and their intellectual development through sustained academic advising relationships
  • Innovative approaches to undergraduate advising
  • Other contributions to improve undergraduate advising (e.g., engaging students in innovative advising activities; developing student advising materials; leading workshops on student advising; impacting other student advisers; or impacting departmental or college advising methods; etc.)


A nomination may be submitted by students, faculty members, administrators, or alumni, and should be submitted to a departmental selection committee.* (See Selection section below for additional information.)

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

Nomination packets must include all materials described below, and should be formatted in 12-point Times New Roman or equivalent font; single-spaced; and 1-inch margins. Please follow this outline when submitting a nomination:

  • The standard cover page (Attachment A) with the appropriate signatures. (Not to exceed 1 page.)
  • A nomination letter addressing each of the Evaluation Criteria described above. The nomination letter should indicate why the nominee is exceptional as an excellent advisor of undergraduate students. (Not to exceed 3 pages.)
  • A philosophy statement provided by the nominee. This statement should include a discussion of the challenges, methods, and goals of undergraduate advising. (Not to exceed 2 pages.)
  • Two letters of support* from students, preferably one from a student currently enrolled at Illinois and one from an alumnus. (See Attachment C for a sample solicitation letter.) (Not to exceed 2 pages each.)

*NOTE: Letters from students should be solicited by the departmental selection committee, not the nominee. The nominee may be asked to suggest some names and the department should add some names.



Nominations should be submitted first to a departmental committee. This committee will select its final candidates to forward to the college. (The college may establish a limit for the number of candidates each departmental committee can submit.)

A college committee, which should include at least one undergraduate student member, will select the final candidate nominations to submit to campus.

Nominations are only accepted from colleges and must be submitted to tab-awards@illinois.edu. The nomination deadline is 11:59 p.m. February 1. If this date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is 11:59 p.m. the next business day.


The campus selection process is overseen by the Teaching Advancement Board, and is advisory to the Provost. Recipient(s) and their nominator(s) will be notified by early March. Awards are presented at the annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence.

Previous Recipients
Award RecipientDepartmentAward Year
Paul DavidsonAgricultural & Biological Engineering2022
Amy O’NeillKinesiology & Community Health2022
Merissa MiltonPhysics2021
Barbara AndersonHuman Development Family Studies2021
Neil BaerCommunication2020
Becky MelineNuclear, Plasma, & Radiological Engineering2020
Melissa BiehlMechanical Science & Engeineering2019
Kathi RittenSpeech & Hearing Science2019
Laura GerholdAerospace Engineering2018
Pamela GreerLiberal Arts & Sciences2018
Cassie MeinertKinesiology & Community Health2017
Alicia RodriguezLatina/Latino Studies2017
Stephen HerzogComputer Science2016
Sascha HilgenfeldtMechanical Science & Engineering2016
Carol FirkinsCommunity Health2015
Richard GorvettMathematics2015
Walter HurleyAnimal Sciences2014
Tonya SwinkSchool of Integrative Biology2014
Emad JassimMechanical Science & Engineering2013
David MillerAnimal Sciences2013
Barbara HallCommunication2012
Linda LehovecDance2012
Liang LiuCivil & Environmental Engineering2011
Umberto RavaioliEngineering Administration2011
Gary WszalekPsychology2010
Robert C. SteltmanEnglish2009
Carl H. NiekerkGermanic Languages & Literatures2008
James W. PhillipsMechanical Science & Engineering2008
Gary D. SpeziaSchool of Integrative Biology2008
Deneen DeMariePsychology2007
Charles L. Tucker IIIMechanical Science & Engineering2007
Darrel J. KeslerAnimal Sciences2006
Kathi RittenSpeech & Hearing Sciences2006
Linda F. HasibAviation2005
Samuel N. KaminComputer Science2005
Donna F. NicholsMechanical & Industrial Engineering2004
Kathryn A. MartensenLiberal Arts & Sciences2004
Matthew W. LessigLiberal Arts & Sciences2003
Rosalie S. SchmittEducation2003
Keith D. HjelmstadCivil & Environmental Engineering2002
Carol H. FirkinsCommunity Health2002
E. Graham Evans, Jr.Mathematics2001
Phyllis VanLandinghamLiberal Arts & Sciences2001
Arthur L. KahaArchitecture2000
Sharon D. MichaloveHistory2000
Bruce C. WheelerElectrical & Computer Engineering2000
John P. FiorePsychology1999
Michael H. PleckGeneral Engineering1999
Marie A. GollaLiberal Arts & Sciences1998


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.