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Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Dr. Stan Rives earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Illinois State University, was a member of the Illinois State University faculty, and served as an administrator from 1958 until 1980. The Stan and Sandy Rives Excellence in Undergraduate Education Award was established in honor of Stan's longtime commitment to an undergraduate program of the highest quality and for his contributions to Illinois State University as Dean of Undergraduate Instruction.

The award recognizes outstanding teaching or any significant contribution to the undergraduate experience, with special attention given to the first-year experience.


To be eligible to compete for the Award, the applicant must be a member of the University community (minimum of 3 years) and hold a faculty, academic professional, or civil service position at Illinois State University.

Award Eligibility and Guidelines

Selection Criteria

  1. Demonstrated commitment to excellence in undergraduate education by enhancing the quality of the undergraduate experience, with special attention given to the first-year experience, through a focus on each student as an individual with unique educational needs and potential.
  2. Embodies the individualized attention and commitment to fostering a small-college atmosphere for undergraduate students inherent in Educating Illinois, the University's strategic plan.
  3. Demonstrated excellence in undergraduate education in ways readily acknowledged by peers.

Nomination Materials and Procedures

  1. Candidates for this award must be nominated by an Illinois State University employee.
    • Nomination Form
  2. In addition to the nomination form, nomination materials must include a letter of support from the nominee's immediate supervisor. (Note: If the nominator and supervisor is the same person, the nomination form will suffice.)
  3. Nomination materials should also include examples of work and/or letters of support that demonstrate how the nominee meets the selection criteria.
  4. Submit nomination form and materials to Christie Wissmiller, Office of the Provost ( Nominations are due in late October/early November, please refer to the current award eligibility and guidelines for the specific date.

Recognition of Recipient

In addition to the $3,000 cash award, the recipient will receive a commemorative plaque.

Award Recipients

  • 2022 - Ryan Gray, Sociology and Anthropology
  • 2021 - Brenton Kane, College of Business
  • 2020 - Shelly Clevenger, Criminal Justice Sciences
  • 2019 - Amelia Noël-Elkins, University College
  • 2018 - Mary Jo Fabich, University College
  • 2017 - John F. Hooker, Communication
  • 2016 - David Anderson, Philosophy
  • 2015 - William "Bill" Shields, Geography-Geology
  • 2014 - Wendi Whitman, University College
  • 2013 - Sally Parry, College of Arts and Sciences
  • 2012 - Lori Adams, Theatre
  • 2011 - Carlye Kalianov, University College
  • 2010 - Robert McLaughlin, English
  • 2009 - Ron Gifford, History
  • 2008 - Joint recipients: Stephen K. Hunt and Cheri J. Simonds, Communication
  • 2007 - Kyle E. Ciani, History