Illinois State University’s Professor of Psychology Gary Creasey has been named the top professor in Illinois.

The honor comes from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, which chooses one professor from each state to be honored as a U.S. Professor of the Year.

The announcement of Creasey as the Illinois Professor of the Year was made Thursday, November 15, at a Capital Hill ceremony in Washington, D.C.

“I am so proud to represent our University and the state of Illinois in accepting this award,” said Creasey. “Illinois State University has many great instructors, there are many others at this University that are equally deserving of this honor.”

Creasey is a professor in the Department of Psychology and the assistant director of the TEACHER+PLUS program at Illinois State. For the past several years, Creasey has dedicated himself to preparing education majors to work as teachers in the Chicago Public School system.

“This award is a reflection of Dr. Creasy’s unwavering commitment to innovative and rigorous undergraduate teaching, as well as a reflection of Illinois State University’s high academic standards, and promotion of teaching, scholarship and public service,” said Illinois State Provost Sheri Everts.

A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Creasey joined the faculty at Illinois State in 1989. His research focuses on developmental psychology, with a specialization in adolescent development. During his time at Illinois State, Creasey has earned the Outstanding College Teacher Award in his division, the Provost’s Faculty Excellence Initiative Award and the Outstanding College Researcher Award (Senior Division). He has earned the ISU Outstanding University Teaching Award, and been named a State Farm Teaching Technology Fellow.

Creasey has played a vital role in the University’s TEACHER+PLUS program, which helps generate teachers for urban and underserved areas with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Through TEACHER+PLUS, and funding from the ISU American Democracy Project, Creasey developed the CONNECT program (Civic Opportunities to Network Needs for Educational and Community Transformation). The program matches talented, but at-risk, middle school students in the Auburn Gresham, Little Village and Albany Park neighborhoods in Chicago with successful teacher candidates from Illinois State for an intense mentoring program through school and community visits, Skype sessions and a community enhancement project. A CONNECT Program has also been developed locally at Bloomington Junior High School.

Throughout his work with TEACHER+PLUS, Creasey remained dedicated to his classes and scholarly research. He is the author of numerous books and publications, including Research Methods in Lifespan Development and Adolescent Development in Urban Communities. Creasey has also authored chapters of popular books such as The Child: An Encylopedic Companion, the Handbook of Adult Development and Learning and the Handbook of Relationship Initiation. His research has appeared in such journals as Journal of Research on Adolescence, Psychological Inquiry and the International Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Creasy is the second winner of the Illinois Professor of the Year award. Professor of Chemistry Greg Ferrence won the award in 2009.