William “Bill” Shields of the Department of Geography-Geology is the recipient of the Stan and Sandy Rives Excellence in Undergraduate Education Award. He will be honored at the Founders Day Convocation on Feb. 19.

The award is given to a member of the Illinois State University community to recognize outstanding teaching or significant contributions to the undergraduate experience, with special attention given to the first-year experience.

Shields has taught GEO 102, Principles of Geology, to as many as 800 first-year students every semester since 2004. For several years, Shields also partnered with University College to support Success 101, a course designed for at-risk students in their first semester at Illinois State.

It is his experience outside the classroom where Shield’s innovation shines. Along with review sessions and study guides, he also created a presence in the virtual space, Second Life. There he conducted review sessions and had real-time discussions with his students at times that suited them, including evenings and weekends. He is the faculty advisor for two registered student organizations and serves as the faculty mentor for three floors in three different residence halls.

Stan Rives earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State. He was a member of the Illinois State 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 his longtime commitment to an undergraduate program of the highest quality and for his contributions to Illinois State as dean of Undergraduate Instruction.