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Hund, Kostelnick, Koch named outstanding teachers

Three faculty members will be honored for outstanding teaching at the upcoming Illinois State University Founders Day celebration on Thursday, February 18.

Honored with the 2015-2016 Outstanding University Teacher Award will be Alycia Hund and John Kostelnick in Category I, and Megan Koch in Category II.

image of Alycia Hund

Alycia Hund

Hund is a professor of psychology at Illinois State University. She received her bachelor’s degree from Augustana College and her doctorate from the University of Iowa before joining the Illinois State faculty as an assistant professor in 2003. She was promoted to associate professor in 2009 and to professor in 2013. Hund has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology, including lifespan development, child development, cognitive psychology, cognitive development, and research methods, where she has guided more than 5,800 students in face-to-face, blended, and online courses.

In 2012, she received an internal grant to redesign her child development course to focus on civic engagement, so her course now includes a rigorous service-learning component, where students work with children and families at community agencies and reflect on their learning throughout the semester. Her teaching-related service includes serving as a member of the Council on General Education, the General Education Task Force, the Academic Senate, the Foundations of Excellence Task Force, the University Studies Advisory Council, and Graduate Coordinator for Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences.

Hund has mentored 83 undergraduate research assistants (including 36 honors and capstone students), 41 undergraduate teaching assistants, 14 graduate research assistants, 10 dissertation students, and 16 thesis students. Their research focuses on basic and applied topics such as the development of executive functioning during childhood, the importance of parent-child and teacher-student interactions, academic and social indicators of school readiness among preschool children, improving STEM instruction for fifth grade students, and spatial aspects of problem solving. Her STEM research with colleagues from Teaching and Learning and Geography-Geology currently is funded by the National Science Foundation. Hund received a Teaching Initiative Award in 2007-2008.

image of John Kostelnick

John Kostelnick

Kostelnick is an associate professor in the Department of Geography-Geology and also serves as director of the Institute for Geospatial Analysis and Mapping (GEOMAP). He holds a doctorate from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University. His teaching and scholarship is focused primarily in the areas of Geographic Information Science (GIScience) and human geography, specifically hazard/risk/humanitarian relief mapping, GIS applications in science and society, and cultural mapping.

Since his arrival at Illinois State in 2007, Kostelnick has taught a range of courses in traditional, online, and field-based formats, including introductory courses in human and world geography and advanced thematic courses in cartography, GIS, and the geography of Chicago. His goal is to create a challenging, thought-provoking environment for his students in the classroom, and encourages students to “think big” upon their graduation.

Kostelnick routinely mentors students individually through independent research and service-based learning projects, and has worked with graduate students from several academic disciplines. Recently, he developed a field-based Geography of Chicago course that is taught on location at several sites throughout the city and exposes students to a “real world” research project. He currently is the advisor for the Illinois State chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU), an international honor society in geography, and is past advisor for the ISU Geography Club. Kostelnick serves as coordinator for the Illinois Geographic Alliance, a member of the National Geographic Network of Alliances to support geographic literacy among K-12 students, and the general populace of Illinois.

Megan Koch

Megan Koch

Koch is the director of Forensics in the School of Communication. After completing her undergraduate studies and speech team competition at Illinois State, she earned a master’s degree in organizational communication from Ball State University in 2005. Her focus as an instructor has been on civic engagement and community-focused education. In 10 years at Illinois State, Koch coached the Forensics team to produce over 120 speeches a year and adopt the Lincoln-Douglas debate. The team has routinely ranked among the top 10 forensics teams in the country and has produced 18 national champion performances and five All-American student competitors. For her work, Koch was recognized by the American Forensics Association as the Outstanding New Coach of 2010.

In 2011, Koch served as host of the National Forensic Association National Speech and Debate Tournament which brought 2,500 competitors, coaches, and alumni from 90 universities to Illinois State and opened the event to the public. After sharing the research and advocacy of the tournament, ISU Forensics was recognized with the 2011 Outstanding Academic/Educational Program Award and the Illinois State Civic Engagement Award.

As an instructor for small group communication, Koch leads her 200-student course in a semester-long civic engagement project in collaboration with Bloomington-Normal non-profits. The course was recognized with the 2009 Civic Engagement Award for its commitment to connecting Illinois State students with the needs of the community.

Find more information on the Founders Day celebration.

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