Four faculty and staff members from the School of Communication (COM) were honored with the 2019-2020 Excellence Awards from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). These awards recognize ISU employees in CAS for their outstanding contributions in the areas defined for the awards. The background information for each award is linked with the recipients below  

Like all higher-education institutions, the pandemic is affecting plans for everything for the fall semester. “The Dean is planning to present the awards at her fall address in September. I remain very hopeful that will happen and look forward to celebrating these achievements with colleagues from the School and College,” said Steve Hunt, director of the School of Communication.   

Dr. Nate Carpenter

Dr. Nate Carpenter, director of Convergent Media

Director of Convergent Media Nate Carpenter won the 2019-2020 Excellence Award for Outstanding Teaching by an Administrative Professional“It’s bittersweet receiving this award right now, at a time when university teaching practices are being radically reshaped by the pandemic,” said Dr. Carpenter. I’m elated to know that my recent efforts are being recognized, and this award is a reminder that I will need to continually reflect on and adapt my approaches to pedagogy, added Carpenter.


Dr. Lindsey Thomas

Dr. Lindsey Thomas, assistant professor

Assistant Professor Lindsey Thomas won the 2019-2020 Excellence Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Pre-Tenured Faculty memberI’m flattered, but all I can think about is how our present historical moment highlights how much more work needs to be done, to make online learning more engaging, to continue to work toward creating courses centered around experiential learning/civic engagement, and, perhaps most importantly, to ensure that course materials/assignments/activities, collectively, are accessible to, and representative of, students of all identities and backgrounds, especially those from marginalized groups,” said Dr. Thomas.

Mr. R.C. McBride

R.C. McBride, general manager, WGLT public media

R.C. McBride, general manager of WGLT public media, won the 2019-2020 Excellence Award for Outstanding Administrative Professional Staff Award. “It’s humbling and exciting to be recognized by your place of employment, especially when you love the institution as much as I love Illinois State,” said McBride. “I’m fortunate to work with a team at WGLT and WCBU and in the School of Communication that is so smart, talented, and passionate. They make the magic happen,” McBride added.

Jennifer Milligan

Jennifer Milligan, COM lecturer

Jenifer Milligan, COM lecturer, won the 2019-2020 Excellence Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Non-Tenure Track Faculty member. “I am grateful to receive such an honor and for the recognition for the hours of ‘unseen’ work, particularly as there are far more individuals (some listed above) than could be recognized in an awards ceremony who dedicate countless unseen hours to make our ISU experience remarkable,” said Milligan. “I am indebted to the training I have received through ISU, the collaboration of my colleagues, and ultimately my students that make it easy to ‘gladly learn and teach’,” Milligan added.

The School of Communication is Redbird proud of its faculty’and staff’s outstanding achievements“It is the accomplishment of my career to be associated with such amazing faculty, students, staff, and alumni,” said Hunt. “Our faculty have won more teaching awards in the last 10 years than any other unit on campus, that’s an enormous accomplishment! I’m so proud of my colleagues and thrilled to see them receiving the recognition they deserve,” Hunt added.  

To learn more about the awards faculty and staff can earn within the College of Arts and Sciences please visit  

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