Each year, Illinois State University bestows its highest recognition for excellence in teaching through the Outstanding University Teaching Awards. The winners are selected by the University Teaching Committee after being nominated and working through a rigorous process of self-reflection, creating portfolios which detail their growth as instructors and the impact they’ve had on students’ learning.
These awards focus on instructors who are exceptionally significant and meritorious among their Illinois State colleagues. They recognize persistent, focused, and purposeful dedication to striving for excellence over an extended period of teaching.
The 2020 winners include recipients in the categories of tenured faculty, non-tenure-track faculty, and, for the first time, a new category for those with Administrative Professional or Civil Service staff appointments who also teach credit-generating courses.
Outstanding University Teaching: Tenured
Myoung Jin Kim
Dr. Myoung Jin Kim is a professor in the Mennonite College of Nursing. Kim joined the faculty at Illinois State in 2009 and was promoted to Professor in 2018. Kim teaches master’s and Ph.D. courses in statistics, and his teaching has been centered around three specific core values of student-based learning: constant interaction with students, rigorous learning, and diversity and inclusion. He is also a firm believer that all research should come back to the classroom and benefit students.
Kim’s teaching and research interests include statistics education, statistical methods, and interdisciplinary collaboration. He serves as a college statistician and a director for the Office of Nursing Research, Scholarship and Innovation. Much of his efforts for students and faculty are focused on supporting various projects with regards to their statistical aspects of design, conduct, analysis, and dissemination.
Dr. Terry Husband is a professor in early childhood education in the School of Teaching and Learning. Husband teaches a variety of courses related to literacy assessment, literacy instruction, literacy theory, and clinical and student teaching supervision. His research interests concern social justice and equity issues in early childhood classrooms and literacy development in black boys.
He also serves as the school university liaison with the early childhood education “Professional Development Schools Partnership” with the local Unit 5 and District 87 school districts. While serving in this role, he supervises student teachers in an intensive, year-long experience. Before coming to Illinois State in 2010, he served as a first and second grade teacher for 11 years in Columbus City Schools while earning his doctorate.
Outstanding University Teaching: Non-Tenured
Jamillah Gilbert teaches in the Department of Special Education. Gilbert is a learning and behavior specialist with 25 years of experience in the field of special education. She joined Illinois State in 2014 after an extensive career teaching at other institutions. At Illinois State, Gilbert has taught courses in assessment, family, professional, and community collaboration, applying technology to teaching, and supporting students with disabilities. She has also supervised pre-service teachers in all three semesters of their required clinical experiences.
Her research interest is in curriculum, with attention to equity in special education pre-service teacher prep programs. She is currently serving students through her position as assistant director of curriculum services in the University College.
Claire and Tom Lamonica Outstanding University Teaching Award
The inaugural honoree for this award, which recognized A/P or Civil Service staff, is Krystal Lewis-Pratl. She is a clinical assistant professor who works as a field-based coordinator for the Department of Special Education, where she teaches and supervises pre-service special education candidates in the Chicagoland area.
Prior to moving into higher education, Lewis-Pratl taught middle-level learners with mild or moderate disabilities for 15 years. She brings that practical experience into her work with pre-service special education teachers. During her career, she completed her master’s degree at Illinois State University and became a National Board Certified Teacher. She is currently pursuing her doctorate, and she has research interests in culturally responsive practice, disproportionality in special education, and teacher preparation.