The University honored five pre-tenure professors with the 2020 Teaching Initiative Award. Coming from a wide range of academic backgrounds, these individuals are recognized for showing considerable promise in teaching early in their academic careers. Like those named as Outstanding University Teachers, the Teaching Initiative winners are selected by the University Teaching Committee, on behalf of the Office of the Provost. All nominees go through a rigorous process of self-reflection and create portfolios detailing their growth as instructors.
Dr. Madeline Trimble has been an assistant professor in the Department of Accounting since August 2016. Trimble teaches the first in a set of intermediate financial accounting classes, which are required for accounting majors, and a cross-disciplinary elective class on international accounting, which aligns with her research interests. She also teaches a class on understanding the global business environment for the ISU Quality Leadership University Program in Panama.
To help improve retention within the accounting program, Trimble leads an interactive accounting fundamentals workshop for incoming juniors. An early adopter of flipped classes, Trimble uses asynchronous micro-lecture videos outside of class as a way to ensure class time is used to apply and analyze course topics. In class, she uses interactive software such as Kahoot, Nearpod, Factile, and Flipgrid. Trimble’s teaching philosophy focuses on demonstrating a passion for the subject matter and challenging students to succeed by being accountable for their own learning.
Dr. Abigail Stone is an assistant professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She began her teaching career at Illinois State in 2014 and joined the tenure-track faculty in 2017. Stone involves students in her research through courses covering African archaeology and the study of animal bones and human-animal relationships. She also teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on research design and implementation.
Stone is particularly proud of her work in Anthropology 102: Human Origins. Over the past seven semesters, she has introduced more than 1,000 students to the field of Anthropology. In her teaching, she strives to make academic and anthropological questions relevant to her students, regardless of their majors.
Dr. Luke Russell is an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, since 2018. Russell teaches courses on family relationships across the lifespan, helping skills, family policy, and research methodology. He also serves as the department’s Honors liaison. Russell’s research and teaching center around understanding how to promote the health and wellbeing of adults and children in various family circumstances and the ways in which educational, governmental, and health care systems can more effectively support individuals across diverse family contexts.
His teaching philosophy focuses on leveraging the power of instructor-student and student-to-student relationships, building connections to concrete “lived” experiences, and ensuring his students develop awareness, respect, understanding, and effectiveness in working with the diverse individuals and families that make up contemporary families around the world.
Dr. Mindy Ely is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education, starting in 2017. During her time at Illinois State, she has been involved in curriculum development meant to mitigate critical workforce shortages. Alongside Dr. Maribeth Lartz, Ely designed the LIMITLESS program to train future teachers of infants and toddlers who are blind or deaf. This work was funded by a $1.2 million grant awarded through the U.S. Department of Education.
In addition, Ely led efforts that resulted in a new Master of Science degree in “Education Low Vision and Blindness.” She recently partnered with Easter Seals Central Illinois to launch the Alex Program for Cerebral Visual Impairment. This community partnership provides assessment and support for children, families, and school teams throughout Illinois while fostering research on this front. Her teaching focuses on training new teachers to deeply connect with the children they will teach.
Dr. Julie Campbell joined the Department of Psychology in 2016. She teaches undergraduate courses in infant, child, and adolescent development, statistics, and a graduate course in research methodology. Her research and teaching interests include examinations of the utilization of technology in the classroom and the effects of technology on student engagement and academic outcomes. In addition to her extensive work with students, Campbell has taught several faculty workshops on this topic through the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology.
Another branch her of research involves the examination of neuromotor and cognitive development from birth to the preschool ages. Campbell has partnered with the Illinois Art Station to observe the effects of art instruction at the preschool level. She is passionate about creating conversations in the classroom that lead to student revelation. She facilitates these conversations using everything from technology to role-playing to games.