The Outstanding University Teaching Awards represent the highest recognition for excellence in teaching at Illinois State University. The winners are selected by the University Teaching Committee after being nominated by their college. They must work 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 honorees for 2021 include recipients in the categories of tenured faculty, non-tenure-track faculty, and staff who also teach credit-generating courses.

Outstanding University Teaching: Tenured

Dr. Sally Arnett-Hartwick ’97

Dr. Sally Arnett-Hartwick
Dr. Sally Arnett-Hartwick ’97

Dr. Sally Arnett-Hartwick ’97 is a professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, where she serves as the program coordinator for the teacher education program.

When asked about the strategies she uses to enhance student learning, she notes, “It all begins with building relationships with students.”

Arnett-Hartwick earned her Ph.D. in workforce education and development specializing in family and consumer sciences teacher education in 2008 from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She has received national recognition in teaching, research, and service. Within three years, Arnett-Hartwick was the recipient of two national teaching awards: the 2018 National Postsecondary Teacher of the Year Award and the 2021 National Teacher Educator of the Year Award.

Focusing on improving the content and practices of career and technical education teachers, Arnett-Hartwick has published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles, has given over 60 presentations, and has secured over $900,000 in grant funding for research. Additionally, Arnett-Hartwick has served as president of the state FCS teachers association and national president for a career and technical education organization.

Outstanding University Teaching: Non-Tenured

Jennifer Woodruff, M.S. ’06

Jennifer A. Woodruff
Jennifer Woodruff, M.S. ’06

Jennifer Woodruff, M.S. ’06 is an instructional assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She earned her master’s degree from Illinois State in 2006 along with a graduate certificate in women’s studies. 

Woodruff has been teaching for Illinois State since 2004 and has taught a variety of courses ranging from the history of the American family (for which she has published the textbook) to urban sociology and social theory. She also teaches full-time at Heartland Community College. She has been the advisor for Heartland Community College’s PRIDE organization for more than 15 years. 

Woodruff prides herself on encouraging students to never give up. She encourages students to take up leadership positions, such as teaching assistant positions, and to educate themselves in and out of the classroom. Through interactive, stylized teaching methods, she forms relationships with her students which allow her to help them become successful not only in her classes but also in their overall college experience, knowing they have “support in their back pocket.”

Claire and Tom Lamonica Outstanding University Teaching Award

Elizabeth Chupp ’05, M.S. ’09

Elizabeth Chupp
Elizabeth Chupp ’05, M.S. ’09

As the director of advisement for the School of Communication, Elizabeth Chupp ’05, M.S. ’09 firmly believes that advising is a form of teaching—one with a unique model of curriculum, pedagogy, and learning outcomes to support the mission of higher education. Through her roles as teacher and advisor, she touches students’ lives in many complementary ways.

Chupp primarily teaches professional development courses for communication majors, as well as sections of the general education course, communication as critical inquiry. From 2016-2021, she also served as the honors liaison for the School of Communication, where she mentored the school’s Bone Scholar nominees through the portfolio-writing process.

Chupp is a two-time Redbird alum, earning her bachelor’s degree in public relations in 2005 and her master’s degree in communication in 2009. She joined the School of Communication as an academic advisor in 2011.

In her role as an advisor, Chupp is responsible for guiding students toward meeting their academic and professional goals. She also plays a significant role in the administrative functioning of the School of Communication, including enrollment management, curriculum development, course scheduling, and recruitment and retention efforts.