Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois

Illinois Department of English Blog


Welcome to the Department of English blog.

My name is Vicki Mahaffey and I took over as
head of the department on July 1, 2016. I'll be using this site to post updates and information of interest to our faculty, students, and alumni,
along with reflections about our discipline(s) in particular and the humanities in general. As anyone who has ever worked or studied here knows, the Department of English is a vibrant place. If you have something you'd like to see posted here, or if you want to contact me about the content of this blog, drop me an email at

Thursday, January 29, 2009

LAS Awards

Candidates put forward by the English Department have done extremely well this year in the competition for the teaching and student-services awards offered each Spring by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS).

I've just received word that Bob Steltman has been awarded an LAS Academic Advising Award, that Gillen Wood is a recipient of the LAS Humanities Council Teaching Excellence Award, that John Griswold is a recipient of the LAS Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching for Instructional Staff, and that Samantha Looker, a graduate student in the department, is a recipient of the LAS Humanities Council Teaching Excellence Award.

Congratulations to all on these very well-deserved awards!

(And big thanks, too, to all the students who took the time to nominate their terrific teachers, and to the faculty and staff members who've helped put the nominations together on behalf of the department).

I'm always delighted to see our excellent teachers receive the recognition they deserve--we are a department of fantastically conscientious, brilliant and successful teachers. And I'm really, really, really, really (that's four 'really's, for those keeping score at home) happy to see Bob Steltman get this recognition. For two reasons: both because Bob and
Claire Billing together staff what I am quite certain is the single most responsive student advising office anywhere on earth and also because, as department head, I've gradually come to see how many different aspects of departmental administration rely heavily on Bob's advice and input. He helps the associate head make the schedule, he advises on our newsletter, his mastery of enrollment patterns is absolutely necessary to all aspects of our annual staffing efforts, he helps to administer our departmental graduation ceremony, his knowledge informs all faculty discussion concerning undergraduate curriculum, and his general store of institutional memory is invaluable in countless other informal ways on a day-to-day basis.


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