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, August 19, 2010

Instructional excellence, from Alderfer to Zink

The Center for Teaching Excellence has just released a draft of its newest "List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent," based on student evaluation data from classes taught in the Spring of 2010. This list--still known locally as the "incomplete list" despite the fact that CTE no longer calls it that--is considered a draft until it is published in the student newspaper in early September. But nothing in the data upon which it is based is going to change in the next week so I think we can consider it final enough for our purposes here.

As usual, English faculty of all kinds have made a very strong showing in a wide variety of classes. If you look at the faculty listed under the different rubrics for our classes (English, Business and Technical Writing, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric) you'll find a gaggle (or is it a pride?) of tenured and tenure track faculty members, visiting professors, graduate student TAs, instructors, and lecturers, all of whom have received strong student evaluations for classes ranging from general education writing classes and introductory literature classes to highly specialized graduate seminars. And everything in between.

Though I do always want to celebrate and thank faculty members who serve our students well (and this is in effect a list of faculty members that students report feeling especially well-served by), I also know that there are plenty of very good teachers every semester who do not make the list for all kinds of reasons. Good teaching is not a popularity contest, for one thing, and there are classes which, for whatever reasons, have higher and lower student evaluation numbers than others year in and year out regardless of who teaches them. So the list will always remain incomplete, no matter what CTE decides to call it. Still, I'm very glad so many of our teachers are doing right by their students, and I'm proud (as always) to be a member of a department populated by so many dedicated, excellent scholar-teachers.

So, without further ado, our list for Spring 2010:

Sarah Alderfer, Sarah Alexander, Claire Barber, Iryce Baron, Rob Barrett, Benjamin Bascom, Manisha Basu, Rebeccah Bechtold, Rebecca Bilbro, Heather Blain, Allan Borst, Stephanie Brabant, Aaron Burch, Michael Burns, J. B. Capino, Alexandra Cavallero, Debojoy Chanda, Ezra Claverie, Dan Colson, Megan Condis, Mary Rose Cottingham, Leslie Crowell, Sarah Dennis, Lindsey Drager, Caroline Duda, Karolina Engstrom, Patrick Fadely, Jill Fitzgerald, Chris Freeburg, Shawn Gilmore, Melissa Girard, Philip Graham, Catharine Gray, Sarah Gray, Baron Haber, Jill Hamilton, Jim Hansen, Gail Hapke, William Hechler, Ashley Hetrick, Liz Hoiem, Ann Hubert, Anna Ivy, Terra Walston Joseph, Gesa Kirsch, Kimberly Koch, Susan Koshy, Eileen Lagman, Melissa Larabee, Mary Lindsey, Samantha Looker, Tania Lown-Hecht, Sara Luttfring, Mike Madonick, Vicki Mahaffey, Heather McLeer, Bruce Michelson, Matthew Minicucci, Zia Miric, Justine Murison, Esther Nadolski, Michael Odom, Lisa Oliverio, Donghee Om, Paul Pedroza, Curtis Perry, Audrey Petty, Julie Price, Paul Prior, Thierry Ramais, Frank Ridgway, Micah Riecker, Austin Riede, Ricky Rodriguez, Michael Rothberg, John Rubins, Ted Sanders, Julia Saville, Christina Scheuer, E. Jordan Sellers, Alex Shakar, Anne Shea, Frank Sheets, Christopher Simeone, Katherine Skwarczek, Siobhan Somerville, Cristina Stanciu, Andrea Stevens, Bradley Stiles, Ted Underwood, Mary Unger, Michael Verderame, Jonathan Vincent, Jason Vredenburg, Kathryn Walkiewicz, Rebecca Weber, Kirstin Wilcox, Daniel Wong, Elaine Wood, Amanda Zink

Congratulations to one and all and thanks, too, on behalf of all of our students.

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