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

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

LAS teaching awards

For the past month, dear reader, I have been scurrying from task to task just trying to keep up. I have, therefore, been a bit remiss about weekly updates here, and in fact I have a backlog of stories that I plan to post before too long. Several alums have taken the time to share their experiences of the department with me, and I plan to include a few of those, since such stories are the most vivid possible testimony to the good that teachers do for their students.

In the meantime, we continue to be a very strong and dedicated teaching department. And with that in mind I am pleased to announce here that two members of our department have been awarded teaching awards given out by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in this year's competition.

Jim Hansen has been selected by LAS Awards Committee as a recipient of the 2011-12 LAS Humanities Council Teaching Award. Professor Hansen is in London this semester and so will not be able to attend the reception honoring awardees in April, but I have suggested to him that I might accept the award in his place and do my best Sally Field impression ("they like me, they really like me!"). In all seriousness, I am very pleased--both for Jim, who I know to be a charismatic and popular teacher in our department, and for the department as a whole: in my view, we deserves all the good publicity about teaching we can get.

And--more good news--Kathryn Walkiewicz, an outstanding PhD student in our department, has also been selected as an LAS Humanities Council Teaching Award. The fact that our graduate students continue to be recognized for their outstanding teaching work is a particular point of pride for all of us, I think.


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