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Three Education colleagues honored for teaching excellence

by Mare Payne / Apr 27, 2012

Suzanne Lee, lecturer in Special Education, John Knorek, teaching assistant in Educational Psychology, and Andrew Hunte, teaching assistant in Mathematics who is working toward his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, have all received the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. They were recognized with other teaching award winners at a campus Celebration of Teaching Excellence event on April 24.

The award is peer-nominated and peer-selected. Award winners have made a notable and positive impact on undergraduate student learning at the University of Illinois. 

The nominators for Suzanne Lee wrote that, "It would be hard to identify a more committed, enthusiastic, responsive, sincere, and flexible instructor in our undergraduate in the College of Education, and possibly in the University of Illinois at large. Ms. Lee is the champion for the undergraduates in our teacher certification program."

A nomination letter for John Knorek cited testimonies of former students, including, "I really believe I would never be the teacher or person I am today if I had not met John. He is the most outstanding teacher I have ever had and I am honored to have learned from the best," and "I believe I personally learned more from John than any other teacher I have had thus far, not because he taught more material, but because he taught a future educator how to teach."

Andrew Hunte is a student in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Mathematics. According to that department, students have described Hunte as a "game changer." He has been compared to Jaime Escalante, the high school math teacher portrayed in the 1988 movie "Stand and Deliver," who turned his class of underachieving students into one that would pass the AP calculus exam in record numbers. Hunte also received an LAS Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by Graduate Teaching Assistants award at the Recognition of Teaching Excellence event on April 19.