Professors honored

By Chris Lind

Three NIU professors have been named 1989 recipients of NIU’s annual Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Awards.

The winners are Jeffrey Chown, associate professor of communications studies; Curtis Norton, professor of accountancy and Carl Roskott, associate professor of music and director of the NIU Philharmonic Orchestra.

The awards were first given in 1966, said Tim Blickhan, committee chairman and NIU music professor.

The winners are chosen for recognition by the members of the Committee for the Improvement of Undergraduate Education. The three winners are chosen from 13 nominees, he said.

Individual department nominees are chosen from among teachers suggested by students, faculty and alumni. Blickhan said, “students are involved in all parts of the decision (to choose the winners).” Departments submit one nominee’s name to their respective colleges by the end of February, said Blickhan.

The number of nominees from each college is based on the total percentage of NIU faculty in the respective college. Blickhan said the nominations from each college were supposed to be submitted by the end of March.

Checks will be presented from the NIU Foundation for $1,500 to each winner at an Honors Day banquet at 7 p.m., Sunday, April 30, in the Duke Ellington Ballroom of NIU’s Holmes Student Center.

Blickhan said the Excellence in Undergraduate Education Award “is the most important award given to teachers at this University. When you place a great deal of emphasis on teaching, you need to place a great deal of emphasis on the evaluation of teaching.”

Chown came to NIU 7 years ago from Michigan Technical Institute. Laura Cison, a communication studies graduate said, “Dr. Chown challenged me in my desire to become a writer, while at the same time instilling within me a sense of pride in my own abilities.”

“I was very excited about winning the award”, said Chown. His students were also very excited about the award, they hung a banner in the hall congratulating him on the award, Chown said.

Norton said, “One of the highest honors a faculty member can win is to be recognized for their teaching.” He said that he has been nominated for the award both in 1986-87 and 1987-88. “It’s a pleasure to work with the accounting students here at NIU,” Norton said. Norton has been a faculty member at NIU for 13 years.

Carl Roskott said receiving the award was a great honor. “For me it’s inspiration to continue my work and to look towards the future.” He said his students were excited about his winning the award and his colleagues were equally happy for him.

Roskott made his concert debut at Baltimore’s New England Conservatory. Under Roskott’s direction, the NIU Philharmonic Orchestra has won 11 consecutive Down Beat magazine awards as the best collegiate symphony orchestra in the nation.