Faculty Across the University Are Honored with Teaching Awards



By Marcia Faye

During an academic year marked by hybrid learning, socially distanced classrooms, and COVID-19 testing, a number of Illinois Institute of Technology faculty members rose high above the challenges of the pandemic to impact the lives of students. In recognition of their efforts, the Office of the Provost has honored four faculty members with special teaching awards while five other individuals have been honored with college awards. The faculty members were nominated by their peers as well as by staff from their respective colleges and received monetary awards acknowledging their achievements.

“Illinois Tech values very highly the quality of our faculty and their teaching and the many positive ways in which faculty work to enhance the success of our students,” says Peter Kilpatrick, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “We are very proud of our teaching award winners and all who contribute to excellence in teaching and to student success.”

The members of the 2021 Teaching Awards Committee are Mahesh Krishnamurthy, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Armour College of Engineering and academic director of the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship; Alan Glodowski, senior lecturer of physics at Lewis College of Science and Letters; and Greg Reilly, associate professor of law and co-director of the J.D. Certificate Program in Intellectual Property Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

University Excellence in Teaching Awards

A lecturer in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at Armour College of Engineering, Edoarda M. Corradi Dell’Acqua (M.S. CE ’10) is the recipient of the John W. Rowe Excellence in Teaching Award. Known for her effective teaching style, her dedication to the learning process, and the level of care that she gives to her students, Corradi Dell’Acqua has led the development of a new sequence of courses structured around the United States Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition for both undergraduate and graduate students. She has a background in both architecture and architectural engineering, which helps her navigate teams of engineers as well as architects. Corradi Dell’Acqua arranges for student mentorship with other faculty members and invites industry practitioners to project reviews to provide student guidance and feedback.

Senior Lecturer of Chemistry Katherine Leight, recipient of the Board of Trustees Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, is also associate chair of the Department of Chemistry at Lewis College of Science and Letters and an undergraduate admissions coordinator. She primarily teaches courses in the organic chemistry sequence and is regarded as an engaging instructor who encourages questions and continually checks student comprehension of the topic. Students commend Leight for her willingness to listen to their input and to treat them with respect. Adviser of the student chemistry club, Leight is known to be very accessible, holding well-attended office hours to help students master the difficult material of the course and to offer career advice. 

Senior Lecturer Hassan Shanechi, recipient of the Bauer Family Undergraduate Teaching Award, joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Armour College of Engineering in 2007. Since then, Shanechi has taught 13 different courses ranging from 200-level circuit laboratory courses to senior-level design courses and graduate courses. He has been instrumental in the recent revision and modernization of the ECE curriculum, in particular the 200-level and 300-level courses, introducing new laboratory experiments to several revised power-systems courses. Shanechi finds the time to give attention to each student in these courses, which are typically very large and can therefore present special challenges.  

Adrian Walters, recipient of the Michael J. Graff Teaching and Advising Innovation Award, is the inaugural Ralph L. Brill Professor of Law and director of the J.D. Certificate Program in Business Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law. He focuses his research on bankruptcy law as well as general corporate and commercial law, and teaches a range of commercial law subjects, including contracts, bankruptcy, international bankruptcy, and secured transactions. His teaching style is notable because he experiments with new technologies and uses them innovatively at all levels to deliver an excellent educational experience. Walters won the Chicago-Kent Excellence in Teaching Award (2018) and the Student Bar Association Professor of the Year (2014–15 and 2016–17). He was elected as a member of the International Insolvency Institute (2015) and as a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy (2018).

College Excellence in Teaching Awards

Kimberly D. Bailey, associate professor of law and the Norman and Edna Freehling Scholar 
Chicago-Kent College of Law

Maurice E. Dawson, assistant professor and director of the Center for Cyber Security and Forensics Education
College of Computing

Kyle C. Hale, assistant professor of computer science
College of Computing

Sang Baum “Solomon” Kang, associate professor of finance
Stuart School of Business

Jeff Terry, professor of physics, professor of materials science and engineering, and interim chair of the Department of Social Sciences
Lewis College of Science and Letters

Photo: [Clockwise, from left] Lecturer Edoarda M. Corradi Dell’Acqua, Senior Lecturer Katherine Leight, Ralph L. Brill Professor of Law Adrian Walters, and Senior Lecturer Hassan Shanechi