2021 Excellence in Teaching Awards

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I am very pleased to announce the following recipients of this year’s faculty teaching awards:

John W. Rowe Excellence in Teaching Award: Edoarda M. Corradi Dell’Acqua (M.S. CE ’10), Lecturer, Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering
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.

Board of Trustees Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award: Katherine Leight, Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemistry
Leight 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.

Bauer Family Undergraduate Teaching Award: Hassan Shanechi, Senior Lecturer, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Since 2007 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 classes, which are typically very large and can therefore present special challenges.

Michael J. Graff Teaching and Advising Innovation Award: Adrian Walters, Ralph L. Brill Professor of Law and Director of the J.D. Certificate Program in Business Law
Walters focuses his research on bankruptcy law as well as general corporate and commercial law, and teaches a range of commercial law subjects, including contracts, domestic and 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
This year several colleges and schools chose a teaching award winner who was subsequently considered for the university’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Congratulations to the following faculty college winners for their excellence in teaching:

  • 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

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the faculty members who served on the committee to review the nominations for the university awards: Mahesh Krishnamurthy, Al Glodowski, and Greg Reilly.

The Michael J. Graff, University, and Bauer awards recipients receive a monetary award; all Excellence in Teaching award winners will receive plaques acknowledging their achievement.

Please join me in extending our hearty congratulations and best wishes to all of the recipients. I am grateful for their commitment in the service of excellence for our students.


Peter Kilpatrick
Provost, Illinois Institute of Technology