Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
I am happy to announce the winner of the Provost’s Award for Online Teaching for 2020.
My office received 258 student-driven nominations for 134 individual faculty members, recognizing their instructors for going above and beyond to deliver an excellent online course experience this fall semester. The overwhelming response from students was remarkable and highlighted the tremendous work being done by our faculty during this unprecedented semester.
A small panel of representatives from the Undergraduate Studies Committee, Graduate Studies Committee, and the new Center for Learning Innovation reviewed individual nominations. I am proud to announce that Industry Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Harry Smith, who received compelling nominations from 29 students from across five of his courses, is the recipient of the first Provost’s Award for Online Teaching. Students highlighted his commitment to breaking down the barriers posed by traditional distance learning by using innovative presentation methods and slide technology to create an engaging learning environment and empower students.
An Honorable Mention was also awarded to Associate Professor of Digital Writing and Rhetoric, Director of the Gewgaws Lab, and Associate Professor of Information Technology and Management Karl Stolley, who was nominated by 13 students from across three courses. In particular, his students noted his ability to create an active feedback loop through real-time Q&As and peer-to-peer communications channels.
I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all students, faculty, and staff for helping us to meet our academic mission in the face of these challenges, and to the award review committee for their extraordinary work in helping us to recognize excellence in virtual learning.
Provost, Illinois Institute of Technology