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WIU Associate Professor Diane Sandage accepts the award for excellence in teaching from F. Erik Brooks, associate director of the Centennial Honors College.
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RPTA Chair Dan Yoder accepts the excellence in mentoring award on behalf of RPTA Professor Katharine Pawelko from F. Erik Brooks, associate director of the Centennial Honors College.
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Two WIU Professors Honored During 2017 Undergraduate Research Day

April 25, 2017

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University Sociology Associate Professor Diane Sandage and Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration (RPTA) Professor Katharine Pawelko were honored at the Centennial Honors College annual Undergraduate Research Day April 19.

Sandage received the award for excellence in teaching, while Pawelko received the excellence in mentoring award.

Ellen Bukvich, an Honors College alumna, nominated Sandage for the excellence in teaching award. Bukvich was enrolled in two of Sandage's undergraduate honors courses and she attributes Sandage's personal tutelage and classroom instruction to making her a better teacher and a better-rounded individual. Bukvich counts Sandage as an inspiration and a role model.

"Professor Sandage is certainly deserving of this lauded teaching award," said F. Erik Brooks, associate director of the Honors College. "She is a consummate professional and a fantastic professor. During her lectures, students are captivated by her innovative teaching techniques. She promotes active learning. Of all professors, she is among the favorites at Western."

Pawelko was chosen for the award of excellence for mentoring. She was nominated by WIU senior Jillian Ross, who noted Pawelko and the Honors College were instrumental in assisting with applications for the prestigious Lincoln Laureate and Rhodes scholarships. In her nomination letter Ross stated, "Dr. Pawelko spent countless hours crafting perfect letters of recommendation for me."

Brooks noted, "Professor Pawelko is a proponent of service learning and strives for excellence in all her endeavors. This excellence is on full display when she is directing honors thesis projects."

The Centennial Honors College presents these two prestigious awards annually to professors who excel in teaching and mentoring. Distinguished professors are nominated by a student or alumni of the Honors College.
"These two professors have had extended and cherished connections with the Honors College," said Brooks.

"They epitomize transformative instructional leadership. They have made immense contributions to the students they have taught and mentored. We appreciate the intellectual capital they invest in our students in the Centennial Honors College."

For more information about the Centennial Honors College, visit

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