Two ACES faculty win Campus Awards for Excellence in Instruction

Headshots of Wheeler and Lyons
Matthew Wheeler (left) and Angela Lyons were among the 2024 Campus Awards for Excellence in Instruction

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign each year presents Campus Awards for Excellence in Instruction to exceptional faculty and staff members, graduate teaching assistants and advisers campuswide. This year’s recipients, two of which are from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES), are being honored at a ceremony. 

Awardees are cited for sustained excellence and innovation in undergraduate and graduate teaching, undergraduate and graduate advising and mentoring, online teaching and research guidance. The Office of the Provost sponsors the awards.

Matthew B. Wheeler, a professor in the Department of Animal Sciences, is one of two recipients of the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring, presented to tenure-system or specialized faculty members at Illinois who have taught on the Urbana-Champaign campus for at least five years.

According to his nominators, Wheeler adopts a hands-on approach to graduate teaching and mentoring. The graduate-level course he taught for many years on advanced animal reproductive physiology allowed students to experience outside the classroom what they learned in lectures. Wheeler is a quintessential professor for a land-grant university, training the next generation of scientists while seamlessly connecting his research program with teaching and outreach activities. He has sustained dedication and enthusiasm for graduate education in reproductive biology throughout his career.

Faculty, specialized faculty, and teaching assistants are eligible for the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Angela Lyons, associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, is among 15 honorees in this category.

Her nominators said Lyons has consistently excelled in her teaching contributions, playing an instrumental role in growing enrollments in the consumer economics and finance concentration. Lyons’ hallmarks are her visionary teaching methods; quality, care and attention to teaching beyond the classroom; and linking research, teaching and mentoring. She maintains an active research program which she integrates with her teaching activities.